Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Book It

By Popular Demand: A list of my favorite fertility/pregnancy/baby books (and some I didn't care for):

Fertility:

"Taking Charge of Your Fertility" - this is the bible of women's reproductive health. It should be required reading for all teenagers. I highly recommend this as a first resource for anyone wanting to know more about women's health, whether you are trying to avoid (TTA) or trying to conceive (TTC).

"Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition" - this book has some interesting information regarding vitamins and supplements for both getting pregnant and when you are pregnant. It was very interesting, and an easy read. Definitely a good reference tool.

"The Fertility Diet" - I really liked this book, it had some interesting observations regarding diet and fertility, though I think it's easy to take these recommendations to extreme. It's just another way of looking at the way our food is processed now, and how that is affecting more than our weight. If you have trouble with your cycles, or are interested in how food affects health, this is a neat book.

"Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" - I absolutely adored this book. It debunks many myths about exercising while pregnant by using actual research regarding the physiological changes of pregnancy and how that affects your workout, and vise-versa. This is actually a good read for PRE-pregnancy, as it's important to be in shape before pregnancy to see the benefits of it in your labor and post partum recovery.

Pregnancy:

"Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities" - This is the book that started it all, for me. It is a bit medical/research based (which I loved) and it goes through actual peer-reviewed scientific research regarding common medical procedures performed on pregnant women and fetus', and the consequences. If I could only read one book on pregnancy and birth, this would be it. However, if you don't like "tough" reading, the author (Henci Goer) also wrote a second book that has essentially the same info in a less scientific format that is much easier reading:

"The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" - If you don't like scientific writing, try this instead of the book above - same author, same info, easier read.

"Birth: The Surprising History of How We're Born" - This is exactly what the title suggests... a history book. It's fascinating, but sometimes gory. I finally had to just skip a section after they described in detail how they removed a fetus that was stuck in the birth canal. Overall it's a fantastic book that I highly recommend. I just finished it, but it sort of goes along w/ the Goer books in that is shows how many procedures and drugs have been basically "experimented" on women over the last few centuries, and why we should be weary of "safe" procedures that are used today that have not been adequately tested.

"Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" - this is a really cool book. Ina May Gaskin is an uber-famous midwife who left California in the 60's or 70's and settled in Tennessee. She founded "The Farm", a community where families could come and have a "home birth" away from home. She kept great records of the births and their techniques, allowing for some of the information that is known about the safety of home birth today. Gaskin even has an obstetric maneuver named after her that (gasp) DOCTORS use today. ;) There is info in the book about the labor process, as well as birth stories. It's a good read.

"Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" - Read this book before investing in an expensive and time consuming Bradley birthing class. It's an interesting book, and has some good information in it, but it'll basically give you an idea of whether Bradley is for you. (I don't think it's for me - the focus on Bradley is getting a low-intervention birth at a hospital while still managing the pain of labor. I don't want to spend 16 weeks of classes devoting my time to learning how to avoid unnecessary interventions I will not have to worry about).

"The Birth Book" - This is a book by Dr. Sears (famed pediatrician). It was written in the 1970's and is very personalized, basically a story of his own family with the normal pregnancy info in between. It's not a must read, but if you want some light easy reading it's not bad. His wife had home and hospital births, so it does have a compare/contrast in that regard.

"Gentle Birth Choices" - sort of a watered down version of "The Thinking Woman's Guide"... I haven't made it all the way through this book. I've been distracted by some others lately. If you are trying to limit the amount of reading you do, I'd ditch this one.

"Your Pregnancy Week by Week" - I was so excited about this book because of the good reviews it gets, but it's b.o.r.i.n.g. Sign up at www.babycenter.com - they tell you the exact same information for free, leaving out the random unnecessary tidbits for filler (don't need to know my options of what to do if I'm in the military, thanks!)

"Birthing From Within" - This book was not for me, way too "artsy" and alternative. I just couldn't get into it, though I can see where most home-birthers would have more interest in a book like this. If you are into "letting your feelings flow" and getting to the root of fears through drawing, this one's for you.

"The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" - funny, but way to mainstream for my birth choices. It's light-hearted in nature, and a good source of info on what your body *really* does during pregnancy and how you may feel.

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" - Just walk away from this one.

Babies:

"The Vaccine Book" - If you aren't sure about what vaccines you want to give your baby, or just want to learn about what's in them, and what diseases they prevent, I highly recommend this book. Dr. Sears is actually very PRO vaccination, contrary to what many people believe before they read this book. He makes a good case for using them, and suggestions on variations of schedule as well as reasons that some people choose not to get a particular vaccine. I found it overwhelming, but a very important book. I'll definitely be going back through it when it's time for shots.

"Raising Baby Green" - still working on this one, but it seems pretty boring and dull so far.

On my list of books to read (that I haven't gotten to yet):

"Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shaped the Way We Parent"
"Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy and Childbirth"
"The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth"
"Infants, Children, and Adolescents" (a textbook recommended by an ND professor on cognitive development)
.... and more, but I'm exhausted from typing all this!

1 comments:

Talina January 1, 2009 at 3:38 PM  

We used TTOYF to conceive and are now planning our delivery at The Farm in TN. I am so excited!

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