Friday, June 5, 2009

Pregnancy Books

The day after I took my home pregnancy test, I rushed to the Baby Center website and began reading all about pregnancy. I'm a book person, so I was excited that it was time to start reading pregnancy books and find out about all of the things I used to think that I never wanted to know.

I'm reading a few right now. The first one is the one that everyone reads, according to their marketing anyway, What to Expect When You're Expecting: 4th Edition. It's interesting to see what's going on with your body and your baby each week, and what different fruit your baby morphs into. As my husband says, "Why does everyone want to eat our baby?" I'm in Week 7, so my baby is the size of a blueberry. Some people have problems with this book. I've heard that it's "too scary" and that it talks about issues that hardly ever happen and tends to freak women out. I haven't had that experience so far, but I'm also skipping over things that don't apply to me. If it's not happening right now (or I'm not interested in learning about it), there's no need to read it.

I'm also reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I've only read the first section of this book so far, which is a bunch of women's birth stories. It's pretty cool, but I have to admit that I got a little bored and didn't read all of them. It was nice to read stories of real women and what they actually went through in labor, emotionally and physically. I'm not giving birth at The Farm (and unfortunately, I might be too afraid to NOT give birth in a hospital), but it does sound fascinating and I'm kind of envious of some of these women and the experience that they got to have there.

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy is my absolute least favorite so far. I've actually been offended by it a few times, and I'm not even halfway through it. It comes across as very pro-obstetrician and anti-midwife, but in a condescending way. I mean, there's basically one paragraph devoted to midwifery, followed by a How to Choose Your Obstetrician section with an annoying introduction that says something like, "You see how we've chosen for you to use an Obstetrician instead of a Midwife?" Ugh. It also tends to portray the husband or male significant other as a bumbling boob who can't understand or deal with anything, which is definitely not the case in my relationship. I love you, Sweetie. Also, the author appears to think you're insane if you want a natural childbirth. It seems like she's more comfortable with a scheduled C-section than anything in the natural realm. If this is your "girlfriend," who needs enemies? From what I've read to this point, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, and I'm not sure if I'll even bother finishing it.

This is a book that is on my "to read" list: Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation. There's also an accompanying website, which lists classes or workshops in your area. My husband found out about this during his pregnancy and birth research. See, not a bumbling boob. It seems to have a very "woman power" kind of vibe, and I like that.

Which pregnancy or parenting books have you read and enjoyed? I'm always looking for new ones to add to my list, so please pass them on!

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