Although I am fully aware that you can read a million books and do all the research in the world and never truly be "prepared" it certainly can't hurt to be educated. I didn't really get into reading books about pregnancy because I heard that most books were not too helpful and mostly scared woman! Ugh! I have however really delved into books on labor and delivery and on baby care in general. Here are a few and what I think of them so far!
1. The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy
1. The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy
This is a really cute book that takes a humorous approach to pregnancy. I don't know how much I actually learned from this book but it made me smile and I'm sure I gleaned a few tips!
Labor and Delivery:
This book was pretty much a giant advertisement for The Bradley Method for Natural Childbirth. Its main message was this: Take a Bradley Class. That being said, the middle portion of the book was actually kind of helpful, LOL. This book is intended for Husbands (or partners) to read to learn how to help prepare mom for labor and how to assist with the labor when the time comes. I read it because I knew if I made Eric read it and it was crap he would 1)never read another book I asked him to and 2)never let me forget it...and I didn't want either of those things to happen. Plus I figured I could get some tips since we are in no way planning on taking a Bradley Method Class. I have decided to only ask Eric to read the middle portion which includes exercises for before and during labor that Husband can assist with to make labor easier for mom and other tips along those lines. This book was worth the read but bear in mind that it is written by Robert Bradley... of the Bradley Method, so that's what its about!
This book is not what I expected to say the least! I would say it is far more informational than instructional. When you hear the word Lamaze I think you automatically think of the "hee hee" "hoo hoo" breathing to help a momma get through labor. Well this book didn't give any instructions, really just information. That is not to say I don't think its a helpful book its just not really a guide to a Lamaze birth...whatever that means. I do think it really educated me on various things such as the effects of pitocin. (I'm really hoping I don't have to be induced) There is just so much out there we don't know...I think before I got pregnant I just assumed I would do what everyone else does...pitocin, epidural, whatever! Although those things might happen...at least I will be able to make educated decisions when or if the time comes. I would recommend this book just because it is full of info but look to other books for actual methods for help during labor and delivery.
3. Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience
This book is a follow up to the documentary "The Business of Being Born." I watched this doc before I even got pregnant and it really opened my eyes and made me realize I knew NOTHING about my birth options and the risks and rewards of all the decisions you could potentially make during labor. As I expected, a large part of this book seems to be a plea for the use of midwives, doulas and birthing centers. That aside, there is some useful information when it comes to medical interventions and how to advocate for the birth you want. I'm not overly impressed with this book. I would say pass on this one.
4. The Birth Partner - Revised 3rd Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions
I really enjoyed this book. I found it super informative and helpful. It is actually written for dads and doulas but I thought it would be helpful for me as well and it was. It gives a TON of information but also plenty of tips on managing labor. I plan to re-read the labor pain management chapter when we get a little closer...now I just have to get Eric to read it! I would recommend this book!
There are so many strong emotional responses associated with this book. I had some friends tell me to steer clear as this book is the devil and others tell me it seriously changed their life and they thank god for it! I figured it would be worth the read but I went in with an open mind. Babywise essentially advocates for the Parent directed/scheduled feeding, as opposed to child directed feeding. Its like scheduling but still following baby hunger and sleep cues. I hope to implement some of the strategies in this book but I don't plan to follow it completely.
2. Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice For Your Baby's First Year (Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year)
I decided not to read this book cover to cover to use is it as a go to if I have a specific question (which I already have...several times!). So far I have found its answers helpful.
3. The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer (2006)
This book gives a lot of GREAT information of babies and sleep and fussiness. I found it to be very informative and enlightening. The second half of this book discusses strategies for calming a fussy baby and for helping baby to sleep longer. (YAY!) So far we have used some of the methods in the book with success but it is still a work in progress. We also bought the DVD but have yet to watch it, hope to do that this weekend and then really start using the techniques.
That's it for now...there are more Baby Care books that I think look interesting but I can't decide if it is worth the money...any suggestions?