Bountiful Beautiful Blissful


While you're pregnant, I hope you take some time to browse the shelves at Banyen Books. My favorite book of 2005 is "Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful", by Gurmukh. Don't be scared off by thinking it may be too flakey - it's not, and incorporates many of the words and concepts that I use when working with pregnant and labouring women (I even sang "Row, row, row your boat" to myself during my second labour in 1987). When I read Gurmukh's book I feel as if she and I know each other intimately, and have been using each other's phrases for years. So, have a good read!

So, what’s the best birth book to read?

In 1982, I was obsessed with everything to do with babies. I ducked into every book store for months before I got pregnant. You’d find me sitting on the floor by the Pregnancy and Childbirth section, surrounded by books. These weren’t “Earth Mother” books. I started with the encyclopedic books, looking for the ones authored by doctors with the most letters behind their names... FRCP, etc. You know, the books which scare you half to death with descriptions of all possible things which can go wrong. Then, I went to the university medical bookstore to look at obstetric textbooks. I even studied an obscure Swiss method of breathing for labour, which I photocopied from the main library. This method left me exhausted, out of breath, and very, very confused. It didn’t help when my husband and I went to prenatal classes and pretty much “failed” breathing. And when the nurses at the hospital asked us what our “birth plan” was, we just said “to have it go well”, and then I asked if I could blow-dry my hair before the obstetrician started my induction. Yikes! Over-prepared with book knowledge....under-prepared with inner knowledge.

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