Pregnancy Books: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

In preparing for your new one or ones you are probably going to pick up some “light” reading about your pregnancy.  I know I found myself on Amazon and in the bookstore trying to find the perfect book to make sense out of all the crazy things happening to me.  But there is no perfect book.  However, I did find a few with redeeming qualities and helpful enough to be passed on to my pregnant friends.  Here’s my brief book review.  (FYI – I’d love to hear your thoughts about other books in the comments! Also, what resources you picked up for once your little one’s were born.  I only have “What to Expect the First Year”.)

1) What to Expect When you’re Expecting

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The bible of pregnant women everywhere.  While I found it helpful, I also found it poorly organized.  Answers to the most asked questions are dispersed throughout the book with no rhyme and no reason. Sometimes you have to search all through the book to find all the answers because the answer references other answers that are hidden in a totally different spot.

2) Expecting 411

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This book is so well organized!  I loved how everything was categorized and easy to find.  If I had to recommend any book for new moms, this is it! Questions are answered in straightforward, honest, responses that neither make you feel stupid nor guilty for asking.  I love, love, love this book!  (So much so, that I’ve already started passing it around.)  One of my favorite sections of this book is the part about labor and delivery.  It lays everything on the table (much like how you will be laid out) and reassures new moms about the process.  I was more comfortable with what would be happening to me during the labor/delivery process after reading this section.

3) Multiples Manual

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This book is geared to families of multiples, obviously, but it does have some great organizational tips for moms that are having their second, third, etc child.  There are some silly things in there that any person with common sense could come up with, but there is also a good bit of information and resources that I didn’t know.  I found the list of necessities both helpful and redundant.  Let me explain – it has not only good advise about not buying silly things, like a wipe warmer, but redundant information about getting a double or triple stroller.  Of course you are going to get a multiple stroller!  On the whole, I don’t know that I would have purchased this one again, but I would research twin/multiples blogs and talk to other moms of multiples.*

4) Becoming a Dad

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I bought this book for my husband because it was the most straightforward and well-organized book I could find. There were a lot of books that had a more humorous approach, but I didn’t want him to have to dig through the humor to get to the real information as a 1st time dad.  Not to say that the humorous books are bad, in fact many of them are full of great information, but I really wanted to give him the information as blatantly as possible and in as short a format as possible to insure that he was as prepared as possible.  As a bonus, this book is more than just the pregnancy, more than the labor/delivery, and more than the first year.  This book goes through the first 3 years which was another selling point for me.

*While most people only classify moms of multiples as those who have twins, triplets, etc, I have to include any mom that has more than one kid, regardless of if they were born at the same time.  As any mom can tell you, having one kid is difficult; having more than one kid is crazy.  I tip my hat to all moms – no matter how many kids you have.

5) The Happiest Baby on the Block

I just got this book and wished I had purchased it before the boys were born.  The 5 S’s are a life saver during those early months when your baby just can’t grasp the crazy world around them.  My boys are 11 weeks old today and we still use the 5 S’s to get them back to a calmer more controlled stated.  They also sleep swaddled.  Now not every baby needs all 5 S’s to feel calm, but if you have the knowledge from the start, you’ll feel a little more in control and calm yourself.  Dr. Karp also addresses many of the insecurities many new moms have (whether they admit to them or not).  There are feelings of inadequacy, doubt, and guilt that Dr. Karp speaks to that made me feel a like less of a failure and allowed me to enjoy more time with my boys.

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