Saturday, February 14, 2015

Favorite Pregnancy/Parenting Reads, Part II

I made a previous list of pregnancy and parenthood books here. I of course read lots more during my second pregnancy so I took the liberty of keeping a running list the whole time. Enjoy!


Baby Catcher: I just loved this one! It was a memoir written by a midwife about many of the babies she delivered over the years. As much as I loved it though, I’m not sure it would be a good read for a first-time mom. The stories chosen for the book are of course the most interesting/sensationalized stories (babies born with the unbeknownst mother feeling no pain, babies born on the drive to the hospital, a c-section taking place while the midwife holds a prolapsed cord out of the way, etc.) and while they were just interesting to me this time around, they would probably have scared me a bit the first time. Also, I do have to admit that I pretty imagined every single day after finishing the book that Ryan would end up delivering our baby in the back of our Jeep on the way to the hospital.

Bringing Up Bebe: Yet another book about raising babies elsewhere, though this one was focused specifically on France. Some things in it I completely agreed with and others I was completely against, but I like that. I think it's just so neat to see how certain things are handled elsewhere!

Bumpology: I got this one after enjoying Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies so much. A scientific look at a myriad of pregnancy symptoms, genetics, birth statistics, development… I love this stuff. I’ve discovered recently that I’m really into the science of the body, particularly pertaining to pregnancy and infants/children. (Also genetics in general, pathology and nutrition, and general neurology) If you are at all interested in science, or at least the science of pregnancy, I highly recommend!

Bundles of Joy: This was another midwifery memoir... definitely my kind of book. I did like this one a lot, just not quite as much as the other two. This one took place in London, mostly in the 1970s and 80s.

Call the Midwife: My favorite by far! This was a memoir written by a woman who was a midwife in the 1950s... fiction that reads like non-fiction, my favorite. I also started watching the show because of it and fell in love with that too. As a caution though, there were a few sections on prostitution and workhouses that were pretty graphic and/or disturbing to me. It's hard for me to read things like that but I still really enjoyed the rest of the book and can't wait to read the others!

Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?:  My second favorite... A scientific approach to all kinds of pregnancy symptoms, gender predicting techniques, genetics, etc. I found this one so incredibly interesting and I just couldn’t stop sharing all the interesting things I was learning with poor Ryan or my poor pregnant friend/cousins!

The Happiest Baby on the Block: I really liked the basic idea of this book and I have to say that the techniques used for calming colicky babies are what worked best for our "colicky" (I now think we could have prevented most of this crying) firstborn. I definitely wish I would have read this one the first time around!

The Happiest Toddler on the Block: Obviously this read was geared more towards my first baby who is already in the toddler stage, but I knew it would come in handy again someday with the second. I loved all the awesome information about the emotional and physical brain developments going on in kiddos at this age and found almost all of the information to be something I either already agreed with or was excited to learn about/implement.

Husband Coached Childbirth: Although this book was somewhat outdated in a few areas and had a lot of very conservative marriage views some people won’t like, I got a decent a lot out of it. Ryan was my absolute rock during the first birth and he (of course) had absolutely no idea what he was doing. This time around we went into it armed with knowledge from our first birth and from a view videos/books like this one. I am all about taking care of our bodies and babies as naturally as possible so there were quite a few good tips in that area here. I do recommend, though, that you remember to take this one with a grain of salt if you choose to read it.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: The first half of this book is birth stories and the second is filled with tips for pushing through the pain of childbirth. I couldn’t read it in big chunks so it took me forever to finish… but in general, I think it had a lot of great tips in it that every pregnant woman should read. Even if your plan is to get an epidural upon arrival, still consider it! The anesthesiologist might be caught up in a surgery, the hospital might not see you progressing quickly enough to admit you even though you’re in pain and ready to go, and if nothing else, that darn car ride will get you every time!

Kind Mama: Overall, I liked this book. The author is vegan and says a few negative things about meat-eaters which I’m sure will rub a lot of people the wrong way, but she had some good points in general about giving our children a loving environment and eating lots of vegetables! She also includes a lot of recipes at the end, some of which we tried and really liked, and all of the photos are gorgeous.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: I definitely did not read this entire book cover-to-cover, but I reminded myself about a lot of important things from those early newborn-nursing days (and learned a few things I hadn’t known before) and I just love this book. I got help after talking to a La Leche League representative when the baby was a few weeks old, then I attended actual meetings in Minnesota just to make mom friends and let the baby interact with other babies. They recommended this book and I knew it had a ton of useful information so I picked up a copy when I saw it in our Minnesota used bookstore. There is a lot of great information here, troubleshooting for problems that arise, tips and tricks, etc. and I definitely recommend adding it to your arsenal of nursing supplies.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting: I read this whole book the first time around. This time I re-read all of the weekly blurbs, a lot of the “what you’re feeling” sections, and a few of the questions when a random symptom I didn’t remember popped up. I still just love these books and find them so comforting.

I did read a few others during this pregnancy, but these are the ones that made the favorites list. I really love to read but I don’t love to spend money. Most of my books are enjoyed via the library (and the digital library on my Kindle), by trading in used books at misc. used bookstores or on Amazon, and by redeeming Amazon gift cards earned for free via Swagbucks.

Any good pregnancy or parenthood reads you recommend?

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