This is a quick post to share a short(ish) list of my top reading recommendations for the perinatal time. I've been asked for suggestions more than usual lately, so I took it as a sign to put something up here. My resource-sharing bias is toward the postpartum period, because I've observed an information gap here (compared to the plethora of pregnancy and childbirth material accessible to parents-to-be). Also, it can be tough to find neutral, fact-based resources about the early days of parenting.
Here are my top 4 choices, you can see a more complete stack of recommendations in the photo. If you have a favorite perinatal read that I didn't include here, please say so! I'd love to hear about it.
The Complete Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger covers all the bases. Kitzinger offers up to date information, supporting parents-to-be to make empowered decisions about what's right for them through pregnancy and childbirth.
Fathering Right from the Start: Straight Talk About Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond by Jack Heinowitz is an excellent guide and supportive resource for dads, encouraging meaningful participation in parenting.
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, available in paperback and as an instructional DVD (I prefer the DVD). This is a wonderful resource for understanding infants in the fourth trimester, with tangible, gentle infant soothing methods to empower new parents.
The Fourth Trimester by Susan Brink. If I were pressed to recommend one "must read," this would be it. Brink is a science journalist who skillfully writes about infants in the fourth trimester. Without value judgments or anecdotal advice, she provides all the scientifically-based information we need to successfully care for newborns. This book is for everyone in the village: parents, aunts, uncles, friends, grandparents, and on.
I encourage my clients to choose resources wisely (especially those of the online variety--be careful, be selective!) and read only that which is necessary to help empower decision-making--it's so important to find your personal balance, gathering just enough (not too much, not too little) information. Lastly and most importantly: stay flexible, leverage your supports, and trust yourself through the process!