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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kristen Mitteness

Book Club: Pregnancy Edition

I've been reading pregnancy and perinatal books for many years now thanks to my near obsession with the topic. It started when I started treating pregnant patients in clinic. While I obviously haven't read every pregnancy related book, these are my current top faves. They cover a variety of topics like birth, nutrition and postpartum.

Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols - I like this book so much that it make my top book list in 2019, when I first read it. I love Lily's take on nutrition and how she writes so I'm very often referring patients and friends to her work. What someone eats before and during pregnancy is so, so, so important for the future health of both mom and baby. Lily explains it all and gives great ideas for managing many different symptoms during pregnancy.

Deep Nutrition by Cate Shanahan - If you want to dig into the deeper effect of nutrition on baby's development, this is the one! It's a big book, but if you are into nutrition at all, you will enjoy this one.

Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell - I've been a fan of the Weston A Price foundation for many years. This book goes into the work and research of Dr. Weston A Price, but also has tons of tips and recipes for pregnancy and babies. I love taking a traditional and evolutionary approach to life and this book encompasses that completely. This is my third and final book suggestion that's nutrition related.

Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan - I loved this book so much that I finished it in just a few days. It felt so right for me. It made me excited to give birth. It also made me really want to take a hypnobirthing course like this one from Birth-Ed which is amazingly affordable.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin - This book was recommended to me from many different places and now I get it. If you only read one book about labor, let it be this one. The first half of the book is filled with beautiful birth stories. The second half walks you through the various stages of labor, your options during this time and Ina May's extensive knowledge on all topics related to labor, delivery and beyond. Like the previously mentioned Hypnobirthing book, this book actually made me excited for labor!

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Va((ines* by Stephanie Cave - I originally read this book 2009 when I started getting really interested in va((ines. I also am a huge advocate in true informed consent which I think is missing is many parts of our current health care system. I also think research is sorely lacking around this topic, so I like when someone actually digs into what we truly know on the topic. This book does an excellent job of laying out risks, prevalence and history of each childhood illness, risks and benefits of each individual va((ine and lists many resources. If this is a topic you are even remotely interested in, I recommend starting this with book.

*I'm modifying how to type out this word because I realize it's hugely controversial and may get me flagged

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin - I heard a few people recommend this book, but I didn't end up reading it until I was 37 weeks pregnant. It is an excellent resource and another great option for new dads or birth partners. It also has summary and quick reference pages for when you want to find something as soon as possible during labor. This book focuses almost solely on labor day. There are pictures and diagrams to help, too. It's a great resource manual!

Turns out it's really hard to find a decent book for new dads. This one is written by a male doula and lactation consultant (so neat!) but mostly focuses on what will happen if you birth in a hospital. It gives great recommendation on how dad can support mom with pregnancy, labor, newborn and feeding stages. It's a quick and easy read and totally worth getting for any new dads in your life.

If you are interested in my favorite books from past years, here are the links:

2021 (It says "part I", turns out it was the only part - all of my favorite books were read in the first half of the year!)

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