Posts Tagged ‘rite of passage’

Top 4 All Time Favorite Pregnancy Books!

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

There are countless pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting books available. I remember going to the bookstore shortly after finding out I was pregnant with my first child. I stood there browsing the section of pregnancy books. Despite the large selection I didn’t really find one that grabbed me. Granted I didn’t exactly know what I was looking for; ideally I wanted to find a book that would help guide me through the entire novel experience of pregnancy and childbirth. How that actually translated into a written book I had no clue. I just assumed all women needed such a guide so surely it existed? I left the store with a generic “Your Pregnancy Week by Week” style book in hand. It showed pictures of baby’s development and listed corresponding symptoms I would likely experience. All in all it was a rather drab and clinical perspective on pregnancy. Furthermore it did absolutely nothing to prepare me for childbirth or mothering. It was not at all the magical guide I was hoping for.

Fast forward  six and half years later: I have now read many, many books on the topic and decided to come up with a list of Top 4 All Time Favorite Pregnancy Books to share with you. That way you can bypass all the monotonous, uninspiring pregnancy books and go straight to the good stuff! 🙂

1. Birthing From Within by Pam Engalnd – If you only read one book your entire pregnancy, THIS is the one I would suggest. Birthing From Within looks at birth as a rite of passage. Unlike many pregnancy books that focus on the purely factual information regarding childbirth (stages of labor, dilation, pain management options, etc), Birthing From Within gives women tools to prepare emotionally and spiritually for childbirth. A large section of the book is devoted to Birth Art, which many “non-artsy” people (myself included) initially write off or even skip over. But let me assure you, it’s powerful stuff! Why? When a woman is in labor, she is operating in her right brain. She is primitive, uninhibited, free, raw, reflexive, wild, loud, and naked both physically and emotionally. She is her true self. Ironically most women attempt to prepare themselves for giving birth by stimulating their left brain. They will read tedious books, attend highly structured birth education classes, or talk with other
women who have given birth. Valuable information is missed if we only perceive birth in our left brains. Birthing From Within provides suggested activities that will actively engage your right brain. It is unlike any other childbirth preparation approach out there, but among one of the best in my opinion.

2. Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood by Yana Cortlund, Barb Lucke, and Donna Miller Watelet – This book is plentiful with ideas on honoring the pregnant mother with a Blessingway Ceremony. Like Birthing From Within, Mother Rising acknowledges birth as a rite of passage; one that should be celebrated with ritual and tradition. Because Blessingway Ceremonies are not very common in our culture, many women are unsure how to create such a ceremony. This book gives very detailed and specific information on planning a blessingway ceremony, even down to suggested scripts. One thing I liked about the book is I felt it could also appeal to someone who prefers more of a modern day”baby shower” but wants to include some elements of a blessingway. Reading through the book made me feel deeply connected to women near and far, past and present. It impressed upon me the importance of celebrating and honoring the pregnant journey in a very special way.

3. The Attachment Parenting Book by William and Martha Sears – I felt this book was a fantastic read for my husband. It provides a very direct, easy to understand and apply, description of the main tenets of attachment parenting. Additionally it is a relatively quick read. The information is so accessible and therefore easy to remember. I highly recommend it as both an introductory and summary of the Attachment Parenting philosophy, especially for those that want straightforward information.



4. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International – For me this book is THE breastfeeding book. It is simply overflowing with evidence based information about breastfeeding.  In fact it’s not a book I would pick up and read cover to cover. There is just too much information to process at one time. I tend to use it more as a guide or reference book when I have a questions for myself or from a friend. However I would recommend reading the first two parts; planning to breastfeed and the early months of breastfeeding at some point during pregnancy so you can approach breastfeeding armed with solid information.

So there you have it….my 4 favorite pregnancy books. 🙂 What books are among your favorites for pregnant women?


Fan Photo Friday: Baby’s First Foods

Friday, June 1st, 2012

I’m pretty excited to share these Fan Photos of Baby’s First Foods with you all! We have some seriously cute babies in our Mom’s Milk Boutique community…check them out!

Here’s Robbie at about 6 months old trying pears for the first time. His mom says he was ecstatic and that she never fully appreciated how exciting pears can be until she saw Robbie’s reaction to them. Isn’t it cool how babies can make old experiences novel for us again? They remind us to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like the juicy sweetness of pears.

This is Jordan’s 9 month old son who is still exclusively breastfed, however he recently tasted a lemon. I don’t think he cared for it very much, lol! 🙂 Jordan says although it looks like he was crying, he was not. His reaction was delayed as well; he made that face a good 5-10 seconds after he licked the lemon. They did not expect such a face from tasting the lemon, but what a great expression to capture in a photo!

This is Jolene’s son at one eating a bowl of oatmeal by himself for the first time. She says that this picture doesn’t do his mess justice… there was oatmeal EVERYWHERE !!! But he definitely enjoyed himself! Don’t you just love how focused he is on using his spoon? Kudos to mama for letting baby self-feed despite how messy it is.

Here is Channing at 5 months enjoying some yummy frozen blueberries. His mom says he’s loved blueberries ever since. Not surprising since he looks pretty happy about his blueberries in this picture. And just look at those sweet cheeks! What a cutie!

This is Tracy’s son. His Grandma took him to Burger King to which Tracy says “Ewww! We don’t normally eat that stuff!”. I hear you Tracy…we also have grandparents that give our kids all sorts of junk food that we normally don’t eat. I think it’s a rite of passage for grandparents or something? At any rate I love his serious expression in this picture.

This is Orion, who according to mom his Daddy has a history of letting baby “taste”  totally inappropriate, grown-up palate pleasers (raise your hand if your hubby does the same thing!)….however they do make funny pictures like this one of Orion gnawing on an enormous turkey leg.

Although his real first food that mama sat down to feed him was an avocado at 6 months…which he loved! Avocados make a wonderful first food for babies. 🙂

This is Emmy’s first time eating cereal. Her mom says the experiencing was a little shocking for Emmy who wasn’t sure what to think of it. Her big eyes have a lot to say though, don’t they?

Here’s my chunky monkey at 7 months old having a mashed banana for the first time. He would make these hilarious faces after each taste, but kept wanting more…

Thanks to all who sent in photos for this week’s Fan Photo Friday. And the winner of the 25 Milk Miles is….Channing with his adorable smile and his blueberry goatee!

Okay mamas, get ready for next week’s Fan Photo Friday. The topic is “Let’s Celebrate Summer!”. Share a picture of your family’s favorite summer activity for a chance to win 25 Milk Miles. Just email your summer celebration picture to by Thursday, June 7 and include any information you want shared such as age of baby/child, location, description of the activity, and/or your child’s reaction to the experience.   Then check back on Friday, June 8 to be inspired for summer time fun and see who wins 25 Milk Miles!