Books for expecting moms
October 28, 2017 11:33 AM   Subscribe

I am newly pregnant with a much wanted little baby. I am looking for decent pregnancy books that are not stupid. I am a skeptical nurse-person with just enough knowledge of the knitty-gritty of pregnancy to be annoying to actual doctors/OBs and and self-destructive to myself.

I hated hated hated What to Expect. Too much scaremongering with no context.

I have been pregnant before and was very laisez-faire with seeking out pregnancy info. Unfortunately, my pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and I am very very hesitant to get invested in this little bean but I want to get excited and get a book to hype me up.
posted by pintapicasso to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Expecting Better by Emily Oster is really really fantastic. It's the only pregnancy book I ever read cover to cover and it's really level-headed while still having that little "yay" bit you're talking about.
posted by threetwentytwo at 11:48 AM on October 28, 2017 [18 favorites]

I kind of liked Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.
posted by pearshaped at 1:40 PM on October 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

I also liked Expecting Better - lots of good information on what you should stick to the letter of the rule on (and why she thinks that) and what are guidelines that maybe don't have much science behind them.
posted by brilliantine at 2:45 PM on October 28, 2017 [4 favorites]

Get yourself an out-of-print copy of Ever Since Eve: Personal Reflections on Childbirth, by Nancy Caldwell Sorel.
It is a collection of essays, stories, interviews and poetry on pregnancy and childbirth. I like it because it covers so many aspects of it -- wanting, not wanting, loss, barrenness, twins, easy birthing, hard births, frontier births, caring, cuddling, frustrations, etc.
You can pick it up and read short bits at a time, focus on topics that interest you, or read it from cover to cover.
I think it made me feel like I was a part of the universe of women.
posted by SLC Mom at 4:22 PM on October 28, 2017

2nd the Mayo Clinic one.
posted by typecloud at 4:24 PM on October 28, 2017

My two favorites are Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality and The Philosophical Baby, which I talked about here in this recent question!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:17 PM on October 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

Many firsthand experiences in Spiritual Midwifery
posted by cda at 9:18 PM on October 28, 2017

Expecting Better is fantastic, of course. I’m also enjoying Mindful Birthing, if you’re at all into approaches related to mindfulness-based stress reduction. It’s not hippy dippy at all, just practical approaches to handling strong sensations and pain.

I will also recommend Trying Again which has a lot of interviews with other parents who have lost a pregnancy or a child and who are going through the whole rollercoaster again. I found it to be one of the only helpful resources on this front.

This one isn’t a book, but I’ve been pleasantly shocked to learn that Reddit is where sceptical no-nonsense pregnant people hang out, particularly r/babybumps, r/beyondthebump, and boards for the month you’re due.
posted by sadmadglad at 11:27 AM on October 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

Expecting Better for the science and statistics around what matters on what YOU do during pregnancy.
The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy for a reasonable, non-scare-mongering "this is what's happening this month to the embryo/fetus and to your body" guide.
Making Babies: the Science of Pregnancy if you want to understand the science of what's happening in detail, and get lots of interesting details on why human pregnancies are significantly different from other mammals' pregnancies (the author is a reproductive biologist).
Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother to nurture your soul on the challenges, ambiguities, and wonders of carrying a child and becoming a mother, written by a very wonderful poet to her friend.
Heading Home with Your Newborn for everything you need to know for those first two or three months of "what the hell, the hospital people just let me leave with a newborn, as if I know what I'm doing?!?"
posted by Jaclyn at 3:39 PM on October 30, 2017

I bought and have already read Expecting Better cover to cover. EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thanks !!
posted by pintapicasso at 7:41 AM on November 1, 2017

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