I love reading but I didn’t go crazy and buy a lot of baby and parenting books to read while I was pregnant. I chose to instead do lots of research online specifically for what I wanted knowing that I already was confident in what kind of mom I wanted to be. I didn’t need to read up on the trendy new ‘style’ of parenting like attachment, helicopter etc I just wanted to be me and do what comes naturally.
So while I was pregnant I came across three books that were all given to me by friends and family. Even though I only read three books I believe that all three of them are worth reading for different reasons.
This book is best read while you are pregnant or while you are trying to become pregnant. I read it the last two weeks before I gave birth and wished I had it from the beginning. If you are like me and love research and statistics this is like a brand planners dream pregnancy book. If not you probably won’t be absolutely fascinated by it like me but you will find it very useful. Basically it takes everything we are told to not do while pregnant and gives statistical probabilities for the bad stuff happening regarding drinking alcohol, smoking, eating sushi, caffeine etc. That way you have the ability to make more informed choices along the way rather than hear loads of conflicting advice and vague statements like ‘most women’ without knowing what the risk really involves. It also moves on to larger bigger more important topics like whether or not to have further invasive testing done for abnormalities, risks of induction, weight gain and other labor and birth complications. I ended up finishing this book the night I went into labor and felt very confident with all of the different choices I was confronted with because this book educated and prepared me mentally to understand whether or not I wanted the risk. My water broke before I went into labor and I was told I had a 1-2% chance of sepsis if I didn’t deliver before a 24 hour window. So you are faced with the gamble – do I risk not having medication believing I won’t be that 1-2%? Or is 1-2% too high of a risk still because how would I feel if my baby died knowing that I was responsible for that decision and I could have prevented it. You can read more about my labor and what my decision was From Drug-free Home-birth to Drugged up Hospital.
Book 2 – All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior
My friend bought me this book for my baby shower because it was recommended to her. I had no idea what it was about and assumed it would be a parenting book. Again this was a fascinating book for me because it follows different types of parents from different states and different socio-economic backgrounds in the US. It starts off by talking about how we lose who we are when we become parents and the issues that we face as we make this transition and the toll children have on us and our relationship with our partner. It talks about the role of parents, parenting and children over history and how things have changed rather quite recently and how that impacts parents today. It goes on to show family portraits around the country with children to teenagers and the impact certain parents/ parenting styles actually have on our kids. It’s fascinating how some parents are so involved and believe that is a positive and healthy way to bring up their kids but then colleges in the US are having to enroll freshmen parents in a ‘detachment’ class so that their really book smart kids can actually function as people without them and have an opportunity to gain confidence instead of constantly running every decision by their parents. Anyway I found it completely fascinating from beginning to end and there is a lot you can learn about what happens to you as a person but also what things you’d like to avoid doing that end up having a huge unseen impact on your children as young adults into adulthood.
Book 3 – What to Expect The First Year by Heidi Murkoff
My mom bought this for me and brought it over after my baby was already three weeks old. I could have read this while pregnant as there is a lot of useful information in the front to help prepare you which I read where it was still relevant. I found some of the information (like clothes) still a little old-fashioned and dated but I use this book as more of a resource after the front 100 pages of reading. I take it out and use it as a guide to each month with development guidelines, vaccinations and other things that are happening with your baby. It also is a really useful reference book whenever you have a question or concern I would consult the book before going online as it usually answers all the important questions faster and is a trustworthy source.
Hopefully you will enjoy these books as much as I have. Let me know what other books you have found really fascinating and/or useful.
Have you read any of these books as well? Or read any other pregnancy or parenting books you recommend? Let me know below . . .
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