slow down + read: my top reads during pregnancy
before, i found out i was pregnant, i asked the most high one to assist me in learning how to slow down. slowing down looked like resting more. reading more. writing more. spending more time alone. spending time connecting with the highest version of myself. spending time nurturing myself.
all of that and more manifested when i became pregnant. through slowing down, i jumped on this opportunity to read a few incredible and empowering books on pregnancy. on our bodies. on postpartum.
so, pregnant mamas. mamas who are thinking about becoming pregnant. mamas in waiting. and women who just want to read, below is my list of my top four favorite books as well as a few additional that i read.
the year before finding out that i was pregnant, i started following LOOM on instagram which is a space in LA that offers classes, services, and events centered around sexuality, reproduction, and parenting. i remember picking out classes that i’d be interested in taking whenever it was time for me to have a baby of my own. erica chidi cohen, co-founder of LOOM, wrote this beautiful text that deals with pregnancy, birth, and the fourth trimester.
this text was not only perfect for taking you through each month of pregnancy, informing you on what’s going on with baby but it also dives into mama-to-be making sure she’s remaining in tune with herself. making sure she’s being patient with her body and the changes its going through.
the journal prompts, mindful exercises, remedies, and recipes were helpful in tapping into self-care throughout pregnancy.
besides the journal prompts, one of my favorite sections of the book was the #getitdone section that pops up at the end of every month during your pregnancy, reminding you of tasks to complete that month (planning a baby shower, meeting with a pediatrician, etc.)
i read this text during the seventh month of my pregnancy and i could not have read it at a more perfect time. my anxiety was really starting to settle in. i was going back and forth with myself about a birth plan. i was going back and forth with myself about having an epidural or having a natural birth. i was nervous: how would the contractions feel? would i be able to do this? this book eased my entire being.
it served as a reminder of the divinity of our womanhood. the divinity of our bodies. it reminds you to give yourself permission to make the best decision for you throughout pregnancy. throughout labor and delivery. i after reading this text, i started to shift my thinking about the labor and delivery; i started to envision myself breathing deep and reminding myself of the reward.
i carried this quote with me:
awaken to the beauty and power inside your body. pregnancy and labor are times to turn within. they are times of profound transition and transformation. while traveling this journey you are required to embrace fear and trepidation along with wisdom and strength. each stage of labor brings growth and change.
i thoroughly enjoyed interacting with this book! it was given to me as a gift in my third or fourth month of pregnancy which made me wish that i discovered it earlier. each chapter is a trimester that begins with going over the changes your body may experience over the next few months.
each month includes yoga poses, journal prompts, meditations and sound practices. meditation played a huge role throughout my pregnancy; having another source to focus on my body and the changes that it was experiencing as well as becoming more in tune with my inner self and learning to shift my thinking and my anxiety was incredibly pivotal during my pregnancy journey.
i would highly recommend beginning to dive into this text within the first trimester.
i started reading this book way too late. i began reading it a week before going into labor and completed it within the first couple of weeks after delivery. without giving away too much about this text, this book was so necessary for me navigating through the fourth trimester (more on that journey later). there is so much that johnson discusses within the text that i never considered postpartum.
this book not only touches on rebuilding your body, without focusing too much on returning to your pre-pregnancy body but learning to be patient with your postpartum body but it also touches on and provides exercises around owning your birth experience which was so important when unpacking and processing my own experience.
ina may’s guide to breastfeeding by ina may gaskin (highly recommended for mamas planning on breastfeeding!!)
let me know in the comments if you have read any of the books above or any book recommendations that you may have!
slow down + live.
- anisah amat -