What books did you rely on when you were pregnant? Was there just one that covered everything? Or did you have a few that were favorites? Did your provider give you a book at your first prenatal appointment? There are a dizzying number of pregnancy books out there, and it's hard to decide which ones to buy or borrow.
Best pregnancy books?
I really appreciated "The thinking womans guide to pregnancy" by Henci Goer
I also enjoyed reading some of the Spiritual Midwifery books by Ina May Gaskin, more as fluff and out of interest than anything.
Aviva Jill Romm also has a great book called "Naturally Healthy Babies and Children" that I think is very much worth reading during pregnancy. Her "Natural Pregnancy Book" is great also.
In addition to my midwife's recommendation of Birthing from Within, I have been enjoying Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn.
BfW is focused on touchy-feely ideas for managing your inner voice and empowering yourself during pregnancy and labor. some if it is a little too new-agey for me but the labor management chapters are practical. I haven't put it to use yet though so who knows - it may not give me the tools I really need, but I feel it is a good starting point and now it is my job to practice its suggestions.
PCN, in my opinion, completely rocks. As the name implies, it covers more than just pregnancy and manages to strike a good balance between natural and interventional strategies. Its authors try not to endorse one side or the other, but treat unmedicated birth as a completely realistic option. It's recently updated with new facts and figures. I work in the medical industry and do a lot of data analysis myself, which sets some high standards for pregnancy and birth books to meet - this one really impressed me. I got a copy of Yuor Pregnancy Week by Week from a colleague, and found it much less helpful and not as comprehensive.
Good luck on your journey!
kimble-I also have Birthing from Within at home and am a little hesitant about the new-agey parts and the art projects I have heard about. But I have heard good things about it and I plan on reading it soonish. I'm glad to hear you found certain sections very helpful.
I enjoyed Ina May's Guide to Childbirth for it's ideas and theories. I sometimes refer to The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger when I have specific questions. My company has a program that is sending me a free copy of the Mayo Clinic book, so I am looking forward to checking that out.
Out of the ones that I've read, I have to say I liked the books by Penny Simkin the best. Probably the most generically useful of her books is Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn. A good one for partners is The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions.
Another good book I remember was one that was geared towards working mothers (don't remember the title or author on that one), but it was very useful, in navigating that landscape (and figuring out how breastfeeding, childcare, and all that stuff works when you're working, not staying at home).
I needed something today for a long drive by myself, looking for something (audiobook, obv) a little lighter that I could still focus on driving while listening to. Settled on Jenny mcCarthy's Belly laughs. While not natural or über-informational, it definitely had me laughing the whole way to my destination, and I did learn a few thing!
Sara Buckley - Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering is also a great book by a doctor in Australia who had an unassisted footling breech. Her husband was there and he is also a doctor but it sounded like he was terrified. I love this book because, along with great information to make informed decisions she talks about her own personal experiences with her four children.
I liked birth matters too but not specifically as a pregnancy book, her others are much better for pregnancy. Birth matters is more for any woman I think rather than directed at pregnant women. It does have good info for pregnancy too of course but I'd read the others while pregnant before this one.
Naomi Stadlen book What Mothers Do is different from other "baby manuals" because there is no training method. There is simply the mother to mother validation that this moment with your baby is unique and should be treated as such. Instead of the million suggestion of what TO do, Stadlen beautifully describes how a mother doing "nothing" is actually doing everything by giving herself to her baby. I highly recommend it.