It always amazes me to talk to first time pregnant moms and find out just how lost they are. I think I just forget that I was also that same way my first time as well. While some are bombarded with unsolicited advice or outdated advice, some never even know where to begin. I was lucky to be internet savvy and handed a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Fourth Edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, the staple of any pregnant mom-to-be’s bookshelf. I read this book cover to cover with each of my pregnancies, even purchasing the revised version this time around. My original copy was a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law. Despite having done this before, its a nice refresher, after all its been a while since you’ve done the whole pregnancy thing. Many critics are harsh about the revised version, saying it is a bit threatening with all the concerns that can arise with pregnancy but it’s a fact that is hard to ignore in this age. These are real issues that many have to deal with and while it might not relate to you, it can provide guidance and comfort to those that it does relate to.
I recently received a copy of YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner’s Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy by Michael F. Roizer and Mehmet C. Oz when I attended a taping of the Martha Stewart Show. Co-written by Mehmet C. Oz, also known as Dr. Oz, this book was surprisingly an easy read. I enjoyed the scientific and yet easy to understand, full of funny anecdotes, approach to pregnancy. It looks at it from a different perspective, not a week by week, by rather a bodily understanding of pregnancy. A truly, surprisingly, fascinating read.
A book I often gift my girlfriend’s is The Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood by Jane Buckingham. It’s written in a very friend to friend manner, with little hints and tips that only a girlfriend would share. It is definitely more opinionated than most books, but it is geared to a certain type of parent… the urban mom.
Since I fully advocate and support breastfeeding, I highly recommend this book, The Nursing Mother’s Companion: Revised Edition by Kathleen Huggins, R.N., M.S. I initially came across it, ironically, in an excerpt form, in a gift bag from Enfamil, entitled “Nursing the First Two Months”. Despite successfully feeding my daughter until the age of 2 and having no problems feeding my premature newborn son, I still felt it was a handy guide to have on my bookshelf. This book is an easy to use and find immediate answers to breastfeeding questions. I found it incredibly supportive in the advice it gives to moms who have a strong desire and commitment to breastfeeding without being threatening in any way.
Some of my favorite online resources during pregnancy were babycenter.com and whattoexpect.com (companion website to the book by Murkoff and Mazel). You can sign up for week by week pregnancy emails which is just fun reading on your iPhone or blackberry. I should mention that What to Expect also has a free iPhone application which keeps track of the babies gestational age and has a week by week guide. What I found interesting was each sites estimates were each different from each other. You have to keep in mind, while there is a certain science to pregnancy, each child is as individual as their fingerprints. Size and weight has as much to do with you and your partners size as well as your own birth weights, but its fun guessing and picturing them as such isn’t it?