Sunday, November 18, 2007

pregnancy books and classes

These are the books I read during my pregnancy. I found that taking classes (later in the post) was actually better because I could not remember half of what I read, and it was also hard finding time to read all these books in addition to leading a life! And in hindsight, I spent too much time reading pregnancy books and not enough on childcare books!

Many people do not like the What to Expect book because it's full of doom and gloom. I personally liked it as I'm a pragmatic worry wort and reading up on symptoms I have puts me at ease. Because I know, logically, that the 1/1000 chance of xxx happening to me is actually remote.

The Girlfriend's Guide isn't necessarily full of detailed information, but it's great for the emotional support.

I liked the Mayo Clinic book because it gives you baby's growth info week by week.

I also really liked Dr Sears Pregnancy book. It's written in a very clear and yet simple format. This is the book to read, not for the facts about baby developement, but for more detailed info on what to eat, what exercises to do, how to deal w/ labor, etc. Dr Sears leans towards natural childbirth. But the book listed some of the symptoms I was experiencing (esp last trimester) that I could not really find in the other books.

The Happiest Baby on the Block book is written by Harvey Karp, a pediatrician in LA. He teaches you about the 5 S's which will help shush your baby up. Definitely helpful for baby's first 3 months.


In terms of classes to take, I highly recommend the Childbirth class ($125) offered by your hospital. Of course, you may want to ask your OBGYN/midwife if they've heard good things about the class. Usually there are other places that offer childbirth classes as well. But I found that the great thing about hospital one is that you get an idea of how the hospital operates and how it will affect your birth.

In general, childbirth classes are good. There's something about receiving information from an instructor, and watching video, that beats just reading books. The visuals really help in remembering what you're supposed to know. We also had a really good instructor who gave me info that weren't in books. Another great reason to take this class is that you get to share your experiences with other expecting mothers.

I also took the Childcare class offered by my hospital ($90), which included breastfeeding info about 2 months before my due date. While it was hands on (we practiced burping and swaddling on a fake baby), I forgot all about what I learned after the baby was born! So unless you have a really great memory, you may want to skip this class and rely on the expertise of your relatives/nurses who are going to come and help you after you give birth. OR, take the class as late as you can. Maybe 1 month before your due date instead of 2, like I did. However, you may be taking your chances here because lots of people nowadays give birth before the 40th week.

The third class I took was Infant CPR. This is a non-certified CPR course that focused only on Infant CPR. I took it before the baby was born and of course I kind of forgot most of it already. But it'll probably be harder for you to take it after the baby is born because you'll be too busy.

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