Finally, my last maternity style post! We took photos ahead of time in anticipation that I might go past my due date, but that of course didn’t happen! 🙂 Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite books during pregnancy. I read several especially during my first trimester, then picked up a few more closer to my due date.
There are so many parenting, what to expect, and labor and delivery books out there- it’s hard to know where to start. Instead of listing everything I read, I’m just sharing five of my favorites and a brief description of why I enjoyed the book or found it helpful.
If you’re pregnant or a new parent, I hope this list is helpful to you. Also, please let me know if there are any books you’ve read or heard of that are must-reads during pregnancy.
Common Sense Pregnancy
If I only recommend one book about pregnancy, it would be this one! I borrowed it from the library and read it very early on in my first trimester, finishing it in just one weekend. Jeanne Faulkner is a nurse and also a mother of four who has been at the bedside for thousands of deliveries. She provides honest insights for pregnancy, labor, birth, and beyond. Topics addressed include which prenatal tests you actually need and which you don’t, who will be a part of your labor team (including talk on hospital deliveries and using either an MD, OB, or Midwife), how to deal with feeling crummy, and how to avoid unnecessary and risky medical interventions. It’s straight talk from a professional, and she’s candid with the need-to-know information.
Read: Common Sense Pregnancy – Navigating a Healthy Pregnancy & Birth for Mother & Baby by Jeanne Faulkner, RN
The Pregnancy Encyclopedia
This was another book I borrowed from the library during my first trimester. It was a great resource for that time period between finding out I was pregnant and the long wait to the first prenatal appointment. The book reads like a fun text book. There are all sorts of questions and answers- everything from conception and trying to get pregnant to the first several weeks and months afterwards. The information is endless, and the glossary is helpful. Honestly, I much preferred using this book as a reference than searching the internet. There’s something about a book that provides an extra layer of certainty that no website can offer.
The book also includes lots of images- real life images of cuddly moms and babies, cartoon graphics of a baby in the womb, and even medical photos of some things that you may want to have a peek at before seeing it in real life (nothing too graphic, though). The book even covers information on miscarriage and special care babies. Honestly, I skipped over those parts because I knew I’d start to worry just by having that information floating around in my head, but, again, it’s a great resource.
Read: The Pregnancy Encyclopedia
Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth
This was a book I was given to borrow from my midwife’s office and encouraged to read during my pregnancy. The book covers pregnancy and birth as well as information about breastfeeding and those first few weeks of baby’s life. It had lots of information and suggestions for making informed decisions. It was also a great resource about what to expect during labor- what causes labor and when it begins and information about each stage of labor. This book became a helpful resource for me to read about cesarean births as well once I learned our baby was breech.
Read: Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
If you’re planning on a natural birth, or even just curious about natural (non-medicated) labor, this book is a must-read. I would classify it as being a little bit “out there” with some of the stories and births leaning towards pretty non-conventional, but there’s tons of great information. I downloaded this book on my kindle towards the end of my third trimester. I ended up skipping the first part of the book, which consists of tons of women’s birth stories, and focused reading the second half of the book which has more evidence based information and suggestions for laboring mothers. If you’re haven’t heard a lot of positive birth stories, I’d recommend reading the first half as well.
Read: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
On Becoming Babywise
I read this book and finished it right before Benjamin was born. It’s not a pregnancy book so much as a survival guide for the first several weeks and months of your new baby’s life with regard to sleeping and eating. Go ahead and roll your eyes if you want at this first time mom, but if you’re at all interested in getting your newborn on a schedule, this book is for you.
It has lots of great information about crying, eating, sleeping, diapering, and covers both breast and bottle feeding. It’s great to read before giving birth, and it’s a good idea to keep it as a handy reference afterwards too. I took notes on this book and even wrote down some chapters for Mathew to read. So far, it’s helped us carve out a little bit of a schedule, even in these early weeks.
Read: On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam
Outfit Details: grey swing dress – Gap, similar | tights – Assets, non-maternity here | denim jacket – Gap | scarf – Antrhopologie, similar | fedora – similar | ankle boots – Old Navy | lipstick – L’Oreal Infallible Paints in Spicy Blush
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Are there any books you’ve read or heard of that are great for expecting moms? What about parenting books? I just picked up Bringing up Bebe at the library- have you heard of it? I’d love more recommendations.