Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Book List: Pregnancy, Birth, Babies

My friend Jana recently blogged about her favorite books for moms. She inspired me to share my own list of favorites.

I truly believe that it is near impossible to read an entire book and agree with every point. You need to think for yourself. Read a few, find what resonates. This is especially true when it comes to baby books. Why blindly follow some sort of "plan" written by an author who doesn't know you or your baby?

There is a popular book called Babywise. The premise is that it will make your baby sleep longer at night by following a strict schedule during the day. Sadly, moms who completely buy into Babywise follow a schedule written by an author rather than their baby's cues. This means that hungry babies are being made to wait to eat; tired babies are being forced to stay awake. The Babywise plan has actually been linked to malnourishment and failure to thrive. Do some's all out there.

Mommas, you have a gift more powerful than any book...your intuition. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it! I've heard so many moms say things like, "I'm so sorry, baby. Just 20 more minutes!" or "It just kills me to hear him cry!" Feed your baby, pick him up, hold him, rock him. Babies are only babies for a short time. When he's older, you'll wish you had rocked him to sleep more instead of standing in the hall listening to him cry. That's a promise. You don't get this time back.

That said, many moms have had success by taking a few of the book's pointers and using them in a way that suits the individual baby.

::Making an effort to steer this away from a parenting post and back to a book post::

Okay, here are some books that are on my shelf:

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Simkin et al
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman
The Baby Book by Dr. Sears
Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

and just for fun

Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy. She's laugh-out-loud funny, in a brutally honest kind of way.

Read. Enjoy. Think. Make educated choices. Don't do things just because it's what your friends do. If that's really what you want and what works for you, great. But arrive at that decision yourself. I think if you do your due diligence, you just might decide that the "way it's always done" is seldom best in our day and age.


Jana Burrow said...

I love your book choices! I especially love The Happiest Baby on the Block. I totally forgot about that one. I think when it comes to Baby Wise there is such a huge misconception that moms who follow it do it blindly with no knowledge or brainpower of their own. It's sad that the few moms that have done that and taken it to an extreme are giving it such a bad name. For those who have read it, you know that the book says repeatedly to tailor this method to your child because every child and parent is so different. It even gives varying ways of doing so. I don't know any mom that follows it that would ever let her child become malnourished or cry for hours! I guess it happens, but if it does it would be because they were doing it wrong and not because of what the method tells you to do. Anyway, that's my two cents. We should get the best moms we know together to write a book! I bet it would blow all of these away!

Renee said...

jana, yeah, the new edition does repeatedly say you should custom-tailor the plan, but unfortunately that came from the first edition being attacked by the AAP and other organizations ( like i said though, i've heard lots of moms (like you) take the info and make it work...which is awesome! i can't imagine just ignoring instincts to follow a book, ya know?

Jana Burrow said...

Absolutely. I feel so lucky to have had great influences in my life that have really given me a solid base for parenting! I can see the concern with following a book whole heartedly if you are a person that has zero support or minimal knowledge in regards to parenting to begin with. That is scary for sure.

PepsiMom said...

Unfortunately, I DO know people who have followed BW to the letter. I will never forget the mom-friend of mine who was standing over her baby saying, "But you CAN'T be hungry now! It's only been 2 hours!" when the baby was clearly asking to be fed. Now, I will grant you that it was over a decade ago when the first edition was exploding in popularity. However, many people think that because it's in print, it must be true, and despite the new additions encouraging parents to "tailor the method," I believe there is an inherent risk for any family that is trying to make their lives mirror a program as closely as possible. That being said, I also know moms--who I admire very much--who have been very happy with the program. For me, there is a big difference between following a routine with your baby and trying to force them into a schedule, which has never jived for our family.