I am now just two weeks away from my due date and anxiously awaiting the arrival of my baby girl. Most of the “prep work” has been done. Nursery is mostly ready. Central areas are baby-proofed. My husband and I have been working with our doula to prepare for delivery.
Really, there’s not much left for me to do now but wait, try to relax despite an enormous tummy… and read.
If you’ve been following my journey through pregnancy, you know already that I’ve spent a LOT of time with books and various web resources in the last nine months. Not just to educate myself for WHNT News 19’s special Birth Options series of reports but also for my own knowledge.
To save you and your lovedones the trouble of trying to suss out the best books on pregnancy and baby, I’d like to take some time to recommend a couple of my favorites. Some I found on my own, others were recommended to me. So, without further ado, here are the texts I found most valuable:
A great book walking you through all the aspects of pregnancy from the well-respected Mayo Clinic. There are week-by-week breakdowns of what’s happening to your body and baby, as well as tips for preparing your home and work-life for a child. You’ll also find monthly exercise tips. Written from a medical perspective, from doctors who are also parents, I found this book very helpful in explaining some of the terms I encountered in talking with my OBGYN and understanding routine procedures like induction, c-section, etc.
A wonderful book written by one of the world’s most respected midwives, Ina May Gaskin. You’ll read stories of women who chose to birth without drugs and interventions and learn about a more holistic approach to the labor and delivery process. You’ll also learn what defines the midwifery model of care and how it differs from a modern hospital experience, which typically involves various medical interventions. I found this book a nice, more spiritually focused contrast to the medical texts I encountered.
My good friend got me this book shortly after I learned I was pregnant and I’m just now getting around to reading it. I can sum it up in one word: practical. It’s packed with cut-through-the-jargon advice on feeding, sleeping, sickness, playtime – you name it. Written by a pediatrician, the book has a sort of “reference” feel too it, so you can look up answers to any questions you have once baby arrives, in a snap. There’s also an Expecting 411 book for the pregnant mom.
Google Scholar is an easy way to search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across disciplines and sources. I used this web resource occasionally to see if I could find evidence-based studies on various medical interventions and complications in childbirth (i.e. how induction can impact the rate of c-sections in first time mothers.)
A great online forum where you can connect with other moms and parents on all aspects of pregnancy – trying to conceive, laboring and of course delivery. If you’re looking for specific advice you can browse the many existing discussion threads or start your own. I found this to be a really nice way to get anecdotal perspective from other mommies on a whole range of issues. Sometimes the best advice is from those who’ve been there!
What were your favorite resources to prepare for pregnancy and baby? Did you have favorite books? Did your husband or partner read any? Share your insights below!