(Closed) Pregnancy, Birth, & Parenting Books

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 18
11165 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@KCKnd2:  I am reading her Guide to Breastfeeding right now and so far I have really enjoyed her insight.

@MrsF13:  That is what I read and I really enjoyed it because the writer was intelligent and thoughtful at the same time. I still refer back to it on occasion.

Post # 19
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

This is the reading list I’ve worked my way through, with my recommendations!


  • What to Expect Before You’re Expecting (would not recommend, irritating writing style and incredibly patronizing)


  • Ina May Gaskin – Spiritual Midwifery (dated but neat), Guide to Childbirth (highly recommend), Midwife’s Manifesta (more a scientific presenentation of material in other 2 books)

  • Nancy Bardacke and Jon Kabat-Zinn – Mindful Birthing (highly recommend, very helpful for anyone interested in natural pain management and stress reduction, or meditation practice)

  • Pam England – Birthing from Within (mostly recommend but similar to Ina May’s books, which I liked more)

  • Penny Simkin – Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (good, basic information)

  • Elizabeth Davis – Orgasmic Birth (enjoyed for the alternative perspective, helpful for keeping a positive, fear-free attitude if you can take it with a grain of salt)


  • Alan and Denise Fields – Baby Bargains (great help and registry building and gear research… buy latest edition)


  • Ina May Gaskin – Guide to Breastfeeding (just started, looks good)

  • John and Myla Kabat-Zinn – Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting (just started, more on mindfulness practice and how to work through difficult times and be present without phoning it in, recommend)

  • John and Julie Gottman – And Baby Makes Three (recommend, started but didn’t finish due to similarities with Seven Secrets to Making Marriage Work)

  • Merideth Small – Our Babies, Ourselves (highly recommend, scientific/ethnopediatric perspective on parenting techinques in infancy cross-culture)

  • The Sears family – The Baby Book (haven’t started, but interested in attachment parenting, so got this one)


  • Daniel Goleman – Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child (highly recommend, great take on emotional awareness and helping raise conscious kids without neglecting or over-indulging their feelings)
  • Ashley Merryman – Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children (haven’t started yet, was recommended by a friend)
  • Alfie Kohn – Unconditional Parenting (haven’t started yet, was recommended by a friend)

Post # 20
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

@iarebridezilla:  I was given a second hand copy of one of Tracey Hogg’s books and I hated it! I felt like a bad parent just reading it so I threw it away ๐Ÿ™‚


@Evie19: My only advice would be to stop reading and throw away any books that make you feel bad! Stick to books that fit with your parenting philosophy and make you feel good ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 22
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

One book that I have realy enjoyed is “Expecting Better” by Emily Oster.  This is very different from the traditional pregnancy books, which is why I think it was a nice change.  It looks at all the different “rules” about pregnancy (e.g., no deli meat without heating, zero alcohol, caffeine intake, weight gain) and talks to the research as to WHY these things are said.  It tries to give you the facts and the studies showing the evidence as to why or why not you can do something while pregnant, then for the most part leaves it up to you to decide based on the facts (in some cases if the evidence is strong she does give a blanket “don’t do this”).  I like it because it’s different than my other books so a fun break to read, but also I have learned a lot.  The no deli meat thing was eye opening to me.  Listeria has been found in many foods, and pretty much whenever there is an outbreak it is in something different.  There was an outbreak in deli meat once, so that has gotten a blanket “don’t eat without heating” rule.  But listeria has been found in cantalopes, celery, carrots, and tons of other foods too, which somehow have not gotten labeled as “don’t eat during pregnancy”.  So anyway, interesting book.  

Post # 23
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Commenting to follow

Post # 24
3696 posts
Sugar bee

For bees who want to dig into the scientific data on birth practices (i.e. anyone who is already a big fan of the Evidence-Based Birth website, for example), you might like Henci Goer and Amy Romano’s Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach. It’s pretty academic and kind of dry reading, but it’s a really good, solid resource if you want to find data to support why you want something different from the standard policies and procedures at your hospital. This book helped me avoid an unnecessary induction for supposedly low amniotic fluid because it gave information on how it’s measured, what it means, the rate of false positives on that test, etc. I had a successful vaginal birth five days later after going into labor spontaneously, whereas if I had submitted to the induction there’s a very strong chance I would have ended up with a C-section.

Post # 25
794 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

OOOOh!! I have been waiting SOO long for this kind of post.  I can’t get my hands on enough pregnancy books! The one I am reading right now is The Pregnancy Bible.  It has all the basic info but a TON of pictures!

Post # 26
7900 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

@iarebridezilla:  Baby Wise is discredited by the entire scientific sleep and pediatric community. It’s quite a dangerous philosophy and you anre inadvertantly encouraging people to put their children’s health, well-being, and even life at risk by recommending this book. Other sleep books explain baby sleep cycles and how they change without recommending totally unfounded and dangerous sleep training.

Post # 27
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

I wanted to add that Birthing from Within is probably the most “hippie dippy” book on my list, with things like Birth Art and other exercises, but I still recommend it because I think it helps empower positive outlooks, contains good info, and also includes tips for the birth partner and pain management / mindfulness exercises with ice to do before labor. Overall, it’s well-rounded.

My husband has The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin but hasn’t read much. Our home/birth center birthing classes with Penny herself (squee!) start in March so that will be his assigned reading.

Post # 29
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

commenting to follow!  I’m going to order both Ina May books, but will ready anything recommended!

Post # 30
4413 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@mrsSonthebeach:  Oh no! I only hope no babies die as a result of my recommendation!

It was recommended to me by a family friend with many children and grandchildren, and I read it and found it helpful. Please feel free to recommend something different if you don’t like Baby Wise. It was one of many books that I read, and I liked it.

Post # 31
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I just went on Amazon to look up some of these books and stumbled across this :


For the love of God, you’re promoting childbirth WITHOUT fear but this picture scares the CRAP out of me!!

(this is SFW, right? I figured if it was on the cover of a book it would be okay to post here…)

edit: Dick-Read…really?

The topic ‘Pregnancy, Birth, & Parenting Books’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors