Read lots of books! Pregnancy books, Nursing books and for parenting, or at least taking care of the baby - The Baby Book. I also had found an online forum of like-minded mamas and read about their experiences a year before I got preganant. (Finding them wasn't planned, I just got lucky).
Read, read, read! I found Birthing From Within, Hypnobirthing, kellymom.com, askdrsears.com, mothering.com, and several AP forums to be the most helpful things during my pregnancy. I also found all of those websites to be helpful after birth, and even now.
Ditto on the books...the wrong books..lol..what to expext when you are expecting..
listening to too many people put the fear factor in me about don't do this don't do that..no good advice on what to do at all!
...my OB was as mainstream as they get.
My husband was the one who actually encouraged me to breastfeed our son. I cannot remember how that ever came about! Good thing I listened to him then!
So I did end up with an unplanned c-section becasue the doc needed my baby out by 7:30pm. 14 hours of labour with a c-section to end.
The Womanly Art was my book of revealtion with child #1 after he came..and then with DD #2 I was ready to go planned out everything to a T and had a VBAC and no meds and read Birthing from Within.
I read "Our Bodies, Ourselves" about the time we decided to TTC and became much more aware and quite passionate about women's health. When I became pregnant, I knew I wanted to get a midwife and do things naturally. I found an online reading list (on the webpage for a local doula collective) and picked up the first 3 books on it: Birthing From Within, Sheila Kitzinger's book (forget the title) and Mothering Magazine's Having a Baby Naturally.
We found a Birthing From Within pre-natal class and that started things.
I was supposed to have 3 weeks between when I finished work and when I was due. I was hoping to pick up The Baby Book during this time (another book from the reading list ) but then someone decided to arrive 3 weeks early, on my first day of mat. leave! lol so i didn't get to it.
So the first few weeks were a total blur, I knew very little (only what I'd read in handouts from my class & MW, but even then, i'd mostly just read up to and including L&D with the intention of finishing later!) So I just did what my gut told me to do and hoped for the best.
once connor was around 5 weeks I was able to read while he napped in my lap. Almost finished The Baby Book cover to cover in a few days and thought, cool, this stuff i've been doing has a name and it's AP
I read an awful lot. I also spent a lot of time thinking and "unthinking". I just thought about trusting myself and my own intuition and instincts. And I decided to simply trust my body and my mind.
So far it seems to be working.
I do need to work some more on non-violent communication. I'm not talking about the physical so much as the verbal. I tend to be sarcastic, snarky, and obnoxious. I'd like to work on some more consensual language. I do think I need to read more about this and help myself to be more mindful in the way I speak and do things.