Here’s my recommended reading list for those in the family way and looking for a little guidance, or at least a good laugh
By Shannon Gallagher
I’m really in the homestretch now: Four weeks to go! Or, up to six if my little one decides to extend her stay in Chez Utero. She did drop already, which I’m told happens two to four weeks before labor in first-time moms, so I’m hoping four; regardless, the heartburn is gone and I can breathe again, so even if it were six I’ll survive.
Just a week ago, one of my oldest friends found out she’s finally pregnant. In my excitement at adding a nearest and dearest to my club, I sprang to action and immediately began to accumulate all the things I thought she’d need as she ventures into pregnancy. In addition to lemons, saltines, panty liners, and papaya enzymes, a number of books were crammed into her First Trimester Survival Kit. For this blog, and for my own insatiable curiosity, I have tried to gather as much information as possible since Day One about pregnancy, childbirth, and what to do with that itty-bitty baby once she’s home (cause I have no idea). Knowledge is power, right? Here’s my recommended reading list for those in the family way and looking for a little guidance, or at least a good laugh:
Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy
I started here, in one sitting. You’ll laugh, cry, and cringe at McCarthy’s forthright, no holds barred memoir of her pregnancy and all its not-so-finest moments.
The Well-Rounded Pregnancy Cookbook by Karen Gurwitz and Jen Hoy
This little gem (written by chef moms) not only covers the ABCs of clean eating, but offers adaptations for each recipe to accomodate your various digestive inconveniences throughout the ten months: A more delicate option for when you’re nauseous, a “more bang for your buck” version for when your stomach is squished, and a healthful yet satisfying version for when you’re a ravenous eating machine.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
The world famous midwife offers an in-depth look at natural childbirth based on years of experience delivering babies at The Farm in Tennessee (where the C-section rate is under 1%, compared to a national average of over 30%). The eye-opening book includes over 100 pages of birth stories by women who delivered at the Farm, and an address of modern medical procedures (and how to avoid them). Spiritual Midwifery is Gaskin’s first book, and also well worth the read.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
The classic. Was my easy to navigate, go-to guide when strange things were happening to my body, or when I wanted to know exactly what was going on with baby any particular week.
Macrobiotic Pregnancy and Care of the Newborn by Michio and Aveline Kushi
While you may not be into the whole macrobiotic lifestyle, there are a number of wholesome suggestions in this book, especially regarding diet. Note to vegetarians: This book offers a great “substitutions” section, full of vegan dishes to satisfy a sudden random craving for meat or cheese.
Raising Baby Green by Dr. Alan Greene
I have my green non-pregnant friends check this book out, too. It’s a highly comprehensive guide to green living, chock full of products and websites for further investigation.
The Baby Book by Dr. William and Martha Sears
My new best friend — this man speaks my language. A guide to baby from birth through two years, this giant tome covers subjects like attachment parenting, baby wearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and co-sleeping, and offers sound professional advice/direction for everyday things like cord care and bath time. I think this book and I are going to be spending lots and lots of time together over the next two years. Two more must-reads from Dr. Sears: The Pregnancy Book and The Vaccine Book.
Vaccination: The Issue of Our Times Edited by Peggy O’Mara
This handy little book, published by Mothering Magazine, covers vaccinations from soup to nuts, presenting a number of probing questions about everything from the science of immunity to the social implications, answered by five experts of diverse philosophies. The book also includes letters from parents discussing their choices, and an extensive resources section for further research.
Readers and mommies (or daddies), do you know of any other great reads that prepped you for the big day? Let me know in the comments box below.