If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you’re most likely aware of what a bookworm I am. I’ve always loved reading, and got in the habit of reading consistently when I studied English Literature at university. Call me old-fashioned, but to this day I still prefer to learn about a particular subject thoroughly by reading a book about it, rather than researching it on the internet. This has been especially true with my pregnancy. It’s such an amazingly complex process, made a bit scarier by internet forums full of conflicting advice, lots of horror stories and misinformation! I wanted to know the in’s and out’s of pregnancy / childbirth from experts, so you can bet that I’ve been doing tons of research over the last few months.
In the early stages when no one knew I was pregnant, all I wanted to do was to be able to talk with my friends and find our whether what I was feeling and going through was normal, and when my sickness would end (see my 1st trimester Vlog here). Mackenzie and I are a bit superstitious and we didn’t tell anyone about the pregnancy until I was into my second trimester, so I decided to turn to books for the information in the meantime. While I love reading, no one has the time to read even a fraction of the number of pregnancy books that are out there, especially expectant mums. I’ve compiled what I think are the best pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood books that I’ve stumble across so far. If you have others that you love, tell me in the comments!
Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
My best friend Stephanie is half French, and another friend of mine is married to a French man. Both have, at times, talked about how different and beneficial the French way of raising babies and children can be. Intrigued, I bought Bringing Up Bebe, written by an American journalist who lived in Paris. I like her honest, open approach – mixing personal anecdotes with case studies from French child psychologists and writers.
Cherish The First Six Weeks by Helen Moon
I came across this book on the fashion blogger Angela Fink’s feed and wanted to check it out. Written by a night nurse to some of Hollywood’s most famous stars, it sets a clear and concise plan for the first six weeks of parenting, to help a newborn establish a sleep and feeding pattern. I also like that it’s a short book split into short tips and chapters- perfect when you’re exhausted and can barely keep your eyes open to read anything!
Your Baby Week By Week by Simone Cave & Dr. Caroline Fertleman
Another best friend (and bridesmaid!) Tanya sent this to me as soon as she told her our news. It’s a practical guide that you follow Week by week after giving birth. She and her hubby swear by it, and although I’ve flicked through, I like the idea of taking bite size chunks of advice as the time comes.
Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth
One for pregnancy rather than later on. Written by one of the nation’s leading midwives, this book goes over the benefits of natural childbirth, and how to have a fulfilling birthing experience.
The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Higgins
I find it crazy how many people ask whether I will breastfeed. It’s not that I think it’s a nosy question, it’s just… nobody knows if they can or will until they try! There are so many opinions (some rather judgemental) from different generations on this topic, so I wanted to read a more practical guide, rather than ask around. Yes, breastfeeding is natural, but it is not always easy or instinctive for mothers or babies. This book equips mothers with all the info they need to overcome potential difficulties with nursing.
The Attachment Parenting Book by William & Martha Sears
I haven’t read much of this book yet but it came highly recommended by my friend and Vogue alum (and beautiful mother to three) Calgary Avansino. It goes over attachment parenting, a concept I know little about. Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that encourages a strong early attachment, and advocates parental responsiveness to babies’ dependency needs. And I’m all for learning as much as I can at this point, so Mackenzie and I can figure out our own, unique way of approaching this amazing, life-changing time.
I am also pregnant with my first and a friend recommended Expecting Better by Emily Oster. I have found it to be very informative, breaking down the science behind all of the rules/advice that come with pregnancy. However, I haven’t read any parenting books so thank you for the recommendations!
All those look good. You are right to seek knowledge and wisdom and then… go with your deepest gut feeling . There is no formula.