Best Pregnancy Books In India
You may have seen your sister and friends go through pregnancy with grace. But it is only when you personally go through this period that you understand the real in and out and the psychological, emotional and physical changes associated with pregnancy.
No matter how close you are with your mom or sister, reading a pregnancy book is comforting and gives you a reassurance that what you feel is not so uncommon. Moreover, it prepares you for the changes to come and gives you tips to stay healthy physically and emotionally.
One of the mistakes I did during my pregnancy was read books related to baby’s development in the womb and mother’s well-being. But I did not really venture into books on how to take care of the newborn and how to be a good parent—something I corrected once I saw my baby and realized the huge responsibility lying ahead.
That is why, we bring to you some of the best pregnancy books to help you through those wonderful 9 months and beyond. These books are not just about the mom and stages of pregnancy, but also on breastfeeding, how to take care of newborns and how to be a mindful parent who are good role models for their children.
We would recommend you to get a book on pregnancy and parenting separately so as to have a complete picture on how to navigate the wonderful journey ahead of you.
Best Pregnancy Books
This was the first book I read when I was pregnant. It contains information right from the stage of preconception till after childbirth. While some may find the book to contain too much information to the point it could freak you out, I did not feel so.
The book contains information on preconception, developments at each week of pregnancy, general dos and don’ts, diet tips and so on. It also gives you information on what is normal and what is not.
If you are a person who usually googles your symptoms and concludes that you are dying, then this book may not be right for you as it might overwhelm you. But if you can read it in the right mind frame and go through information on symptoms, complications and every other detail as something to just create an awareness and not something to freak about, then by all means go ahead.
They say it takes a good deal of humor sense to wade through pregnancy and especially parenting. If you are generally a jovial person who enjoys a good laugh and can take sarcasm and even crass humor in a good stride, then Belly Laughs is what you need.
The book is authored by Jenny McCarthy, former host of MTV’s Singled Out.
In it, you can read about morning sickness, swollenness, hemorrhoids, weight gain and almost every aspect of pregnancy and labour in gory details with a touch of some deprecating humor. It gives you a good laugh and a reassurance that you are not alone. But if you or if you are gifting it to an uptight person who may get offended easily, this book won’t win your love.
For the uninitiated, Mayo Clinic is one of the most reputed hospital chains in the US. The cover page of the book says “Written by doctors who are also parents” which is a reassuring as it implies that you can associate with the authors as they have sailed in your same ship and at the same time has the authenticity of doctors who are the best to advice in this matter.
I wasn’t able to lay my hands on this book during my pregnancy. But going through it I can definitely say that it is better than “What to expect when you are expecting” as it seems a lot more authentic and has a matter of fact approach rather than being judgmental.
Overall, it captures all important aspects on a month-by-month basis, including emotional, mental and physical well-being and common problems like morning sickness, gas, back pain, heart burn etc. There is also a final chapter on serious complications which the advice you to read only if you develop any of them, lest it might freak you out.
This book truly can act as your go-to pregnancy reference guide that can help you sail through pregnancy reassuring and comforting you that what you face is not that uncommon at all.
As you might know, the author of Pregnancy Notes: Before, During & After Rujuta Diwekar is a celebrity nutritionist whose clientele includes Kareena Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Anil Ambani and so on.
This book is not quite about the emotional and physical changes during pregnancy, but rather can enlighten you about ancient food wisdom and age old practices for pre and post-natal care. As the author herself calls it, it is the ultimate diet book for pregnancy with tidbits about exercises and recovery during all stages.
The recipes in the book however suits North Indian style of food preparation and those from South and north-east may not quite find them to their taste.
Originally written in Marathi, this book has a strong base in Ayurveda. So, do not buy this book unless you believe in this system of medicine. The book talks about stages from preconception, pregnancy to post pregnancy lifestyle and even tips on how to take care of your baby till he/she is 2 years old. The information provided is not only about food and nutrition, but also about exercise, maintaining positive thoughts and overall well-being of the mother and child. As the book is written by Marathi author, people from other parts of the country might find it hard to get the ingredients for the preparations and recipes given in the book.
We have been talking about the mother and child till now. But what about the most important person in their life—the father? Fathers are likely to be a lot confused when the wife is pregnant. Is she happy? Is she sad? Does she want to have sex? Did I do something or is it mood swings? Why is she acting so weird? So on goes an endless array of questions. To answer them and to let them know that they are not alone and that their wife will turn back to the same old normal person after childbirth (ahem… well, may be a few years after child birth), get the to-be-dad this must-have book.
Though based on American context, this book will definitely be invaluable if you hope to be a hands-on-dad for your little one.
You may also like: Ultimate Shopping List For Newborn Baby
So far, we have been talking about pregnancy. So, now what about the things to do when you have the little bundle of joy in your hands? How do you take care of him/her? Breastfeeding, nutrition, diaper change, weaning, socializing, dealing with tantrums are all phases that you will have to go through in the next 2-3 years. The first thing that new moms do is google their doubts. But often you will be greeted with conflicting answers to the same questions. While one says to feed on demand, other says to feed every 2 hours. One might say to hold your baby till they fall asleep, the other might say to let the baby cry. My advice would be to trust your instincts and your pediatrician. Read a single book by an authentic writer that you can trust on.
So, here are some great books to help you guide through those first few days of parenting.
Note- Not to scare you, but no matter how many books you read on parenting, your child is unique and will put you through situations that no parenting books would have ever talked about. These books offer enlightening guidelines on how to deal with children in general and may not offer you solution to every unique situation you face with your little one.
Written by Dr. Michel Cohen, a pediatrician, this book talks about tips and techniques for a happy, healthy baby. Right from feeding, sleeping to injuries and health concerns, this book contains almost every health and development related questions you are likely to have in the first few years. The book is written in American context, so you may find it difficult to relate to certain aspects of parenting.
Written by neuroscientist John Medina, this book talks about the “whats” and “whys” of parenting. What makes a child happy? what makes them sad? What makes them not listen to parents. So, on, the author explains various factors and day-to-day activities that affect a baby’s brain in a scientific manner. From watching TV to tips for impulse control to raising smart, emotionally intelligent children, this is a must-read book that imparts pearls of wisdom for raising successful individuals who are in control of their self.
Once the child is born, you are likely to have a thousand question on how to feed? how to put your little one to sleep? is she hungry? Does she have colic? And so on…
This book is a dependable guide you can turn to for answers right from birth up till your baby turns three. Interlaced with humor, personal anecdotes and parenting wisdom, this definitely is a great book for all new parents.
Please do et us know which of these books you prefer in the comments below.