My Favorite Pregnancy Books & Podcasts
I’ll be honest with you: Before this whole Corona situation washed over us, I did not really take much time to read pregnancy books. But then, suddenly our lives changed and staying at home became our new normal. The prenatal classes I had booked all got cancelled, my appointments with my midwife got postponed, and all the pregnancy-treats I had in mind for myself such as massages are most probably not happening any time soon. I was very bummed in the beginning, but then I realized that the upside of this situation is that I get to spend a lot of extra time at home. Time that I wouldn’t have had otherwise: Resting, napping, meditating, preparing even more healthy meals, and of course also reading and listening to podcasts is on the top of my agenda these days.
I never imagined myself to to be one of those expecting moms who devour one baby book after another, but I must say I really learned to enjoy those quiet hours (or sometimes also just minutes before falling asleep) of reading.
When I started to look for baby books I felt very overwhelmed. There simply is such a vast amount of different pregnancy books and books on parenting out there. So dived deep into book reviews and trusted the recommendations my mommy-friends gave me. I still think it’s important that every mother out there trusts her gut feeling, no matter how many books she’s read or how many prenatal classes she’s been to. I’m a firm believer that every mother knows what’s best for their baby. It’s in our nature and a matter of our instincts. However, I came across some books and podcasts that gave me a good feeling, and I think that is exactly what any kind of preparation for this new phase of life should do: Make you feel positive, prepared, even more excited about motherhood than you were before.
Today I’m sharing the books and podcasts that I have been reading and listening to, and that I have loved so far. Some of them are in English, some of them are in German. Most of them are available in both languages, though.
The very first baby book that I picked up was this one: I was not even pregnant when I bought it, but I’ve seen this book around on some of my favorite blogs and decided to order it. Pamela Druckerman, who is American, lives in Paris with her husband and baby. She’s investigating why French parents seem to be so relaxed and digs deep into the French parenting style. It focusses on the art of simplicity and listening to your instincts when you are raising your children. I loved reading this book very much: It’s fun to read while being very interesting at the same time – even if you aren’t pregnant yet.
When I was browsing for baby books, this one caught my attention right away. In “Artgerecht”, Nicola Schmidt describes that our babies have had the same needs since the Stone Age: closeness, protection, being carried, being allowed to eat when hungry and sleep when tired. Our modern world, however, does not always meet these needs. This book shows how parents can nevertheless do justice to their children’s original biological programme. It encourages parents to listen to their gut feeling when it comes to their babies – a fact I personally liked a lot.
Another book I’ve bought before I was pregnant: It’s quite witty, down to earth and will make you laugh out loud a lot. As the title suggests, it feels like it was written by your best friend and does not leave out any very realistic pregnancy and birth topics. I wouldn’t say it’s over-the-top informative, but it does provide some insightful tips for pregnancy and the first few weeks with your newborn.
Since I could not do any prenatal classes until now, I bought this book to get some answers to the questions I would have liked to ask my midwife. The book is very well structured and accompanies you sensitively, expertly and with a realistic view through the time of pregnancy, birth, postpartum and lactation. Ingeborg Stadelmann, midwife and naturopathy expert, encourages you to be self-determined and takes you by the hand in difficult moments of uncertainty. I’m sure I will reach out for this book once baby is here and I have some questions regarding specific things. If you like proven facts and expertise, this is your book!
This is the book I’m currently reading, which focuses on the time when baby is finally born. We all know everyday life will be full of questions once we are new parents: How do I pick up the baby? How does breastfeeding work? How do I measure fever and what illness is possibly behind it? The authors provide professional, up-to-date and fundamental information on all relevant topics for the first year. Detailed descriptions and illustrated step-by-step instructions give parents confidence in dealing with their baby. All the important steps are explained, from changing and dressing to cutting fingernails to bathing and sleeping. From what I can say so far, I think the book offers new parents comprehensive background information, for example on the development of the child, baby nutrition or health, which are extremely valuable for the first year with baby.
This book is still on my reading list and will be the next one I’ll read. I’ve discovered it as a recommendation by my blogger colleague Ursula from giveherglitter.com who just had a baby a couple of months ago. The book equips parents with a kind and gentle way to sleep train their babies. It’s a scientifically based program that helps babies get all the sleep they need, both through the night and during the day. The method is simple, foolproof, and yields long-lasting results. It does sound very promising and I’m very intrigued to read it, because baby sleep is something I do not know anything about yet…
For the Daddy-to-be
Patrick bought this book the minute we found out we were expecting a baby and he’s enjoyed reading it very much. In this New York Times – bestselling guide, Armin A. Brott His shares his wisdom – along with the advice of leading obstetricians and researchers, and the experience of hundreds of real-life dads. The book gives a reassuring month-by-month overview of pregnancy and provides dads with the tools they need support the expecting mother, prepare for the baby’s arrival, and take care of himself during this exciting time.
To all fellow pregnant mamas out there: If you’re feeling sad that you’re missing your birth preparation class, please listen to this podcast. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve discovered during my pregnancy so far: Kristin Graf, who is hosting this podcast, is a mom of three kids, mental coach and hypnosis coach for birth preparation. Her podcast aims to help women to have a beautiful birth experience. In the various episodes of the podcast she is passing on her knowledge, gives instructions on how to meditate or shares her own birthing experiences. I can highly recommend this podcast – also, Kristin’s voice is so calming that I love listening to her to calm down after a stressful day. (German only)
Another one of my favorite podcasts lately is the “Hi, Baby! Podcast” by Isa, who started the podcast during her parental leave. She’s speaking very openly about her pregnancy, birth, and life with her toddler. It’s very entertaining, lighthearted and makes me laugh out loud quite often because I can very much relate to many of the situations she’s describing. (Germany only)
This podcast has been recommended to me by my own midwife. The episodes are about Maja Böhler, who is a midwife herself, and talks about the big and small wonders she’s experiencing in her job every day. It’s very interesting to hear the stories through the lens of a midwife and I love the overall style of how the podcast is produced. (German only)
If you have any books or podcast on pregnancy or becoming a new mom that you can highly recommend, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!