6 Books To Read When Pregnant

I read a lot while I was pregnant. I get like that when I'm in the thick of something. I like to get my hands on every piece of information that's available to me - it's both a blessing and a curse! I've narrowed it down and here's the books I think you should be reading during this exciting time. Let me know what you're reading!

HypnoBirthing

I mention HypnoBirthing briefly in Ava's birth story. When I was pregnant I was looking for a birthing method that would complement my yoga practice and I discovered HypnoBirthing through Google. The book educates you on how your muscles work during birth and why it is important to reach a state of total relaxation. I read the book and loved how it integrated meditation, visualization and breathing.  I listened to the CD that came with the book throughout my pregnancy to "practice." Listening to the affirmations made me feel confident and the "rainbow relaxation script" helped lessen stress. Between the book and the class we attended, we walked away feeling prepared and excited for Ava's arrival.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Ina May is a rockstar in the midwifery world. Every pregnant mother should take the time and read her book so they can make informed choices. Ina May explains how we should trust our bodies to have a fulfilling birthing experience. Some of the topics discussed in this book include what really happens during labor, the best ways to work with doctors and/or birth care providers, how to create a safe, comfortable environment for birth in any setting, including a hospital and so much more. 

The Happiest Baby on the Block

The premise of this book is that newborns cry during the first three months since they are born three months too early.  This book gives you the tools to calm your infant during the fourth trimester. The five S's - swaddling, side-lying, shushing, swinging and sucking - done with the right amount of vigor recreate the environment of the womb and calms your baby. Give this book to the dads so they feel equipped to handle their crying newborns during the witching hour, and give the moms some well deserved rest! If you want to skip this book, find the video of Dr. Karp on YouTube! 

Breastfeeding Made Simple

I included this book in my list of online resources for the breastfeeding mom and will say again how important it is to read this book. The book is very easy to understand and will help you overcome any challenges you may face. Another positive is the book provides great information about pumping and storing breastmilk if you are returning to work. If you formula fed in the past or thinking about supplementing with formula, try to look past the very pro-breastfeeding tone, and just take in all the helpful information. 

Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting

When I was pregnant, I thought A LOT about what kind of parent I was going to be. It was actually a great source of anxiety. I bought this book after reading the glowing reviews on Amazon. It's easy to read as it is a compilation short essays. Janet Lansbury encourages you to see your infant as a unique individual with an innate ability to learn. The best thing I took away from this book, especially in those first few months with Ava, was to simply sit back and watch my baby, allowing me to be fully present with her.

The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother

Sadly, I did not read this book while I was pregnant. I only stumbled upon it during my postpartum doula training. This book explains traditional postpartum care and how to weave these practices into the modern day. I love the chapter on what to eat. The author provides what she says are "gentle guidelines" and includes 60 nourishing recipes. Also, she gives extensive information on how you should stock your pantry. An added bonus, the book has gorgeous images that will inspire you to take care of yourself for your baby.