Doulas have become increasingly popular in recent years at birthing centers, home births, and hospital settings, but they’ve actually been around for centuries. And with good reason: the presence of these comforting female caregivers has been associated with shorter labors with fewer complications as well as a reduction in negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience. Seasoned doula Lori Bregman’s new guide The Mindful Mom-to-Be: A Modern Doula’s Guide to Building a Healthy Foundation from Pregnancy Through Birth offers reassuring advice and tried-and-true natural suggestions throughout the prenatal period and childbirth (and even after) as well as recommendations and recipes for keeping yourself and your baby healthy and thriving.

boow review, The Mindful Mom-to_be, Lori Bregman, green pregnancyPhoto by Shutterstock

The Mindful-Mom-to-Be takes a month-to-month approach to preparing yourself and your baby for the childbirth experience and new motherhood. Bregman covers some of the body changes that expecting moms can anticipate, but she doesn’t focus too deeply on the more “medical” aspects of maternity, instead concentrating on taking care of yourself and your body and nurturing your needs for sleep, rest, and calmness. While some of her suggestions, such as having a conversation with your own inner child or creating an altar in your birthing space might come off as a bit too granola-y for some tastes, the vast majority of her recommendations are helpful and logical.

RELATED | HOW TO: Find a Birth Doula

Bregman, who has been a doula for celebs including Kristen Bell and Molly Sims, draws upon 14 years of experience: The Mindful Mom-to-Be will likely be a book you page through for natural remedies that will make the pregnancy, childbirth, and healing period much more pleasant and empowering. The addition of an extensive birth plan guide, a variety of different yoga and stretching poses for alleviating aches and pains, and numerous recipes that will naturally ease constipation, keep energy levels up, and remedy common pregnancy-related ailments like hemorrhoids and varicose veins make The Mindful Mom-to-Be a thoughtful prenatal present for friends and family members who want to approach the baby-growing and birthing process holistically.

+ The Mindful Mom-to-Be $10.37 and up