I’m a bookworm, always have been. So naturally, in lead up to taking a pregnancy test, I filled my Amazon basket with pregnancy books, ready to pull the trigger if and when we saw that second line.
Well, we got the second line, and within a few hours I’d placed my order!
I’m an anxious person and always a bit wary of the unknown, but some of these have helped me. I’ve included Amazon links.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting, by Heidi Murkoff
I think this is my husband’s favourite of the pregnancy books – in fact, I think it’s currently over on his side of the bed! Whenever I’m feeling something that’s not great (whether it’s an emotion or a pain), he’ll ask if we should get the book out. He always means this one, and, to be honest, we’re always reassured.
A lot of people describe this book as “scare-mongering” – I’ve even found articles in the New York Times about it! But we’ve found it actually to be the opposite. We didn’t read it cover to cover, but instead have dipped in and out as necessary. It’s got a really comprehensive index, and I like that you can look up pretty much every symptom under the sun and find it in there.
What to Eat When You’re Pregnant and Vegetarian, by Dr Rana Conway
This book is great. I love the meal plans and the explanations of what exactly each nutrient does. To be honest, I think it should be mandatory reading for non-pregnant vegetarians as well.
I had such great ideas of the meals we were going to have to ensure baby got all the necessary nutrients. However, within about a week of reading it, I was struck down with constant nausea that meant I couldn’t eat anything but cheese sandwiches for four months. So, yeah. A great book, but it hasn’t been a brilliant success in my life, I’m afraid!
I will say that, even without having the best pregnancy (or pre-pregnancy, let’s be honest!) diet, baby appears to be thriving. It’s made mostly of sandwiches, apple pies and rice krispies, but it’s active and on track. My new motto is, keep on eating and drinking something, take pregnancy vitamins if you can, and chances are baby will be okay.
Mindful Hypnobirthing, by Sophie Fletcher
I think this is my favourite of the pregnancy books. I was getting more and more anxious about the idea of birth, and not being in control, and life in general, to be honest. It was still early enough that I hadn’t contacted anyone about birthing classes, but I was still starting to worry a fair bit.
I did a bit of reading around and found the idea of hypnobirthing quite pleasant. It’s not saying that everything will go perfectly which is pretty important to me. I’m a bit of a control freak.
The breathing exercises and mindfulness exercises are good. I’m finding them rather helpful outside of birth, to be honest. It was good for getting through my last blood test (pregnancy is a great time to develop a fear of needles!), and honestly, the slow breathing is helping with my occasionally spasming back. (Pregnancy is so much fun!)
As you can see, I’m making my way through the book and making plenty of notes. I’m maybe approaching this in a slightly too academic fashion!
We shall see whether I’m able to actually use the tools on the day, but I’m feeling more confident, anyway.
The Expectant Dad’s Survival Guide, by Rob Kemp
Pregnancy books for men mostly seem really macho and this seemed to be an exception. I’ve not read this one (it was for my husband, obviously) but he enjoyed it! He did keep on coming up with product recommendations afterwards – “We want rubber tyres on the pushchair!” “Three wheel pushchairs are easier to steer!” etc. Which, considering I hadn’t even thought about any of those things so early on, was quite useful.
So, yeah. Not a bad little selection – I’m sure there’ll be more in the remaining months!