Thursday, August 23

Pregnancy Reading List

I am a planner. A researcher. Maybe a little bit of a control freak. In my mind knowledge truly is power. The more knowledge I feel I have the more in control and I feel and the better I can plan, at least in theory. Pregnancy is definitely a whole new life chapter and one which I knew very little about going into it. Which meant I had to hit the books and acquire some knowledge! The following is a list of the pregnancy-related books that I have read so far (I've also read several parenting and childbirth books which I will list in separate posts in the future) along with what I thought of them.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!

If you read only one pregnancy book then let it be this one! This was actually the first pregnancy book I read and I really felt like most of the ones I read after where just rehashing what I'd already learned, maybe with a different spin on it.

The Mayo Clinic guide gives you a full run-down, from preconception through birth, of what's going on inside your body and with your baby, month by month and week by week. It tells you about all the symptoms you can expect to experience and well as any potential complications.

One thing I appreciated about this book was that it covered pregnancy loss. I actually started reading this book during my last pregnancy and I was grateful for that section when I did experience a miscarriage as it's not something that many books cover.

Another book which I definitely would recommend is 'The Kind Mama' by Alicia Silverstone. Alicia is a fellow vegan and in this book, she explains how a vegan lifestyle can improve your chances of conception and your health during pregnancy. She also discusses many of the medical procedures which you will be offered during your pregnancy and immediately after your baby's birth and offers a different opinion than what you are likely to hear from other books which may be more medical based or choose to take an unbiased approach. Alicia is definitely biased towards a natural approach and while I didn't agree with her opinions on many things, it did prompt me to do my own research about several different topics and thus I was able to come to a truly informed decision for myself and my baby. And if for no other reason than that, I would definitely recommend this book. She also offers some interesting recipes for you to try!

Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be

Not a must-read but definitely a fun read if you were a drinker, like me, prior to pregnancy. This book offers cocktails inspired recipes for pregnant mamas so you can still feel like you're having a fancy drink after a hard day of making a baby! There are also recommendations for how to make the drinks alcoholic for dad or for yourself once you're able to drink again!

The Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide

This short book is a great primer for how to have a healthy vegan pregnancy. It doesn't go into what's going on with you and your baby so much like many other pregnancy books, instead focusing mainly on nutrition. Unfortunately, there's still a very common mistaken belief that you cannot have a healthy pregnancy or baby while living a vegan lifestyle. That is simply untrue and this book will help you to be the healthiest mama you can be so you can have the healthiest baby possible, and you might just learn the knowledge you need to shut down the naysayers too, a win-win!

What to Expect When You're Expecting

The classic! No pregnancy book list would be complete without 'What To Expect When You're Expecting'! After reading 'The Mayo Clinic's Guide' I didn't really feel like I needed to read this book as it similarly went over what happens with your body and baby week by week and month by month. However, I did like the question and answer layout of this book. It made it a bit more conversational and personal to read. This book really leaves just about nothing out and at some point or another will likely cover just about all of your pregnancy-related questions! I still would recommend 'The Mayo Clinic's Guide' first but this one definitely gets a high recommendation from me as well.

While this book could definitely be considered more of a parenting book than a pregnancy book, I'm choosing to include it in this list because it includes advice about many of the items that'll you'll be buying for baby while pregnant! Therefore, if you're wanting to purchase environmentally friendly and safe products for your baby I'd recommend reading this book while pregnant, before you already have a nursery stocked with non-green things. 'Green Baby' covers everything from diapers to toys to baby food and is a very good primer for green living with a baby. I'm no purist so I definitely haven't followed all of the advice in the book but it did open my eyes to many of the things to look out for when making choices about what to buy for my baby.

I'm going to be honest, I didn't actually finish this book - which is a given considering I haven't been pregnant/had my baby for a year yet! But still, I wanted to recommend this book anyways for anyone who feels like there's just so much to do and so little time to do it. This book breaks down the steps you need to take each week and each month during your pregnancy and the first few months with baby to help make sure everything gets done and that your life isn't in total chaos. Some weeks the tasks are easy, some weeks they're a bit more work, and some weeks they're fun (like going shopping!). So if you're feeling overwhelmed with preparing for baby, consider giving this book a read.

So that covers it! Those are the pregnancy-related books that I've read to give me an idea of what the heck is going on with my body during this pregnancy and how my baby is developing. Now that I'm in my third trimester I've switched over to reading natural childbirth books, which I will most definitely do a list on in the future.

What pregnancy books have you read that you'd recommend to a friend? Comment below and let us know!

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