My favorite resources for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum information

You want information, right? But there are a million books out there about having and raising kids. Let alone websites. And podcasts. And youtube videos. And strangers on the social media willing to give advice.

But you don’t have all the time in the world. You need just a few trustworthy resources to turn to, when you are sitting in the care provider’s office faced with a new decision or when you have a cozy afternoon with a cup of hot chocolate. But just narrowing down what’s out there can be overwhelming. What’s a pregnant person – or their loved one – to do?

Here is a short list of my favorite resources. Keep in mind that these are my personal favorites, and they may not be your cup of tea. But I hope they help you find a starting point.

RESOURCES COVERING UP TO BIRTH

My favorite pregnancy book: 
Expecting Better by Emily Oster 
This is a data-driven guide to pregnancy written by an economist. While I wish the book discussed the social aspects of pregnancy more, it presents results of a lot of helpful studies in a digestible way. But the biggest reason I love this book is that so many of the other pregnancy books I read seemed fear-filled or were fear-inspiring for me. This book was comfortingly straightforward and explained pros and cons of different decisions in a way that I appreciated.
(ThriftBooks) (Barnes&Noble) (Amazon

My favorite pregnancy book for dads: 
Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! by John Pfeiffer 
This book is quick and easy to read and provides a good overview of the process. The author is funny and honest. What I like most about this book are the straightforward action steps. But it is an overview, so if you as a dad are looking for a deep dive, check out the next book on this list instead of or in addition to this one. 
(ThriftBooks) (Barnes&Noble) (Amazon)

My go-to book resource for labor and delivery: 
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
This book has a lot of resources and ideas for anyone who is giving birth or is walking with someone giving birth. If you feel overwhelmed by the massive amount of information, just read the orange pages. That will give you a good overview and the most important ideas for go time.
I recommend the 5th edition for its updates.
(ThriftBooks) (Barnes&Noble) (Amazon

My go-to web resource for pregnancy, labor, and delivery: 
Evidence Based Birth, led by Rebecca Dekker 
This website posts blogs about lots of confusing and controversial topic surrounding birth, synthesizing the current research so you can make informed decisions without having to hunt down and read the studies yourself. These posts also come in video and podcast form. 

RESOURCES FOR POSTPARTUM

The sleep training book that worked for us: 
Precious Little Sleep by Alexis Dubief
There are as many ways to sleep train as there are babies. But we found this book, recommended by a friend, very helpful in our endeavors. The book emphasizes sleep hygiene, and if I’m honest that concept is as helpful for thinking about my own sleep as about my daughter’s.
(ThriftBooks) (Barnes&Noble) (Amazon)

The food introduction group I love: 
Baby Led Weaning for Beginners and Beyond (BLWBB)
This is one of the most supportive Facebook groups I’ve ever joined. If you’re interested in baby-led weaning (BLW) – basically, in skipping purees and introducing your little one to the foods you eat –, check them out for their resources and their support and encouragement! 

My favorite resource for approaching the first few years: 
Cribsheet by Emily Oster 
This follow-up to Oster’s book on pregnancy covers several of the hot topics for the first few years of a child’s life on the outside and presents you with the best recommendations research currently has to offer. If you want a primer on a lot of topics such as breastfeeding, vaccination, toddler discipline, and potty training, you might like this. If you’re looking for a deeper dive into any one of these topics, this may not be the book for you.
(ThriftBooks) (Barnes&Noble) (Amazon)

My list to read: 
– Emily Oster has a third book coming out in August 2021 about parenting school-aged children. I’ll definitely be reading that one too.
– Rebecca Dekker has a book out that I haven’t read yet. 
– Tina Cassidy’s book on birth comes highly recommended to me.

What else should I check out? 

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