Edited by nhklh - 11/14/13 at 5:16am
I have just about every pregnancy book ever on my shelf - it is what my doctoral research is, so I really need the whole library :) If anyone wants to ask about a particular book, feel free. I have so many I love :)
I just read an old Sheila Kitzinger book from about 1974 - mostly birth stories from many people who had taken her classes or worked with her individually. 90% of them used narcotics in their labors, about 1/4 were at hospitals where husbands were not allowed. So interesting.
Anyway - Pat Carter's old classic, Come Gently Sweet Lucina is an interesting read from the perspective of painless childbirth if you can get ahold of a copy - AND it's great comedy reading about her advice to smoke regularly & wear a corset to keep from gaining too much weight. Also the whiskey high-balls during labor lol. But what's behind the ill-advised practical tips is really beautiful & perfectly explores the cycle of pain in childbirth.
More practically, I like Morgan's Power of Pleasurable Childbirth & Moran's Pleasurable Husband/Wife Childbirth, even though I am not religious in any way (I can't remember which of the two is the religious one - I think it's Moran).
Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is still my favorite BF book.
And I think What to Expect should be banned - I have three pages in my dissertation about the ways in which that book undermines women. But that's just my opinion, which I am obviously shy about expressing ;)
I had to read a lot of books for my CBE/Doula certification process and write little reviews of them. They're on my blog at www.largercircle.blogspot.com if anybody wants to dig through them! Things that haven't been mentioned yet/differing opinions: I do like the Sears The Baby Book as a general relatively-mainstream healthcare reference (like, it tells you when you are 'supposed' to call the doctor, which I mostly use as a sanity reminder that I DON'T need to call the doctor yet!) I also like Suzanne Arms, although I'm not sure she's great reading while pregnant because IIRC there's a fair amount of trauma discussion. I think The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Dr. Jack Newman is the best practical breastfeeding resource book, hands down (although it's not touchy feely at all). Got to take DD outside now . . . so that's all for now!
Fun thread! I love books about pregnancy and babies!
I think my favourites are:
Anything by Sheila Kitzinger - I especially liked her book "Homebirth", I find her tone so reassuring and it has great pictures
"The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding"
"Birthing from Within"
"Mothering Your Nursing Toddler"
"Baby Catcher" by Peggy Vincent. Informative, sad, tender, joyful and at times downright hilarious - I inhaled this book. The woman in the story who had the baby in the toilet is actually my midwife! I found the twist in the tale at the end very shocking and I totally wasn't expecting it. I met the author soon after it was published and she is awesome!
Favourites specific to multiples"
"Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More" - La Leche League book by Karen Gromada
"Having Twins or More" by Elizabeth Noble - Probably the only crunchy book on parenting multiples! Even has pictures of a surprise triplet homebirth!
"A Time to Decide a Time to Heal: For Parents Making Difficult Decisions About Babies They Love" by Minnick and Delp
And lastly, my LEAST favourites!
"The Girlfriend's Guide Books" by Vicki Iovine - I thought this would be a fun read but I ended up wanting to throw it across the room! In one breath she outlines how horrible the (hospital) birthing experience is, then on another page she says basically how dumb are women who choose to birth at home or with no medication. And her ideas about breastfeeding - horrible!
"Twinspiration" - Would be fine if you are into sleep training, plan on charting every feeding/bowel movement/nap etc etc for the first year of your babies life, keep your kids strapped into a stroller at all times in public - even at storytime and would rather go and pump milk in an airplane toilet than offer your breast your baby on an airplane! Neurotic!
The Babywise book -don't get me started on this one!
I just saw your blog Mamabeakley - it's fantasic! I'm planning on checking out some of the books you've reviewed.
I think I have already read everything of Ina Mays that I could get my hands on.
I am currently on "Emergency Childbirth:The Manual". I can't say that this is exactly fun reading but it seems to be putting DH at ease about issues that can arise and how to handle them. I am becoming more and more open to UC and this book is helping us work through our thoughts/ideas/concerns.
I ordered "Unassisted Birth: An Act of Love". I will be eager to start that one when it gets here.
Our library here is PATHETIC! The have about 6 books on pregnancy and they are all more mainstream...how an epidural works....what to eat when pregnant...make sure to call your OB type of books. Not a decent one in the bunch.
Great suggestions & reminders above! My favorites that haven't been mentioned are "Having Faith" by Sandra Steingraber (sp?) and "Beautiful, Bountiful, Blissful" by Gurmukh (sp?). Sorry I am too lazy to look up the spellings . "Having Faith" is partially a memoir of a biologist going through her first pregnancy and partially an exploration of how our environment affects the growing baby. It's amazing, beautifully written and well worth a read. The only thing I would say is that parts of it are kind of alarming re: toxin exposure during pregnancy & how pervasive/unavoidable it is. The second is my favorite prenatal yoga book, mainly because it contains so many great birth stories.
I think "Womanly Art of BF" is my favorite general breastfeeding reference text. I had an older version and didn't find it compelling, but I got the newest edition when my son was 6 months old and wished I had read it while I was pregnant. It's such an easy read and doesn't overcomplicate things. I still refer to it all the time. Looking forward to checking out some of your recommendations!
Oh, and another fun pregnancy read is "My Two Year Old Eats Octopus." It's one mother's story about how she raised an adventurous eater, and it has lots of fun info about how the flavors we eat during pregnancy can affect what the baby likes later in life as well as tips for feeding older infants/toddlers. The advice isn't for every child/family, but it's lots of great food for thought...
CaMummy - I thought you were whispering that one, since you hoped none of us had to ever read it or make those kinds of decisions ;)
I totally agree with the GF's guide books, and Babywise - OY! I'm also NOT a fan of love & logic - I think there are some wonderful basic concepts included, but what I see in practice over & over again is people bastardizing 'choices' for their kids to manipulate them - "You may sit quietly at the dinner table or you can go scream in your room," was a favorite of mine - this was said to a not even 2 year old, who a) was not capable of sitting quietly for an hour long dinner, and b) is gonna obviously choose to stay with the people rather than be alone. Of course, when she couldn't do it, she had 'made her choice' and was put in her room. that was about the end of a long friendship for DH & I - it had been tough since they had their first kid & dad 'made' mom stop nursing at 2 months so they could go to Hawaii without the baby.... but that nailed the coffin.
Anyway, sorry so OT lol!
Oh man, this plagues me at every turn. I spend half my day trying to make the "least toxic" decision during this pregnancy for me and this little one. It frightens me how unavoidable it is. I imagine I should steer clear of this book if I don't want to be up at night worrying about what ingredients are in everything in my house.
I have a giant stack on my nightstand and am loving going through all of them. Right now I'm on Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding and two Bradley books (one of which I've read before, but our class starts next week). I'd really like to read Birthing from Within, but I'm also wondering if there's a book specifically geared towards homebirth/prepping for homebirth (not just natural birth). I've read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and loved it, but it'd be nice to have something else as well.
As far as pregnancy books go - I like the Mayo Clinic's book. It's just good, basic, week by week info; and surprisingly, even when it discusses prenatal testing etc. - it isn't pushing anything - more like - every mother needs to be informed and make the best decisions for themselves. Also Sheila Kitzinger's pregnancy book - not as thorough in the development info or as up to date, but lots of great food for thought and very pro-mama and baby, as she always is. Sear's pregnancy book, I too find the least useful, cielaozul. Very general info and nothing about birth - cuz you have to buy the Birth book to find out about that! I loved Ina May's farm midwifery book, but I have to say - I first read it when I was 21 and pregnant with my first - and I really thought that labor would just be "intense" (that it didn't have to be painful) - so the actual pain of my labor was a rude awakening! (I prefer the description of the pain of labor that I read in the epidural thread on here - "orgasms of pain")
Anyway, I don't care if it's silly - I still want to read "Bringing up Bebe - one american mother discovers the wisdom of french parenting". I read a few pages in the bookstore and it seemed an entertaining read!
I LOVE Breastfeeding Made Simple: The Seven Laws of Breastfeeding! If you only read one book about breastfeeding this should be it! As everyone else said I love anything by Ina Mae. The book From the Hips is really great. It has tons of thoughts and stories from tons of moms and dads from different birthing styles, parenting styles, and lifestyles. It also covers the good and bad feelings in pregnancy and birth as well as the just uncomfortable (Like having a very strong urge to lick your newborn baby!). I too don't really like the Sears books. I think I would like them a little more if they were updated. Mostly they seem very out of date. Beyond the Sling is good by the girl from Blossum. Entertaining as well as informative.