One of the first things I felt when I learned that I was becoming a mama, was that I didn’t know much. I had babysat in high school and college and even nannied post-college a bit, but when it came to pregnancy, labor, and raising a child I didn’t know where to begin.
Not only that, but between working over 40 hours/week and everything else we have going on, I didn’t feel like I had time to read tons of books or just any random books I may have come across. So, finding just a few books that other trusted mamas recommended was so helpful! I’m still in the reading/learning phase (and think I will be my whole life 😉 ) but here are a few books that I have found to be game changers as an expecting mama.
Bringing up Bebe: This was the first book I read and such a thought-provoking introduction to the idea of parenting that I very much needed. Not a manual on how to raise your kids but an easy to read collection of thoughts and stories from an American mother and British father raising their children in Paris. They notice the differences in American parenting vs. how the French raise their children and while much of it just seems like good parenting, it was really helpful to read. Let’s just say, I will be saying “be sage” to my son and implementing “the pause” in our day to day life. (Category of reading: Child raising philosophy)
Husband Coached Childbirth: We were introduced to this book through our Bradley Method Birth Class and while some of it feels a little out of date, the principles for pregnancy health and labor/delivery have been so helpful. Matt and I have completely changed my exercising, eating, and preparations for labor as a result of this book and class. (Category of reading: pregnancy, labor & delivery)
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: When I started reading this book, I had no idea that the Bradley Method (authors behind Husband Coached Labor) and the La Leche League (authors of this book) were so tied together. It turns out, those who are big fans of breastfeeding are also big fans of natural childbirth for many reasons and the two groups can often be found quoting and referencing each other. This is more like a manual for breastfeeding, so I’ve only made it one third of the way through, but it explains so much when it comes to your newborn’s health, tips and trouble shooting for mama and so much more. This is one I would recommend buying because it has helpful pages in the back to document your newborn’s feedings, pooping, etc. Sounds a little over the top, but when I’m in those first few weeks of “is my newborn eating enough?” I think it will be a lifesaver. The Bradley Method suggests that each mama go to a La Leche group meeting (free and often near where you live) prior to delivery, and I found it to be very helpful and a resource I will certainly be using in the future. (Category of reading: breastfeeding, newborn care)
Natural ChildBirth the Bradley Way: If you become interested in having a natural childbirth, this book is very descriptive on the various stages of labor and how mama and papa can work together to have a natural (no intervention or medicine) labor and delivery. The specifics in this book were helpful for us as I wrote a Labor Study Sheet for Matt so he can be fully prepared to coach me through labor as my doula. (If that concept sounds crazy to you, look out for my future post on our Bradley Method Birth Class 🙂 ) (Category of reading: labor/delivery)
As I said, I’m still on my own journey of learning and so the following are books I have either begun to read or plan to read that have been recommended highly.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: Ina May is a friend of Dr. Bradley’s and also a proponent of natural childbirth. While I’ve already read two books on labor, this one has been recommended highly so I’m going to try reading it in my last 6 weeks of pregnancy and will report back. (Category of reading: labor/delivery)
On Becoming Baby Wise: This one I am very excited to read in these next 6 weeks because it is all about the sleep and schedule of your baby. It has been recommended to me by multiple trusted friends and I’m excited to have this knowledge fresh in my mind for when baby boy arrives. (Category of reading: newborn care)
So there you have it! Between pregnancy, labor/delivery, breastfeeeding, newborn care and overall parenting philosophy, I’d say these 6 books are bound to get you started on your journey to becoming new parents.
What about you? Any other great mama-reads you’d recommend?