Mommy Thoughts Thursday {Must Reads}

When you announce that you are pregnant all of your well meaning friends, colleagues, family members, and even strangers come out of the wood works to suggest parenting methods, books, and so much more. Being a first time mom, I really wanted to soak it all up. I wanted to read as much as I could and prepare myself for every thing I possibly can.

I have read two books from cover to cover that have really helped me feel educated and prepared for this baby (as much as that is possible). The first piece of literature I'm going to suggest is "Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds" by Cynthia Gabriel who earned her doctorate in medical anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She also learned first hand experience while working in a Russian maternity hospital accompanying midwives. She is a mother of three, an anthropologist, a professor, and a doula. Gabriel also conducts research at the University of Michigan's Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Needless to say, she knows her stuff.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

This book is very thorough and very educational. It broke things down for me in a way that I could understand it with ease. Being a first time mom, and never having given birth, I didn't have an extensive knowledge of the process at all. I just knew that I wanted to have an non-medicated, uninterrupted, natural labor. This book describes all of the medical terminology that may be used while in the delivery room. Since Cynthia is very educated, she can teach the medical side very well. This book is also teaches practical L&D tactics. She teaches when it's best to arrive at the hospital, and means to allow your labor to safely progress in your own home. She suggests ways to deal with nurses who may not support your birth plan. It also clarifies when to determine if a situation is an emergency or simply an opinion of the staff. There are also tips for labor partners, coaches, and spouses. This book is perfect for anyone who wants to have a natural hospital birth. I read it twice and am currently "brushing up" on key points.

Something very interesting I learned from the book is the need to feel safe while delivering your baby. The need for quiet and relaxation is crucial to labor progressing naturally. Constant interruptions from medical staff can hinder this, so it is important to only be interrupted when necessary for mommy & baby.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

The second book I may suggest to an expecting mom is "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Karp. This book is a book that was written to help with Colicky babies. Though the soothing methods seem to be such a great idea for any baby. Dr. Karp suggests the "5 S's" to calm your baby.
-Side Positioning
His theory is that babies are simply born too early, but "nature" has allowed us to have our children after 40 weeks gestation because one more trimester and baby would be too big for birth. He believes in recreating the womb for the "fourth trimester." Babies brains are not ready for the world at 40 weeks, therefore, they will not be spoiled by soothing methods during this time. He believes that we definitely can spoil our babies, just not during the first three months post-partum. 

Some of his thoughts are very profound, and very deep. I do not agree with a lot of his thoughts on evolution, but I do agree with his ideas on adaptation and ancestral ways to calm and soothe babies. He suggests tactics used in several cultures, and points out why these methods soothe babies. It made perfect sense to me. I enjoyed reading this book so much! I learned a lot about babies reflexes, why they love to suckle, and why swaddling is so important to a newborn. Check out his website here.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest
Of course, everyone suggests the Baby Wise book. I actually ended up not reading it. I couldn't stand the thought of the "cry it out method." My body was created to soothe my child, and I will not be implementing that method. Now, I'm not saying that it doesn't work, that it is dangerous, or anything of the like. I simply did not read it. I may end up grabbing myself a copy later on if I need a little help. 

A few books I dabbled in and read highlights are:
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Perfect for in depth information about what is going on with you, your body, your babies body, and so much more. To be honest, this book intimidated me. It made me feel like I was doing everything wrong. The diet suggestions/warnings scared me because they were so precise and explicit. I felt like they were IMPOSSIBLE to follow. Especially in the first trimester.

Your Pregnancy: Week by Week
This was a fun little nightstand book for me. I'd glance at it every few weeks or so to see what was up with baby. It suggests easy exercises and gives neat daddy tips for the week. 

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
I read the first few chapters, and then skipped around. It honestly was over my head and very hard to read. Pieces of it were very educational, though.

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