Apparently, when you get pregnant you have to read one billion books on how to be pregnant.
You need to understand all the options out there! How will you dress the bump!? Your doctor won’t tell you everything! What does it mean when you…..?? You need to know what to expect! Really? I’m pretty sure women were having babies long before the bookshelves were stocked with every manual possible for surviving this nine month process.
Perhaps I’m being a bit sarcastic? Maybe. If I’m being honest, I overwhelmed myself. Within one week of announcing my pregnancy to close friends and family I received a stack of books about three feet tall and I’ve been terrified that if I don’t read them I’ll be a bad mom. Really. I convinced myself that if I wasn’t suddenly an expert on all things in-utero that it was somehow going to result in a failed child-rearing experience. Oh hi, I’m crazy.
While it was very sweet of so many caring people to give me books and really quite helpful in many cases, I definitely have overdone it. I realized this last night when I burst into tears because my spouse didn’t understand why I felt it was urgent to plan out my maternity leave right now (my due date is March 9th). While I explained the state of emergency I was in by listing off the twenty other things I’ve read that I’m supposed to accomplish between weeks 20-24 (such as locate a day care, register for gifts, start the nursery, and sign up for birthing classes), I realized I’ve become something of a monster.
As a method of de-stressing, I logged on to Facebook to see what the non-crazy, non-pregnant world was up to and saw that yet another gal I know is expecting. There are a lot of pregnant ladies out there. And since I personally know at least ten of these knocked-up beauties, I decided to do a little list of books that are worth checking out to save you some of the time I’ve spent with my nose in a book.
Hope this is helpful, ladies, and keeps you from driving yourselves insane!
Very Helpful – Read from Cover to Cover:
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – A great guide to understand what’s happening in-utero and to your body, nutrition and health advice, and good information about delivery options, complications, etc.
The Hot Mom to Be Handbook – Partly just for fun but so full of great tips I have to put it on a must-read list. Advice on everything from nursing bras to gadgets for dad and taking much-needed downtime to maintaining a romantic relationship with your partner. Also includes info for purchasing baby necessities in super-luxe, eco-friendly, and budget-conscious options.
Just for Fun:
Belly Laughs – Wondering if all the gross stuff that’s happening has happened to anyone else? This book will keep you giggling while explaining that everything you’re feeling is completely normal (the pregnancy definition of normal, that is).
Bump It Up – A guide for how to dress your baby bump from hiding the extra weight in the first trimester to flaunting that beautiful belly in the third. Great advice on how not to over-spend when it comes to maternity clothes.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Regular Edition & Eating Well Edition – Really good information but A LOT of it. Easy to be overwhelmed so I keep them nearby as a reference to look up questions and get guidance as needed.
Baby Bargains – Advice on what a baby really needs, how long they’ll actually use it , and where/how to get the best deals on the truckloads of stuff you’ll “need.” (Full disclosure: I haven’t actually read this book. I’ve only thumbed through parts of it and plan to use it when I register.)
Babycenter.com – All things baby-related including planning lists, Q&A, health and nutrition questions, and the most fun part of all – naming the baby! I’ve used this site to search for names much more than a book because it explains what’s the most popular (whether you want to avoid the popular or choose a popular name), name origins, and what goes well with sibling names. Plus they have an app you can download to your phone.
Babble.com – Love their pregnancy blogs. Their long list of bloggers will keep you up to date on everything including breastfeeding options, delivery stories, fashionable diaper bags, baby announcement designs, and helping older kids or pets get ready for a new baby.