The Natural Pregnancy Book, Third Edition


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A revised and updated edition of the classic handbook for women seeking a safe, organic, eco-friendly, and natural pregnancy, featuring an integrative-based approach with new medical, herbal, and nutritional information.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ina May Gaskin

Part I: Your Pregnancy

Chapter 1: The Basics
A Brief History of Birthing Practices in the United States
What I Mean by Natural
Alternative Childbirth and the
Resurgence of Midwifery
Looking to the Future

Chapter 2: Becoming Body Centered
Learning to Listen to Your Body
Feelings and Fears About Your Body
Moving Your Body Joyously
Reclaiming Women's Wisdom

Chapter 3: The Baby Inside You
Your Growing Baby
Creating a Healthy Prenatal Environment
Communicating with Your Baby

Chapter 4: Prenatal Care
Prenatal Care Basics
Choosing Your Birth Place
Choosing Your Birth Attendant
Prenatal Visits
Prenatal Testing
Childbirth Education Classes

Chapter 5: What to Eat When You're Pregnant
Getting Started
We Bring Home More Than the Bacon: Hidden Dangers in Our Foods
What Should You Eat?
The Nutrients
Vegetarian and Other Natural Foods Diets
Weight Gain-How Much?
Take Inventory
Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy

Chapter 6: Herbs, Safety, and Pregnancy Health
Are Herbs Safe During Pregnancy?
Using Herbs During Pregnancy
Herbs Considered Safe in Pregnancy
Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy
What Forms of Herbs Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Chapter 7: Exercise and Posture
Essential Movements for Pregnant Women
Pelvic Health
Massage: Passive Exercise

Chapter 8: The Need for Rest
Relaxation Techniques
Spending Time Outdoors

Chapter 9: 106 Physical Changes During Pregnancy
Your Breasts
Your Yoni
Digestive Tract
Urinary Tract
Uterus and Belly
Hair and Skin
Bones and Muscles
Touch, Sound, and Smell

Chapter 10: Emotional Changes by Trimester
First Trimester
Second Trimester
Third Trimester

Chapter 11: The Month Before Birth
Nutrition and Rest During Late Pregnancy
Herbs for Late Pregnancy and Birth Preparation
Preparing Your Body for Birth
Preparing for Breastfeeding
What You Need After the Baby Is Born

Chapter 12: Pregnancy as a Rite of Passage
An Opportunity for Personal Growth
Celebrating Pregnancy

Chapter 13: Your Changing Family
Your Relationship with Your Mate
Single Mommas
When You Already Have Children
A Partner's Point of View

Part II: Common Concerns During Pregnancy

Chapter 14: A Guide to Common Pregnancy Issues
Backaches and Sciatica
Bleeding and Cramping in Early Pregnancy
Bleeding in Late-Pregnancy
Breasts, Sore
Breech Births
Colds, Flu, and Mild Illnesses
Ectopic Pregnancy
Emotional Swings
Gestational Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Indigestion and Heartburn
Insomnia and Anxiety
Itchiness and Skin Troubles
Leg Cramps and Restless Legs
Morning Sickness
Stretch Marks
Urinary Incontinence
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Vaginal Infections
Varicose Veins and Hemorrhoids

Appendix A: Herbal Preparations
Gathering Herbs
Purchasing Herbs
Preparing Herbs

Appendix B: Common and Latin Names for Herbs in This Book

Childbirth Education and Doula Organizations
Herbal Organizations
Herbal Product Resources
Midwifery Organizations
Pregnancy and Birth Supplies for Midwives and Home-birth Mamas
Pregnancy and Birth Websites and Blogs
Women's Herbal Education

About the Author

About the Author

AVIVA JILL ROMM, MD, is a physician and highly respected expert in botanical medicine, childbirth, women's health, and pediatrics. She practiced as a homebirth midwife and herbalist for more than 20 years, becoming one of the first certified professional midwives (CPM) in the United States. A graduate of Yale School of Medicine, where she received the Internal Medicine Award for "outstanding academic achievement and community service," Dr. Romm completed her intern year in Internal Medicine at Yale where she was instrumental in creating the school's first integrative medicine curriculum. Her numerous distinctions include serving as the President of the American Herbalists Guild for over a decade, serving as the Medical Director for American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), being on the advisory board for Yale Integrative Medicine, serving on the advisory board for the American Botanical Council, and teaching as an adjunct faculty for the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. Visit


"From conception to birth, and all the days between, this book offers history, remedies, and woman-loving visions of health in a clear voice that rings with experience."
-Susan Weed, author of Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year

"This is truly the best book available on pregnancy and childbirth and should be read by everyone considering parenthood."
-Rosemary Gladstar, author of Herbal Healing for Women

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