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There are several ways to find the most helpful childbirth guide. Making a choice can include a combination of personal taste and the feedback of friends, family, professionals, and people in the local and online community. Some of the best childbirth guidance comes from books, websites, email newsletters, and materials from childbirth classes. Many expecting parents find that selecting a variety of resources is the most effective way to gather the information they need.
Doctors, and particularly obstetricians, often know of several types of childbirth guides and classes. They will often have both their own professional knowledge and the input of numerous patients to draw upon. This can also be a good way to avoid resources with harmful misinformation.
For a more personal opinion, friends and family who have recently had their own children may offer guidance as to which childbirth guide is most effective. As opinions can vary widely on this subject, it is advisable to concentrate on individuals with similar values or who have had a desirable childbirth experience. Though it is often best to consult with people who have had, or who know of someone who has had, the experience fairly recently, many sources of information can be useful for years, and even people who have not gone through childbirth themselves may know of good resources.
Libraries can also be a strong resource for finding a helpful childbirth guide. A conversation with a librarian and a thorough catalog search can produce several helpful titles. Checking out several books on the subject can be an effective way of finding the most personally beneficial guide before purchase.
Childbirth classes are another effective way to learn about and prepare for the process, in addition to providing an opportunity to meet other expecting parents. Some expecting parents choose to consult with an individual instructor or coach. Finding the right class or teacher depends on the competence, philosophy, and experience of the instructor; the class size that allows for adequate personal attention; and the desired method of giving birth. Hospitals, clinics, midwives, and other medical organizations are all good resources for finding classes.
Effective childbirth guidance can be found from a wide array of resources. Books can be helpful for regular reference, as can websites about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Many reputable organizations and hospitals offer weekly email newsletters, several of which can be timed to a particular due date so that the information is even more relevant.
It is important to select a childbirth guide carefully, as birthing is an area that is particularly rife with misinformation and myths. Upon finding a resource, it is often wise to do some research to ensure that it is reputable. A medical professional is typically the best person to consult, but if it is evaluated carefully, feedback from online discussion boards, reputable websites, book reviews from trusted publications, and family and friends can be helpful.