I would like to start 2016 with a different kind of post. Different because I have never blogged about pregnancy related stuff before. But because this year will start a new chapter in my life, a chapter of being a mum, the sooner I make this step the better. So here it is :)
The moment I found out I’m pregnant I panicked! “I know nothing about babies” I thought! We live away from our families so there is no good-auntie advice on hand. I do have girlfriends who are already mums but I can’t imagine asking them all the time “I have a low belly pain, should I be worried?” or “Can I eat mushrooms?”. I am not a big fun of asking Google either especially that it freaks me out every time I search for anything that is pregnancy related. This one thing I learnt already: DO NOT READ STUFF ONLINE! It only terrifies you and stresses you out, completely unnecessarily! Every pregnancy is different just as every woman is different.
Ok, so with no family close enough to bombard me with good expert advice and a negative attitude towards Google, I turned to books!
I did my research before making any purchases and here is my list of six pregnancy books I’m currently reading;
1. The Healthy Pregnancy Book by William Sears and his wife Martha. Definitely my number one to go-to-book if I have any questions about why am I feeling the way I am feeling. The book explains what is occurring in the womb step by step, how the baby is growing, as well as how mum-to-be is changing, both physically and emotionally. It also answers questions about bonding with the preborn baby, how to protect the womb environment, advice on working while pregnant, exercising and keeping fit during the pregnancy plus helpful tips on everything from traveling while pregnant to overcoming morning sickness. The list is endless!
2. The Rough Guide To Pregnancy And Birth by Kaz Cooke. One of the first books I bought and also the first one I put away on a shelf. The book was set out to offer “the soundest, sanest, wittiest advice you’ll ever get” about life as an expectant mum. Instead I find it bossy and biased. The jokes are predictable, unoriginal and annoying, I was hoping for some funny light-hearted relief from all the serious pregnancy books, but I haven’t found it here. Also, its constant belittling of men is frankly offensive and the author seems to regard the father as a redundant, bewildered sperm donor. While that’s funny at times I think it’s sad that modern books like this are still peddling that tired old idea that men are useless. Where possible, Kuba and I treat this pregnancy as a team effort. Finally the book is almost completely lacking any genuinely useful information regarding your body, what is happening from a scientific point of view, preparation for birth etc. Would definitely not recommend!
3. Pour Une Naissance A Visage Humain by Claude Didierjean-Jouveau. I ordered this book from Poland and sadly I can’t find its English version. But if you are a French speaker, do get it! Although I do not agree with the author in every aspect, like disadvantages of ultrasound scanning or the invasive prenatal diagnostic procedures, I appreciate how beautifully she writes about the labor or birth doulas ( women who are trained to provide practical and emotional support to women and their families during labor). Apparently women who give birth accompanied by doulas, are less likely to suffer from postpartum depression.
4. Birth Without Violence by Frederick Leboyer. My favourite book! I’m actually reading it second time! I highly recommend it to all expectant parents as well as those medical and mental health practitioners interested in a simple way to bring more peaceful and less traumatised children into the world. This is such a calm and loving book to read. This French man brought to the world a masterpiece, most touching way to honour the sacredness of childbirth. A must for every mum-to-me!
5. What To Eat When You Are Pregnant by Dr. Nicole Avena. I struggled a little bit to know what to eat when I found out I am pregnant. And since I am a big foodie, it was a kind of a book I looked for first. Straight-forwardly, the author explains the science behind the food pregnant women need and when, week by week, they need it. Avena says that you don’t need any extra calories during the first trimester. In the 2nd and 3rd you only need to add a few hundred each day, and that doesn’t mean ice cream (damn it! ;-) ). When cravings do strike, she recommends trying to identify what exactly you’re after. If it’s crunch, then reach for carrots or almonds. And while controlling cravings can be a challenge, Avena says it’s worth it in the long run to avoid excess weight gain. “Until pretty recently the idea was the damage was being done to mom,” she says and points to recent research on what can happen to the baby when mum puts on too many extra kilograms. “All this extra weight may be affecting baby’s brain development and how they’re going to behave later in life”.
6. Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant by Dr Lewis Kirkham. When we discovered we were expecting, Kuba and I both thought of our much loved Rosti and how we could help her cope with the changes. This book is clear, humorous and written by a vet with further training in Behaviour Medicine. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone with a dog who is pregnant, have a read and make the adjustments before baby arrives, because the consequences of not preparing your dog can range from sad to catastrophic!
What about you? Which pregnancy books have you liked? What did I miss? I would absolutely love to hear…