Becoming a mother is an experience like no other. I don’t think I understood what it truly meant to be a mother until I experienced it for myself. Though I researched and prepared endlessly, I did not understand what it would be like until I felt the joy, the love, and the beauty of a child, mixed with the sleep deprivation, the raging hormones, the constant demand for my care, and the complete exhaustion. I don’t think I would have survived the newborn stage with my firstborn without reading and preparing for motherhood. There are a few books that I think every expecting mother needs to read.
Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Glade B. Curtis and Judith Schuler
Pregnancy is fascinating; I have a whole collection of pregnancy-related books, and if I had to choose only one to read, this is the one I would recommend. Curtis and Schuler describe how you and your baby are developing each week in a way that is easy for anyone to understand, yet, it is very complete and science-based. This book includes nutrition and exercise recommendations and addresses many common pregnancy concerns. I referenced this book constantly during my first pregnancy.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding from La Leche League
La Leche League is an international organization that educates and empowers nursing mothers. Breastfeeding is HARD. I honestly think that I would not have been able to successfully breastfeed my first baby or have continued to breastfeed him for a year without the guidance of this book. If you are planning on breastfeeding your baby, this is the book for you. It includes encouragement and advice based on your baby’s age and covers everything from pregnancy to weaning.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.
I attribute my transformation from sleep-deprived zombie mom to nearly normal mom to this book — it changed my life. Dr. Weissbluth describes children’s sleep patterns based on age and provides advice to help your child form healthy sleep habits at any age. I also ready Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins when our twins were born, and it was the perfect resource to help me synchronize their schedule. My twins are great sleepers now!
The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
Every child comes with his own unique spirit and personality. As you get to know your child, this book teaches you the different ways that they like to be shown love. The information in this book is invaluable to helping you understand your child and shape his life in a loving way. My husband and I read The 5 Love Languages when we were first married, and it helped us understand each other better. The 5 Love Languages of Children adds value to Dr. Chapman’s first book and can help you treat all of your loved ones better.
You can access a wealth of knowledge by reading these books. With this added knowledge, remember to use your intuition as you raise your baby. You may come across many contradicting opinions. As a mother, you know your child better than anyone; use your best judgment to make good choices.