Preparing for Child-birth and Motherhood is over-whelming (in many, many different ways). People prepare differently. I like classes. So, I took several classes during my first pregnancy.
I am a reader. So, I read. Lots and lots of books.
These are the books that were the most helpful for me, during my first pregnancy. I am slowly re-reading some of them (it's amazing how much you forget, especially about newborn care and the specifics of breastfeeding). I just started unpacking some baby clothes...man, are those newborns itty-bitty. How soon you forget!
by Susun S. Weed
(The book is clunky and obviously self-published many moons ago. But, if you can get past the formatting issues, etc.., this is THE BOOK on herbs and women during Pre-conception, Pregnancy and Post-partum. Susun Weed is kinda out-there, but she knows her stuff).
by Laura A. Jana and Jennifer Shu
(A terrific resource. I will definitely be re-reading this book. It's so easy to focus on getting STUFF ready for the baby and preparing for Child-birth that sometimes you forget that you will be developing a new skill set...changing diapers, burping. putting to sleep, etc...).
by Ina May Gaskin
(A classic. Ina May is THE most famous Midwife in the country. She and The Farm Midwives are amazing inspirations, from the mid-70s until the early 2000's...when the book was updated...their practice had a 2-3% C-Section).
by Ina May Gaskin
(Another classic. This book was originally written in the 1970's and you can definitely tell. The words "heavy" and "psychedelic" are thrown around a lot. It's a collection of Birth Stories told by women who had their babies at the Farm. The last section has some interesting information for Midwives and folks interested in learning more about Child-birth. The photos and drawing are a hoot).
by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
(This book was highly recommended to me by one of the Lactation Consultants at the phenomenal Breastfeeding Center of Greater Washington. It is my favorite book on breastfeeding and will be one of the books that I re-read).
by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
by Leslie Kirk Campbell
(This book is a wonderful resource for women who love to write and are about to become Mothers for the first-time. There are tons of writing prompts in the book for every stage of your pregnancy and the first few months after. It is a terrific book for helping a woman deal with the emotional and mental shift that occurs when you have a baby.)