A Pregnancy Book Review Round-up
So obviously you guys know I am a big reader. And I have read a LOT of books this pregnancy—in fact, I read a lot of books regarding this subject before I was pregnant and before we had even started trying. I just find the entire process so fascinating that it was really interesting to learn more. Normally when I post book reviews, I post them for one book at a time…but because I’ve read so many, and let’s face it, most of you are not going to be interested in a pregnancy book review, I thought I would talk about the books I’ve read all in one shot. So this is my Pregnancy Book Review Round-Up. I’ve since moved on to reading tons of books about newborns, breastfeeding, child rearing, etc., so I will be sure to review those as well later on!
Books I read BEFORE I was pregnant:
This book is designed as a “pre-conception” plan. It discusses how the body works, what to eat, exercise, etc. While this book was interesting and definitely curbed my baby fever a bit, it’s totally not necessary. Most of the information is common sense.
Verdict: Eh, ok. I wouldn’t buy it again, but it’s worth taking a look at from the library.
A lot of people SWEAR by this book. Most everyone I know who was or is TTC has read it. It has a ton of information about the Fertility Awareness Method and natural birth control. It also has a ton of information about how the human body works. While I found the body information interesting, I thought the rest of this book was dry as hell. Essentially, it reads like a textbook. Charting was not for me, as I wake up at different times during the week, and taking my temperature would never have been consistent.
Verdict: I would’ve skipped it, but you might be one of the ones who loves it! Definitely pick it up if you are interested in the Fertility Awareness Method at all.
Yep, I read this one before I was pregnant. And I am SO GLAD I did. This book gets a really bad rap because it is known as “fear-mongering” and for scaring the crap out of pregnant women. Because I read it BEFORE I was pregnant, I actually did not get that vibe at all. I thought it was really interesting and informative. And then I got pregnant. And I couldn’t even look at this book anymore, because I was so freaked out. That’s the good and the bad thing about this book—they really do lay out every possible scenario that could happen when you are pregnant. While that’s really great and informative, when you are in the very scary first trimester, it can be really, really freaky to read about what could be going wrong. So I put this book back on my bookshelf and didn’t pick it up again until I was in my second trimester. Now, I’m totally cool with it again and actually look to it every week to see what’s going on with the baby and my body as the pregnancy progresses. The writing is kind of hokey, which annoyed me, but it is a good one-stop source for all things pregnancy.
This book also gets knocked a lot because apparently it used to have some warped, really restrictive diet plan in there. Not anymore—the food and exercise talked about is really basic, common sense.
Verdict: Pick it up, but read it before pregnancy or after your first trimester, lest you freak yourself out.
Books I read once I actually BECAME pregnant:
LOVED. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED. If you are going to buy one book about pregnancy, make this be it. I absolutely adored this book. Great information, great color photos and illustrations, very comprehensive. And because it’s written by top docs and nurses at the Mayo Clinic, you know the information can be trusted. This book was fabulous and not at all fear-inducing. It covers a lot of the same information as What to Expect, but in less of a bullshit sing-song hokey voice. And although they cover things that can go wrong, it’s not at all scary in the way they lay out the information. I read the entire thing cover to cover and was sad when I had to return it to the library. Truth be told, I will likely still purchase this book to have on hand for my next pregnancy.
Verdict: Buy it! This is the best of the best of all the pregnancy books I read.
This is another one of those books that, like Taking Charge of Your Fertility, it seems that everyone and their mother (hehe) is reading. I absolutely hated this book and couldn’t even finish it. Maybe I’m just not the touchy-feely type or something, but this book was entirely too hippie for me. It just was not my cup of tea.
Verdict: You might like it; a lot of people do. I loathed this book.
I actually plan to pick this book up again a bit later on in my pregnancy. It sets forth the “McMoyler Method,” which focuses on presenting women with pain management options, both natural and via drugs, engaging partners fully, and encouraging a realistic and non-judgmental birth setting. I loved this approach because it largely focuses on all aspects of childbirth in the hospital setting. I have no desire to have a baby at home, or without my OB/GYN, or in a tub [NOT that there’s anything wrong with any of those options—they’re just not for me at this point in my life], and I loved that this method seemed to be geared towards women like me, who are perfectly happy and in fact excited to have their babies in a clinical setting. This method also promotes natural childbirth if you so choose, but also lets you know that it’s ok to explore what other pain management options may be available to you. It also discusses the fact that expectant parents need to be prepared for a variety of birth experiences, from the all-natural to the highly technical. Most of all, I liked that this method seemed very realistic. Whereas the Ina May Gaskin book struck me as sort of “out there” about natural childbirth, this book lets you know that however you get your baby into this world, you’re still a woman and you’ve still accomplished an amazing thing—childbirth is not a contest. I like that attitude, because the goal, at least for me, is a healthy baby and mom, not an other-worldly birth experience. It felt like this book was written for someone like me.
Verdict: Having your baby in a clinical setting? Interested in natural childbirth but not sure? This is a great book for you.
And now for some “fun” pregnancy books:
Loved. She’s hilarious. While this book isn’t really informative by any means, it is funny. Jenny is able to commiserate with the best of us, about everything from gas to labor and anything in between. Easy, quick read.
Verdict: Looking for something lighthearted? Pick it up.
The information is a bit outdated, and it annoyed me that the author capitalized the word Girlfriends throughout the entire book, but this one was pretty good too. I liked that it was pretty common sense, and that the author had similar thoughts as I did during her first trimester. Example: we all know that exercising during pregnancy is great and beneficial for mom and baby. During my first trimester, however, I was terrified to do anything for fear of miscarriage. So was this author. So it felt great to have someone write down the fact that it’s ok to be afraid and to listen to yourself and your body. If you don’t want to exercise during the first tri, don’t. I didn’t, and I don’t regret my decision one bit. Now, I walk 4-5 times per week for 45 minutes to an hour, and I really enjoy it!
Verdict: A bit outdated, but worth picking up from the library.
Another funny, quick read. The chapters are short, so you can read one before bed. Like Belly Laughs, this book is not informational by any means, but it’s good if you want something light-hearted to read.
Verdict: Quick read, humorous writing. Pick it up.
So, there you have it—a round-up of all the pregnancy books I read. As I said previously, I’ve since moved on to several other books about breastfeeding, taking care of a newborn, etc. I will definitely review those at a later date!
What pregnancy books have you read? Did you read any of these? What were your thoughts about them?