There are so many great platforms of advice out there and as soon as you get pregnant it only takes a couple of searches on Google to discover the endless YouTube videos and Facebook groups and pregnancy blogs to refer to. What I found most useful was actually podcasts while driving and books to curl up with during my maternity leave afternoons. So here are my favourites, there are some classics that I’ve also added here that was recommended by every friend who had become a mum so have a look, see what tickles your fancy and if you do follow the links to order, it won’t cost you any more but it will support this blog so thank you in advance!
How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out by Clemmie Hooper
This was the first pregnancy I bought after following midwife Clemmie Hooper on Instagram. As a mum of 4 girls, Clemmie has plenty of personal experience and as an NHS midwife, she has seen so many births too. Her blog is fantastic for positive birth stories, whether they feature epidurals, waterbirths or caesareans, I always come away from it feeling more motivated and positive about the prospect of my own birth. I think her book is the perfect first book to read when you find out that you are pregnant. There’s a chapter for each week and the book includes everything from humour to checklists to important information. I highly recommend it to be your first pregnancy book and don’t think you have to be giving birth in the UK for the tips to apply.
French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman
If you find the idea parenting/baby books dull, start with this one to ease you in. The book, like the title, is pretty funny. Pamela Druckerman is an American journalist who moved to Paris for her partner and raised her children in France. She makes some really wonderful and hilarious observations of the differences between French parenting and American/English parenting. It’s not a “guide” or a “manual” but that’s why I loved it, it’s a funny memoir and within that, there are some real gems that we can learn from too. Perhaps it is especially relatable for those living as expats or has lived as expats abroad. The anecdotes are useful pieces of advice wrapped in funny anecdotes and I really enjoyed this even as a good book to tuck into. For example, how the French get their children to bed with such ease and how American English parents read endless books on sleep training and torture themselves with the sound of their crying infant. Want to know the secret? It’s in the book!
French Parents Don’t Give In by Pamela Druckerman
French Parents Don’t Give In by the same author has 100 quick tips and is a good follow up from the first book but definitely read the above mentioned first! This is more of a book to keep in the toilet so you and your partner can dip in and out of it if you enjoyed her first one.
Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill
There’s a lot of birthing books out there, but for me, this was one of the most approachable ones and I found it really easy to digest and enjoyable. It doesn’t go into great detail but it covers everything that you need to know. It also supports natural vaginal births as well as c-sections and home births as well as hospital births.
The First Forty Days by Heng Ou
There are many cultures who believe that the postpartum period is very important for the health of the mother, not just physically but mentally. There are some strict guidelines for what to eat and do to take good care of yourself and it is considered as a “confinement period” or as the “fourth trimester”. This book is a great beginner guide for what food replenishes the system and how important this time is. I’m going to be exploring this further in my own journey and look forward to sharing my verdict with you.
For your partner:
Pregnancy for Men: The Whole Nine Months
My husband wasn’t keen on reading lots of books and that’s fair enough, it’s not for everyone! Having said that, I stumbled across a book that was supposedly very funny and entertaining and skims the surface of every stage of pregnancy. In the end, he said he enjoyed it and if he had to choose one pregnancy book to read this was actually pretty good and just informative enough that it wasn’t overwhelming!
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
This is the classic book that perhaps you will get recommended by many midwives and doulas. While I appreciate it can be really helpful for some, it didn’t really speak to me. However, so many friends enjoyed it and found it so valuable that I felt that I should recommend it in case you find it helpful.