Top 5 Books to Read During Pregnancy & Postpartum
It had been 6 years since I was last pregnant so I reached for so many different books the moment I found out I was pregnant. I needed a refresher because everything was a blur! These 5 books were the most helpful and gave me the ease I needed and wanted throughout my pregnancy, labor, and into early motherhood.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
This book was highly suggested by a lot of people on Instagram who were looking at having a natural child birth. I had delivered without medication with my first and wanted to do the same this time around, so I ordered this one instantly. Ina May is a well-known midwife that is full of so much wisdom and care when it comes to the mother’s well-being and childbirth. The book actually consists mostly of birth stories. You get so many different perspectives and scenarios but they all have the same thing in common: each woman wanted to deliver naturally and each story was raw, positive, and empowering to read. The book then speaks on the different essentials of birth. Such as, the mind/body connection because honestly, giving birth is a mental thing. What happens in labor, what you need to know throughout pregnancy and during labor, the stages of labor, Vbac, choosing a caregiver and more. I really love the in depth explanation of terms we typically don’t understand or know much about. I learned so much and confirmed a lot of what I did and did not want during childbirth.
Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
I didn’t get to breastfeed long with my daughter and wanted to attempt to feed longer with my son and when I saw that Ina May had a book on breastfeeding, I went straight to Amazon to order. Ina May does such a good job of defining breastfeeding and how it works. How to prepare for nursing, how to get started, explaining the proper latch. To be honest, I learned more on how my newborn should properly latch with this book than I did with the lactation consultant in the hospital. Ina May really wants to redefine the breastfeeding culture and spread awareness of the benefits and beauty of breastfeeding which is awesome. I continually reference back to this book when I have questions about my breastfeeding journey. I recently had a plugged milk duct and was afraid of getting mastitis, I instinctively ran to grab this book and was able to unclog my milk duct.
The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson
A postpartum guide to healing your body, balancing your emotions, and restoring vitality
I actually don’t remember how I came across this book but it was so good. This book actually starts out with you in your third trimester and preparing you mentally and physically for birth. It emphasizes the importance of a clean/organized home to come home to after birth, don’t be afraid to ask for help with this. The key to this book is that it really focuses on you and being the best version of yourself and your personal transition into motherhood.
The First Forty Days by Heng Ou
I never knew how important it was to nourish your body and the proper healing of your body after childbirth until I read this book. My postpartum experience didn’t go as planned but I implemented so many things out of this book. The first forty days is the most important to restoring the mother’s health physically and mentally, as well as establishing a bond with baby. Many traditions in history still hold true today such as: retreat-staying away from others and just having one on one time with baby in your room, warmth-keeping yourself warm inside and out, support-having helping hands from your spouse, friends, and/or family, rest-sleep as much as possible, and ritual-which is basically just celebrating mom in any shape or form. My mom was such a big help with laundry, and cooking, or even when I needed to shower! My husband really made sure I rested and I was mostly in bed all the time healing and bonding with my son. The book also includes many great recipes to try!
Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen
A modern guide to pregnancy, birth, early motherhood, and trusting yourself and your body
If you don’t buy any of the books mentioned above, that’s totally fine as long as you but this one. I have so many pages bookmarked and have read so many parts over and over again. I constantly am referring back to this book when I need answers, even to this day. The book starts off with really focusing on self care because you are about to go into this huge transition into motherhood. It covers the first, second, and third trimester. It talks about preparing for birth, creating a birth plan, signs of labor and so much more. It talks about healing your body, nurturing baby, and finding your new normal which is so hard for many. This book really makes it easy to refer back to and answers commonly asked questions, and highlights the biggest key points. I highly recommend this one!
So many books to read in such a little amount of time but the time that you do have should be reading at the very least, one of these books on my list.
Love & Light,