The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill

1 Oct 2018

I have very openly discussed my increased anxiety with this pregnancy, particularly over on Instagram (@TattooedTealadyand The Positive Birth Book started to be a regular recommendation from other mamas who thought it would help, particularly with making me feel calmer about the birth of this baby.

A photo and review of The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill
Having had an induction and emergency caesarean with Willow, being pregnant again is not as simple when it comes to birth and deciding how exactly I would like this baby to be born. I have to take into account my previous birth, which automatically makes me a high-risk pregnancy, and I have to consider risks which would not have been as prevalent had this been my first pregnancy or had I had a vaginal birth with Willow.

As you can imagine, this has had my brain whizzing around with all possible scenarios. I needed something that would be realistic about my options, but that would also help to manage my anxiety a little - The Positive Birth Book has done exactly that.

I'd spent a lot of time looking at the different pregnancy books on offer, but most seemed to concentrate either solely on vaginal births or if they did mention emergency or planned caesareans, which is a real possibility for me this time around, there was barely any information included, at most a page to cover what can be a hugely complex method of birth.

The Positive Birth Book is a world apart from other birth books I looked into, as it covers all types of births including caesareans, both emergency and planned, going through all the things you can request in a caesarean, to make it more 'woman-centred'.

It also covers every aspect of birth, whether vaginal or caesarean, in an extremely positive, empowering way. I'm not talking unrealistic positivity here either, but in a way that celebrates pregnancy, birth and motherhood instead of looking at everything that could go wrong or all the negative aspects that society concentrates on when it comes to birth. For someone who didn't have the best experience with their first birth, to be able to feel positive and even excited about my birth this time around is huge - and that's all down to this book.

It goes through your legal rights, both during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period, something I have to admit I had no idea was a thing in my first pregnancy. I didn't know I could say no to certain procedures or that ultimately, I had to give informed and voluntary consent for everything that took place. Had I known this, I think my birth with Willow would have been very different - whilst it may have still resulted in an emergency caesarean, the labour itself may have been less traumatic.

Why aren't we told about our birthrights from our very first midwife appointment? 

It has helped me create visual birth plans, for both a vaginal birth and a planned caesarean birth, using the visual aids which you can download, to create birth plans that are centred around me and baby, not the tick boxes of NHS bosses.

It's not just pregnancy and birth which is covered, either, but the postnatal period, things you may experience, things you will definitely experience, how to deal with the parts of the fourth trimester and beyond that you didn't realise might be a reality for you. It's an incredibly informative book and I am so glad I decided to order it because it has truly been life-changing for me during a very anxious pregnancy.

Whatever kind of birth you're planning for, The Positive Birth Book covers everything you need to know and gives you peace of mind. It gives you that push you need to trust yourself to make the decisions that are right for you and your baby and ultimately gives you the confidence to stand up for yourself if need be.

It's a book that, really, I wish I had had when pregnant with Willow. I feel it's something that I would really have benefited from having when I first experienced pregnancy and motherhood. I think it would have given me an entirely different outlook on pregnancy, birth and how my daughter was brought into this world. So much so, it's a book I'll be keeping, despite this being our last baby, so that I can pass it on to Willow when she is older so that she can be more aware than I was.

Amazingly, it's not just this wonderful book which Milli Hill has brought into the lives of women and expectant parents, there is also The Positive Birth Movement; please do check out this amazing community and resource at