We’ll be honest – there’s really no way to prepare for childbirth. It’s equal parts terrifying (the pain!) and exciting (hello new baby!) and will stay that way no matter how many classes you take or books you read. However, it is important to have SOME idea of what you’re in for, so we rounded up our fave books to read leading up to D-Day –
1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting and The Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
These 2 books offer very similar information. They’ll share how your baby is developing in the womb, tips for staying healthy during your pregnancy and what sort of behavior you can expect from your new baby after delivery. The Mayo Clinic tends to be a little more straightforward, while What to Expect is a little more cutesy… but both are jam packed with great info for any new mom!
2. Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds
There is no right or wrong way to have a baby. As long as the final result is a healthy baby then you’ve done your job as a mama! However, we did want to explore the option of having a drug-free delivery in the setting of a hospital, and we know a lot of you mom to be’s are probably interested in the same. Enter this book. It’s full of all kinds of helpful information – birth plans, tactics for dealing with hospital personnel, in-depth descriptions on the 3 stages of labor and encouraging sentiments to help mom-to-be feel confident and prepared for natural child birth.
3. Breastfeeding Made Simple
Most expecting moms are focused on preparing for the delivery, but one of the best pieces of advice we were given is to be prepared for what happens AFTER delivery. As soon as your baby is born he/she is going to be utterly dependent on you. If you’re planning to breastfeed, we can’t recommend this book enough! Even though women have been doing it for centuries, it’s not something that comes easy or natural for most women. It takes work and dedication, and we found this book to be very helpful in understanding what changes our body would be going through and how to successful provide for our babies.
4. 12 Hours by 12 Weeks
If there’s one thing every new mom can agree on it’s – NEED. MORE. SLEEP. While we may not have followed this book and method to a T, we did come away with some helpful practices to implement. Practices for better sleep start around age 2-3 weeks, so you’ll want to have an idea of what those are before baby comes… because believe us, you won’t be getting any reading done after baby comes!
5. The Vaccine Book – this is a hot topic right now, and regardless of what side of the fence you fall on there’s one thing every parent should be when it comes to vaccines – informed. This book lays out the entire vaccine schedule from birth through toddler-hood and reviews the pro’s and con’s of each. Whether you choose to follow the recommended schedule, follow an alternative schedule or opt-out completely at least be sure you’ve got facts supporting your decision.
We loved The Happiest Baby on the Block, but we recommend it in DVD form over the book!
We also recommend The Birth Partner to help all the birth partners out there understand what you’ll be going through and how they can help!
Make sure and stock up on these pregnancy essentials while you’re at it!