Birth Without Fear is a must-read for every woman of maturity and especially for those who are currently pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant.
One morning as my husband and daughter were sitting in on a reading program at our local library, I hung back near the exit so that I could sneak out and explore the library shelves. I love watching my daughter learn but there’s a limit to the number of times I can sit through the same kid songs. If you are a song-writer, I beg of you to share your talents in the kid space; parents everywhere would love you!
My library rendezvous led me to the pregnancy and birth books (it’s kinda my jam) and I picked up Birth Without Fear along with ten other books. I was drawn to it because of the title.
Too often fear is a dominant emotion in a women’s pregnancy journey and much of the fear is centered around thoughts about birth. It’s partly the reason why I named one of my courses Pregnant & Unafraid. So…of course I wanted to know what January Harshe was bringing to the birthing conversation with her book Birth Without Fear. What I found was the perfect balance of edu-taining (educational and entertaining) storytelling and empowerment.
Reading through the book and learning about the platform was time well spent.
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Below you’ll find 20 quotes from the book that can be pregnancy altering.
20 Thoughtful and Empowering Pregnancy Quotes from Birth Without Fear (A Must-Read)
1. “Far to often we make decisions that stem from the subconscious belief that we have to listen to authority, that our feelings aren’t valid, or that it’s our responsibility to take care of others more than ourselves.” – pg. XV
2. “There is just too much fear associated with pregnancy, birth, and postpartum — understandably so–and not nearly enough support.” -pg. XV
3. “Make sure you are loving and honoring yourself first and then it expands out from there your partner, spouse, friends, family, and birth team.” – pg. 1
4. “You may experience all the things you see on television, or read online in books throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum–or almost none of them. And that’s okay.” -pg. 3
5. “You are allowed to have a voice in your relationship with your care provider.” -pg. 9
6. “We have a misguided assumption as a society that providers “let” us do things.” “…I was hiring a provider to support me not control me.” -pg. 10
Pay attention to page 11 questions you can use to interview providers.
7. “…we can and should support one another on our journeys even when they are different–not just the exciting parts, but the sad and difficult parts as well.” -pg. 15
8. “The best advocate for you is you…” -pg. 21
9. “Going with the flow will take care providers down whatever path leads to a healthy mom and baby, and that’s great –but sometimes it comes at the cost of your voice and agency over your body.” pg. 22
10. “Always choose sleep.” -pg. 24
11. “: the problem with tests is usually not the tests themselves. It’s the fear of what information they’ll give us–or how a care provider may use that information to shame us or force a decision.” -pg. 25
I love how January shares her Vanna White moment at one of her prenatal appointments. Read all about it on page 27!
12. “; the system that we have to birth in sometimes fails us.” -pg. 28
13. “Make your sources of information not just books and articles, but also other women’s stories.”
14. “Women deserve options, respect, and support.” -pg. 41
15. “A birth plan isn’t a set-in-stone plan, because you can’t possibly predict or control everything about birth. Rather, it is a tool for education, options, and support.” -pg. 43
16. “You have autonomy over your experience and you don’t owe anyone your continued support or patronage if you don’t feel completely at ease.” -pg. 46
17. “Worry about your own peace of mind more than you worry about hurting someone’s feelings. Boundaries are self-care.” -pg. 50
18. “Your power isn’t in the hospital or the birthing center or the side of the road if that’s where you birth your baby–the power is in you.” pg. 57
19. “cesarean birth can be a powerful birth…It’s not always an emergency, and even if it’s your backup plan, it’s still birth.” pg. 73
20. “Birth is not a competition.” pg. 88
Although these quotes are powerful on their own, it’s valuable to get the full context of each of the quotes by reading Birth Without Fear. January, the author, was honest and eloquent in her sharing of her stories of birth, loss, VBACs, and everything in-between. So, read this book and realize that birth doesn’t need to be scary but even if it is…you can overcome.
Even if you’re towards the end of your pregnancy journey, this book is worth reading just for the sections on postpartum care.
Guys. I loved becoming a mom but along the journey, there were so many things I didn’t know. Now, as I sit here a mom of two (one child earthside), I’m honestly telling you this is a book I wish I had read long before I got pregnant.
If you read it and want to share how it impacts your thoughts about pregnancy, share in the comment section below.
Above all, I wish you health and confidence in your pregnancy journey. You got this!