Prepared Childbirth - The Family Way

Prepared Childbirth

Ryan is so much better at articulating what we love about the book: Prepared Childbirth - The Family Way, by Debby Amis and Jeanne Green, so I'll let him have the floor...

"Quick...check the book!" Genny said in an excited and breathless voice. I grabbed it, flipped to page 34, scanned, looked at my watch, scanned again, and then it dawned on me: we better get to the IWK. "Let's move!" I replied as I slammed the book shut. A few hours later, our second daughter Rosalie was born.

The book that taught me to time contractions - among a million other valuable things - is Prepared Childbirth: The Family Way by Debby Amis and Jeanne Green. To be honest, when I first flipped through it in our birth class, I was a bit overwhelmed. It seemed to be almost too detailed, too descriptive, too honest. There were graphs, charts, and plenty of vivid diagrams. As our first pregnancy progressed, I realized I needed a resource to help me get my head wrapped around the crazy, beautiful event that is birth.

Now I can safely say that Prepared Childbirth changed the game for me.

It is more narrative than textbook. In an accessible and unbiased way, it walks you through the early stages of pregnancy, through birth and into postpartum. No stone is left unturned. It is broken into 6 distinct sections: pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, postpartum and family, birth stories, and workbook. Within each section you'll find bite sized chunks of knowledge laid out in a chronological fashion. The 'What's Going On During Pregnancy?' page got me started and I went from there. I navigated through 'Some Helpful Terms', 'Anatomy of Pregnancy', 'Nutrition', 'Comfort Positions for Pregnancy and Labour', and 'Precautions.' After that I waded into the mysterious world of labour and read 'Labour Support - Then and Now', 'How Painful Will Labour Be?', 'Signs of Labour', details on all the stages, and - my personal favourite - 'What To Do If the Labouring Woman Panics.' The varied birth stories at the end gave me the human voices I needed to visualize how it actually goes down.

I found it heavy and enlightening at the same time. Though I couldn't believe what was ahead of us, I started to understand my role better. I could talk about it in a more knowledgeable way. I felt involved, important even. Genny, of course, got the most out of it. But I still maintain that this book is a must-read for dads too.

Genny and I decided to bring this book into Hazelnut & Rose because it was transformative for us. It's the only book we have on the shelf. There are plenty of other options out there, but we believe this is the best one for feeling prepared and empowered through the whole birth process. Of course, the book is only a piece of the puzzle. Nothing beats instruction and wisdom from a real live birth educator. But simply giving Prepared Childbirth a chance can open up so many opportunities to seek face-to-face guidance.

Our birth stories are mainly Genny's. I can tell them from my perspective, but I prefer to let her pass them along. Prepared Childbirth brought me in and showed me what kind of role I could play. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Here's to knowledge!

Ryan Shaw

The Book is available In-Store only for now. Please contact me at if you'd like a copy sent to you.