I am one of those people who refuses to read instructions. I will open a box and either figure it out or perform a quick youtube search before I turn to a manual. For my first pregnancy, I figured SOME sort of guidance would be helpful and boy was I right.
Here are a few of the books I read that CHANGED THE GAME for me. This wouldn’t be proteincarbsfat.com if I didn’t start with nutrition.
Real Food for Pregnancy: The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition by Lily Nichols. This book gave me perspective on nutrition and provided information on the reasons why women should eat well during pregnancy. I attribute my fitness, eating habits and tips from this book on why I did not end up gaining excessive weight, getting preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and several other threats that women are up against during pregnancy.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May was everything I didn’t know I needed. All I’ve ever known about pregnancy and delivery was the negative. The swollen feet, the morning sickness and the horror of delivery, the screams, the stitches and the pain. This book shares positive stories of natural birth. I know what you’re thinking, epidural all the way. Even with plans for a medicated birth this book can inspire and motivate you.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger because sometimes we need a judgmental older woman telling us how it is. Depends how thick your skin is, you may not want to hear that breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful and that everyone can do it. If tough love is for you then I recommend you crack open a few pages of this long, judgy toned but motivating read. Some of the notes from this book stuck with me and have truly helped me with EBF.
The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality by Kimberly Ann Johnson. This book was everything and helped make me feel more prepared than I could have thought for the postpartum phase. I went for the audiobook, it was a quick listen and really went into things that no one really tells you about. I prepared a sanctuary plan that helped others help me and I had a full understanding of how to successfully and patiently recover.
The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Newborn to School Age by Julie Wright MFT. This book came recommended by a friend. It is s a refreshing balance from the two extremes you hear about – letting them cry it out vs. always carrying them. This read comes in handy once the babe is born but it is helpful in teaching you things to avoid early on.
How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn is fun, conversational and in all honesty can serve individuals with and without children. I was able to identify a few flaws in my behavior prior to the babe that I have since happily addressed. I would probably commit to reading this one again in the future for little reminders of how the husband is not perfect but he also cannot read my mind.