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The Roots of Natural Mothering: Through the Seasons of Pregnancy, Journey of Birth, and Motherbaby Moon Time
by Janice Marsh-Prelesnik

  Written for those who are considering becoming a mother or for those already on their journey to mothering this book explores the life style of natural mothering through the four seasons of creating a new being. Woven throughout are stories and wise words from experienced mothers who follow the natural mothering path. Written by a midwife and mother of four this book is poetic and philosophical in nature from an earth-based perspective. Accessing and trusting intuitive ways of knowing are supported throughout.

The Roots of Natural Mothering is written in two sections.
Section One- Journey Through the Seasons
1. The Roots of Natural Mothering
2. Trusting Intuition
3. The Seasons of Pregnancy
4. The Journey of Birth
5. Motherbaby Moon Time
6. Where Will Your Birthing Nest Be?
7. The Role of the Midwife
8. Healing From the Unexpected

Section Two--Maintaining Health Through the Seasons
9. Philosophy of Natural Health
10.Eat a Rainbow Every Day-Nutrition for Motherbaby
11.Natural Remedies
12.The Natural Medicine Chest for the Discomforts of Pregnancy
13.Continuing the Journey

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What to Expect When You're Expecting, Third Edition
by Heidi E. Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway

Complete + Professional + Non-Judgmental = All You Need
Reviewer: 718 Session from Brooklyn, NY United States

   When we decided to get pregnant, we read something like 25 books. One year and one baby later, I kind of feel like an expert in baby books. So let me say that this book is far and away the best pregnancy book and it is no surprise that it has been a bestseller for many years.

   This book is a complete, professional, non-judgmental reference. A lot of books try too hard to be funny or cute. WTE is not humorless, but it deals with subject matter in a refreshingly straightforward way. The advice and help given echoes what our doctors have said and answered most of our questions before we even saw our Obstetrician (no, it's not a substitute).

   This book covered EVERYTHING. It answered all our questions about diet, medication, flu shots, cat ownership, false labor, vitamin supplements, cramps, ultrasound, breastfeeding or how to judge your OB/GYN. All the answers were in here, along with tons of other stuff we didn't think about until we came across it here.

   Most importantly, this book isn't judgmental. There are a ton of controversial issues associated with pregnancy (medication, breast feeding, circumcision). Lots of books out make a lot of assumptions about religion, single parents, "modern times" or they just avoid some issues entirely. This book assumes you can make up your own mind once you're presented with all the information. This book wasn't a replacement for our doctors, but it gave us a lot of really useful information without taking a side.

   If the book has a flaw, it is the diet section. Do yourself a favor and skip that section. In all fairness, this is a flaw of a lot of the books we read (some of them reading like 1950s "Keep Young And Beautiful" rants). Our doctor gave us a 10 page handout that gave us all the information we needed.

   Like I say, we read a lot of pregnancy books. It's pretty shocking how many we found to be completely WORTHLESS! I don't want to name names, and I've already written a couple of negative reviews, but I'm thinking particularly of the ones full of Erma Bombeck-esque anecdotes about Lemaze classes, the "staying chic while you're pregnant" fashion mag type, the old-fashioned preachy church-lady books, or--worst of all--the "nutrition" books that focused almost entirely on weight. Some of these books are written by people with no medical qualifications at all!

   A good rule of thumb: if the author has no medical qualifications, the book will be useless from a medical standpoint. Would you allow a fashion magazine editor to make up your mind about having an epidural?

   Just about every pregnancy book uses the "What Nobody Will Tell You" tagline. Once you've read this book, there will be very few surprises left. There isn't a topic that isn't touched on and just about everything you need is covered in depth. That's not to say this is the only book you need, but it goes a long, long way.

   I'm only harping on this because I was pretty shocked to read some of the negative reviews that complained about WTE containing a lot of information on rare pregnancy situations, saying that such information was "scary" and "unnecessary". WTE gives plenty of information on what is serious as opposed to what is a false alarm. Nobody PLANS on having a troubled pregnancy! Aren't you better off knowing what's involved and how to detect and prevent such things? I suppose for some people ignorance is bliss, but we were MUCH happier being prepared. When we went into labor 5 weeks early, we felt at least somewhat prepared for it because it was extensively covered in the book!

   If you're looking for entertainment, pick up something else or rent a movie. But if you're looking for a complete, professional, and useful reference book, What To Expect While You're Expecting is THE BEST and it will be the standard for years to come.



The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
by Henci Goer, Rhonda Wheeler (Illustrator)

This book is fabulous
Reviewer: Marisol H. from MI, US

  "Award winning medical writer and birth activist Henci Goer gives clear, concise information based on the latest medical studies. Goer will help you compare and contrast your various options and show you how to avoid unnecessary procedures, drugs, restrictions, and tests."

  I gave the quote directly from her website because it states everything perfectly! This book is fabulous and highly recommended by midwives, childbirth educators and doulas.

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The Mother of All Pregnancy Books:
The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth, and Everything In Between
(U.S. Edition)
by Ann Douglas

Worth buying for the appendices alone!
Reviewer: Janet F. from USA  

   I really enjoyed reading this book and found it to be a refreshing change from a lot of the bossy, holier-than-thou pregnancy books that leave you feeling like an unfit mother at times. This pregnancy book author actually has a sense of humor! But what has me cracking open this book time and time again are the amazing appendices at the back of the book. There's a glossary of pregnancy and labor-related terms, a template for a birth plan, some emergency childbirth instructions (hope not to need those, but I guess it's a good idea to have a set handy!), a 20 page directory of organizations of interest to pregnant women and new parents (e.g. name, address, phone, fax, web site, e-mail address for La Leche League, Doulas of North America, the various child safety associations, and much more), the author's picks of the best pregnancy/baby web sites, and all kinds of detailed statistics on birth. My best friend is having trouble getting pregnant and she found the various fertility resources in the book to be an absolute godsend. She was ended up joining a fabulous online support group that she found after visiting one of the web sites mentioned in this book. I wish all pregnancy books were this comprehensive and useful.

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The Hip Mama Survival Guide:
Advice from the Trenches on Pregnancy, Childbirth, Cool Names, Clueless Doctors, Potty Training and Toddler Avengers

by Ariel Gore

5 out of 5 stars hip mama's everywhere!
Reviewer: lalania00 from concord, ca

  For all mothers and mothers-to-be who don't buy into the status quo of a "typical" woman, you need something other than the "typical" baby book. whether you are single, queer, married, female, male, straight, a first timer, or been here before, the hip mama survival guide will bring you insight, humor, and real help. from non-marital hell to how to give yourself a time out, what to name your new bambino to legal guidance, hip mama is the first book to make me feel like not everyone in the world is starring at me and my kid in that funny way. with a sigh of relief, i closed this book. not because it was over but because i realized that there's more of you like me out there. we're everywhere sisters! and we're all making it! not only does this hand out practical advice but gives you a sense of empowerment and makes you want to give yourself a pat on the back. I'd like to give Ariel and all the hip mama's a high five.

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Girlfriend's Guide To Pregnancy
by Vicki Iovine

A must read for pregnant women (and their husbands)
Reviewer: Stacey M. from Chicago, IL

   If you're following "Friends", you'll see a pregnant Rachel constantly reading from "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy". Why? Well, it's just about the most helpful, funny, and honest book about pregnancy out there (believe me, I've looked!). Vicki Iovine, fed up with the clinical, boring books available during her 4 pregnancies decided to poll her girlfriends regarding everything preggo:

 1.) Why are most maternity clothes available so hideous? They either make you look like a fat pilgrim or an expanded flight attendant!

2.) What REALLY is morning sickness? How can I deal with my eyes watering and throat closing down at the sight of certain foods?

3.) Why am I crying over every diaper commercial I see?

4.) I think I might have to strangle my husband.

   The beauty of this book is this: every pregnant woman has fears and concerns that she may feel silly calling her OB/GYN every half hour for. Thank goodness Vicki and her gaggle of G-Friends have complied a full list of general preggo paranoia points. You will laugh until your eyes water, and also be surprised at just how much that tiny little bundle in your belly will change and take over your life even before it's born. Be sure to check out Vicki's other books regarding "Surviving the First Year", "Toddlers", and "The Girlfriend's Guide to Getting Your Groove Back". (NOTE: Vicki herself has never experienced miscarriage- a friend of mine who's had 2 miscarriages chose not to get this book solely based on the fact that she didn't like how Vicki handled the whole miscarriage topic. This is a good point to keep in mind for any girlfriends you might consider buying this book for.)

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The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby
by Ann Douglas, John R. Sussman

A thorough and down-to-earth reference
Reviewer: A reader from Fairfax, VA

   This book hits almost everything a pregnant mom needs to know about carrying and delivering her baby. It's not preachy at all; it simply lays out the facts and lets you draw the conclusion that works best for you. It has an extensive preconception section (which I didn't use, as I bought the book after I got pregnant), a week-by-week guide to fetal development and changes in your body, and tips on preparing your home and lifestyle for the new arrival. All in all, it's a great book, and I would encourage any mom-to-be to check out the new edition being released this January.



The Pregnancy Journal; A Day-To-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy
by A. Christine Harris

A MUST for every first time expectant mother!
Reviewer: monalala  from Ithaca, NY USA

   I absolutely love this book. And I recommend it to everyone I know who is pregnant as well. This is my first child and I found What To Expect When You're Expecting a little bit lacking. My husband and I read this journal together every night - it has really added a wonderful bond during this pregnancy. Recently we've started reading it to the baby as well (we have a special microphone that attaches to my belly) and so the baby gets to hear Daddy's voice every night too. No, there is not a lot of room to write and some of the information can feel redundant, but all in all it is exactly what it says it is. It gives you just enough info to feel like you understand what is happening with your baby and your body every day. And it tells you things your doctor is likely to leave out. There is a place to keep track of both your weight and your waist size which is convenient when you're looking back trying to see how much you've grown. And I personally don't want to write a whole lot in this journal and it gives just enough room to write the necessities. I plan to show this book to my baby one day so I don't want all the ultra private thoughts in there. I leave that for the blank book that serves as my personal journal.



The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America's Baby Experts
by Williams Sears, Md., Martha Sears, Linda Hughey Holt

Excellent resource!
Reviewer: An Customer

   The Pregnancy Book is an excellent resource for anyone who is expecting - whether you're pregnant for the first time or the third time. The book walks you through each month of the pregnancy and describes what mom and baby should look like and feel like. Throughout the text, the actual thoughts and feelings of expectant moms appear in italics. I found these comments to be very comforting since many of them were similar to what I was feeling myself. At the end of each chapter, there are questions and answers. Again, I found myself relating to many of the questions that were asked. While providing a great deal of factual information, The Pregnancy Book also comes across as very personal and caring. It is a great companion book to We're Pregnant! which focuses on a real life couple as they experience life as expectant parents. The two books together give a true picture of what a woman goes through during a pregnancy. I found it reassuring to know I was in good company when it came to my thoughts, feelings and concerns.

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