What Are Some Good Books?

Updated on February 23, 2015
A.P. asks from Lehi, UT
46 answers

I am 32 having my first child in May. I have decided to have an epidural and I would like to breast feed. Does anyone have any suggestions on reading material to know what to expect with birth and also breast feeding tips?

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T.C.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Congratulations, A.! How exciting for you. I think every pregnant woman should be required to read A Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. For breastfeeding, you can't beat LaLecheLeague's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. It is extremely helpful.
Best wishes,
Tonya

1 mom found this helpful
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J.L.

answers from Denver on

All of Dr. Sears's books are fantastic. I found many of them to be helpful and you can find them in the birth section at Barnes and Noble.

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B.J.

answers from Provo on

Another fun breastfeeding book is "Breastfeeding Sucks". I liked it because it prepared me for the worst, but let me know that it was all going to be worth it. And then when the worst didn't happen, I felt great!

Here is a link on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Breastfeeding-Sucks-What-Mammaries-...

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M.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

the breast feeding class offered by the hospital with all the other baby classes was what helped me the most. Everything I read after that just reinforced what I learned there.

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S.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I always love What To Expect The First Year.

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

What to Expect When You're Expecting.

But really, no amount of reading is going to prepare you. Call your hospital and find out when their childbirth classes are. They don't all push natural childbirth. But they do give you information about how to tell if you're in labor, what to do before you go to the hospital, when to go, and practice (breathing techniques, pushing techniques, etc) you'll need, plus what to expect afterwards. Epidurals are great, but occaisionally there won't be time or you'll have to wait till your farther along to get one, so it's helpful to know how to deal with the contractions in the mean time.

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K.H.

answers from Denver on

I loved the "Idiot's Guide to Breastfeeding" It was easy to read, but had a ton of good information. Good luck!

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L.L.

answers from Denver on

Congratulations! I was one of those people who had a really hard time breast feeding. My daughter didn't gain an ounce after 3 weeks, so we had to start supplementing wtih formula. After various attempts at nursing, pumping, supplementing, and generally making myself crazy, I switched to formula by about 12 weeks. So - The Breasfeeding Book by Dr. Sears was kind of helpful, but for someone in my situation, it basically said "just keep trying". I don't think there's a breast feeding book out there that says "when you have to call it quits, then do, and be okay with it". (Then again, some books, like The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy, aren't terribly supportive of breast feeding in the first place.) I really got a lot out of the class offered at the hospital where we lived a the time, and I'm sure that they have good ones here. Having a pediatrician with a lactation consultant on staff was also a wonderful resource. Good luck, mama!

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T.C.

answers from Provo on

The first few weeks (or months) are VERY difficult. But it is well worth it to stick it out. schedule a visit with with a lactation consultant, it makes a big difference. You'll want to make sure the baby is latching on correctly, or there will be a lot of pain. a newborn baby will want to nurse VERY often, even every 30 min or so, dont fret over it just go with it and try to enjoy your time with your baby.
As far as books, I like any of the Sears Parenting Library Books on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, Etc. there is a lot of different ones for a lot of the things you'll deal with raising a family. I really like their parenting style, but I am not one to follow it exactly, I just take what aspects I like from it and try to incorporate it into my life, and thats what I would recommend for anybody. Congratulations and Best Wishes!!

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K.Y.

answers from Cheyenne on

I have a great article for you to read before you go into labor, and this will give you some real peace of mind I think.
Especially with any fear of birth you may have.

If you want to send me a private message with your email, I will send it to you. It is way too long to post here.
Or just send me an email to: [email protected]____.com and I will send it to you. I think it is a must read for all new moms.

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K.G.

answers from Pocatello on

"The Working Woman's pregnancy book" is a really good one, even if you're not a working mom! I thought it was much more informative than the What to Expect book.... it talks a lot about what to do if you plan on going back to work afterwards, but if you don't then the information is still useful. Hope that helps! Good luck!

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S.F.

answers from Great Falls on

During my first pregnancy the book that helped me the most was Pregnancy for Dummies. For nursing I have used The Nursing Mothers Companion by Kathleen Huggins RN.

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P.E.

answers from Denver on

I would suggest that you stay far away from "What to Expect". Check out Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, The Thinking Woman's Guide to Childbirth, by Henci Goer,Birthing From Within by P. Englund,anything by Sheila Kitzinger or Susanne Arms. "Pushed" by Jennifer Block and "Birth in America" by Dr. Marsden Wagner are MUST READS. Epidurals have built in problems and I would suggest you might look into hyno-birthing and water birth. I would also suggest you hire a doula. For breastfeeding, I would highly recommend finding a local La Leche League group and attend meetings before the baby is born. Best of luck !

P. Ellis
Mom to 7 (4 VBACs in my 40's)
Doula
Chapter Leader of ICAN
of North Colorado

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A.P.

answers from Denver on

The best information I got was from taking a birthing class. The hospital you are useing will should have a reasonably priced class that meets a few times a week for a couple weeks. The nice thing about the class is that they will let you know the proceedure at their hospital. Most hospitals have a lactation staff too that will help you with breast feeding if not ask them for a referral.

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H.F.

answers from Pocatello on

I really liked the book Birthing From Within, it has stuff about un-medicated birth but it is not condeming of medications for pain in labor. My favorite part was the suggestion to make "birth art" to draw or paint or sculpt about you pregnancy and upcomeing birth, it is really fun and it helps you to really realize what you are feeling about everything. As far as breastfeeding, there are lots of great books out there, but I think that taking a class or seeing a lactation consultant or a lactation educator is REALLY important. I thought I was totally prepared for breastfeeding because I had read up on it and taken a class but I still needed some help from a lactation consultant after my baby was born. Oh, and BTW don't expect your OB or you Ped to know anything about breastfeeding, most are terribly uninformed. Unfortunatly most health care providers know next to nothing about breastfeeding and will often tell you to just give it up and go to formula at the first sign of trouble when there are TONS of helpful things that you can do to continue successful breastfeeding. My best advice to new moms is to keep trying, the first month of your baby's life everything will seem hard but it WILL get easier. Good luck and congratulations!

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S.D.

answers from Salt Lake City on

You may want to look at books written by Dr Sears, try www.AskDrSears.com, Laleche League is also there for support you may want to try to contact a local member they are Moms that would love to assist. I was working full time and didn't know if I could nurse or not; however, between the support of these two resources my daughter became a veteran nurser. And is now a very healthy, secure, smart, well adjusted 14 year old.

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A.W.

answers from Pocatello on

Having a Baby, Naturally. By Peggy O'Mara. It is not a book only about how to have a "natural" birth, but rather a very comprehensive book about all the questions that naturally come up for us during the process. It gives a lot of detail on each "intervention" during the birth process....tests during preg. also, and is written from a very positive point of view. Lots of information for the postpartum period. Personally I find the "What to Expect..." series written from a negative, what if?type point of view, like you better be prepared for every bad thing to happen to you. Stick to things more positive!!

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C.H.

answers from Denver on

When I was pregnant, the doctor's office gave me "What To Expect When You're Expecting". It covered every possible topic -- I literally never had a question that wasn't answered in that book. I didn't have to ask other moms or get other books or call the doctor with questions, not even once.

Same with "What To Expect The First Year".

BTW, I used that book through three children.

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K.E.

answers from Denver on

Congratulations! I found the most helpful preparation for birth and nursing were classes I took at the hospital. The child birth class was informative and gave us information on both natural and other options for child birth. By the way epidurals rule!! I tried to go all the way and just couldn't do it so I was lucky enough to have time to get one. After it kicked in I was able to relax and be in the moment of the birth. With any books about birth or even after with raising a child take all books lightly. The what to expect books scared me and the how to books made me feel like I was a failure. So you may want to use them only as reference and not read them cover to cover. I sent my favorite book to my friend so I cant remember the exact name, but the book I loved I think was called the Miracle of Life. It talked about the baby's development and perhaps what you were feeling, but it never had an alarmist attitude about it. Best of wishes.

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M.A.

answers from Boise on

Hi A.,

I'd recommend The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer, and The Birth Book by the Sears (William & Martha). Those both give a lot of information on the various options, the effects of the options, etc. (I don't actually have the second but have been told it's very good.) As for breastfeeding, anything La Leche League publishes is good, and they have a very helpful website. Another good website is www.kellymom.com. You wouldn't believe how much wonderful information is there on breastfeeding. My mom got the Sears' (again!) breastfeeding book for me and it was also great. I'd also recommend hooking up with a local La Leche League chapter to attend a meeting or two before you have the baby. They are a great resource! Don't be afraid to see a lactation consultant if you have any problems, too. We waited a bit too long and probably went through some needless stress because of it. Everything turned out all right, but going sooner would have been wise! Congrats on your upcoming little one and on your decision to breastfeed!

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C.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Check out The Baby Book, by Dr. William Spears. What to Expect When Your Expecting, is another good one. Congratulations and good luck!

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L.H.

answers from Denver on

In terms of breastfeeding the very best thing i did was join a breastfeeding support group that met weekly. it was not la leche league, but rather a group that met at the hospital where i delivered that was led by a lactation consultant. ask at your hospital to see if they offer one or know of one. i started this group right away, as soon as my son was born, and it helped so much. as for epidurals, i apologize; i was so confused by the information out there that i can't really help you there.
good luck!

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K.C.

answers from Provo on

I suggest "The Girlfriend's Guide" and birth is just like taking a huge poo. Push the baby out your bum, not the top of your head - holding your breath doesn't really help, and epidurals are God's gift to women. Bam. You are now ready to have a baby. :D

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C.V.

answers from Denver on

Hello A.,

First of all...reading is a great way to get guidance! What to expect when your expecting is excellent resource. Also, what to expect in your first years has some good breastfeeding tips. I found another book on breastfeeding to be helpful too - I will have to get back to you on the name, but the cover was light pink!

Enjoy expanding your knowledge base...C.

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J.D.

answers from Denver on

The Art of Breastfeeding-my favorite...it's put out by La Leche League, I believe.
Birthing From Within-a great birthing book.

for later...The SleepEasy Solution-just might save your sanity and your marriage :)

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G.P.

answers from Boise on

Congratulations! It looks like there are quite a few books out there, so for the breastfeeding...definitely stick to it, and if you have ANY issues or concerns, have the Lactation Consultant's number on hand and call immediately, make an appointment and see them. That is what they are there for and they will help you get through the hard times. It DOES get better...then a little harder (distractions)...then better :) They have seen everything and can ensure you that you are not alone. There also may be some breastfeeding support groups either through the hospital or separately. Ask for these, and visit them before the birth. Most are just discussion groups with no agenda, but watching moms breastfeed in different positions, and getting help from the LC, can increase your comfort level when it is your turn.
You've definitely got to get a Hooter Hider for public, or even family feedings. And practice with it at home or your baby may make you and exhibitionist in public when they are suddenly covered! :) But the most important is the Blush topless t-shirt. It covers from the bra to the pants, and instead of focusing on the self consciousness of your post-baby belly, you can focus on the baby. Good luck!

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M.H.

answers from Denver on

A.,

The baby book, by Dr. Sears, is a great resource for that first year and his book called The Pregnancy Book, covers pregnancy and birth. Both are really helpful, and cover breast feeding.

With my first, I remember breast feeding being REALLY HARD for four to six weeks. So hang in there with it if it is tough.... It does get better. I would recommend seeing a lactation consultant in the hospital and even later if you are having trouble.

Also, some women are prone to mastitis. I know that I am. I would have the Mastitis Remedy by Wishgarden Herbs on hand (you can get it at Vitamin Cottage) as well as some Bromelain (an enzyme from pineapples) on hand to use in case of mastitis. As soon as you feel a clog or a lump, you can start using those and avoid full blown mastitis--which is like the flu with aches and exhaustion.

Good luck! I wish you the best as you are starting this new adventure!

FWIW, I am 32 and having my second child in late April or early May. Lots to look forward to!

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M.B.

answers from Denver on

Look on the LaLeche web sight, they are pretty militant but they still have good info, you may be able to find a local peer support through them as well. I breast fed all three of my kids exclusively, it wasn't easy in the beginning but after the first six weeks it gets much easier, and so worth it! My kids are all so healthy, it's great!( And it well help you lose weight faster, it burns 500 extra calories a day!) If breastfeeding is important to you make that clear to everyne who supports you like your husband and family. I also reccomend just really focusing on that in the first few weeks, you taking care of your body so you can recover and take care of the baby. So let the housework go and try to relax as much as you can.

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D.S.

answers from Denver on

I would suggest taking a breastfeeding and/or childbirth class at your hospital. They are very informative and the nurse teaching it can answer questions. I took a breastfeeding class and found it very helpful!

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L.N.

answers from Flagstaff on

Someone mentioned The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, which I also recommend. Another good book is Creating Your Birth Plan by Marsden Wagner. It goes through information to make all the decisions. (Pain relief is only one of many.) One really good book I read recently is Homebirth in the Hospital. It's not so much about natural childbirth but about finding the balance between trusting your body and accepting interventions, which will minimize risk and also side effects from interventions. It encourages you to find a birth attendant that you will really be able to trust. I would encourage you to have an open mind about pain relief. Practice some coping and relaxation before since you will need them at some point, even if you get an epidural. Who knows? Maybe labor won't be as bad as you think, and you won't need the epidural. (which would be safer for you and the baby.)

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L.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I was 32 when I had my first also, you sound exactly like me! First of all, the epidural RULES. I highly recommend it. I was super scared about it cause I don't like needles but honestly, I didn't feel a thing.

Breastfeeding ... all I can say is stick with it! It's such a great bonding time for you and your little one. Mine is 6 months old and I just love that it's "our" time. Buy a pump, Medela makes a $150 model called the Swing. It's much easier to leave the house if your baby will also take a bottle. Nursing in the back of a car or wherever isn't ideal (it wasn't for me anyway). If your nipple gets cracked, pump for a day or two on that side to give it a chance to heal and buy some Lansinoh cream. Let your nipples air dry before you put them away, then put cream on them EVERY TIME. It will help. Once you make it past the first few weeks, it's all good and you'll be so glad you did!

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C.K.

answers from Salt Lake City on

La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is very informative.

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P.R.

answers from Denver on

Everyone has given some great advice. I just wanted to add a couple of things about breast feeding. If you want to breast feed, then stick with it. I actually had nurses suggesting to me to supplement for a few days with formula but I said no and my son has been exclusivly breast feed and he's about to turn 1 next week. I had a couple of friends have babies after i did and the nurses talked them into giving some formula. They were never able to breastfeed and gave up after a few weeks.

Also, I didn't read this in any book ahead of time so it freaked me out. Breastfed babies lose more weight after birth than formula fed babies. So be prepared for that and just keep going on the breastfeeding.

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C.P.

answers from Denver on

My favorite books were:

What to Expect When Expecting
The Girlfriends Guice to Pregnancy
Jenny McCarthy Baby Blues (I think this is what it was called)

Favorite websites (which I used a LOT):
www.babycenter.com (you can sign up for weekly e-mails that have GREAT info)
www.babyfit.com
www.kellymom.com (great breastfeeding site)

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K.P.

answers from Provo on

I'ma lactation specialist, and have worked at WIC for a few years as such. I've read a LOT of breastfeeding books and the best one, by far, is the book: Breastfeeding Made Simple. Well worth your read, simle, short book. Gives you the basics. Good luck!

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N.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

http://www.amazon.com/Girlfriends-Guide-Pregnancy-everyth...

Hands down this is the best book on pregnancy and birth.

Take disposable breast pads and Lanolin ointment with you to the hospital. Give you and your baby 2 weeks to really catch the hang of it.

Ask the lactation consultant at the hospital to help you..and give you handouts. Don't be shy about letting her watch your baby latch on. You'll want to know you're doing it right. There's a lot of info on the net on breastfeeding. There was a page I really liked, but I can't find it atm. I'll update if I find it.

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R.J.

answers from Billings on

I just wanted to let you know that the epidural rocked! I never felt a thing! He was done before I even knew that he had started! I was ready to push ten minutes after they put the cathador in! It really lets you you enjoy the birthing process from there on! I could still the feel the contractions but without the edge! As for the breast feeding I took the classes at the Billings Clinic and they were so helpful.

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A.S.

answers from Denver on

The "girlfriends guide to pregnancy" and "birthing from within". Both should be at the library.

As for BF the only tip I will give is to stick with it for 4 weeks. Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up.

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M.E.

answers from Denver on

Congratulations! I found "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin to be really helpful! It's written for the person who's going to be in the room with you (ex: hubby), but it walks thru every stage of labor, what to expect, coping techniques, epidurals, and all the different styles of delivery. Loved it.

Tips for breastfeeding: it can be a wonderful challenge ;o) Ask the nurses to send the hospital's lactation consultant your way. She can be a great source of free help, even after you leave the hospital! The nurses or LC can help you get the baby to latch on properly. Get some gel breast pads, like Soothies (at Walgreens) or Medela (I've seen them at Target in the baby section)... helps soothe the nipples when they're sore. Lanolin helps too, but these pads offer a cooling relief. They helped me alot! I bought two sets of Gerber Hot/Cold Breast Packs... soft gel rings that you can microwave and wear in your nursing bra a few minutes before nursing to help your milk let down, and I place the other set in the freezer to help soothe when feeling engorged. And get a fun nursing cover/cape, like Hooter Hiders, with the great neck opening that makes it easy to see baby while you're nursing. Nice for nursing in public! Loved Lansinoh Breast pads- very absorbent. Nursing bras: I had better luck with soft cup (underwire can press on milk ducts, better chance of mastitis)- I liked the ones at Mimi Maternity. Really comfortable. Also get a few sleep bras... like a soft sports bra that keeps your breast pads in place while you're sleeping. Phew... that's alot of info! Sorry for getting so long-winded... but I remember after my first kiddo and having some challenges with nursing (I didn't know about mastitis!), I wished that my friends had told me more of what I'd need, etc ;o)

Good luck! Praying that you'll have a wonderful delivery and great nurses available for all the different stages of labor/delivery/aftercare... they can be such a great resource and help!

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J.L.

answers from Provo on

I don't know any off-hand. But I do want to caution that there are a lot of opinions out there, don't let that stress you out. Epidurals are great, don't ever let anyone else's natural experience make you feel bad for having one. I did, but now I am at peace with it and know it does not make me less of a woman, every woman is different and needs different things. Just follow the instructions of the anesthesioligist and pay close attention to when you have to push, there are machines, husbands, nurses, and doctors that can tell you that. Breast feeding comes natural to some, and not so natural to others. I have had a lot of friends that have struggled with this, and were in a lot of pain at first. I wasn't, for some reason. Be prepared for anything. My first took to breastfeeding naturally, immediately, my second it took a couple of days for him to figure it out, but he did. If it is something you really want to do, my best advice is relax, don't worry, that's the best way for it to come naturally. Don't give up. Even with all the books and advice you receive, you might still have problems, and even if you don't receive any advice it may all just come totally natural. Congratulations. I remember when my daughter was born, she was our first, it was one of the happiest times of my life. She is now 3 it goes by so fast. You will do fine if you believe in yourself. Prayer helps more than anything.

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J.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

A great resource book is The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins. I am a RN and on my hospital's lactation support team. They had us all read this book as a basic text for problem solving. I remember when my first was born that I poured through it for answers to my questions and it was very helpful.

There are a number of breastfeeding sites as well. You can look at la leche league information or anything by Jack Newman. He's a world renowned breastfeeding expert. I had the privelege of attending a conference he spoke at. He has articles at www.breastfeedingonline.com and his own site at www.drjacknewman.com.

Good luck to you! You won't regret breastfeeding, it is so great. Just go into it realizing that it can be difficult for the first few weeks and after that it's fantastic. Such a great bonding experience and it really helps with weight loss. I couldn't believe how relaxing it was for me, it actually helped me with my stress levels!

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D.K.

answers from Denver on

Your Dr can recommend good ones specific to what you want to know, however "What to Expect when you are expecting" was by far the best book I read about what to know was going to happen. Epidurals are AWESOME! :) Had them with both and enjoyed the process much better after it kicked in.
At your hospital they will help you with breast feeding, most hospitals have lactation specialist on hand to help you out. Good luck and CONGRATS! VERY EXCITING!!!

J.S.

answers from Louisville on

You should try this book from http://pregnancyhours.com/naturalbirth. I tried some remedies from this book for my severe morning sickness and it worked like magic! Its been 2 weeks and I haven't had any nausea or vomiting. No odor bothers me now and I am eating everything like before. This remedies not only cured my morning sickness but also took away that odd metallic taste which was bothering me a lot. Its a Miracle! I love being pregnant!

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S.B.

answers from Denver on

I Agree that the "what to expect " book is the best! And definitely use a lactation specialist and don't try to do it on your own! Get a good breast pump so you can sleep and your husband can do a feeding or two once breast feeding is established.

V.E.

answers from Denver on

A.,

Congratulations! I agree with the "Girlfriends Guides" by Vicki Iovine, they are so hilarious and so true! I wasn't a big fan of "What to Expect" they're written by doctors, and just facts, not experiences like "Girlfriends". For breast feeding, the La Leche Leagues book is very good. They have tons of information and tips.
Honestly, no matter what you read, nothing will be exactly what YOU go through! My labors were loooong, my epidurals were great! With my son, I brought in my milk with a pump, then we nursed happily for 14 months. My daughter latched on 15 minutes after she was born, and I haven't got her off since! Breast feeding will be hard the first 2 to 6 weeks. I give a large range because it depends how you heal and how fast you and baby get in the groove. Sites like this are great, just ignore the perfect moms with perfect babies lol.

V.

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J.H.

answers from Provo on

BABYWISE!!! A must read for breastfeeding.

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