There is SO much to learn about being pregnant, having a baby, and then taking care of a baby once they are born. It can feel really overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to educating yourself. Here are a few books (the titles are linked) that helped me feel a little more prepared and empowered to being the amazing adventure of motherhood!
1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of this book and there’s a good reason for it! I found it INCREDIBLY helpful! It breaks down your pregnancy by week and gives you detailed information about what’s going on with baby on the inside and also helps predict and explain what you might be experiencing on the outside. It answered questions I didn’t even know I had and is written in a really fun, upbeat, easy to read kind of way. I always looked forward to reading it at the beginning of each new week.
We spend so much time preparing for the birth of the baby, but it didn’t really occur to me that breastfeeding was going to be a big learning curve too! And unlike birth, which is over in a matter of hours, breastfeeding is something that can last for years! So educating yourself AHEAD of time is really valuable.
This book was very practical and had some helpful pictures to illustrated certain nursing positions. I was really glad I read it beforehand and definitely referred to it as I was learning how to nurse.
I promise, I’m not here to tell you what to think about vaccines, so no hate mail please! I respect BOTH schools of thought for various reasons. I believe that knowledge is power and I realized that I knew very little about vaccines before having babies. I wanted to be informed so that I could make an educated decision for our family.
What I love about this book is that it is purely fact based. It is written by a practicing pediatrician and goes down the list of every vaccine recommended for children, what disease the vaccine is protecting them from, how common or rare it is, how serious or harmless it is, the ingredients of the vaccine, and any possible side effects from the vaccine. It gives you all of the facts you need to know to make an informed decision. (ie. Are the side effects of the vaccine worse than the disease itself? Or are the side effects a small price to pay to guard your little one from that particular sickness.) He also makes recommendations on which vaccines to avoid administering at the same time due to them containing higher levels of heavy metals. That hadn’t ever occurred to me until I read this book!
Whether you are planning to fully vaccinate, follow a delayed/modified schedule, or are on the fence entirely, I would highly recommend getting your hands on this book! I thought it was super helpful and very informative.
4. What to Expect the First Year
After you have your baby, I feel like you have even MORE questions than ever before! Just like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, this book goes through your baby’s first year month by month and lets you know what developmental milestones your baby will be hitting at certain ages. It addresses common questions and concerns, and is over all a super helpful resource!
This one will obviously come into play AFTER baby is born, but I was grateful to have it on hand at the very beginning.
There are so many resources (and opinions!) at our fingertips these days and it can feel paralyzing to try and figure out where to even begin. Hopefully these are helpful starting points for you like they were for me! Happy reading!
If you missed them, be sure to check out the other posts in this series!