I’m rounding out the last month of my first pregnancy with a lot of time on my hands since I have been put on bed rest since the my seventh month. This means I’ve been working and writing less and reading in preparation for this new stage in my life even more while I’ve spent hours in a reclined position.
Many of my friends and health care practitioners have asked what I’ve been reading up on when it comes to my new baby. I’m an extremely observant person and have asked my girlfriends with kids what topics or subjects they wish they had more information on before they had their first baby and birthing experience. The following subjects are as follows: breastfeeding, sleep and diaper training, fitness (more like gaining a responsible amount of weight and losing it afterwards), birthing (what to expect during the birthing process when it comes to our bodies and the different medical approaches), and pregnancy in general (common and rare issues women face during their pregnancies).
This is my list of reading material that I’ve read and referred to time and time again during my pregnancy. I’ve found them very helpful as I’ve embarked upon this journey of the first time mother and while I share the experience with my husband and health care providers during appointments and classes.
1. The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America’s Baby Experts – Dr William and Martha Sears
I like this book because it breaks pregnancy down to a month by month reference book as it what’s happening with the baby’s development inside the womb. It works as a great reference book for both mom and dad with illustrations, advice, and information for making the best decisions for the pre-born baby.
2. Mothering Magazine’s Having a Baby, Naturally – Peggy O’Mara, Wendy Ponte, and Jackie Facciolo
Published by the owner of Mothering Magazine, O’Mara combines all of the best information and science into helping mothers have natural and satisfying child birthing experiences. O’Mara goes over the phases of pregnancy, choices for birthing experiences (at home and in the hospital or birthing center), and lots of tips for having the most comfortable and natural pregnancy possible. My husband especially liked this book for the tips he got for making me comfortable and happy.
3. The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth – Dr William Sears
Another book by Dr. Sears, The Birth Book takes a mother through the birthing process so that she’s confident to have her baby with self understanding and knowledge about her birthing options. I liked the education on how the body works, the medical options, and possibilities that can happen during the birthing experience. It’s really important for a woman to know exactly what is going on so that she can bypass the fear that leads to complications and unnecessary interventions.
I have been working with a family member who is also a pain management doctor and trained hypnotherapist on ways to handle my birthing experience. In our work together, she has referenced the Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing and assigned me to read the book in between our sessions. In addition to reading this educational and confidence boosting book that focuses on my body’s natural ability to handle pain and give birth naturally, I have been listening to the Mongan mp3 tracks that lead me through self-hypnosis for relaxation, affirmation and visualization. This book, the tracks, and sessions have definitely given me tools to use during uncomfortable times during my pregnancy thus far.
5. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – LA LECHE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL, Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Teresa Pitman
Breastfeeding, while it may look simple, is a subject that has lead to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding throughout Western societies. Mothers have many questions and issues that surround this natural act that has lead the La Leche League to create a supportive manual full of instructions, tips, and insight on breast feeding as long and as healthily as possible. I have certainly learned a lot from this book and I refer back to it whenever I have a question after talking with fellow mothers.