I am a reader. When I want to know something I run to the bookstore or library. Here are some books that I have read or that I have started to read and thrown to the ground. Regardless of my opinion I suggest that you pick up everything and read as much as possible.When I found out I was pregnant I checked out every book on the library shelf. The more you know the more powerful and secure you will feel in your pregnancy. *For the books listed below I have linked them to Amazon for you to easily access them.
Books About Child Birth
Rediscovering Birth by Shelia Kitzinger
I really loved this book. It is a cross cultural study of birth practices around the world and through out history. This book also explores how the westernization of medicine has change the birthing process. I found this book very comforting and at times comedic. It helped me to understand why hospitals are set up the way they are and why I was feeling so uncomfortable about the hospital. After reading this book I actually felt much more confident about birthing my son in the hospital and was able to set reasonable expectations of myself and my husband. I suggest that every woman read this book!
The Essential C-Section Guide: Pain Control, Healing at Home, Getting Back Your Body, and Everything Else You Need to Know About a Cesarean Birth by Maureen Connolly
This was a very informative book. It was full of truthful information and really paints an honest picture of what having a C-Section is like. Even if you are planning on a natural birth you should read this book because a C-Section is always possibility right up until the baby is born. Hope the for best, prepare for the worst.
Your Best Birth: Know All You Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience By Rikki Lake
I found this book full of commentary and backed up with very little research. I felt that this book was written from the perspective of women who didn't get what they wanted in the delivery room and were not willing to face the truth that things do not always go the way you plan them too. This book made it sound like the doctors and nurses are out to get you and deprive you of a magical birth experience. I personally trust my doctor and since I haven't been to medical school I need to listen to the advice my doctor is giving. I wouldn't take it very well if a parent walked into my classroom and started telling me how to teach. Likewise, I won't tell my doctor how to be a doctor.
Having A Healthy Pregnancy
Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Easting Before, During, and After Pregnancy by American Dietetic Association
I really love this book and suggest that you buy a copy and keep it handy at all times. It gives you great nutrition advice and helped me understand my prenatal vitamins as well as the food that I need to be eating. There is also a great section on understanding your weight gain and the pounds you are putting on.
Pregnancy Fitness: Mind, Body, Spirit by the Editors of Fitness Magazine with Ginny Graves
I really love the way this book is organized. It is set up by trimester and advises you to stay within healthy activity levels while pregnant. It also explains why it is important to stay within certain levels and warning signs that you are doing too much. It also discusses changes in your body and how exercise can help ease these changes.
Stretching and Pregnancy by Jennifer Cristuado
This book was helpful but it was also a bit out dated. My husband and I also found some of the instructions confusing. When ever my husband (an aerospace engineer) can't figure the instructions I know we are doomed because he is the Jedi Master of instructions. This book got me started on stretching and prompted me to find Pregnancy Fitness listed above.
What to Expect When Your Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
So this book seems to be super popular. I however, can't stand it. In my opinion it is horribly organized, has an impossible diet in it, scared me more then in comforted me, and actually caused me to have some panic. When I asked my doctor about good books to read she made it a point to tell me she didn't approve of this book. Every book has it's place, this books place is as a door stop!
Getting Prepared For Parenthood
Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson
My husband picked this book up when we found out that we were going to be having a boy. Dr. Dobson is the founder of Focus On The Family and offers a Christian perspective on raising sons. Dr. Dobson discusses some of the differences between raising sons and raising daughters. He also discusses how boys learn and relate to the world around them.
A Love That Multiples by Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar
I enjoyed reading this book. When I have watched the T.V. show I have always been impressed with how polite and well behaved the children are. Although I do not completely agree with their beliefs it was helpful to hear their philosophy on parenting and how they approach behavior issues with their children. I did enjoy reading this book and have found myself reflecting back on the some of the nuggets of wisdom I found in the book.
The Complete Book of Baby Names by Lesley Bolton
This is a fun book. It has some great food for thought when thinking about names for the baby and it has a ton of names, origins, and variations on names.
Confident Baby Care: What You Need to Know For the First Year From America's Most Trusted Nanny by Jo Frost
I started reading this book in week 17. This was the week that I really allowed my self think about what it would be like to bring baby home. The book is divided into parts for reading the whole book all at once doesn't work all that well...it is set up by development stages and reading to the end of the book is jumping ahead a little bit. In the first chapters it has some exercises for you and your husband to do to get you thinking about what kind of parent you want to be. It also have some practical advice on supplies and preparation for parenthood.