The minute you are (publicly) pregnant is the minute you begin to receive advice. From everyone. Everywhere. Some of it good, some of it crazy, some of it sweet, some of it not so sweet. The way I chose to navigate this deluge of well-meaning tips was not to take them or to leave them, but to take note. To take each tip, however obvious or ludicrous, and file it away for potential further use. I had no idea what I didn’t know, and I wanted to know ALL the tips and advice and what-to-dos out there, and then decide what is best for me.
This is probably why I found the best pregnancy books to be those that did just that: Provided a range of useful and/ or actionable information that I could take or leave. Books that didn’t pander to me as a blushing mom-to-be, books that didn’t spout archaic advice. And, so, my advice to you (because you know I have some for you, too): Read these books. This is the well-rounded advice you should have in your arsenal.
1. Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know, by Emily Oster This is written by an economist. In this book, said economist—Emily Oster—researches all (well, almost all) of the studies tied to the classic, oft-unqualified Dos and Don’ts of pregnancy (no cold cuts, booze, sushi, coffee, et al) and presents the findings and data out for you to decide what is best for you. To say this is refreshing after years of opinions being presented as fact in this regard is an understatement.
2. Bringing Up, Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, by Pamela Druckerman I like this book simply because it presents a peek into how families in another country raise their children. (And it is a good, funny, relatable read.) And while it may be de rigueur to herald anything and everything French, they do seem to have the right idea when it comes to raising kids: Relax. Treat kids like little adults (within reason). Don’t lose yourself, or your sensuality, or your marriage. And a lot more.
3. The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-To-Be, by Armin A. Brott & Jennifer Ash The writers of this book don’t sugarcoat or dumb down pregnancy in the way many written-for-women books (surprisingly!) do. Written mostly from a father-to-be’s perspective, this book is chockfull of useful, month-by-month information on what’s happening in the mother-to-be’s body, mind and soul, the soon-to-be baby’s development and the father-to-be’s best bet for navigating it all.
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