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It’s normal to be filled with a wide range of emotions during pregnancy and parenthood. These emotions include excitement, joy, indescribable love, fear, stress, frustration, and uncertainty. You have so many questions about this little human that you have just created and unfortunately they don’t come with a manual on how to care for them.
I know that when I had Olivia I had so many questions on how to take care of her both during my pregnancy and into parenthood. That’s why I started reading a ton of different books. The more I read the more comfortable I started to feel because information is power. I want to share some of my must read books about pregnancy and parenthood. You can never learn too much about the tiny humans you have created.
I also included some of my favorite parenting books that include a little bit of comic relief. The informative books are an excellent resource in learning about your baby. However, sometimes it is nice to take a break from all the learning and just get a good laugh. I hope you enjoy!
Must Read Books During Pregnancy
What to Expect When You’re Expecting – What to Expect When You’re Expecting is an excellent resource for first time parents. It answers every possible question expecting parents could have. There is nothing more exciting when you are pregnant than learning about what’s going on with your growing baby. I would be shocked if you had a question about your pregnancy that this book couldn’t answer. It’s a pregnancy classic for a reason!
Belly Laughs – Jenny McCarthy shares what it’s really like to be pregnant and it is such a breath of fresh air. She shares all of the hilariously honest details of her pregnancy including hormonal rage, hemorrhoids, granny panties, pregnancy sex, and delivery. Jenny McCarthy shares what most women won’t. So, take a break from all of your educational, academic pregnancy books and get to laughing with Belly Laughs.
Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta – As a woman and a mother I can honestly say this was one of the most empowering books I have ever read. Ina May Gaskin explains the history of birth, current birth statistics for multiple nations, issues with current maternity care in our country vs. other countries, and even includes birth stories. After reading this book I felt excited and prepared for my birthing experience. Ina May taught me that my body was made to give birth and that it was the most natural thing I could do. For the first time in my pregnancy I was excited to give birth instead of afraid.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May draws upon her 30+ years of experience to give expectant moms all the information they need to achieve their best possible birth experience. She covers a multitude of topics including how to reduce the pain of labor without drugs, common methods of inducing labor, tips for maximizing your chances of an unmedicated birth, the best ways to work with doctors, the risks of anesthesia, and so much more. This book takes the fear out of childbirth and restores a woman’s faith in her own body to give birth.
Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! – There are about 10,000 different ways for a dad to stick his foot in his mouth during pregnancy. Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! is a book written by a dad who’s been there to teach other dad’s how to avoid most of those foot-in-mouth mistakes. Learn about how to navigate through all of the events that come with bringing a child into the world including morning sickness, doctors visits, choosing a name, packing hospital bags, and of course child birth. This is one of my favorite must read books for new dads. In fact, I loved it so much that I got it for my husband to read after we found out I was pregnant with Olivia.
Must Read Books During Parenthood
On Becoming Babywise – This is at the top of my list of must read books for a reason. On Becoming Babywise is an excellent resource for helping get your little one on a schedule. Babywise focuses on an infant’s need for order and stability. It shares how a baby thrives when parents implement a routine. Babywise also helps provide parents with sample schedules for their little ones following the EASY method (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You Time). This book was a lifesaver at helping me implement the correct schedule with Olivia. Because of Babywise Olivia now sleeps 13 hours straight every night. This is a must have for all parents!
The Wonder Weeks – The Wonder Weeks is all about your baby’s mental leaps. It provides a week-by-week guide to your baby’s behavior. The Wonder Weeks shares when to expect fussy periods, why they are occurring, and what you can do to help. One of my favorite aspects of The Wonder Weeks is that helps me understand how my baby’s perception of how the world is changing. I love the insight I get into her mind with this book. Going through a mental leap can be difficult for both you and your baby. However, this book can arm you with the information and tools you need to make this time easier on everyone.
The Happiest Baby on the Block – This is one of my must read books for parents of a colicky baby. Dr. Karp teaches parents how to lovingly and effectively respond to their baby’s cries. The Happiest Baby on the Block teaches parents how to use the “cuddle cure” to calm fussy infants. The cuddle cure is the combination of using the 5 S’s (Swaddling, Side/Stomach Lying, Sshhing, Swaying, and Sucking) to initiate the calming reflex. If you are struggling with a colicky baby you must purchase this book!
What to Expect the First Year – This is the instruction manual that your baby doesn’t come with, but should! What to Expect is like Google in book form. I have yet to read it cover to cover. However, it is the perfect reference anytime I have a question about my daughter. It covers a large variety of topics and answers even the smallest of questions. There’s a reason it’s one of the best known parenting books on the market.
Heading Home With Your Newborn – Heading Home With Your Newborn is a complete guide to newborn care written by two pediatricians. It was the first book I read when I brought Olivia home from the hospital. I loved that it helped me feel so much more prepared to take care of her. It covers all aspects of taking care of a newborn including breastfeeding, formula feeding, sleep, swaddling, diapering, baby gear, etc. Heading Home With Your Newborn is one of the best must read books for new parents.
Baby Laughs – Jenny McCarthy is back with another hilariously honest take on parenting. The conversational style of Baby Laughs is a much needed break from the textbook style of most parenting books. In Baby Laughs Jenny McCarthy shares her brutally honest experiences in parenting including cutting baby’s nails, dealing with unwanted visitors, loosing the baby weight, teething, baby proofing, overbuying, and so much more! Do yourself a favor and pick up this light, easy, and unbelievably comical read.