Pregnancy/Parenting

Pregnancy Book Recommendations

During my first pregnancy, I consumed pregnancy/baby books like it was my job. This time around {6 years later}, I’ve been able to return to many of the books I read & really be able to distinguish between what was helpful & what wasn’t. Below is a list of my top picks! Many are for mothers interested in natural/unmedicated childbirth & attachment parenting styles, but I think there’s something for everyone! Let me know your favorites below or dm me on Instagram to chat!

  1. Husband-Coached Childbirth : Absolutely the number one book I would recommend to anyone wanting a natural unmedicated birth experience. The author is the creator the “The Bradley Method” which is essentially just a method of looking at pregnancy with less fear & more confidence, preparing your body & mind for the experience & connecting with your birth partner to create a bond of trust, clear communication, & similar goals. Really this book is for your birth partner to read, but I read it as well, & my husband & I took the 12 week “Bradley Method” classes during my first pregnancy {check here to find class offerings in your area}. There is no way I would have been fully prepared for unmedicated childbirth without these classes. I think one of the things I hear from women most frequently is that they wanted to birth unmedicated but changed their minds during labor {understandable & I hold absolutely ZERO judgment for anyone who chooses an epidural. Modern medicine is wonderful & if you choose to take advantage of it, that’s great! Do your research & make the best choice for yourself.}. I think preparing ahead of time is essential to avoid this. Take natural childbirth classes, read as many books on the topic as you can, watch youtube videos, & have conversations with women who have positive natural birth stories!

2. Birthing From Within : I unfortunately was not introduced to this book until my 2nd pregnancy, but it is right at the top of my list! The author discusses pregnancy & labor as a journey of self-discovery rather than a medical event. This is exactly how I viewed my first pregnancy so it really resonated with me while reading it this pregnancy. For me, pregnancy, childbirth, & becoming a mother completely transformed me into a more self-confident woman. The entire experience is beautiful & this book demonstrates how to view it that way. It also gives some really really great tips for prepping for labor & managing a drug-free labor.

3. Your Self-Confident Baby : This book discusses RIE method created by author, Magda Gerber. The RIE method encourages parents to step back from their child & simply observe & encourage their natural abilities as well as respect their baby as a person with real feelings rather than just a thing that must be cared for. The book starts at the newborn phase & goes all the way through to toddler. There is practical advice on how to calm handle everything from sleep schedules, to independent play, to meal time advice, & even tantrum management. The RIE method approach builds confidence in both the baby & the new parent. I personally found such freedom in this parenting method because it does discourages overstimulation & instead gives parents simpler solutions & daily schedules.

4. Montessori From The Start : I personally find the Montessori Method very similar to the RIE, but this book gets even more specific with tools, toys & even furnishings to stimulate a child’s natural curiosity & foster independence. For example, this book discourages the use of “sippy cups”, instead recommends offering a small glass right away. We did this with Saige & were surprised how quickly she picked up on drinking from a cup independently! I also love that since Montessori encourages simplicity, we never had the plethora of multicolored plastic baby dishes or endless battery operated toys {our tight living conditions have never allowed for this anyway}. Reading this book taught me the benefits of hands on learning & self-discovery from as early as infancy. We never followed any method to a “T” but absolutely gleaned knowledge from multiple & applied what worked for us! I think every family is different & one thing isn’t going to work for everyone anyway!

5. Eating Well When You’re Expecting : Everyone is familiar with the “What to Expect” series, but I haven’t seen this one mentioned as often. It’s a wonderful resource for first time moms who are unsure what nutrients are needed, how to get those through a balanced diet & what foods to avoid. It also discusses nausea, supplements & appropriate weight gain!

6. Yoga Mama Yoga Baby : I absolutely love this book for pregnancy. It breaks down the pregnancy by month & discusses what to expect at that time, gives recipes, includes a journaling exercise, breathing practice, a meditation, yoga poses & more. I printed out several of the meditations & added them to my “labor binder” to use during labor. There are also short yoga flows in the back of the book to use for labor. A lifesaver, especially if lasts a long time {30+ hour club here!}

7. The Vaccine Book : I’ll preface this by saying that we are a pro-vaccine family. I am not here to discourage the use of vaccines at ALL. I firmly believe in the efficacy & the science behind them. I do think this book is extremely informative though & as a mother, I want to be as informed as possible about my child’s health. It breaks down every single vaccine & discusses why & when it is administered as well as ingredients in it. In many cases, you can even request specific “brands” of a vaccine. We personally have chosen to follow Dr. Sears’ {the author} Alternate Vaccination Schedule in which all recommended vaccines are administered but far more spread out & never more than 2 at a time. This requires more trips to the vaccination clinic & extensive personal record keeping {especially if you’re a military family or moving frequently}. But we’ve found it completely doable & its worked well for our family.

8. The Baby Book : Another book by Dr. Sears & an incredible resource for parents! I literally opened this book almost every single day when Saige was an infant. It covers every topic you could imagine: breastfeeding, diapering, postpartum care, starting solids, taking a temperature, sleep schedules, potty training, etc. The book often takes a natural/attachment parenting approach to things as well such as safe bed-sharing, extended breastfeeding, & bay-wearing.

9. Natural Hospital Birth : I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to birthing centers for both pregnancies. The first time, the center was attached to a hospital {very reassuring for first time moms} & this time around I plan to deliver in a stand-alone birth center. However, that’s not always doable for many reasons {high-risk pregnancies, insurance policies, & even personal preference.}. A unmedicated hospital birth absolutely can be achieved but will require a lot of knowledge & prep on your end. This book goes in depth on all the possible interventions you may receive or be offered the hospital. The risks of these interventions are explained & practical methods for avoiding them are given. It also talks about the importance of an informed birth partner & the benefits of hiring a doula to represent your wishes during labor.

10. Itsy Bitsy Yoga : This is a darling little book full of yoga poses to can do with your baby to help them sleep longer, digest better & grow stronger. It starts with infancy & grows with your baby. I loved doing this with Saige every day because I felt like it was a sweet way for us to bond through physical touch & eye contact. It also gives mantras & practical parenting advice.

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