Pregnancy Book Reviews – Part 1

It was about this time last year that I was really starting to dig into a bunch of “I’m pregnant–now what” type reading, so I thought I would pass on the impressive amounts of wisdom I’ve stored up since then (ha!). Actually, I’m just going to point you in the direction (or in the other direction) of some resources that may or may not help you or someone you know who is pregnant. How was that for a sentence–sheesh.

So, in no particular order, here are some pregnancy resources:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting*

Don’t let the drab, icky cover fool you into thinking this is your mama’s book from 1967. It’s up to date. I received this book a year or so after marriage with the intention of reading it cover-to-cover and being a walking encyclopedia once I actually conceived. After about one hundred pages I was ready to get out the razorblades. I never finished the book; it took a place on my shelf in the “reference book only” category.

What you get: A month by month question-and-answer format guide to pregnancy, plus some extra chapters on labor and delivery, post-partum, fathers, and trouble-shooting (Heidi–it’s not a computer; it’s a baby!) complications that may arise.

What you don’t get: A positive outlook. The reason I put the book down: it’s a bit too thorough for a straight read. I wound up being worried about all the things that were going to happen to my baby rather than looking forward to pregnancy.

Conclusion: Great as a reference tool, but not a fun read.

*They have a website. Haven’t been there–it may be useful.

Your Pregnancy Week by Week

I received this book from a friend about 11 weeks into my pregnancy. WOW! I love it. While I don’t agree with all of the things the authors purport, it is SO fun to look at your baby’s development week by week (rather than month by month like most pregnancy books).

What you get: Descriptions of the baby’s growth and what it’s doing, week by week (obviously). The same for your own body–what you might be noticing and what you can do to be the best host for your little one. The illustrations of both of these aspects are helpful. Also included are tips for dad-to-be on what he can do to be involved and help you out. Gives a short chapter on post-partum baby cares.

What you don’t get: Over-the-top technical jargon, any help with alternative methods for pregnancy-related discomforts, the best nutritional advice.

Conclusion: Overall, I’d heartily recommend this book. Just remember that it’s from the point of view of an OB/GYN.

The Baby Name Wizard*

Never had I intended to actually purchase a baby name book. I figured the internet, the one I had on hand (Mom used it to name me back in the day) and a few visits to a bookstore would produce the perfect name. But good grief this is an excellent book! After a couple visits to Barnes & Noble, I couldn’t resist buying it (again, eons before I actually conceived). I would sit there with my husband and my coffee, laughing out loud at some of the name descriptions. So it became part of our personal library. And I read a name book cover. to. cover. Can you believe that it’s that good?

What you get: More than a list of names and definitions. Wattenberg (the author) includes a “snapshot” of each name. The snapshot gives a style (“Defines a family of names that share a feeling, from ‘Country & Western’ to ‘Surfer Sixties’.”), a list of common nicknames, a list of variants (for instance, different spellings or pronunciations), a little graph showing when each name peaked in popularity and what number it was on the list (e.g. Heidi peaked in the 1970s at #77), Sisters and Brothers (names that match the style and feeling–you will laugh at the fact that these names often are those of your siblings and/or friends), and commentary (my favorite section). Here’s a sample commentary on the boy’s name Blaise: “A few cutting-edge parents are catching on to this intriguing entry. It was the name of a French saint, and the renowned philosopher-mathematician Blaise Pascal. What could be more respectable? Yet it also sounds like a blaze of glory. A refined way to indulge your need for speed.”

Also, descriptions of the Style Families help you decide if the name bodes well for your child’s future (or if you’re just stuck in the past!).

What you don’t get: A list of a trillion names. If you’re looking for the most options possible, this isn’t the book for you.

Conclusion: HIGHLY recommend it.

* They also have a website. I’ve been to this one, and it’s amazing (and it gives you a better picture than I have of what the book is about). You must try the Name Voyager. Type in your name and see what happens.

Speaking of birth, it’s my birthday…


7 thoughts on “Pregnancy Book Reviews – Part 1

  1. I also hated “What to Expect…” Book. It sowed so much fear! I recommend Dr. Sears’ pregnancy book, and others on my blog.

    The name book sounds great.


  2. Pingback: Francie Pants « Minnesota Mom

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