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.
Breastfeeding isn’t the only highly debated subject, sleep training is too. This book was very enlightening because I was able to refer back to real times when I couldn’t get a baby I was sitting to sleep or hearing cases from frustrated moms and dads who were suffering from sleepless nights because their own kids couldn’t get adequate rest. I have yet to test the methods of this book, but it does give me confidence to help my child sleep and to look at sleeping rhythms in a whole new light. Which, I believe, will give me the patience I will need to create a soothing sleeping environment for my child.
Many mothers will not admit their feelings of inadequacy during and after their pregnancies, but fitness and body image is a huge topic of discussion once mothers let their guards down. Mothers are typically harder on themselves than their partners are, so it was important for me to find a book that addressed this subject and made fitness a realistic part of my life as a new mother. Mallet gives work out routines for every phase of pregnancy as well as post pregnancy with stories of real women who have found their pre-baby bodies. Super Fit Mama also includes meal plans, tips for pelvic floor
8. The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby–From Birth to Age Two – Dr. William Sears
This is the closing book possible to a baby care manual that I could find for the first years of parenthood. The Baby Book focuses on baby care and common health and development issues of babies with an emphasis on attachment parenting for improved bonding between parent and child. I found this book very helpful when I had random child care questions on my mind.
9. The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative – Christine Gross-Loh
Elimination communication is an under exploited potty training technique as it is common practice in western cultures to leave potty training until the toddler years – which, as many parents know, can be frustrating for both parent and child and expensive considering the costs of diapering products. Because of my Asian heritage, I have had the good fortune to have been exposed to early potty training and cloth diapering so this subject was not completely foreign to me. Parents who want to have stronger bonds with their children who learn to eliminate early and confidently, I definitely recommend this book. It’s full of information, tips, and advice for potty training as early as a few days old.
I learned sign language when I was girl thanks to my grandmother who had a great interest in using the language when she worked as a custodian in her local school as a way with communicating with deaf and special needs children. One of my best friends was born deaf and one of the first children to ever have a cochlear implant, so sign language has played a special role in my life. I have heard from people that using sign language during the early stages of toddler-hood helps reduce tantrums because small children can communicate without having to use words they have yet to master. So, my husband and I have been using this book and signs together in hopes to use it later one with our little one. It’s a fun activity to do for couples and expectant parents.
11. BONUS: Embrace: A Pregnancy Journal
This book is not one for reading, but one for writing one’s own pregnancy and birthing story. This book comes with prompts on this page if a mother doesn’t know what to write or she can choose to write whatever comes to mind during each phase of her pregnancy. It’s beautifully designed, reasonably sized, and is perfect documenting one’s journey into motherhood.