When I became pregnant the first thing I did was go out and buy some books. I have never spent much time around pregnant women or children and I realized that I knew practically nothing about pregnancy. It was reasuring to be able to answer the hundreds of questions I had without having to call my doctor. It was also calming to read other women's experiences. The more I understood about my own pregnancy the better I was able to be patient and to feel prepared. Pregnancy books are truly helpful for the first time mother-to-be and as every pregnancy is different, helpful to any pregnant woman. Below I've put some of the most popular and best reviewed books about pregnancy and childbirth.
I read this book when I was about 8 months pregnant. It was my first pregnancy and to read a book that wasn't dry facts was refreshing. It was also funny and made me realize that I wasn't the only pregnant woman to suffer from swollen feet and all the other fun things pregnancy brings. From Publishers Weekly: For first-time mothers-to-be, this candid, funny and very reassuring guide to pregnancy is just what the doctor ordered or would if he/she knew about it. Iovine, who has had four babies and who seemingly has girlfriends with many more, believes that women learn the really valuable things about pregnancy from other women. Since too few women in today's mobile society have a close circle of experienced female friends to turn to, Iovine's sharing of her own and her friends' experiences and knowledge fills a genuine need for comforting, straightforward, non-euphemistic woman-talk. Without stepping on any medical toes, and in language that is neither technical nor cutesy, she tackles morning sickness, swollen breasts, exercises, stretch marks, sex during and after pregnancy, delivery and just about everything else, from maternity clothing to bladder behavior. Iovine anticipates every conceivable question, and her responses are warm, wise and witty. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A book that lives up to its name, author Ann Douglas has packed a remarkable amount of text, charts and tables into this 500-plus page volume that covers nearly every aspect of pregnancy, from considering pregnancy (is there ever a "good" time to do it?) to nutrition, exercise, breast-feeding and the top 10 worries for each trimester. Incredibly comprehensive yet easy to follow, Douglas, author of a number of pregnancy books, also covers infertility, high-risk pregnancy, miscarriage and infant loss. Charts and tables show how chronic disease, as well as prescription and non-prescription drugs, can affect a pregnancy. Wondering if you're too old to conceive or give birth? Douglas discusses the facts of pregnancy past ages 20, 30 and 40. "The Complaint Department" chapter discusses nearly every conceivable ache, pain and medical issue that can arise during pregnancy and how to deal with them. Facts and figures, as well as quotes that are pertinent to each topic, are dispersed throughout.
One of the thorniest questions new parents ask themselves is how they are ever going to pay for baby expenses. With the average cost of a baby topping $6,000 for the first year alone, expectant moms and dads need all the creative solutions and cost-cutting ideas they can find. Baby Bargains is the answer. The book lists great deals and money-saving strategies for a wide variety of must-have items, from maternity wear, baby clothes, and diapers to furniture, bedding, and toys. Extensive charts allow parents to compare and contrast name-brand cribs, strollers, high chairs, child safety seats, baby monitors, and more. Now in its sixth edition, the book has been completely revised and updated to include website addresses for all major baby product manufacturers, reviews of parenting websites, and listings for mail-order catalogs and outlet stores. Additionally, the book offers important safety tips for affordably baby-proofing the home.
Would be mothers looking for precise, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this mammoth pregnancy guide from the celebrated Mayo Clinic. The volume actually provides much more information than most parents will need, week by week accounts of the baby's development, entries on how pregnancy can be affected by dozens of previous health conditions (such as HIV and diabetes), self-care tips for side effects like nausea and back pain, sidebars that explain the difference between identical and fraternal twins, etc. But the book contains at least one feature that most pregnant women will find indispensable: charts that indicate how to handle "troublesome signs and symptoms" during each three week period. For example, if a woman has slight spotting during the first four weeks of pregnancy, the chart tells her to notify a doctor during her next hospital visit. But if she has any bleeding at all during weeks 29 to 32, the chart indicates that she should tell her doctor immediately. Another stellar feature is the book's even-handed series of "decision guides," which help parents make those hard (and even guilt-inducing) choices about breastfeeding, circumcision and whether or not to go back to work. Some parents may find the book's cool, no-nonsense tone intimidating, or even scary, but when deciding what to do about mid-term cramps or pain, most readers will find great reassurance this volume's carefully vetted facts.
In this latest edition of a classic originally published almost 40 years ago, photographer Nilsson and obstetrician Hamberger explore the miracle of birth, from attraction between a man and a woman to fertilization, pregnancy, labor and delivery; they also discuss infertility and developments in IVF and other treatments. Over 350 new photographs have been added to the fourth edition, including in utero pictures captured with endoscopy and three-dimensional ultrasound technology. Nilsson zooms in on sperm racing towards the egg, the brand-new zygote, the embryo clinging to the lining of the uterus, a tadpole-like fetus and the remarkably developed ear of a 18-week old fetus, among other moments in the process of human reproduction. With Hamberger's updated text on guidance for new parents, progress in fertility treatments, genetics and pregnancy health, the volume should continue to be a vivid reference for the whole family.
Using history as her guide, nationally recognized midwife Gaskin explores what she hopes will be a renaissance in natural childbirth, something that she's been advocating since the mid-1970s. By focusing on how women of ancient civilizations and other modern peoples give birth, Gaskin puts our own hypersensitivities in perspective, uncovering a beautiful, sometimes orgasmic experience rather than a dreadful, painful one. Sure, pain is part of childbirth, but preparing for the pain in a realistic rather than sentimental way, whether giving birth at home or in a hospital, can be the key to a woman's ability to deal with it naturally. Within the pages of personal anecdotes, some touching, some startling, from Gaskin's patients and colleagues, every woman is sure to find something to relate to, whether or not she chooses to have a medicine-free labor. The helpful back matter features a glossary, a detailed resource list including advocacy groups and Web sites, and a bibliography that includes periodicals, rounding out an extremely comprehensive and up-to-date guide on the topic.