Happy New Year!

Expecting a baby in 2017? Feeling like you’d like to be a little more informed? Or just wondering what books you might buy with those Christmas book vouchers? Here are some really great books, websites and workshops where you’ll find (almost) everything you’ll need to know as an expectant or new parent. It’s (mostly) up to date and evidence-based information so a good place to start! Happy reading and as always, I’m here for questions! Louise x

1. Gentlebirth Workshops

imageAll Gentlebirth instructors pride themselves on providing unbiased, non-judgemental and evidence-based information and support to couples who attend workshop or who are part of the online Gentlebirth community. As well as employing brain training techniques based on the most up to date brain science during pregnancy and birth, the Gentlebirth programme equips couples with tools to keep comfortable during the birth. It also offers information on commonly offered birth interventions and key questions ask to help you decide what’s right for you and your family.

2. Evidence-based Birth

imageRebecca Dekker’s great site has loads of free articles with evidence-based information for expectant parents. These include exercise in pregnancy, due dates, turning breech babies and lots more. The most current research is explained and summarised in an unbiased and accessible way to ensure that you as a parent are fully informed on aspects of birth which may come up as your pregnancy progresses.



3. VBAC Facts

imageJen Kamel is a VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean section) advocate in the US. Along with having paid online VBAC courses online, the ‘Parents’ section of her website has some very useful evidence-based information for parents considering a VBAC. Check out ‘Questions to Ask‘ and ‘Birth Myths’ in particular.



4. Sara Wickham

imageFor general information (evidence-based of course!) and a UK midwife’s perspective on birth check out this  site. It has great articles on Group B Strep, Anti-D and vitamin K in particular. If these are issues that you need more info on, check out Sara’s website.


5. Childbirth Connection

imageThis is another US based organisation promoting evidence-based information on maternity care. Some of the material on the website is orientated more towards families preparing for a birth in the US maternity system. However, there’s also excellent general information on maternity care in general, explaining the cascade of interventions and the role of hormones in birth really well and with lots of important facts on VBAC too. Definitely worth including in your research during pregnancy.


6. Bump2Babe

imageThis fantastic website has statistics on each Irish maternity unit, as well as on home births, so if you’re still deciding on where you’ll birth your baby, it’s one you’ll want to visit! It also has information, provided by hospitals on the rates of some birth interventions such as the use of forceps, episiotomy, ARM (artificial rupture of membranes) and induction. You can find your local unit and discover what its policies are on topics such as eating and drinking in labour, length of second stage and lots more.


7. 42 Weeks

imageAnother Irish website, this is the public information campaign led by AIMS (Association for Improvement of Maternity Services) Ireland. Its blog explores a variety of topics of interest to expectant families with reference to the latest available research.



8. Kellymom

imagePlanning to breastfeed? Bookmark this page! Kellymom has the answers to hundreds (if not thousands) of breastfeeding questions. She also links to research, national and international guidelines and other breastfeeding experts’ websites on various topics. Of course, you can read as much or as little as you like!



9. Expecting Better

imageThis book, by economics professor Emily Oster, is packed with information on the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy. She separates what’s myth and what’s fact by exploring the science and statistics behind pregnancy recommendations on best rest, home birth and coffee intake among others. Have you been told the fluid around your baby is low? Are you wondering what this means for your pregnancy and your baby? You’ll find this, and much more evidence-based information in this little book. And if you don’t feel like reading the whole chapter, there’s even a handy summary at the end of each.


10. Science of Mom

imageIf ‘Expecting Better’ sorts the myths from the facts about pregnancy, ‘Science of Mom’ looks at what we need to know about looking after baby. From explaining the evidence around cord clamping and newborn medical procedures to baby sleep and the best foods for babies, Alice Callahan, a scientist specialising in foetal physiology, lays out the research in a clear, accessible way. And this allow sus to make the best decisions for ourselves and our babies.



11. Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?

imageI LOVE this book! If you’ve had a bad day, just pick it up and read the title of a chapter. I mean, ‘Pudgy hubbies, Man Boobs and a Theory about the Daddy Gene’, ‘Is Milk a Mood Manipulator?’ and ‘Baby Mind Control’ all get a mention! How can you not read on! It contains loads of anecdotes and snippets of information to make you smile. Best of all, they’re actually based on current and sound research.



12. The Irish Better Birth Book

imageIt may be titled the IRISH Better Birth Book, but Tracy Donegan’s book is a ‘must-read’ for parents no matter where they plan to give birth. It covers birth topics such as ‘learning how to push’, creating birth preferences, monitoring in labour, lotus birth and helping toddlers adjust to a new baby. Tracy walks us through our options on every aspect of birth, quoting research, providing information on support networks in Ireland that can help you and adding a sprinkling of beautiful positive birth stories in between.