I read two pregnancy books while I was pregnant.
Yep, that's right, just two.
Because, how many books do you need to read that tell you the same things, or give you lists of really scary stuff that COULD happen but probably never will.
I read both books cover to cover and they were completely different kinds of books that gave me a crap load of information and sparked lots of additional online research for me to do before the baby was born.
The first book was given to me by my doctor. And, no, it was not "What to Expect When You Are Expecting". Actually, my doctor recommended I NOT read that book as it tends to undermine physicians. I don't know if that's true, but I trusted my doctor and still do. The book he gave me was "Your Pregnancy and Childbirth, Month to Month".
The book has good exercise recommendations for different stages of pregnancy which was nice.
There is also lots of information about the surprises that could possibly come with pregnancy like birth defects, gestational diabetes, and other scary stuff, but it was sectioned out in other chapters and you could read it or choose not to.
I would definitely recommend this book to women in their first pregnancy. There's a lot of things that happen to your body and having an idea about whether it's normal or not is super helpful.
The other book I read was "Skinny Bitch Bun In the Oven".
I have the original Skinny Bitch book with awesome vegetarian/vegan recipes and as I was perusing the bookshelves I spotted this book and thought, "Yep, that's the one".
I will warn you, this book is not for everyone as it may come off a little extreme. However, I do recommend you give it a try even if you're not vegetarian. If you never plan to give up meat and become a vegetarian, I recommend you avoid the chapter about the meat industry and possibly the chapter about milk. Otherwise, it is an awesome and scary book.
I thought I was pretty well informed and made good choices about products and food. I am vegetarian, I eat lots of organic foods and I buy lots of recycled and organic/natural products. But even so, I had no idea how truly crazy things are in this country when it comes to manufacturing and production. Companies can basically get away with almost anything. There seems to be no accountability for the crap they put in our products. What's worse is they can get away with putting really harmful things in baby products! The book is very frank about what's going on with food and products that is really not good for us, especially if you are pregnant. There are a lot of harmful chemicals in products we would not even think about, so exposure to those things could be harmful to the baby growing inside of you.
The book also goes into some products and what to consider when purchasing things for the baby, such as a crib mattress. Many crib mattresses are made using petroleum and flame retardants that off-gas while the baby is sleeping on it. That is simply insane and unacceptable. I don't understand how that can even be allowed. Babies spend a lot of time sleeping and having them on anything that could have them breathing harmful chemicals is ridiculous. Organic, all natural mattresses are the only way to go. And I'll tell you, they're not that much more expensive and it's totally worth it for your baby and your peace of mind. This book changed the way I think about how I buy products and which companies I will give my business to. These things will stay with me for the rest of my life.
So, those are the two books I read and would recommend.
With that, I also did lots of reading and research online. That's just the way things go now. We have the internet at our fingertips and that can super useful and also very harmful to our minds. Try to avoid that information overload. You can read lots of books and thousands of articles that have opposing opinions about what's best for you, your baby, your family and your home. Try not to. There's already a lot of stress that comes with being pregnant and then with having that new baby to take care of, you don't need to add on to that with overwhelming amounts of information. Trust in yourself when making decisions, follow your values and common sense. There are a lot companies out there who truly do care about you and your baby.
Some of my favorites that I've found are listed on my blog page at the bottom. I'll also share some in my future blogs.
Number one piece of advice from me about buying food or products for your family is to read the list of ingredients and/or materials. If there are things that sounds strange to you, don't buy it. Try to find things that are made of items you can easily identify. Ambiguous ingredients like Fragrance or Flavoring tends to hide a lot of things you wouldn't want on or in your baby or yourself, avoid them.