When I found out that I was pregnant with Kit, I went into major research mode! I would think of something that I would be encountering soon (i.e. diapering, hospital birth, breastfeeding), and I would reach every article and book I could get my hands on until I felt that I had “mastered” the topic. I soon found out that it’s impossible to actually master mothering, but I ended up being really happy that I did so much reading once it was time to take Kit home. I feel like there is always quite a sense of overwhelm that comes with a new baby in the house, but I felt a lot more prepared than I thought I would!
I get asked quite often in messages on Instagram what my book recommendations are, so I thought it would be beneficial to have some of my favorites in a blog post. I’m all about saving time, so being able to direct people to this post will be AMAZING! Plus, I’m hoping you find at least one book in this list that will be helpful or encouraging to you, as well! Let’s get reading!
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books for pregnancy
Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds – If you’re hanging out with me on Instagram, you already know I did not have an “all natural birth”. I was induced and made it to about 3 centimeters dilated when I chickened out and begged for an epidural. Ha! Even though I didn’t end up going with a medication free birth, this book was SO helpful in understanding some of the decisions I would be faced with at the hospital. Not to mention, it goes into great detail about what happens to your body during birth, what it will feel like, and other things you can expect. I’m not sure if I will be trying for a natural birth if we I get pregnant again, but I know that I will be cracking this book open again. Seriously, it’s that good!
Holy Labor: How Childbirth Shapes a Woman’s Soul – This book made me feel so powerful while I was pregnant and feeling so weak. I spent many baths reading this book! I loved how the book made it easy to understand how God is in the childbirth experience, and I loved the realization that I was taking part in creation by bringing a life into the world. Such a powerful read, and I recommend it for any woman struggling to find peace and strength in pregnancy.
Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting – Total transparency…I didn’t read this book until after giving birth. I wish I had read it sooner, though! This is a well-written and easy to understand book for anyone who struggles with “normal” parenting tactics. I felt that Kit was a full human being with real emotions from the moment I felt him in my womb. I knew that I wanted to speak to him and treat him differently than most of the parenting styles I was familiar with. This book has made it so much easier to do that!
books for after childbirth
Moms on Call: Basic Baby Care 0-6 Months – If you’re a momma struggling with inconsistent naptimes, nighttime sleep, feeding routines, etc….THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. I have this book and the second book in the series for when baby gets a bit older. I’ll be honest, not a huge fan of some of the information in the second book. But THIS BOOK IS GOLDEN. I opened this book several times a week for the first couple of months with Kit. You won’t find any fluff or nonsense inside the pages. It’s completely practical and step-by-step advice for any question you might have. If you don’t get any other book, get this one.
The Wonder Weeks – Before becoming a mother, I was aware of the concept of growth spurts, but I had never heard of developmental leaps. Let me be the one to tell you, you’ll figure out what they are pretty quickly if your child is going through one! Think fussy, no sleep, crabby patty type of stuff. There is an app by the same name, and I have both. I like having the app for late night feedings when I’m sleepily trying to figure out why Kit is waking up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. The book is great because it’s really thick and packed with information about each leap and what you should expect from baby during that time. I have found that the app gives a quick overview, and the book goes into things with greater depth.
Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding – Big fan of breastfeeding over here! Like BIG FAN. This book was so helpful for the first little bit when everything was sore and nursing sessions were around the clock. This is a book that goes into detail about why breastfeeding is great, how to get started, how to keep going, and what to do when things get tricky. Highly recommend nursing mommas keep this one handy!
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I hope you find at least one of these books to be helpful! Let me know in the comments which books you recommend and why!