DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Nov 10 2008

What to Read When You’re Expecting

by Nolan R


Planning for a new baby can be an overwhelming experience.  Not to worry–there are lots of books out there to guide you along your way, whether you’re a first-time parent, a grandparent-to-be, or even a seasoned veteran looking to brush up on the newest trends in pregnancy and parenthood.

Here are my thoughts on a few of the many titles from DCPL’s collection:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

Considered by many expectant moms to be the pregnancy bible, this book has been around for over twenty years, but a new 2008 edition has just been published.  The book guides you week by week through your pregnancy, and reveals “what to expect” along the way.  The phrasing is a little cutesy for some people (like my husband!), but the information is useful and easy to understand.

The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide by Heather Maclean with Hollie Schultz

Nothing is more overwhelming for a first-time parent than the endless array of consumer goods available for your new baby.  Some are more necessary than others (cribs, car seats, and diaper bags) but do you really need a baby activity center or a baby backpack?  What about the safety of walkers, wipe warmers, or crib bedding?  These ladies have tried it all and they give it to you straight (with much humor) and tell you what they love (and don’t) about every product.  Check out their website for actual product reviews.


The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book by Marjorie Greenfield, M.D.

Wondering when to tell your boss that you’re pregnant?  Not sure how to survive weeks of morning sickness and still meet your responsibilities at work?  Is your job physically demanding–and can it be harmful to your pregnancy?  All these questions and more are covered, along with information on choosing a doctor, eating a healthy diet, and general pregnancy information from the perspective of the working woman.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

I really like the way the information is presented in this book, but the 2004 publication date means that some of the information is not as current as it could be (new options for genetic testing, for example, are mentioned in the book but have since become more widely available).  The text and format are easy to understand and cutesy descriptions are left to a minimum.  For the early months of pregnancy, actual-size drawings of the baby’s development are included week by week.

Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care by Alan Greene, M.D.

I bought this book for my sister-in-law last year, and it was one of the first books I checked out at the library when I found out I was pregnant.  If you’re interested in raising your baby in an environmentally-friendly way, but don’t like being preached to about it, then this is the book for you.  Dr. Greene and his team emphasize how a little change can make a big difference, and encourage readers to do as little or as much as they like or can handle.  While only the first part of the book is about pregnancy, the book is a good (and gentle) introduction to being “green.”

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective

I have to admit, the first time I opened this book was at home, and it opened directly to a photo of a baby being delivered.  Being very early in my pregnancy, and victim to some serious morning sickness, I decided this was a topic to face at a later date.  Now that the nausea is passing, I’ve picked the book back up and found it to be a very honest, encouraging, and positive guide to pregnancy.  Pregnancy and childbirth topics are covered in detail (“What does the pain of childbirth feel like?”) and include clear descriptions, drawings, and photos.

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