As moms, we are inundated with information, recommendations, books we should read and sites we should visit. Every Google search churns out hundreds of similar results – and we simply do NOT have the time to peruse each and every one (unless you are in the middle of a cluster feeding stage where you are sitting in a rocking chair and feeding a baby 23 hours a day).
So! I have pooled together my top recommendations by category for you – books I’ve loved, apps I’ve used, IG accounts I follow. Hoping this helps you sort through with a bit more ease! Enjoy 🙂
BOOKS I LOVED DURING PREGNANCY:
Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin – Fair warning to you. This is a SUPER earthy-crunchy, natural, raw approach to childbirth. It is NOT for everyone. But if you are generally intrigued by birth and the natural approach, it’s worth a read. I took some great tools from it. And sometimes had a great laugh. If anything, it empowered me to believe I was strong enough to do just about anything and helped me with my anxiety around labor.
Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds, by Cynthia Gabriel – This one is a bit more realistic in terms of its approach to achieving a natural birth if you are choosing a hospital for delivery. It came highly recommended to me and was a great read. I probably got the most out of this one pre-baby.
HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method, by Marie F. Mongan – OK this might sound ridiculous and in general, I don’t think I could hypnobirth a baby if I tried with all my might, but it does give some great tools for breathing, staying calm, and visualizing during labor. It also comes with a great meditation CD which helped me manage my anxiety.
Mommy IQ, by Rosie Pope – I love Rosie Pope. She’s adorable, she’s normal, she answers so many of the crazy questions that pop into your head while pregnant. If you are looking for a relatable celebrity to journey with during pregnancy, she’s the one I’d pick.
Your Pregnancy and Childbirth – Month to Month, by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – my OBGYN gave this book to me after I told her I was in a constant state of panic over what Dr. Google was telling me/suggesting. I was so appreciative. It is a book BY doctors that will truly give you the down and dirty of what to expect and takes away a lot of the guesswork.
BOOKS I LOVED POSTPARTUM:
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men, by Meg Meeker – This is a great one for moms of boys. Dr. Meeker is smart and gives great insight into the bond between a mother and son and how best to raise a boy to be strong while also vulnerable. As one of three girls, I enjoyed learning about different tools I can use at every stage of development with my son.
The Complete Buddhism for Mothers, by Sarah Napthali – I LOVE this book. It was the best gift I received the Christmas after Logan arrived. I needed it desperately during those first few months as a new mom. It helped me stay centered, keep a positive perspective during challenging times and is something I continue to re-read during different stages of Logan’s development.
Amateur Hour, by Kimberly Harrington – this book. It had me laughing, crying, nodding in understanding. It is a fabulous collection of essays by a mother who has been through it all and normalizes so many of the thoughts, feelings, and struggles we rarely voice.
The Collapse of Parenting – How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups, by Leonard Sax – a nurse practitioner I work with recommended this one to me as we were embarking on a Behavioral Health Initiative at work and I could not put it down. There was so much wonderful information between those pages. How to teach our kids to be strong and accountable but also to help them grow and develop appropriately as children. A really interesting read, especially for healthcare professionals.
Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability, by Adam Beck – I’m still getting through this one and trying to utilize some of what I have learned to teach Logan Spanish. It’s a really great read if you have similar goals of raising a bilingual child, particularly if you face the challenge of being the only family member who speaks another language.
MOBILE APPS I LOVE:
What To Expect – Pregnancy and Baby Tracker – Heidi Murkoff’s voice was the sweetest sound to my ears each week during pregnancy. Every week meant a week closer to the finish line. Plus, I loved being able to compare my baby to random fruits and vegetables depending on his size that week.
Kinedu – I like this one with a toddler in tow. It gives you little questionnaires to help evaluate your child’s development and strategies for improvement when you have areas where you might be a bit behind. It also has great daily/weekly activities to try with your kiddo depending on the area of development you are working on! Lots of fun!
Moms I Follow On Instagram:
@WittyOtter – her platform surrounds postpartum depression and breastfeeding advocacy and she is funny, relatable and charming in so many ways. I always love her photos and blog posts.
@advocatingforwellness – I adore this sweet mama. Her photos, her stories, her videos. She is a champion of body love and has her own business to help women get in shape, but she is also a former teacher and huge advocate for autism awareness. I wish we could be friends in real life.
@yoga_girl – this little yogi has the most sunshine-y, yet REAL, outlook on life and has the sweetest little baby girl that you can just tell she loves to pieces. Plus, she has a really cool yoga business/brand out of Aruba and her pictures are gorgeous. She is a real inspiration!
@busytoddler – this mama posts fun toddler-friendly activities that are pretty easy and super entertaining (we’ve tried a few!)
If I could pick just one website to recommend to you, it would be HealthyChildren.Org – from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Do not go to WebMd. Do not Google symptoms. Do not ask your Facebook Mom’s group. Go to the professionals or call your doctor. This information is accurate, up-to-date, and follows the latest AAP guidelines.
So there you have it! My own personal reviews on resources and people worth following. I’d love to hear yours!