Books about Pregnancy
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Books about Pregnancy
Hi. We're thinking about getting pregnant soon for the
first time and I'd like to read up before we take the plunge
so we know what to expect! (I'm a bit type A :P) What are
your must-read books about pregnancy? In terms of
philosophy, we are probably somewhere in between traditional
hospital birth and at home in a bathtub birth, so maybe a
birthing center. Getting Prepared
If you're gonna read one, read The Thinking Woman's Guide to
a Better Birth!!! DoulaMamma
THE book you want is called 'Pregnancy, Childbirth and the
Newborn' by Penny Simkin. Simkin is sort of the mother of
all doulas and the book is basically a truly excellent
childbirth preparation class in paperback form. It is not
at all preachy, on any side, but is all about what decisions
you will need to make and how to make them, no matter what
type of birth experience you would prefer to have. I found
it much more helpful than everything else I ever read and
the birth class I took all put together. Holly
Ina May Gaskin, a world-renowned midwife, wrote Ina May's
Guide to Childbirth. I read it early in my pregnancy (my
son is 4 1/2 months young) and was so grateful. I learned a
lot about what happens to a woman's body during this
incredible phase. There are also the 'What to Expect...'
books which can be helpful. The What to Expect During
Pregnancy book outlines the various physical/emotional
symptoms one might experience during every month of
pregnancy. It also includes a lot of information about
nutrition, exercise, and everything else. Good luck! happy
I am expecting my second child in early 2007; my daughter will
be two years old. Does anyone have recommendations for adult book
(s) that will help all of us prepare for the next child? Only
one old recommendation in the archives, must be better/more
books out there now?
growing in so many ways!
check out changeisstrange.com
''we're having a baby'' can be personalized
and was a great tool to help us make the transition.
My sister in law is pregnant for the first time, and i'm looking
for a helpful, but honest book about what she can expect during
her pregnancy but more specifically labor and the months after.
If you buy one book for when the baby has arrived, I would
recommend to look for one that discusses infancy from a
developmental point of view (e.g. Touchpoints). It will help
understand what is going on with the baby and why, rather than
the best way of performing any given baby care task.
I'd also look for a good book on breastfeeding (e.g. The
Nursing Mother's Companion) and include the local La Leche
League phone number.
Re: Labor I found 'The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better
Birth' helpful, but it deals more with options and decisions
that may come up during labor than with any specific pain
management technique. For the latter, your most valuable
contribution may be to forget about books and chip in for a
The two books that helped me the most, both in terms of
information and ways to help myself and my baby during the
birth process were:
Active Birth by Janet Balaskas and
Naturebirth by Danae Brook
The book by Danae Brook has some breathing charts that helped
me to birth my first child at home with no drugs, painkillers
Also, both books are very informative, and encourage a healthy
approach to the birth process.
Another book that is great is the Leboyer classic, Birth
Without Violence. There are some beautiful pictures in there of
babies smiling immediately after birth - something to aim for!
My friend lent me the book ''Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn'' (I
forget the authors) and it was extremely helpful. I referred to it
constantly, and would highly recommend it.
Really depends on what kind of person she is, what she's looking for in terms of
information. On the more new-agey/wholistic end, I loved Birthing From Within.
For childbirth. I also LOVED the Baby Catcher -- about a local midwife. Great
stories that were really inspiring and got me so excited about the miracle of birth.
Also Ina May's book on midwifery (can't remember the title) is great if she's
interested in natural childbirth. I also liked Naomi Wolf's Misconceptions -- but that
can be a hard read. It's about all the stuff no one tells you about in terms of
pregnancy, birth and the first year -- plus a very sharp political/social analysis. All
of the Sears books are great - they're my bibles. If she reads nothing else before
the baby is born, I HIGHLY recommend reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
(something like that) -- to get a start on the sleep issue. Finally, a great book/DVD
for the beginning stage is the Happiest Baby on the Block -- great suggestions for
dealing with the crying, fussiness, and sleep issue.
You are looking for _Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn_ by
It is like a really excellent childbirth prep class in book form.
I can recommend the book called ''Your pregnancy, week by
week''. Both my husband and I loved it. It was our ritual
throughout the pregnancy each week he'd read me it to me as I
was falling asleep (I missed a few pages!).
I can also NOT recommend ''What to expect when you're
expecting''. This book is filled with a lot of doom-and-gloom,
in my opinion. I finally stopped reading it because I got
tired of reading about all the terrible things that COULD
I never got around to reading any labor-specific books, because
my baby was born 5 weeks early and I haven't had time to read a
book since! That was 2 years ago....
We did receive Dr. Sears' ''The Baby Book'' as a baby gift and my
husband and I have both used it more of a reference manual,
rather than sitting down and reading it from beginning to end.
We both enjoyed that book as well.
I'm currently reading ''The Girlfriend's Guide to Toddlers''
which isn't applicable yet to your friend for a few years and
so far (I'm about 30-40 pages in) it's just a humorous
reassurance, rather than a useful reference. I'm not sure what
her other books are for, but it's an easy read and a relaxed
Good luck and happy reading!
For pregnancy: I liked the ''Girlfriends'' guide to pregnancy and
birth'. The book is rather biased in its perspective: it assumes
that all pregnant women are white, married, and rich, but the
author does have a good sense of humor, which I appreciated,
particularly during the early nauseous months. I hated ''What to
Expect'', but it's probably good to have a book like that around
as a reference, just in case you need to look something up
(though, for reference, the internet is just as good). ''A Child
is Born'' is a book of photographs following the development of a
fetus/baby from conception to birth and is great for following
along during the pregnancy.
For labor: Birthing from Within and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
are my favorites. I think the first is very balanced and has lots
of good advice. The second is very pro-natural/midwife/homebirth,
but has some good advice, and has many labor stories, which I
found reassuring. A fun book is ''Baby Catcher,'' by a midwife
about various home births she attended.
For afterwords: For breastfeeding, I liked ''So that's what
they're for'. For what it's like to have a baby (and children),
try Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions, or the collection
''Mothers Who Think'.
Have read 'em all
My favorites are the Sears' books: The Pregnancy Book, the
Birth Book, and the Baby Book. I especially like the Birth
Book. They definitely lean towards natural birth but do a good
job explaining risks and benefits of various interventions.
While I was pregnant, I also liked looking at the pictures at
each stage of my pregnancy from the book From Conception to
Kim, Birth Doula
I liked ''The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth''. I had a
few others that I ended up giving away and kept this one. I'm
sure there are other great ones, I got this a few years ago.
this page was last updated: May 13, 2012
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