Book recommendation about pregnancy/newborns


Dear all,
have you any good books in mind about pregnancy /care for a baby?
My main interest is in simplifying guides - I hear and read what a mother should buy and do, and in most cases, it´s in my eyes a big panic or money making circus. My mother gave me the title of a book that helped her in the 80´s, but it´s for some reasons, mainly health advice a bit out of date. Everything in english, french or german is welcome :slight_smile:


I liked the “what to expect” series.

I also liked Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin. The spiritual part is new age-y and out there because Gaskin was a hippie on a commune when she wrote the book, but the midwifery part is solid.


Warning: if you are prone to worrying stay away from What to Expect When You Are Expecting! That book had us worried about every little thing during my first pregnancy…


I think this blog post has a lot of merit. There has to be a balance between being careful and being practical.


Three things that I would recommend that helped simplify things for me tremendously—

#1: Look at your baby’s eyes. What you see reflected in the pupil is what they’re looking at.

#2: Watch your baby’s tongue. When they start licking their lips, you have about 5 minutes before they start crying for food.

#3: Baby sign language. Pick two, three, four, five signs that cover your most important bases, and start using them from Day 1. In a couple of weeks, they’ll understand what the sign means. Within a month, they’ll have the motor skills to sign it back to you. Inability to communicate leads to a lot of frustration. I picked things like “Milk”, “More”, “Sleep”, “Play”, “Potty” and just those five got us along very well until they developed the fine motor skills for speech.


Same here! I prefer the Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. It’s more matter-of-fact and less anxiety inducing. For parenting books, again I liked the Mayo Clinic’s Guide to Baby’s First Year.

I really enjoyed The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy. It’s a little crass sometimes, so not really for anyone with delicate sensibilities, but I thought it was hilarious and made me feel a lot better about some of the weird and uncomfortable stuff that goes along with being pregnant.


I read her Guide to Childbirth, and I think it freaked me out a little too much. I appreciate her philosophy but often the “natural” way is not possible, and it can make you feel like a bad mother or as if other medical professionals are against you when they are really recommending some intervention that is necessary. I think it’s a good read if someone wants more information on midwifery and natural births, but it can create fear where there needn’t be any. A lot of hospitals now will work with a mother to be as natural as possible, and this book does kind of make hospitals and doctors, and medical interventions out to be the enemy. it can also be really disappointing when the birth doesn’t go the way you might have planned.


Thank you very much!
To the focus on natural birth - it´s very trendy in germany and many publications are out there, but I´m not really into it. I´m still not sure If I have to have a caesarian because of some health issues, and I´m totally fine with an ordinary birth in the next hospital near me. The only point of discussion with health care people until now (well, not a real argument, more a strange glance from them) was my wish to not have my husband in the delivery room and not in any kind of birth preparation workshop to “breath with me” - honestly, maybe it´s my cultural upbringing, bit this makes me more uncomfortable than anything else.
The website about the do´s and don´ts of food and exercise was more what I search, If there´s something more lengthy including child care for the first year I´d be glad. My first reaction when my doctor told me what I should avoid to eat was “what should I eat nine months then?!”.


Yes! I had this one and liked it much better. I couldn’t think of the name. I definitely recommend the Girlfriends guide. It is a little crass though. :joy:


If you wishes to breastfeed but are not a fan of ina may gaskin (i liké her except thé New age spirituality) i recommand thé la leache League Book thé art of breastfeeding. And see if there IS a german version. a must read.

For food, WE Can deal without that. but i was more flexible for thé second Time.

It IS not a problème if you not wishes tout husband at birth. Michel odent suggest it sometimes makes things more difficult if there IS unconfort.

For child care And pregnancy it IS difficult to advise because it IS philosophical matter.a lot of things recomandations have changed since the 80 90’s


Go to the library and check out the books that are there and what the librarians recommend. They can easily see what books are most read by looking in the computer system and also suggest others if one is already on loan.


Honestly, I try to avoid what is popular right now- the view of the society of everything regarding childbirth is horrible where I live and “panic literature” is very common. I checked out the popular suggestions first and decided not to read one more article about women who call their spouses “juniors daddy bear” (yes, really) and with how much thousand euro they buyed baby stuff to have nice belly photo shoots afterwards.
It’s good to hear that in your area you seen to have more luck with public libraries :smiley:


You might like the book Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong- and What you Really Need To Know. It’s written from the cultural standpoint of the U.S., and “conventional wisdom” in the U.S. might be rather different, but I found it really helpful in easing some of my anxieties about what not to do. For instance, we’re always told not to eat lunch meat. The author does her own investigation, based on solid research, and concludes that this is a bit overboard.

My first pregnancy, I was told no soft cheeses. This time, I’m eating feta as long as it’s pasteurized. The “rules” are changing all the time and it gets overwhelming.

I like the American Pregnancy Association website:

It is a little much though sometimes- they recommend avoiding deli meat and not all of it may be applicable to you in Germany. But there are some good resources.


One thing I found really helpful was to be on a pregnancy forum. They separate the ladies out by birth month, so you’re surrounded by 30-60 women who are all at approximately similar stages of pregnancy. It can be fun and enlightening-- because they’re all going through pregnancy in their own way. It can be frustrating-- especially if your child is due at the end of the month, and you’re watching 30-60 other women give birth first, or discover their babies’ gender first, or feel the kicks before you do, or get their sonograms before you do, or whatever. :stuck_out_tongue:

Although there’s some attrition after the birth itself, the ladies stick together for the first few years, so you also have a number of children who are all at similar developmental milestones. So you’re able to hear about someone rolling over, or someone’s first steps, or someone having trouble sleeping through the night, or someone having trouble nursing, or whatever.

So there’s a lot of camaraderie that comes from joining that kind of community-- I’d highly recommend it, just for the extra perspectives.


Me too :smiley: Thank you, Clementine, I set the book on my list. There´s a rather cheap kindle version on amazon, I´ll check it out.
It seems, after some research, that us-american and german health “rules” regarding pregnancy are very similar - interestingly more than for example british and german rules. I found all the meat and cheese and beverage restrictions (coffee, alcohol etc) to be veeery strict, compared to other european countries.


Yeah! I was (and still am) part of a Catholic Facebook group for women who were due May/June this year. It was so much fun during the pregnancy, and helpful as well. Lots of things I didn’t think about, and it opened my understanding so much (like troubleshooting breastfeeding, or options for birth plans, or reviews about different baby products). It was made up of women who were having their 9th child, and women who, like me, were expecting their first. We’re a pretty active group yet, about six-ish months postpartum.

I used the Babycenter app on my phone, which I found enjoyable and helpful as well. I know they have forums like midori is mentioning, and Catholic-specific forums as well. I didn’t get involved because I was already in the Facebook group.


Another “place” to find catholic pregnant mother to share news and support is on CAF. I have seen that some of us here are currently pregnant…

If you find your happiness? …:wink:


The documentary series “Business of Being Born” and “More Business of Being Born” as well as “Pregnant In America” are worth watching.


Ave Maria Radio Forums have a ladies only area.


Is there a childbirth class near you? A lot of hospitals host them in the U.S. When we did ours, it was a class of about a dozen moms (and dads) that met once a week for several weeks.

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