What to read or learn before expecting?

2018-05-20 07:56:54

We want to be prepare for our 9 months period as a couple and be sure to give a proper environment for our baby. What should we read before and during the 9 month period?

Please note: answers should contain general guidelines for selecting books, and should not be simple recommendations of "here's our favorite book or books".

Pregnancy

week by week development of the baby

nutrition

what mom is experiencing through each phase of pregnancy

Labor and Delivery

how to recognize the onset of labor

how labor progresses until delivery under normal circumstances

interventions that may be necessary and their alternatives and pros and cons of each

strategies for avoiding unnecessary c-sections/when it is needed

pain coping strategies (both the medicated and non-medicated kind. Regardless of what you think you will want, knowing all the options and their pros and cons can help you build a birth plan you're happy with and avoid unnecessary side effects that could slow down

  • Pregnancy

    week by week development of the baby

    nutrition

    what mom is experiencing through each phase of pregnancy

    Labor and Delivery

    how to recognize the onset of labor

    how labor progresses until delivery under normal circumstances

    interventions that may be necessary and their alternatives and pros and cons of each

    strategies for avoiding unnecessary c-sections/when it is needed

    pain coping strategies (both the medicated and non-medicated kind. Regardless of what you think you will want, knowing all the options and their pros and cons can help you build a birth plan you're happy with and avoid unnecessary side effects that could slow down labor or otherwise cause a cascade of interventions)

    complications that could arise

    Breastfeeding

    How to (unless you are 100% certain you are going to exclusively formula feed, it is extremely helpful to read about how to breastfeed prior to delivery. It is one of the first things the mom will want to do after delivering, and your hospital or

    2018-05-20 08:01:35
  • In terms of what I think it is helpful to know as someone expecting a child any day now:

    Do not, I repeat do not, try to know everything there is to know. I go into pretty much any endeavor by researching about it - I'm an engineer, it's just how I get comfortable. With pregnancy that was just about the worst thing I could have done. Most of the information I found focused on the worst-case scenario, the 1 in 1,000 or lower chance that this twinge or that ache signaled a major problem. Imagine going around all the time worrying about that as an expecting mom or dad. It just adds to your stress which is, you guessed it, bad for the baby.

    Instead would recommend a fairly lighthearted, internet-based week-by-week overview of pregnancy, such as Alphamom's Pregnancy Calendar or BabyCenter. These sites do have bulleted reminders of when to call your practitioner. Even these can be somewhat confusing, but I found less so than the stress-inducing books.

    Do figure out in advance what

    2018-05-20 08:02:39
  • A rather standard answer is "What to expect when you're expecting" book. It has a breakdown of how things tend to progress month-to-month, and, well, what to expect :)

    2018-05-20 08:19:37
  • I'll be the contrarian: read romance novels. Or mysteries. Or whatever type of novels you enjoy reading. You're not going to get a whole lot of reading time once the baby comes.

    As for reading parenting books, my opinion is that they are a lot like dieting books. You can glean useful stuff from them, but in the end, it's mostly common sense that you likely already have whether you know it or not, and the items that aren't common sense tend to be highly divisive in terms of opinions out there and reading too many 'experts' seems to only cast doubts upon your own abilities as a parent.

    I always say, if you're asking a question like this, you are already on the right path to being a decent parent. Your intuition and instincts are going to be more powerful than you maybe realize.

    2018-05-20 08:28:35
  • I was very happy with this website. You can enter your due date, and they will send you weekly updates by e-mail. It was very accurate in my case.

    Pregnancy symptoms come and go, the week-by-week websites (there's lots) make estimates of what is going to be happening. This one matched my symptoms better than any other site. Also, they rely more heavily on medical literature and research than other places I've seen back then. (Still true today, though I didn't go looking at other websites to compare for my current pregnancy.)

    2018-05-20 08:35:24
  • DVK's answer is good. Between books I bought, borrowed, and were brought home by my partner from the 2nd hand store, I liked the Mayo Clinic book the best for an even-handed, good overall discussion of various medical (physical and emotional) issues, and month-by-month descriptions of what's happening.

    Personally, I tend to fall on the medical/technical side, so some books that struck me as having a more strident or dismissive tone about certain choices just turned me off.

    2018-05-20 08:45:52
  • The two books we've found most useful, one for during, the other for after, are Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke and Baby Love by Robin Barker. Both have an Australian bent to them (such as whenever laws or government guidelines are mentioned) but the advice is universal.

    Cooke's book is irreverent and funny but is full of lots of useful advice and is organised in a week by week basis. We used it as a complement to a large number of other non-descript, worthy books we borrowed from the library that got us through the pregnancy.

    Barker's book is considered a bible down under. It covers just about everything for the first year of your child's life. It doesn't preach nor is judgemental but gives simple, plain advice, offering alternatives with pros and cons to the differents decisions a parent has to make (such as where baby will sleep for the first few months: in bed, in same room, in different room as parents...) as well as reassuring advice on things like rashes, constant crying, cluster f

    2018-05-20 09:01:07
  • First and foremost you and your partner need to identify what styles of learning work best for you. Do you prefer in-depth technical details? Do chatty, personable writing styles make it easier for you to absorb information? You may find that you and your partner will be best served by having completely different styles of resources available to each of you, to best accommodate your individual learning preferences.

    Once you've identified your preferred styles of books, start shopping. I find there are three main categories of "expecting" books:

    "Popular" style books geared towards making the material as accessible and unintimidating as possible.

    "Medical Expert" style books geared towards presenting as much authoritative, technical information as possible (despite the "authoritative medical" focus, there are many of these that still remain relatively readable, for example: the American Academy of Pediatrics provides good information without relying too much on technical jargon

    2018-05-20 09:18:43