Pregnancy and Parenting Resources @ Your Library

November 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

Very soon I’ll be taking a break from the library to go on maternity leave.  Over the last eight months, I’ve read (or at least browsed) at least fifty books on pregnancy and parenting.  In my opinion, these are the best of the best…and they’re all available for you to check out!

When most people think of books about pregnancy, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is usually the first thing that comes to mind.  It’s a classic text on the ins and outs of pregnancy from before conception through the birthing process.  Even if you’re not interested in reading the book from cover-to-cover, you can follow along week by week to get an idea of what’s happening with your body and your baby.

 

 

 

Similar in concept to What to Expect When You’re Expecting, the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy covers conception through birth, and also gives weekly updates on what’s going on inside you’re body.  Plus, knowing this information comes from such a renowned health institution can help parents-to-be feel more comfortable with its advice.  A great feature of this book are the monthly charts which let you know if something which weird things that happen to your body (and believe me, there will be weird things that go on with your body) are worth seeking medical attention for at certain points in your pregnancy.  For example, light spotting might be totally normal at one point in your pregnancy, but very bad news at another point in your pregnancy.

I picked up The Caveman’s Pregnancy Companion for my husband, but it was actually educational and entertaining for the both of us.  It’s full of great advice for dads-to-be on what to expect from a pregnant partner, and tips on how to make sure that he is making the pregnancy as easy on her as possible.  From urging dad to make more meals (recipes of varying degrees of difficulty are included) to the finer points of prenatal massage, it’s a light-hearted guide that most men will enjoy at least thumbing through.  However, some advice should probably be cleared with one’s partner.  For example, a woman planning on breastfeeding her child might not appreciate a bottle of champagne in the hospital room right after the birth.

 

Of all the parenting books I’ve read (and I’ve read a LOT), Eat Sleep Poop is the most down-to-earth, sensible book I’ve found.  The author, a pediatrician who wrote this book right after the birth of his own first child, takes parents through many potentially worrying situations (Why is my child yellow? Why does my child have fur?  Why is my child’s poop green?) and lets them know what’s normal and what’s not.  It’s a essentially a meditation on taking a deep breath and trusting one’s parental instincts, with a lot of useful medical information backing that up.  Plus, the book has decision charts.  Decision charts!  Baby has a cough?  If he/she has a fever, do this.  If he/she is cool to the touch, do this.  My only complaint about the book is that the author didn’t include more of these very useful tools.

 

Don’t let the title scare you off.  Eat Well, Lose Weight, While Breastfeeding isn’t strictly for mothers in search of weight loss after birth, and neither is only for mother’s planning on breastfeeding.  This is a well thought out guide to nutrition after childbirth.  It includes great ideas for snacks and meals, none of which are overly complicated, and all of which are suitable to eat as a family.  While structured similarly to diet books, the author is both non-judgmental and realistic with her expectations of new moms.  She takes a kind approach, and acknowledges that even new moms need to treat themselves with unhealthy things every now and again.

 

 

While I prefer to read about pregnancy and childbirth, we also have quite a few relevant DVDs available for checkout.  These include:

And of course, in this digital age, there are a plethora of pregnancy-, childbirth-, and parenting-related websites available to visit from the library or from your own computer.

My favorite pregnancy website is TheBump.com.  It was created by the same team who developed the very successful wedding-planning website TheKnot.com and the lifestyle website TheNest.com.  Among the many resources available at The Bump are a pregnancy checklist, advice from doctors and other professionals, message boards, a baby naming guide, and the fantastic How Big is Baby?, which not only gives information on each week’s (or month’s, if you’re near the end) development, but also compares the baby to a familiar fruit or vegetable.  Trust me, it’s cuter than it sounds.  Users can also sign up for a weekly email, which not only includes How Big is Baby?, but also gives a short snippet on what’s going on with baby that week.  (This week my baby is a honeydew melon, and has finished his/her hearing development!)

Even if you have no interest in Lamaze, the Lamaze International website can be a great resource for pregnant women.  You can sign up for weekly pregnancy-related email, read their blog, or take a look at one of the many other pregnancy and childbirth resources they offer.

Finally, it’s not a website, but if you’re addicted to texting like I am, you might find daily texts for new and expecting parents to be useful.  The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County has made text4baby available to local residents.  Simply text the word BABY (or BEBE, if you prefer Spanish) to 511411, and you’ll receive a free (if you have a plan with unlimited texting) text message with pregnancy advice every day, aimed at your specific stage of pregnancy.

If you’re pregnant or know someone who is, I hope you find these resources helpful.  You can always ask a librarian for assistance finding more information about specific pregnancy-related topics!

 

**Britta**

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