I’ve done a lot of reading this pregnancy, baby related and not, but there are a few books that I have continuously gone back to for advice. Here are my top 5, but feel free to leave a comment and add your suggestions!
In no particular order…
The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
A great book for those who don’t want to do the “cry-it out” method, but also don’t want the alternative of being a martyr for the next few years. It teaches you what a typical sleep cycle looks like for a baby, a variety of sleep solutions for different parenting styles (which I love b/c every baby is not the same!), setting nighttime routines and bedtime associations, etc. I’ve read this book twice and feel like until Levi is here, I won’t be completely aware of his sleeping needs until I experience them myself.
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
This book taught me that we have options in child birth and made me question routine procedures that doctors do. No, I don’t think doctors are bad, but it’s VERY troublesome to study the amount of unnececesary cesareans: ones that are brought on by other inverventions like induction, premature rupture of membranes, epidurals, etc. There are two sides of the coin with one being that some interventions are absolutely necessary and lifesaving. But the scary fact is that many of these interventions have a cascading effect leading to almost a 40% rate of cesareans, when less than 10% are necessary. I know this is a sensitive topic and is often loaded. If you’ve had a cesarean birth, I am no way judging your choice of delivery. The end result was a healthy mom and healthy baby which is the best outcome! Moreso I was blown away by the staggering statistics of interventions and attitudes of modern medicine. While it’s important to understand that things might not go as planned in labor, it is imperative to be educated on the birthing process and your choices. This book comes HIGHLY recommended.
The Baby Book by William Sears, M.D.
This book is such a wonderful compilation of everything from birth, preparing for baby, bonding, diapering your baby, breastfeeding, babywearing, nighttime parenting, common medical problems, postpartum adjustments and everything inbetween! It’s a thick read, 749 pages, but one of those books that you can read sections that you have questions about then put it down. Dr. Sears is a fantastic mix of holistic and traditional care so most people would be very pleased with this book.
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon
I’m planning on giving birth at Allen Birthing Center by way of a water birth so this book has been so important in labor preparations for us. Stop right there, I know what you’re thinking, “Okay, this girl has lost her mind! A water birth?! Is she some sort of hippy?!” No, yes, not really. Water helps relieve some of the pain of contractions and is considered “the midwifes epidural” and for me has been my main way of relaxation during pregnancy. Back to the book…this is a great book for laying out the different stages of birth, getting your body/mind ready for birth, and how your husband/partner can help coach you during labor. The book is pretty graphic, but so is labor. 😉
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
What I love about this book is the layout: pregnancy/physical emotional changes, pregnancy/anticipating the birth, The experience of birth, you and your newborn and different scenarios like a hospital birth, a home birth and a water birth. Again, a very graphic book, but such a wonderful overview of natural birth and relaxion methods.
I’m 39 weeks pregnant today! Looks like I’d better get cracking on posting nursery pics.