Looking for Good Book for Expecting Mothers

Updated on February 23, 2015
K.C. asks from Las Cruces, NM
56 answers

I am 6 weeks pregnant with my first child. I went to the bookstore the other day to get a book for expecting mothers and was overwhelmed with the selection. Any suggestions?

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J.G.

answers from Flagstaff on

I found both "Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy," and "What to Expect When Expecting," very helpful. I have them both, and used them extensively when I was pregnant with my son.

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C.F.

answers from Tucson on

"What to expect when expecting" is good. If you are plus sized, "Big, Beautiful and Pregnant" is a good one too. Try to get them on Amazon...it's a lot cheaper!

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M.S.

answers from Flagstaff on

Congratulations! The first baby is so exciting. My suggetion is "What to expect when you are expecting" and the other one's "What to expect the first year" for baby.

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D.J.

answers from Phoenix on

Here are some of my favorites:

Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (Henci Goer)
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (Ina May Gaskin)
The Natural Pregnancy Book (Aviva Jill Romm)
The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy (Shonda Parker)
Creating Your Birth Plan (Marsden Wagner)
Husband-Coached Childbirth (Robert Bradley)
Hey! Who's Having This Baby, Anyway? (Breck Hawk)
Natural Health After Birth (Aviva Jill Romm)

Also on the subject, if you're interested in reading about modern childbirth....

Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block

Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First by Marsden Wagner

Babycatcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife (Peggy Vincent)

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L.B.

answers from Phoenix on

I read "What to expect when your expecting" during both my pregnancies. I also have the book "What to expect the first year" by the same authors. I recommend both books. I was able to find both at Bookman's (a used bookstore) for half the price of new. Good luck.

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L.B.

answers from Albuquerque on

The "Girlfriends guide to pregnancy" for the fun stuff and "The Pregnancy Book" by Sears and Sears for the drier, more practical stuff. Sears also has a Baby Book (for up to 2 years old) that is VERY useful. I have found that those three were all I needed. My best friend had bought them for me. She read everything when she was pregnant and thought that these were the most helpful.
Congratulations and good luck.

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C.K.

answers from Phoenix on

My advice is to go to the La Leche League International web site (www.llli.org)and shop in the store. It is an amazon store so it is easy to shop. Every book in the store has been carefully screened for accurate and up to date information by a committee that looks at current research and guidelines. They regularly remove and add books to their list to keep them up to date. All books in the store are written by trained professionals who may also be mothers with a lot of experience.
The books are not just about breastfeeding! They have a wide array of parenting, pregnancy, nutrition, and birth books, too
Another very good source is any book by Dr. William and/or Martha Sears. They have written many!! This family is probably the most respected in their field!!
It is nice to read about your pregnancy, but even more important to read about what to do with the baby once s/he arrives!! So read a variety! There is much to know.
I would also recommend that you connect with a La Leche League group in your area if you do plan to breastfeed. You will need your support system in place and many books are available to borrow from these groups. They are a great place to meet other mothers, too. You can find one at www.lllofaz.org.

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N.T.

answers from Phoenix on

"Girlfriends guide to pregnancy"
i'll check that when i get home tonight and get the author for you. it's great!

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A.L.

answers from Phoenix on

My husband and I bought an excellent book called "What to expect when you're expecting" by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway. There is a whole series of them and they're great, they tell you everything! My son is 2 months old now and we're on the "What to expect the first year", it's brilliant! I think the next one after that is about the toddler years.

Also, you probably already know this, but another excellent source of information is babycenter.com. If you sign up as a member, it's free, then they will send you weekly updates on what to expect each week. Try iVillage.com too.

Hope this helps, and congratulations!
A. :o)

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D.P.

answers from Phoenix on

These were all mentioned before, but they are my favorites:
girlfriend's guide to pregnancy
your pregnancy week to week
and
what to expect when you're expecting

I liked the week to week one because it shows what the baby looks like at that stage, etc. I liked it so much i got the next one, your child's first year week to week or something, but by then had no time to read it and children differ much more then. lol but happy reading, I devoured any pregnancy book I could. :o)

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N.N.

answers from Albuquerque on

I am 31 weeks pregnant with my first child and have really enjoyed and appreciated the information in "Your Pregnancy Week by Week" by Curtis and Schuler. Check out the website at http://www.yourpregnancybook.com/. I have also picked up some other books at thrift stores like "Baby Bargains" by Denise Fields to get good ideas on how to save money and it also gives good suggestions on which products are good and safe for you and your baby! I hope your pregnancy goes well.

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R.R.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi K.,

Congratulations!

What to Expect When Your Expecting is a great book. I used it with all three of my pregnancies. I know they have follow up books. What to Expect the First Year. I never used those but I heard they are just as great. Good luck.
R.

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V.J.

answers from Phoenix on

Congratulations! I did most of my research online on medical websites and on the week to week websites. I found the book What to Expect When You're Expecting to be negative and to paint pregnancy in negative light. Pregnancy is something beautiful that needs to be celebrated. What really helped me out was my Hypnobirthing book because it talked to me about how to start nurturing my baby in the womb with soft sounds, singing, both me and my husband talking to him, etc. My two month old son is very calm, sleeps well, and is a happy baby as long as he's fed. So I got the logistics of what happens when you're pregnant online and the other stuff from that book.

I learned what to expect week by week for both me, my baby, and my husband from http://www.3dpregnancy.com . It's a really good website that gives you your baby's progress, tells you what changes are happening in you, and tells your husband what kind of emotions to expect and how to support you. Me and my husband would read it together every week on the due date day. It gives more of a visual which men like so it helps him be more connected to your pregnancy.

I think most women are so nervous about anything happening to their baby when they're pregnant that reading books that tell you all the worst case scenarios makes you worry more. Your doctor will let you know what to watch out for. A lot of women have a hard time with their self image so they don't need to read negative books.

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B.R.

answers from Santa Fe on

A lot of people have mentioned What to Expect When You're Expecting. I read this and found it helpful when pg with my first, BUT...please don't let all the "what could go wrong" sections scare you. I had a lot of sleepless nights worrying over things that could go wrong (I was 36 when I had my first and all the "advanced maternal age" talk sort of freaked me out). In the vast majority of cases, none of these things ever happen, and they probably won't happen to you either, so try to relax and not worry.

One other thing about WTEWYE -- the authors are "nutrition nazis" who act like if you ever have a piece of pie instead of a plate full of brown rice and steamed vegetables that the sky is going to fall. Don't get me wrong -- I do think good nutrition is important, but these authors act like if you EVER give in to that chili dog craving, the nitrates are going to make you have a two-headed baby or something.

The Girlfriend's Guide -- I agree w/the others: it's a good, relaxing, fun read that helps lighten up your mood after all the serious books.

Dr. Sears -- be aware that Sears is the top guru of Attachment Parenting, a philosophy of parenting that advocates extended and exclusive breastfeeding, wearing your baby in a sling instead of using a stroller, having the baby sleep with you instead of in a crib, etc. Followers of AP get pretty passionate about these things, and sometimes imply that if you opt for bottles, cribs and strollers that you're some kind of second-class mother.

There really are enough books out there to make your head spin. I've read most of them as research for a book I'm writing myself -- like we need more books!!! Mine isn't a "baby care manual" though, more of a cultural history of parenthood. Anyway, I have compiled a detailed annotated bibliography over the years, and if you or anyone else is interested in more references, you can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com.

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S.B.

answers from Las Cruces on

My favorite is "The girlfriend's guide to pregnancy" It covers everything you need to know and makes you laugh too.

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R.O.

answers from Phoenix on

The very best book is "Your Pregnancy week by week" By Dr. Glade B. Curtis,OB/GYN and Judith Schuler,M.S. I used this book with all three of my pregnancies and never got tired of it. I still pull it out and follow my sister-in-laws pregnancy. Great Book highly recommended!!! The best of luck with your pregnancy and congratulations!!

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K.M.

answers from Santa Fe on

K.,

I HIGHLY recommend "The Pregnancy Book" by Dr. Sears. In fact, ALL the Dr. Sears books are fabulous (the Doctor and his RN wife write them together). "The Pregnancy Book" gives you information on the baby's development per week, how you might be feeling--physically and mentally, etc. It is informative and interesting.

I would also highly recommend "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." These two books gave me sound advice and guidance for developing good habits once my first child was born.

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I.K.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K.,

Congratulations on your first baby! One book that you can get is What to Expect when You're Expecting and the other book that you could get is Pregnancy for Dummies. I used both of these books with my first pregnancy and they answered alot of questions for me.

Enjoy and Congratulations!

I.

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E.W.

answers from Santa Fe on

I think "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is an excellent book. Really middle of the road and reassuring.

Congrats!!!

E. W.

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E.B.

answers from Phoenix on

The pregnancy books others suggested are good, but if you're looking for a book that helps with the first months after you give birht I would recomment "Becoming Babywise" It really helped with getting my babies to sleep through the night at about 8 weeks (11-12 hrs) As far as when I was pregnant, I couldn't get into really thick books but the one by Jenny McCarthy (I think it's balled Belly Laughs) was great. It made me laugh and cry and I really enjoyed it. Good luck!

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J.O.

answers from Tucson on

I have got Baby and Child by Penelope Leach. I found it is a great resource for all sorts of things!

Best of luck

J.

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T.F.

answers from Tucson on

In my experience, "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is probably one of the best books you can have. Many insurance companies give these out to expecting mothers, and many considerate it to be a pregnant woman's "bible" so to speak. It's very informative and helps you understand the changes you're going through. and it's also affordable. Hope it helps!

J.S.

answers from Louisville on

A Woman’s birth experience shapes her life so prepare yourself in all the ways and get ready to embrace this Amazing Transformation. A good birth experience can have a profound positive impact on your Personality and Your Life whereas a Bad or Traumatic Birth Experience can leave you feeling upset, angry and sad. Pregnancy is a wonderful time in any woman’s life. Its filled with Excitement, Happiness, Joy and Anticipation. But at the same time you may feel nervous, fearful and even sick because of the hormonal ups and downs. Your Body is going through a massive transformation and there’s no doubt that you may face some minor ailments during this phase. This book from http://pregnancyhours.com/naturalbirth is a great resource that jam-packed with tons of natural remedies you can use during pregnancy, with several options for every symptom you can think of. Highly recommended for mothers to be!

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J.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

I think that a really good one is the Girlfriend's Guide for Pregnant Moms - I believe that is the title but I can not remember the author. It is one of the funniest books I have ever read and it gives helpful insight. Someone gave it to me with my second pregnancy even though it is geared more for first time moms. Ever since then I have passed it around to my expecting friends. I hope you find it!

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L.T.

answers from Phoenix on

Congratulations! I purchased a number of books while pregnant and found the most useful one to be the one my obgyn gave me. It was a week by week one, and of course you will be reading ahead; we all do! ;-)

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M.G.

answers from Phoenix on

I couldn't make it through one chapter of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and was extremely frustrated with the layout.

My mom gave me "Your Pregnancy Week by Week" by Glade B Curtis, MD & Judith Schuler and I loved it! It was easy to read, had the "inside" information, and had helpful answers to all my L&D questions. I don't think I could have made it through any one of my pregnancies without this book... && the best part is, it came with Dad tips :]

Congratulations! Happy Reading!

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K.U.

answers from Santa Fe on

Another vote for: "What To Expect When You're Expecting"

Good website for week-by-week details, articles on specific health issues etc.: www.babycenter.com

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B.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Birthing From WithIn by Pam England.

Goes over many of your choices (homebirth to hospital birth) and also dealing with emotions, etc. Plus, diet, a father's role and different ways to deal with labor.

Congratulations,
B.

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A.G.

answers from Yuma on

Congratulations!
I think the best pregnancy book out there is "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (I forgot the authors), but it should be easy to find. It is a great book that covers just about everything with an objective view. It goes through each of the months during pregnancy and explains what you can expect to feel and look like as well as how the baby is developing.

A. G.

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A.J.

answers from Phoenix on

My favorite book while pregnant was Your Pregnancy Week by Week. I loved knowing what was going on each week. It's the only book out of all of them that I actually read throughout my entire pregnancy.

I also read Jenny McCarthy's book Belly Laughs. It's a quick fun read to make you laugh.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

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V.J.

answers from Phoenix on

Congratulations on your pregnancy! =) You've got a lot of great suggestions but I have another to add. I really liked The Pregnancy Journal: A Day-to-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy by A. Christine Harris. Each day has information on new developments your baby has made in the womb and how your body is changing. You write in the dates as you go and there are places to note your weight and belly size. There is also room to note little things you want to remember like cravings you had that day or how you were feeling. I had one of these journals during both of my pregnancies and I have them in a box with other keepsakes for each of my children so that they can read it when they're older.

http://www.amazon.com/Pregnancy-Journal-Day-Day-Healthy/d...

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L.B.

answers from Phoenix on

What to expect when you are expecting is a pregant mom's bible! I loved to read it and learn about what is going on at each stage and what to worry about and go call the DR. for and what not to.

A little about me--Stay home mother of 6 with Early Childhood Bachelor's degree.

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K.D.

answers from Phoenix on

I found "What to Expect When Your Expecting" helpful, usually you can find it at Target. The follow up is "What to Expect The First Year"

K. D.

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A.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I've had 3 babies and read TONS of books...there are some really good ones, but the one I buy for all of my friends and my sisters when they were having their first (or second) is "The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy" by Vicki Iovine. It's honest and funny and you just want to go out to lunch with her after you've read it!!! I actually re read it when I was pregnant with my 3rd! Try it out! I think you'll like it! Good Luck with your new baby! :)

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R.S.

answers from Phoenix on

I opted to get Great Expectations rather than the most common, What to Expect When You are Expecting. I am sure they are similar, but worth checking out.

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L.S.

answers from Phoenix on

K.,

I LOVED the "What to Expect when You're Expecting" book. For me, it was really informative and not overwhelming. The great thing about this book is that it has a couple of follow ups written in the same style as the kiddos get bigger. They have "What to expect the First Year" and "What to expect the Toddler Years" as well. The only thing that wasn't as good about this book is that the pictures of the baby at different stages aren't as plentiful as some others but overall, I think this was my favorite (and I read about 10 of them!).

Hope this helps - good luck!

L. Smith
Owner/CEO - Regionz Kidz
http://www.regionzkidz.com

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S.G.

answers from Phoenix on

I LOVED You and Your Baby...Pregnancy written by Dr. Laura Riley OBGYN. It gives you a week by week/play by play of what is happening to your body and the baby's body.

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C.E.

answers from Phoenix on

Congratulations! "What to expect when you're expecting" was my bible! Great book. Also "Sippy cups aren't for chardonnay" was hilarious! Good luck!

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C.D.

answers from Flagstaff on

I loved, loved, loved "Your Pregnancy, Week by Week"!! It was written by Glade B. Curtis, M.D. It tells you week by week what is going on, inside and out. It goes over what parts of the baby are developing, what is happening to your body, and tons of other information. I have read it throughout all of my 5 pregnancies and love it every time. I usually pick one day, like Sunday night, and I read a new chapter every Sunday. Congrats on expecting this new life! What a life-changing blessing and miracle!

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H.T.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K. and congratulations! Of course the old standby is the What to Expect when you are Expecting. But one that I really loved is "Your Pregnancy Week by Week". I can't remember who it's by, but you'll see it there. I found it a little less overwhelming to read a little snippet each week, and it has great pictures and illustrations of what your baby looks like along the way.

Another book I really loved that I found used, not sure if it's out of print, was "1000 Questions About Your Pregnancy Answered" by Jeffrey Thurston. It answers so much that the other books didn't even talk about, and the author has a great sense of humor (he's an OB/GYN) and tells it like it is, the good, bad, scary and humourous. It's separated into sections, based on the types of questions and I found it a really great help, and read through it at least a couple times. Here's a link to some reviews on amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/1000-Questions-About-Your-Pregnancy...

I also love the Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine, that many others recommended - it's definately funny and entertaining, not quite as informative as the others, but a good read after some of the others I think.

I highly recommend signing up on babycenter.com as well - the weekly updates you get are great, and it continues after the baby is born. You enter your due date and info, and each week you get a little newsletter with great tips and information.

Good luck! I know it can be overwhelming, but these were the books I found most helpful!

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A.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I liked Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week. This gave me something to look forward to reading every week! A.

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L.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Library! Read them all!
I am in my first pregnancy as well and cant get enough information. I go to my local library and check out what is there, then/or, browse the catalog online and put books on hold (and transfer from other branches) and get them when they come in. And you can renew them a few times (even online in our system, which i didnt know til recently!) if you are not done with them. This also gives you an idea of what you would want to purchase. One book i have decided to spend money on is Raising Baby Green. Books are expensive and sometimes the used stores dont have updated/new releases so the library is a great resource for me. I have also gotten interested in subjects other than pregnancy....so much info...it's good for me right now.
Belly Laughs is a great laugh and easy read, but not sure i would want to own it (but do read it!). I read Girlfriend's Guide as well and really liked it. 2 books i was given are Your Pregnancy Week by Week and Your Pregnancy and Birth (4th edition).
You don't have to read the books cover to cover, just browse the chapters/topics and weeks you are interested in that moment. A lot of the info is repeated throughout the books but that is great because you learn. I have just moved on to a story book that i havent started yet: Expecting, One Man's Unsensored Memoir of Pregnancy. I am hoping it is good. The cover is funny and reviews on the back are great.
More resouces: I have also signed on with the site
i-am-pregnant.com
tons of info, week by week (which some seem to be pulled from that book!) and forums. Girls from around the world chatting about their pregnancies. Much fun!
Also, a movie to check out (netflix has it online or by mail and blockbuster has it) The Business of Being Born. It opened my eyes to the different experiences women can have with birth, and made me more aware of the options out there.
You are only six weeks so you have tons of time ot learn it all, or a lot anyway. I am in my 5th month and think i have the starter info i need. Now i can allow myself to think about names and shopping and birth classes and choosing a hopsital and pediatrician and... Hehehe! No we are not finding out what we are having....i want to SEE for myself!
There! There's my book to you!
Cheers!

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J.P.

answers from Flagstaff on

I know I was overwhelmed with the selection when I was expecting my first as well~ I ended up purchasing three books, and the one I found most useful was "What to Expect When You're Expecting" Now, I did also buy the planner, calendar, and a few other items in the series, which were pointless, and did not get used (The calendar ws kind of fun, if you can keep up with it) The actual book though, I found to be very informative, and it has very specific question and answer sections, and in the index you can find a section for just about anything you can think of. It takes you through each month of your pregnancy with realistic expectations for what is coming. It also has specialized sections in case of complications and so forth. Since my first child I have had 2 miscarriages, and and now 2 weeks shy of my due date for my second child, and I found that I still referenced the book with questions regarding the miscarriages, as well as the new aches and pains, and worries that have come with this second child. It doesn't seem to push ideas, or beleifs (ie- breaastfeeding, pain management etc.) like some of the others I read- It just lays out the facts, and gives you a good foundation of information so you can make an informed decision etiher way. Good luck with your pregnancy, it really is an amazing experience! Enjoy it though- it goes REALLY fast! Jenni

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B.G.

answers from Tucson on

The Female Pelvis Anatomy and Exercises authored by Blandine Calais-Germain is an EXCELLENT reference book for ALL women...
B. Gettel OTR/L CHT CCH
Eclectic Body Work
Tucson, Az
###-###-####

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J.C.

answers from Tucson on

Most Dr.'s offices will give you "What to expect when you're expecting" when you go in for your first appt., so don't buy that one. I really liked, Your Pregnancy Week by Week, The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy, and So That's What They're For. My friend loved all the ones by Dr. Sears. Good luck and congratulations!

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S.W.

answers from Phoenix on

I probibly bought most of the books out there... But my favorite by far is, Your Pegnancy Week by Week. I don't know the auther and my girlfriend has my book right now. Good luck and try to enjoy your pregnancy! P.S. Get rest while you can...

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J.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

Stay away from the fear-based books. They will only keep you worrying about possible problems, etc. Also, avoid watching the baby shows on TV....they highlight problem births. Here are some books that I recommend.

*Mother’s Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth - A Commonsense Guide to Safe, Comfortable, Guilt-free Birth" By Kim Wildner, CCE, CHt, HBCE. This is well-written, enjoyable, and packed with solid facts and info.

"HypnoBirthing - The Mongan Method" by Marie Mongan

*Prenatal Parenting by Dr. Fred Wirth.

*Guide to Childbirth" by Ian Mae Gaskin, 2003

"The Well Pregnancy Book" by Dr. Mike Samuels

*The Pregnancy Book and The Birth Book: Everything you Need to know to have a Safe and Satisfying Birth" by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears

*A Good Birth, A Safe Birth" by Diana Korte and Roberta Scaer

"The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth" by Sheila Kitzinger

"Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn", by: Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley and Ann Keppler

*The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer

"Gentle Birth Choices" by Barbara Harper

*Hey! Who’s having this baby, Anyway?" by Breck Hawk

"Having a Baby, Naturally" by Peggy O'Mara's

*The Womanly Art of Breastfeeeding" by Anwar Fazal

"The Nursing Mother’s Companion" by Kathleen Huggins

"The Breastfeeding Answer Book" by La Leche League

"Breastfeeding: Getting Breastfeeding Right for You" by Mary Renfrew, Chloe Fisher and Suzanne Arms

"New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding" ed. Joan Meek (American Academy of Pediatrics publication)

"Babies Remember Birth" by Dr. David Chamberlain

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B.T.

answers from Tucson on

I have used What to Expect When You're Expecting with both of my pregnancies and really loved it. It gives you a month by month guide of whats happening to you and your baby. It also has sections on breast/bottle feeding, labor/delivery, postpartum and so much more. There is even a section for the expecting father.

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M.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I agree witht he Girlfriends Guide books. I bought the pregnancy one and also read the 1st year and toddler book. I just bought the Jenny McCarthy "Belly laughs" book too. I was overwhelmed with "What to expect.."
If you want to get the father a small reading book I bought "My boys can swim" it was a funny one too. It's a quick read but good for 1st time dads.

Since your a 1st time mom, there are 2 web sites that I use also for information you might want to check out. I am expecting #3 in July and I love Babycenter.com and babyfit.com There you can also get advice from other woman in your same situation. Just like here on this site. It's worth checking out.

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D.S.

answers from Phoenix on

What To Expect When You're Expecting. Go ahead and buy the bundle, you will use the first year too. Jenny McCarthy's book is good for a laugh too. I have heard The Girlfriend's Guide is good as well but have not read it myself. Congratulations!

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J.B.

answers from Albuquerque on

"your pregnancy week by week"
& if your thinking of breastfeeding,
"dr. Mom's guide to breastfeeding" the second is out of print but can be bought dirt cheap on amazon.com
good luck & CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!
personally I didn't like what to expect when your expecting b/c I wanted to know the development week by week, and that only gave it monthly (I believe).

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K.G.

answers from Phoenix on

What to Expect When You are Expecting is a classic and The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy is hilarious :) Have fun!

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B.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Girlfreinds guide to pregnancy is funny, easy to read, and informative.

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C.J.

answers from Washington DC on

i also liked what to expect... but my doctor didn't give it to me. i bought it.

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B.L.

answers from Phoenix on

The books that really helped me were :

***What to Expect When You're Expecting
What to Expect: Eating Well When You're Expecting
what to expect the first year
The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-to-Be

Hope these books can be a help to you like they were to me.

Congrats

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