If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m a researcher. When I don’t know the answer to something, I dive in and read. And read. And read. Until I feel super satisfied. That said, in true form, I read a lot during this pregnancy. I don’t necessarily recommend that you read all of these books. I wanted a wide perspective, and so I did, but you should pick and choose what feels right for you! I broke them down in to several categories, so you can find where you are and go from there!
Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler . I’ve mentioned it before, but this book was pretty life changing for me. I had no idea how much I didn’t know about my own body. Reading this really spurred my research filled pregnancy.
Spirit Babies by Walter Makichen . A co-worker mentioned this book to me when I was very newly, pregnant, but I’d recommend reading it before if you’re in to the “woo woo” side of things. It’s written by a clairvoyant, who explains every fertility phenomenon from easy labor and delivery through miscarriage by communicating with the spirits of unborn babies. If you’re looking for some spiritual peace of mind, I’d highly recommend this.
Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen. This is a great read for expecting moms who are looking for a more integrative approach. It’s not super woo-woo, but it definitely differs from the traditional “What to Expect,” that didn’t resonate with me.
Real Food For Pregnancy by Lily Nichols. I loved reading this, but I am biased. Lily Nichols breaks down the WHY behind pregnancy nutrition, and debunks a lot of myths surrounding pregnancy nutrition, like don’t eat fish.
Expecting Better by Emily Oster. I loved this book. I read it very early in my pregnancy, and it helped me decide what was going to be best for my pregnancy and my baby. Emily Oster presents her real analysis (she’s a statistician) of worldwide meta studies. She helps you decide for yourself if things like drinking wine or eating deli meats are right for YOUR pregnancy by presenting real data.
Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. When you ask anyone who’s even more slightly naturally minded what to read they suggest this book. She talks a lot about mind-body connection while birthing your baby.
The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm . This is the classic guide for women seeking an organic pregnancy. It’s a little on the crunchy side for me, but I like a lot of the information. If you have a traditional OB, but want a more natural pregnancy, I’d read this first. It helps you learn what questions to ask to get the pregnancy you want.
The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide by Genevieve Howland . This was just so fun. I looked forward to every Monday night when I would read the next week in the book. Its the natural mom’s answer to “What To Expect.”
I was also a Beta Tester for Liz Wolf’s online program Baby Making and Beyond. I went in to this program for the nutrition, but actually learned the most from the sections that are about mindfulness and stress. I loved the well-rounded, whole person approach to a healthy pregnancy.
The First 40 Days by Heng Ou. I’ve read this one and am making some of the recipes from here in these last few weeks to stock our freezer!
The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson. A lot of what I heard from talking to my mom friends was that they were SHOCKED by the recovery. They were so focused on the pregnancy and birth, that they forgot to think about what happened to them afterwards. There are tons of books about baby’s first weeks at home, but this one is focused on mom, who is undergoing her own hormonal, bodily and mental changes.
Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina. This is a parenting book. He takes a science based approach to classic parenting situations like “should I let my little one watch TV?”
Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman . I loved this. Pamela has a humorous, story-filled approach to child-rearing, and her writing style is light and conversational, which makes this an easy read if nothing else.
The Expectant Father by Armin Brott and Jennifer Ash. Michael read this; I did not. But while he was reading it, he would periodically laugh out loud, and then read me the section. I think it was really nice for him to have a book that was just for him, that helped him explain what was going on with me (body and mind) to have some serious patience.
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. Similarly, Michael read this one; I did not. He attended birth classes with me, but I think he likes knowing exactly what to do on the big day for a more natural mom.