Feeling a little bit tired of those new mom education videos on YouTube? Sometimes, learning about pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care in the good, old-fashioned way of reading is one of the easiest ways to access information, challenge beliefs, and cultivate knowledge to ease the transition into motherhood. Especially for those who refuse to head into the Summer season with a good book, we invite you to peruse the top twelve books on our Bookshelf, curated to cover various topics from holistic coverage of the motherhood journey to nutrition after birth, postpartum recovery, queer familes, and managing expectations as a mother of color. These titles are categorized into themes based on what you will find in each book - so go ahead and scroll to find what you are looking for, and happy reading!
Though every mother’s pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience is different, one thing we know for sure is that mothers exhibit resilience and energy in every step, radiating so much love for their little ones. In these moments though, it’s important to take a step back and acknowledge that just as much as you care for your little one, you also need to take care of yourself.. Moms, enjoy these titles as they are for you.
Every woman is different, and Dr. Bhatia recognizes that. Super Woman RX provides five plans depending on your superwoman power type, either a Boss Lady, a Savvy Chick, an Earth Mama, a Gypsy Girl, or a Nightingale. Drawn from Western, Chinese, and Ayurvedic traditions, this book will guide you from the inside out to become the radiant, multifaceted woman you can be and are. Achieve your optimum health, and maintain your sense of self with the guidance from Dr. Taz.
Everyone talks about how lovely and delightful motherhood is, but sometimes, it’s not. If you’re experiencing these emotions, it can be a difficult time, but you should know that you are not alone. Awake at 3 a.m. is a book written by therapist Neufeld who has aided women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She is aware of the emotions and mental health concerns that are not widely talked about post birth, and this book will guide you through this time with love and care.
You’re pregnant, and thinking, now what? Often, moms experience anxiety that they will spend forty weeks preparing for the day the little one will arrive, but yet, they won’t have remembered to prepare for everything. There are a lot of ways to prepare for your baby, and it is important to be ready as you will be exhausted, and will have hoped your pregnant self took care of everything in advance. Rely on these books below to help you plan ahead.
Pregnancy is exciting, but it can also be a little scary. No need to fret, rely on 50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Guide and its tips, tricks, advice and tasks to prepare you well for this journey. This is a great book filled with basics, especially if you love to plan and check off boxes! With this book by your side, you will be more than ready for the little one that is about to come.
Each mother has a different experience when it comes to pregnancy. With Leslie Schrock’s comprehensive book guide, you will be able to answer all of those questions and make decisions regarding your pregnancy experience, from conception to birth and postpartum. The use of the latest research and evidence makes Bumpin’: The Modern Guide to Pregnancy: Navigating the Wild, Weird, and Wonderful Journey From Conception Through Birth and Beyond a one of a kind read for you and your baby’s journey.
40 weeks is a long time, but Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood and Trusting Yourself and Your Body provides a comprehensive and detailed review of each trimester and month. Filled with remedies, tips, and helpful decision-making tactics and topics, you'll feel more prepared than ever for every step of this journey.
So much momentum has been built up to the birth of your baby that we often forget to remember to prepare for what comes after. So, let’s shift some focus to nurturing our body, mind and spirit in the postpartum stage - after all, it’s called the fourth trimester for a reason.
The first 12 weeks after birth is as important as the preceding 40 weeks, being essential to the baby’s development and growth as well as the mother’s recovery. The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality is a book that delves into how new mothers can manage their wellbeing in many aspects of postpartum life, in a holistic way. Your body isn’t the only thing affected by pregnancy and birth, and thus, Johnson highlights emotional, relational, and spiritual healing through restoration, strength, exercise, and more.
Everyone says that pregnancy and birth should be joyful, fulfilling, and wonderful. However, the reality is mothers face tremendous pressure, both physically and emotionally. A Natural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health: The First Book by Doctors That Really Addresses Pregnancy Recovery is written by physicians and guides women through the postpartum period - it also recommends actions that you can proactively take before and during birth, to prevent many postpartum ailments.
Based on the Chinese practice of zuo yuezi, or “sitting a moon cycle after birth,” The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother provides sixty recipes for postpartum. Designed to nourish and replenish, the recipes will support and uplift mothers in whatever way necessary, whether by helping create more energy and facilitating healing, or providing a comforting moment. The body quickly changes after delivery, and it's important to maintain a nutritious, balanced diet while caring for a new baby. Drop a hint to your partner so that they can cook you a sumptuous meal while you enjoy some much-deserved bedrest.
As women of color, Black mothers have the additional challenge of dealing with racist stereotypes that threaten their wellbeing and confidence as parents; for one, statistics show that Black women are 2-3 times more likely to die during childbirth than their white female counterparts. It is important to acknowledge that this issue exists, and find ways through which us women can unite to battle racism. For our Black mothers, we want you to know that we are here to help you feel empowered, beautiful and confident in your identity as women and mothers, starting with the recommendation of these wonderful books.
Written as a parenting book and full of encouragement to help Black moms love themselves just as they are, The Brown Mama Mindset: A Blueprint for Black Moms on Life, Love and Home by Muffy Mendoza challenges mothers in each chapter to become vulnerable and confident, and find beauty in themselves.
Written from the perspective of first-time Black mother Dani McClain, We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood focuses on the hostility that can come with being a Black woman in our society today. While attempting to push fear aside, McClain aims at figuring out a way to raise her daughter to live and love like any other child. This book gets at it all, and alongside the distraughtness it may bring, McClain provides a sense of hope for our future society. When reading this book, know that you are not alone, and as a society we can come together to ensure that Black mothers can raise their children in a welcoming, safe, and loving community.
The “norm” of family is no longer the simple nuclear structure it used to be. Not all who have children are women, and not all who are parents are heterosexual or monogomous. It is important to recognize the variety of loving families there are, and educate ourselves on the ins and outs of navigating these connections in our society. Learn from these books below, and recognize the love that is created in any family when welcoming a child.
And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families flows through the highs and lows of queer parenthood by providing a series of personal essays. Diving into the unknowns of the queer family structure, Goldberg answers many questions surrounding kinship and parenthood that are often untold, and surpass the typical nuclear family structure. Deeply moving and unique, you can expect to become evermore knowledgeable about the topics such as the vastness in the definition of a family, the uniqueness of a donor, and the social pressures faced with the lack of an existing model, as well as understand that not every family looks or is formed in the same way.
Just like any form of health care, pregnancy and birth are a part of a system. There are hierarchies, challenges, privileges and oppressions. Through this system, certain forms of birth are recommended, others discouraged; certain mothers and infants are well cared for, and others are dismissed. In these titles below, you will learn about the system of birth and how it operates.
I first read Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care during my last semester of college in a Psychology of Gender course, and learned that the United States’ practices around birth are more than questionable; the decisions during labor and pregnancy are made almost entirely by doctors and nurses, and alternative births that expecting mothers may want to explore, such as home births, the use of doulas and midwives, are uncommon and unavailable. Birthing has changed over the decades into a quick procedure rather than an important moment and event, and women’s needs, rights, and autonomy are being overlooked during this momentous transition into motherhood due to a failed system. Block’s book dives deep into this system of birth, and tells a thorough and compelling story regarding maternity and infant care in the United States.
Needless to say, my opinions and feelings regarding birth completely changed after this reading. If you are ready to have opinions and beliefs around the birth process challenged, and are prepared to feel a bit enraged through startling statistics, facts, and personal accounts, I recommend that you give this title a try - but approach with caution.
That brings us to the end of our list - did you find a book that piqued your interest? Stay posted with us as we continue to build out our Bookshelf and share more vetted resources with you - in the meantime, feel free to browse for additional titles in our compilation of female-owned bookstores below, or share titles that you think should be added to this list in the comment section.