Like many women expecting a baby, there was a book that was referred to me to learn about what to expect...turns out it wasn't right for me. I found this out too late after my first baby, but my wonderful doula for baby number 2 provided a selection of books that were more about what I wanted to learn. While preparing to certify as a Birth Boot Camp instructor, I read some of the same books as well as new ones. I had to share as they are so helpful for those interested in learning what their bodies are capable of and how to help your body excel with nutrition, exercise and relaxation.
Here is a my list of top 3 "general pregnancy books" to get you started. They are focused a lot on pregnancy; what's happening, how what you do can affect your body and briefly the birth/postpartum time. There are more that I'll write about later that are more specific about certain subjects including birth, breastfeeding, postpartum and babies.
1. The Healthy Pregnancy Book by William Sears, MD, Martha Sears, RN, Linda Holt, MD and BJ Snell, PhD, CNW
My favourite part of this book was the detailed discussions about the importance of nutrition before, during and after pregnancy. Many books tell you to eat good, but this book really gives you details as to what to eat and how it affects you and the baby. Their Rules of Two really stuck with me:
"eat twice as often, eat half at much at a time, chew twice as long, take twice the time to dine."
I also really enjoyed the alternative view points: a pediatrician, a nurse, an ob-gyn and a midwife. I felt it was a balanced viewpoint focused on natural births that are empowering. Their is still a chapter on what can go wrong in pregnancy covering high-risk as well as issues that may occur; low risk and typical pregnancies are the focus. The book was also recently updated, so you can find comfort that the book is current.
There are sections for you to track what is happening month to month, which is a wonderful way to remember how you were feeling while it was happening. They also cover the birth and postpartum week, but in not as much detail. They have full books dedicated to those subjects. The Sears family is world renowned for health, attachment parenting and great information. I highly recommend the book.
As a side note, I have met Dr. Sears several times and he is a phenomenal speaker with a great deal of passion. He is a big believer in good health coming from good nutrition. He is a big part of the Juice Plus+ community and recommends them as a supplement in his books. You can find more information about Juice Plus+ here (note: we are a Juice Plus+ family and I distribute them) or ask me!
2. The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth by Shelia Kitzinger
Shelia was a brilliant human. She wrote many wonderful books and was a big believer in trusting birth. This book is filled with great information including many pictures of labouring and pushing positions. Practicing these positions before baby can help fill your toolbox with positions to ease pain. Other great topics include preparing a sibling for the birth and why writing down birth ideals can be helpful, especially the atmosphere of the room, no matter where you are birthing.
3. The Mother of all Pregnancy Books by Ann Douglas
Ann Douglas is Canada's foremost pregnancy writer. It is a great book filled with advice from parents as well as her knowledge. Pretty much every topic is covered between pre-pregnancy and postpartum. Their are charts and tables to help visually compare topics and Canadian statistics. Canadian statistics are harder to find in many books as the focus tends to be on US statistics and research. Canada is slightly different from the US due to a smaller population and different healthcare. There is a complaint chapter which I found easy to read and use...what symptoms should be reported to your caregiver immediately and what complaints are typical of pregnancy. She discusses the major typical complaints, what causes them and how the woman can help reduce the complaint.
What's Your Favourite Pregnancy Book?
Did you have a favourite pregnancy book? Share it below in the comment section! You can find all of my recommended pregnancy, labour, breastfeeding and postpartum books and videos over in the Lending Library...they are available to be borrowed by all students and clients!
With Love & Light,