I wanted to quickly post about a prenatal yoga DVD I got for my birthday and absolutely LOVE! It is Yoga for Your Pregnancy by Yoga Journal & Lamaze. The video has multiple practices, which makes it a wonderful value for your money--there is an energizing practice, a relaxing practice, a postpartum practice and then quick practices of meditation for pregnancy, pranayama for pregnancy, and birthing room yoga. I adore the birthing room yoga segment. So good! It is only five minutes long and is perfect to use in birth classes. I've already incorporated it into my classes and it is wonderful. I bought this video specifically for ideas to use in birth classes--which is fulfilled perfectly with that great little segment--but was pleasantly surprised that I LOVE doing each of the practices as my own morning yoga routine. I'm not pregnant and find the practices really, really good even for not-pregnant people. They have a great balance of some challenge along with restorative, gentleness (they have modifications for people further along in pregnancy). The postpartum practice is really quite a workout, which was a surprise to me. Anyway, I just really enjoy this video!
There is an interview with the instructor as one of the bonus features and she talks about her planned homebirth which progressed very quickly and so she ended up having an unplanned unassisted birth, which I thought was cool. She also talks about using hypnosis to prepare for birth. Ever since I "met" Sheridan online, my ears perk up whenever I hear someone mention using hypnosis in labor!
As far as books, I only finished reading The Very Important Pregnancy Program by Gail Brewer. I didn't really like it that much. The emphasis on nutrition was intense! I recognize that nutrition is very important, but I wonder if it is the total end all be all that this book presents! Also, basically I collect books like this in order to glean new information or coping techniques to share in birth classes. I was interested that in this ENTIRE book there was basically ONE coping strategy, which was to do progressive relaxation in which a "wave" of relaxation passes through your body during each contraction. She even says that this technique might get "boring" since you have to do it for several hours of contractions, but doesn't really offer anything else! I forget that some approaches to birth preparation are much more passive than my own approach--the emphasis of this book, and in the Bradley book, is to lie still on your side basically the whole labor doing this relaxation technique the whole time. No thanks!