As soon as I hit 13 weeks (when I had my first successful 12 week scan ever) I ordered a shed load of pregnancy / baby books! Hubby and I are first time parents to be, and pretty clueless! The book stash lives by my side of the bed and we both dip into various books whenever we are talking about feeding, sleeping, changing bodies etc usually on a lazy Sunday morning! So here is what we’ve got, and what I thought of each.
Your New Pregnancy Bible: The Experts’ Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood Hardcover – 4 May 2015 by Dr Anne Deans
This is an updated version of the original trusted guide to pregnancy. It breaks pregnancy down into week by week stages so you can see what’s happening to both you and your little one. It’s a reference book with sections on what to expect at every stage, changing relationships, labour, first few weeks with your baby etc. I really like dipping in to this book on a weekly basis to compare my growing bump to the photos, see what’s happening etc and also looking for solutions to various symptoms I’m enjoying (!). This book is really comprehensive and great for a first time mum. It’s definitely aimed more at the mum than the dad, in fact I don’t think this is one that hubby has looked at. I would recommend, although adding in a warning that I’m recommending through convenience here more than anything. There is nothing in this book that you couldn’t find on ‘what to expect’ or other pregnancy websites.
First-Time Parent: The honest guide to coping brilliantly and staying sane in your baby’s first year Paperback – 30 Apr 2009 by Lucy Atkins
I cannot tell you how much I love this book! It’s super informative, super honest and super down to earth! It’s like a Rough Guide to parenthood! I’m sure we will be picking this up again when our little one arrives, but I’ve read this cover to cover and can’t fault it. It’s for normal people! Not the militant crazy nanny type! I like that Lucy is just honest that being a parent is hard work, and being a first time parent is not only hard work but scary. This book prepares you really well – or at least I hope it does!
Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond Paperback – 10 Jul 2012 by Nancy Bardacke
A slight variation on a theme here. I was lucky enough to work very closely with a mindfulness tutor and as a result took part in a university based study of mindfulness at work. I really enjoyed learning about the concept and I have used it subsequently. I used to do a job where I worked for nothing short of a tyrant! I kid you not, I used to be awake at 2am, with no chance of getting back to sleep worrying about work. Every meeting I attended with this monster, I suffered from panic attacks – it was awful (I’m positive the only reason I’ve got to this stage of my pregnancy, having suffered repeated miscarriages, is dropping the stress from my life and quitting this awful job). Anyhow I digress! This book is all about coping with labour in a slightly different way. Embracing the pain, appreciating what your body is experiencing, placing the whole thing into context and coping in a much more positive way.
Having already had some training in mindfulness, I know I will use different breathing techniques to welcome in the positive and hopefully get me through labour – until I give up and start screaming for an epidural! If you’ve got no experience you may find this book a little bit ‘alternative’ or ‘out there’. I’d say keep going, anything is worth trying isn’t it? If you can get on a mindfulness course, or try some guided meditations for free via You Tube then do it.
And finally I’ve saved the best for last,
The Blissful Baby Expert Paperback – 6 Feb 2014 by Lisa Clegg (Author)
My husband and I are the kind of people who actually quite like a plan! I like the idea of a tick box spreadsheet for when the little one arrives, e.g feed at x, sleep at y etc. We just want to know what do to, how to do it and when. Lisa’s book is a gift to us! It’s full of practical information, from actually this is genuinely all the stuff you really need to have, maybe these things would be nice but not essential, and don’t bother with this, to practical stuff like routines, breastfeeding is not all that easy, when to wean, what XYZ means! I can’t praise this book highly enough.
This book is intelligent, honest, non scary and non dictatorial. We love it! If you buy one pregnancy / new parent book, but this one!