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Newbie Needs Resources on Pregnancy, Childbirth, Parenting, etc.
January 13, 2014 2:43 PM   Subscribe

I am a pregnant for the first time, and looking for resources (primarily web, but not limited to it) on pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood. This shouldn't be so hard, right? But I really want blogs, Tumblrs, Twitters, websites, etc. that are funny or snarky or absurd, as well as smart, feminist/liberal, crunchy, scientific, and welcoming of a variety of backgrounds/lifestyles. (Maybe not all at once, but I'll take what I can get.) I'm coming up short. Help?

My searches lead me to either patronizing, nonspecific medical information written at a very basic level, or- conversely- forums of acronyms and emoticons that make me despair for the future. Yes, pregnancy is a glorious and magical time, but it's also a really strange, all-consuming, and isolating experience. I want some sites that help me laugh at all the weirdness while still patting me on the back in solidarity.

So help a newbie out. Metafilter is always a great place to be, and I regularly comb the archives. I'm familiar with Offbeat Families (though they post so rarely), Ain't No Mom Jeans, and Reasons My Son Is Crying. What else or where else should I look?

Any kind of resource is fine, whether Tumblrs of animated gifs that make you laugh aloud, or heavy sociological blogs on feminist parenthood. Any kind of information is useful at this point: maternity wear, baby gear, working parenthood, nursing, etc. Whatever!

(Don't tell me not to read stuff online as a first-time-pregnant lady. I'm from the Internet- I'm going to read stuff online. Help me find the good stuff!)
posted by aabbbiee to Society & Culture (34 answers total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, the only book I've bought so far is The Panic-Free Pregnancy, which I found via MeFi. Thank you!
posted by aabbbiee at 2:45 PM on January 13


You might enjoy the forums at altdotlife.com.
posted by editrixx at 2:47 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


Check out OffbeatFamilies.com; it's no longer updating but all the archives are there.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:48 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Mothering.com is liberal and crunchy, but takes itself very seriously.
posted by Safiya at 2:52 PM on January 13


Hilarious take on pregnancy and now a newborn--dad posts gifs and hilarity ensues. Source of many, many LOL moments: Pregnant Husband and Daddy Newbie.
posted by rio at 2:56 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


I also loved Pregnant Chicken during my pregnancy.
posted by rio at 2:57 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Alphamom, especially the pregnancy calendar.

Book wise, I'm enjoying Expecting Better.
posted by snickerdoodle at 3:30 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


Up the Duff and Kid Wrangling by Aussie Kaz Cook are ALWAYS my suggestions to first time mums. These 2 books saved my sanity when I was 22 and never even held a baby before. I honestly credit them for getting me through. Non preachy, just funny and snarky and reassuring.
posted by Youremyworld at 3:32 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Oh and one more thing (the diary part of Up The Duff was absolutely my fave thing to read; have you considered starting a blog or similar to recount your pregnancy the way you would like to read it? Might be a great read for other first time parents!
posted by Youremyworld at 3:38 PM on January 13


I came to recommend pregnant chicken. We are trying too and I want to lessen my anxiety by reading all kinds of experiences from other women.

Also if you want BOOKS I have Operating Instructions (Anne Lamott) on my wishlist based on a previous askme I read, it's supposed to be hilarious.

Also recently (?) there was an FPP on the "Take Back Your Pregnancy" scientist-lady who went point by point through the most common restrictions given to pregnant women.


Congrats!
posted by polly_dactyl at 3:44 PM on January 13


congratulations! I tell all of my pregnant friends to read ina may'a guide to childbirth. also to drink red raspberry leaf tea and do yoga.
posted by sabh at 3:49 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


My other half enjoyed the humour in the book The Rough Guide To Pregnancy & Birth. It has a lot of info you can find elsewhere, but it's also pretty funny, and is quite balanced in terms of "some people like to do X, but some find Y works better" instead of "you must do X, never do Y!!".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:49 PM on January 13


Oh, I'm pretty sure that The Rough Guide... is the same book as Up The Duff mentioned above - just republished under the Rough Guide brand.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:51 PM on January 13


Blue Milk is a wonderful blog that has a lot of great writing about feminist parenting (for example, Why Attachment Parenting Needs Feminism and The Terrifying Softness of Motherhood, and I really love the varied answers to her 10 Feminist Motherhood Questions). More about parenthood than pregnancy, but I really enjoyed reading it while I was pregnant.

I also enjoyed reading some of the posts on First The Egg, as I was due a little after she had her second child, and at the time I found reading her nice relaxed birth story rather comforting. She also has a big page of resources on pregnancy.
posted by fever-trees at 4:30 PM on January 13


A lot of people hate her, but I got a lot out of The Skeptical OB.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:38 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


From your question, I'm guessing you're looking more for online material, however if I may, I'd like to recommend a book (which you can get on Kindle, so maybe that counts...) - specifically Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth To Reality. As a pediatric nurse practitioner, it is on the top of my list for recommendations to new parents for both it's practical, easy to understand advice, and the positive response I've gotten from the parents I know who've read it. It's written by two pediatrician moms who really know their stuff, and published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Decent amount of humor, easy to read, and filled with useful and necessary information presented in such a way as to put you at ease, rather than panic. Can't recommend it enough.
posted by Rewind at 5:46 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Seconding Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. That woman's a genius.
posted by Blitz at 5:53 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


I like Alphamom and in particular, her pregnancy calendar which is hilarious.

I also really like Lucie's List - her registry checklist was very helpful and she often posts new roundups of different types of baby gear, PLUS she answers questions from new moms and they are often very helpful.

I also sometimes read Hellobee, but it is geared more towards stay at home moms, I think (which I am not), and can be kind of hit or miss. Some of the bloggers are really helpful, others I find super annoying and off-putting.

Oh, and if you plan to breastfeed, KellyMom is a great resource.

Off the web, my favorite pregnancy books were Your Pregnancy Week by Week (I have a much older edition that was handed down to me, but I really liked being able to read it on a weekly basis because all of the other books are just for each month) and the Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy (or something like that, I forget the exact title). I also have the Mayo Clinic Guide to the First Year that I find helpful as my baby grows.
posted by echo0720 at 5:58 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Seconding Skeptical OB, and I also enjoyed Fearless Formula Feeder (despite breastfeeding for over a year.)
posted by Ralston McTodd at 6:15 PM on January 13


Ahhhhh The Skeptical OB, I looooove her!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:17 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


It's not online at all, but I have really enjoyed the Hip Mama zine and Ariel Gore's books about parenting (she's the founding editor of Hip Mama). Since it's a zine, it can be challenging to find, but my library has copies and yours might, too!

Apron Stringz isn't really active anymore, but her Letter to New Mamas is something I send to my friends whenever they have babies. I've even given it to doula clients.

Evidence Based Birth is a research blog about birth stuff, including the efficacy of doulas, moxibustion, Cesarean section based on long labor.

Women in Charge is a blog put out by some midwives in San Francisco; it's basically a collection of homebirth stories.

Parenting Science is published by a biological anthropologist and is fairly unbiased presentations of the literature on parenting, including parenting infants.
posted by linettasky at 6:48 PM on January 13


Facebook has some great resources, too, as much as it pains me to say it. I'm in a breastfeeding group, a cloth diapering group, and a local moms group; the amount and quality of information and advice is great. I'm not a huge Facebook person, but once my baby was born I really appreciated being able to quickly get in touch with other moms to ask questions at 2am - and have them answered immediately since they were up, too!
posted by gatorae at 7:22 PM on January 13


For stories of early parenthood, the podcast and blog at The Longest Shortest Time are wonderful.
posted by zadermatermorts at 7:25 PM on January 13


I'd advise against the Skeptical OB but it really depends on the sort of birth and care you end up seeking out. I'm a bigger fan of Evidence Based Birth (which she hates).

Reddit's babybumps community is a wonderful answer to other online birth communities--it's diverse, sensible, and welcoming. I'd also recommend the communities in their sidebar, particularly their breastfeeding subreddit.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:25 PM on January 13


The forums at AltDotLife fit a lot of your criteria. No baby dust, just a lovely community of welcoming women. Most women on ADL join a cohort group -- women at the same stage of pregnancy, or with kids roughly the same age -- and it's a great outlet for all of those silly questions and insights. There are also plenty of threads on gear, nursing, going back to work (or staying home), and lots of threads on non-parenting topics.
posted by devinemissk at 7:26 PM on January 13


I highly recommend Expecting Better (the low star rating is because of spam reviews from people upset at the author's comments on alcohol).
posted by melissasaurus at 7:31 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


I'm going to suggest Ask Moxie just in case you haven't heard of it before - Moxie is really great at advising parents to trust their gut and to be gentle with themselves, and she has a really realistic outlook on parenting. It's my favorite parenting resource by far.
posted by meggan at 9:07 PM on January 13


Congrats! I just went through this (my kid is 9 weeks old already!) so a lot of it is fresh in my memory. My favorite books about pregnancy were by Penny Simkin and my favorite books about babies are by Penelope Leach. Reading old posts in the forums at altdotlife.com has been a big comfort to me; you have to log in to see the good forums but it's worth the hassle. The alphamom calendar is nice too.

I am really loving the podcast One Bad Mother. The hosts are snarky and sarcastic but also really supportive. Both hosts just had babies in the last couple months, so the show will likely be heavy on life-with-newborn topics for awhile, but the archives are online and full of pregnancy discussion.
posted by beandip at 9:45 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


The book Expecting Better was mentioned a few times; a series of articles from the book is here.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:22 AM on January 14


I came to recommend Operating Instructions. It is fantastic, and I read it at least twice before I ever got pregnant.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 7:11 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I will put in a plug for Now What, one woman's grumpy chronicle of pregnancy and its aftermath (and a few other links and resources). Also, the podcast One Bad Mother is quite fun about all stages of pregnancy and parenthood, especially indignity and drinking. :)
posted by acm at 1:30 PM on January 14


I really like Mindful Birthing and there's an accompanying app called Mindfulness for Pregnancy. It's a lot less woo-woo than it sounds, and very useful even if you plan on using medication, getting a c-section or whatever.

Also, Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives is fantastic. It's biological anthropology, but very accessible to a non academic reader.
posted by blue_bicycle at 8:49 AM on January 15


I just had a baby a few weeks ago and agree that it's tough to find good reading among the undesirable stuff. As far as books go, I really liked Bringing Up Bebe, Misconceptions, and Get Me Out.

Seconding Lucy's List as an invaluable source for figuring out what baby gear you might want/need.

As far as blogs not yet mentioned, Mommyish and Scary Mommy are worth looking at.

I tried a bunch of how-to type of books on childbirth and early parenting, and have yet to find one I like. Ina May's books are great, but I came out the other end of my experience realizing that it's impossible to really control your birthing experience to the extent that those books would have you believe. But, it helps to be prepared if you're looking to go unmedicated.

Congrats and good luck!
posted by macrowave at 7:30 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Oh! Also, Evidence Based Birth was helpful for me when trying to navigate labor interventions.
posted by macrowave at 7:37 PM on January 17


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