When Fernanda from Raincoast Books heard a few months ago that I was expecting, she said, “I have some books to send you!” I’ve enjoyed several of Raincoast’s kids’ books but never checked out their adult selections, so I was intrigued to see what she picked. When the books arrived, Lori Bregman’s book The Mindful Mom-to-Be: A Modern Doula’s Guide to Building a Healthy Foundation from Pregnancy Through Birth caught my eye.
I’ve had midwives with two of my births and a doula with one, and appreciated their support each time. Friends pointed me in the direction of natural childbirth when I was pregnant with Sunshine and with each pregnancy, I’ve found myself learning more about that and finding new resources. Flipping through Bregman’s book, I knew right away that it would soon end up on my bookshelf beside some of my other favourite birthing titles.
The Mindful Mom-to-Be goes through pregnancy one month at a time, from the first month to labour and birth. Each chapter includes an introduction, details about your changing body and your baby’s growth, pregnancy exercises, journal ideas for mental and emotional preparation, inspirational quotes, and nutrition advice. The chapters cover specific things to consider in each month of your pregnancy, from morning sickness in your second month to hemorrhoids in your eighth month.
“Ive worked with hundreds of women and helped countless children come into this world, and I’ve never seen two women or babies experience pregnancy, labor, and birth the same way. It’s my belief that there is no right or only way to do this—but there is a right way for you, your child, and your family. You just need to find, create, trust, and follow that way—and I’m here to help you.” ~ Lori Bregman
What I liked most about Bregman’s book is all the very practical tips she includes. This really is a manual for pregnancy. She includes specific, detailed information to support the advice she’s giving, from lists to recipes to drawings and detailed descriptions of exercises to do while pregnant. When she talks about having a “greener pregnancy” in Chapter 1, she also lists specific ways to achieve that, including recipes for DIY cleaners.
The final chapter in the book includes a birth plan, with a handy form and checklist you can complete to give to your pregnancy care provider.
My one reservation about this book is that “mindfulness” means a secular spirituality. In one chapter, Bregman mentions using pictures of your favourite “guru” in birth. Instead, I use pictures of my favourite saints while labouring. I’m not a huge fan of yoga personally, because of its religious ties, but I realize this is a personal choice and many women find yoga helpful during pregnancy.
Overall, I appreciated Bregman’s solid, practical advice for pregnancy. The Mindful Mom-to-Be is a comprehensive pregnancy and birth book that I’d recommend to any mom, new or experienced. I learned some new things and bookmarked some recipes to try out (such as ways of treating hemorrhoids).
Lori Bregman is the founder of the Rooted for Life pregnancy coaching program. She lives in California and writes for several blogs as well as her own. She has over 20 years of experience in working with expectant moms and has worked or studied with some of the most renowned healers and spiritual teachers around the world. You can also find her on social media.
I received this book for review courtesy of the publisher; all opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Yoga actually does not have religious ties. It’s simply a lifestyle practice. And although yoga originated in India, it is not associated with any religion. Yoga is a form of mindfulness that nourishes spirituality, which is much different from religion.