As a three time mom, you might think I'd be an expert at all things pregnancy and baby related. Yeah...I may have been through it three times, but most days I feel just as clueless as a new, first-time mom. Every pregnancy is different, and every baby/child is unique! I'm the type of person who has to have all of the information possible on any given topic, so as soon as the big fat positive sign popped up on that first pregnancy test, I was out the door and on my way to pick up the "pregnancy bible": What to Expect® When You're Expecting.
I think everyone has heard of this book- it's spent over 600+ record breaking weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and is recommended by moms and doctors all over the world! I read this book with each one of my pregnancies and loved following along during those 9 long and exciting months while preparing for baby. Like I said, every pregnancy is different, plus when you consider the age gaps between your pregnancies and "mommy brain" (it's a real thing) you definitely need a little refresher course each time around. I loved curling up with What to Expect® every night and check in on what was going on with my body and the tiny, precious little baby that was miraculously growing inside of me. I couldn't get enough! It was all I could think about. It was fascinating to see how that little guy grew every month and the amazing changes my body was going through (and how to prepare and cope with some of those big changes). There's also a special section devoted to eating well, which really helped me keep my weight right on track and stay healthy throughout my pregnancies.
What to Expect® really helped put my mind at ease while pregnant, all three times. You really do forget what things are like and especially with this last pregnancy, I had a hard time remembering if certain symptoms were "normal" or not. Luckily, I had a pregnant buddy who I could compare with and we both would refer to What to Expect® for the real answer. I'd text her something like "OK, is it normal to have shortness of breath, leg cramps, and Braxton Hicks contractions this early? I " And she'd reply with "I haven't had any contractions or cramps, but yeah, it's getting harder to breathe. What to Expect® says it's normal! Stop worrying and put your feet up mama!"
The best part is that What to Expect® doesn't just end when the baby is born. The end of the book focuses on labor & delivery, postpartum (the first 6 weeks), a section on illnesses, sickness, and complications, and a chapter completely devoted to the dads. The postpartum section is awesome and includes everything you could ever want to know about recovering from labor (all types), breastfeeding, diapering and cleaning your baby, and more.
Beyond that, there are three other books in the What to Expect® series to help guide you through the first few years of parenting. They are each set up in the same style as the first book, and go through each month in great detail.
I've read and love What to Expect® the First Year. This book helped me so much as a new mom, and I read it from cover to cover probably a dozen times. It has so much helpful information in there about anything and everything baby related. I actually just consulted it a few days ago when I had a question about weaning and breastfeeding. It also has a section in the back that talks about keeping your baby safe, which includes CPR and first aid information- this is great information that every parent should read! I made my husband go over and familiarize himself with it just in case. I'm so excited to now have What to Expect® the Second Year too so that I have a great reference for beyond the first birthday (which is quickly approaching!)
I recommend this book to all of my expecting mom (and dad) friends! Since I love them so much, I'm offering a giveaway for all four books in the What to Expect® series for one lucky Lulu & Sweet Pea reader.
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