The market is over-saturated with books to read while pregnant, which makes it difficult to narrow it down to what you really want to read. I am a big reader, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed reading books on pregnancy and parenting. I thought I would share what I've been reading, for those that find browsing on Amazon a bit overwhelming.
1 // Getting Ready to Get Pregnant // I read this when we were thinking about trying to get pregnant (duh). I actually ended up reading the book twice, once when I thought I might be ready (I wasn't) and then again when I actually was ready. The whole premise of the book is to begin taking care of your body before pregnancy even begins, which I totally agree with. There were helpful chapters on nutrition and stress relief, as well as preparing your home and environment to be healthy and clean. I thought it was worth reading, remembering that you can do your best to be healthy and prepare your body for pregnancy, but it doesn't guarantee a healthy baby or pregnancy.
2 // Great with Child // When I was first pregnant, I didn't want to read anything about the actual pregnancy. I didn't want to read statistics or see a list of everything that could possibly go wrong with me, the baby, or my pregnancy. So I picked up this book, which I remembered Joanna raved about on Cup of Jo. It's a book of letters written to a newly pregnant friend, so it includes sweet memories, honest feedback on mothering, etc. I really enjoyed reading it, and it made me focus on motherhood and the wonderful gift of pregnancy rather than worrying about things.
3 // Bringing Up Bébé // Everyone who has ever read anything about parenting has certainly heard of this book and all of the hype surrounding it. In looking back at my Amazon orders, I bought this book precisely three days after finding out I was pregnant(!), and I have to agree with all of the hype. I loved reading about parenting in another culture and was particularly struck by the chapters on sleeping, eating, and waiting. There were a lot of good principles that we plan on incorporating into our scheduling of the baby and parenting. Highly recommend!
4 // On Becoming Baby Wise // This book is somewhat controversial in the parenting world, but I really liked it. Both of my sisters scheduled all (seven!) of their babies, and their kids slept through the night at a very early age, had predictable schedules, and were generally happy babies. We are planning on doing a lot of the same things that my sisters did, and this book is a good source of information. If you like the idea of a schedule for your baby, my sister also broke down her method in a very helpful blogpost here.
5 // The Birth Book // When I was looking into hiring a doula, the one I interviewed highly recommended this book as preparation for a natural labor and delivery. We took a birthing class, so a lot of the information in the book I already had learned from the class. What I found the most helpful from this book, though, was the emphasis on not fearing labor, how to relax during labor, and the options for different laboring and birthing positions. If you are interested in learning about how to manage a natural birth, I would recommend checking this book out.
What books have you read on pregnancy, birth, or parenting?