You don’t need a tall pile of books next to your bed to become a good parent! To simplify your reading trajectory this pregnancy we asked Ashley Brichter, Founder of Birth Smarter, to give us her top Four books to guide you through Pregnancy to Parenting.
Angela Garbes attracted attention in 2015 when she published this piece on the science behind breastmilk. Like a Mother combines the research skills of a journalist with the passion a new mother. The book explores lesser focused on but much more important aspects of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum: Miscarriage, mediocre birthing experiences, the placenta, pelvic health, and overall vulnerability to name a few. It is part science, part memoir, all beautiful!
Penny Simkin’s The Birth Partner educates partners on their role as labor support but is truly a brilliant read for pregnant people as well. I much prefer it over all other generic pregnancy/birth books! It covers what to expect from the end of pregnancy through labor and the early stages postpartum, offers care-taking techniques for the whole process, and lays out information on the many possible options a laboring woman will face so that she and her partner can make educated decisions before and during labor. It is as much a guidebook for mother and partner to prepare for labor as it is a reference tool for partners during labor.
This compassionate and comprehensive book looks at a mother’s transition to parenthood from the perspective of holistic self-care. Best to be read during pregnancy, it offers guidance for how one can establish a holistic environment of healing after childbirth. Kimberly Ann Johnson offers strategies to overcome the trifecta of common postnatal complications: pelvic health and wellness, mood and anxiety stressors, and challenged relationships.
This book lays out the revolutionary idea that babies are fully human and will communicate their needs with you. Then it teaches you how to listen to them in all of the key areas: sleep, feeding, soothing etc. Dr. Pamela Douglas approaches parenting from the perspective of structuring a balanced family life as opposed to the family structuring a baby’s life. She will help you find and trust your parenting instincts.