Updated: Dec 14, 2019
The Positive Birth Book. You’re either the kind of person that runs a mile from a book with this brightly coloured happy title, or the kind of person that picks it up and hugs it. I’m more the former, but don’t let that put you off reading it for as long as I did.
This book had been on my radar for a while, not least because it is in fact part of a wider movement. The author Milli Hill set up in 2013 The Positive Birth Movement, a global network of antenatal discussion groups linked up by social media, with the aim of improving childbirth and giving women better access to support and information, not anticipating the huge appetite among women for more positive messages about birth. What started as a small idea became a global phenomenon, with 250 groups in the UK and over 200 in the rest of the world and they are now crowdfunding to support their expansion.
While written in an informal, chatty style that could border the irritating, the content of the book more than redeems itself and talks expectant parents through the maze of information and choices out there in an informative, practical and reassuring way. It challenges the fear and negativity surrounding childbirth and makes planning for the arrival of your baby an enjoyable and positive one. It encourages you to think outside the box and helps you work out what kind of birth you really want and how to maximise your chances of getting it, while realistically acknowledging that birth is unpredictable.
It covers building the ultimate birth plan (with the option of creating a visual birth plan which I thought was a really novel idea), why you should have multiple plans (this really appeals to me unlike the often peddled alternative of namby-pamby “birth preferences”), and it discusses your choices and rights in the birth room. It also includes experiences from real women throughout the book.
My only criticism is that it is perhaps a little light on the evidence backing up some of its information, but as a result it is a very accessible and easy read and I appreciate not everybody wishes to read a text book!
So grab a cup of tea, put your feet up and start planning your own positive birth!