I promised you a resource list and here it is…
Top on my list would be the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis program. This is the exact program that opened my eyes to natural childbirth. I chose to take the 6-week course to prepare for my first birth and it was so successful (you can read my birth story here), I would use it again in a heartbeat for my next. Hypnobabies is a comprehensive childbirth program that teaches its students the process of physiological childbirth and the use of self-hypnosis which can lead to an enjoyable birth experience. Sounds amazing, right? Only caveat is that it is quite a strict program. It requires a daily hypnosis practice as well as listening to positive affirmations tracks and weekly reading. Would highly recommend taking this course in-person with an instructor, as I did, but if online is what works best, there’s an online course format available. Just remember what you put into it, you get out of it. You’re training your mind to utilize an entirely new skill and it takes time and effort to feel confident using it. So, while this program may seem intense, it may be well worth your efforts and lead to a much easier and more comfortable birth! Now who wouldn’t want that?
#2. Spinning Babies
During my childbirth education course, I was introduced to this organization called, Spinning Babies, a educational resources that emphasizes the physiology of childbirth. It is my go-to resource on optimal fetal positioning. This means that if baby rotates properly through the mother’s pelvis it can lead to a easier birth. Working in the birth community, I would say that a lot of people underestimate the importance of the optimal fetal positioning. But, Gail Tully, founder of Spinning Babies and midwife, explains this process simply. This website offers free resources such as daily exercises, positions to turn a breech baby, labor techniques that can help any mother have a better birth. They also have an entire tutorial on Gail’s Belly Mapping Method, how to identify your baby’s positioning in the womb. It's pretty fun being able to tell baby’s position without an ultrasound!
From statistics on doula support to infant eye ointment to Pitocin, you can find information on Evidence Based Birth that will help you make safe and informed decisions for yourself and your baby during childbirth. This site has helped many parents feel more informed and confident about making decisions on inductions, big babies, GBS, pain relief options and more! Rebecca Dekker, the founder of Evidence Based Birth, a registered nurse with her PHD, scours the research world, giving you access to high quality studies and condensing information to an easy to understand format, suitable for anyone to read. I highly suggest touring their website or listening to one of their podcasts, especially if you have experienced birth trauma. Out of Rebecca’s own traumatic birth, Evidence Based Birth was born, giving more women the ability to make informed decisions during pregnancy and childbirth.
What I love about Tommy’s is that this a UK-based, informational website developed out of perinatal loss and premature birth research. This might seem a little counterintuitive to add to a pregnancy resource list, but with 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in loss, this type of information is important, especially since their research is helping to improve neonatal outcomes. Tommy’s has information from pre-conception to after birth and support for anyone finding themselves at a loss. If you want to know more about their mission or need to discover more information on baby loss and prematurity research, you can find support on Tommy’s website here.
#5. Hire a Doula
Hiring a doula will give you a birth expert right at your fingertips! One benefit of a doula is that they can help educate and inform you on the birth process. If you are having a home birth, I suggest seeking out a doula that is familiar with that model of care. Likewise, if you are having a hospital birth, be sure that your doula is comfortable and has experience in the hospital setting. Since birth locations have differing practices, it’s wise to make sure your perspectives on birth align. A way to go about that is to ask them about their training and if they specialize in anything specific. For example, when I am hired as a doula, I love to seek out hypno-clients since I’m a trained Hypnobabies hypno-doula. Just as using hypnosis during childbirth has become my specialty in the hospital or out-of-hospital birth setting, the doula you’re interviewing may have a unique area of expertise, as well. Some specialties to look out for are trained Spinning Babies professionals, childbirth educators, trained aromatherapists, lactation specialists. Some doulas offer belly binding or placenta encapsulation services. Some even provide you with spiritual practices that may enhance your birth experience. I suggest interviewing a few doulas first to find your best fit!
Even when switching roles from birthing mama to a labor nurse, doula, and childbirth educator, I remain suggesting these same resources to my clients/patients along with my own Childbirth Workshop and think it gives them a good jump start toward a better birth.
What do you think? I’d love to hear which resources you have used and what really enhanced your pregnancy and childbirth experience.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Instagram @Kyliethedoula.
Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any of these organizations, these are my honest reviews based on my own personal birth experience and use of these tools.