Pregnancy, Birth, and Baby Book Reviews
I read. A lot. Of books. About babies and birth. I took notes because my brain was no longer functioning. I had to re-read parts of the books because I didn’t understand my notes. I wanted to understand pregnancy, the birthing process, and babies as much as one can from books alone. Below are my reviews of pregnancy and baby books.
Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy
Entertaining, quick read, relate-able. Not scientifically sound, and not all that well-written. But if you’re looking for a good laugh and an easy read, this could be a good choice. I actually LOL’d a few times…maybe I tinkled a little bit too…
Overall: 3 stars for entertainment value
This is another read more for entertainment than for sound medical or scientific advice. I enjoyed it, it was fun to read, I learned a little, it made my pregnancy experience seem more “normal,” but I certainly wouldn’t rely on it for actual medical knowledge.
Overall: 4 stars for entertainment value
What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
The classic pick. It gives information by month about you and your growing baby. It’s easy to read, user-friendly, and to the point. I enjoyed being able to read a quick chapter at the beginning of each month to understand my baby’s development and why I was experiencing certain changes.
Overall: 4 stars for ease of use, information
The Official Lamaze Guide
Ok, I know this isn’t for everyone. Totally get it. But, I really wanted to understand the birthing process, I wanted to consider going medicine-free, and I wanted to be able to make informed decisions before, during, and after birth. This book gave me great information I used to put together a birth plan, and generally feel more in control of my body. It is, of course, a little “woo-woo” and totally advocates for an all natural birth, so take everything with a grain of salt.
Overall: 3 stars for information
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
In my mind, this was the motherload of pregnancy books! Want to know the real research behind how much coffee you can actually consume? This is your book. The author is an economist who dives into research studies to determine the statistics behind the recommendations. I loved it, I found it strangely comforting, and it helped me to become comfortable with the choices I was making during pregnancy and birth.
Overall: 5 stars – definitely the best book I read while pregnant
One Year To An Organized Life With Baby
Ok, deep breath.
I found this book to be super useful. Not all of it, definitely, but some chapters. I lost my damn mind the last few months of pregnancy, and compulsivly organized and re-organized my entire house. Like, tore apart the pantry, and re-did the guest bathroom. And then did it again a few weeks later. I even redecorated my parents living room over the holidays. My mother wasn’t terribly thrilled…Anyway, this book gave me some direction. It helped me to channel my deeply rooted nesting instinct, and gave me some good ideas to prepare for baby. For example, I set up a filing system for Little Foot’s paperwork ahead of time, and it’s worked out really well so far.
Overall: 4 stars for great ideas and an easy-to-follow process
Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
I consider this book a must-read in the 9th month. Albeit, I think it could be condensed into a nice pamphlet, the information was literally (yes, I know I”m not using “literally” correctly) lifesaving. I read the fame and fabled CHAPTER 8 at 2 am when Little Foot was about a week old and she immediately started sleeping. Like, 2 minutes after doing what it said. I wanted to kiss this Harvey fellow right on the lips.
Overall: 4 stars – invaluable information, minus 1 star because it could be very condensed
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby
This book is DENSE like whoa. But it is good stuff. I didn’t find it super easy to read or navigate, expounded by the fact that I was reading it because my baby wasn’t sleeping therefor nor was I. However, the information is good stuff. It just felt right, if that makes sense. I followed the recommendations pretty closely with pretty good success. I liked that the author doesn’t just say what to do about baby sleep schedules, he actually explains the reasoning.
Overall: 4.5 stars, I learned A LOT, it worked, but hard to read with sleep deprived mom brain
What To Expect The First Year
Like its pregnancy counterpart, this book takes you month by month, starting with before birth. It’s a nice, quick reference, not too overwhelming, and gives you little milestones to keep an eye out for. I probably would have missed some developmental changes in fine motor skills had I not read about them in this book.
Overall: 4 stars, great information in an easy to read format
Confessions Of A Domestic Failiure
I read this on maternity leave after I finally got the hang of (sort of…) motherhood. It’s a quick and easy read, it’s outrageous, and it’s pretty damn funny. If you’re feeling like your life is in happy shambles, your brain isn’t working well enough to read real things, but you’re looking for a quick book to feel like you accomplished something, this is it!
Overall: 4 stars, I may have lost brain cells, but I had a damn good time doing it
What are some of your favorite pregnancy and baby books? Comment below!