Book Club Review + Bonus Download! (Trying To Conceive, Pregnancy + Parenting)

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In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal.

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If you’re looking for more book or podcast recommendations you can read my other book reviews from this year you can catch up here.

The goal of this take on our Book Club is to share a glimpse of some of the books we read, gifted, purchased or were recommended but never got to.

This was especially helpful since my pregnancy took place over the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine which meant no hospital tour, lack of doctor’s visits, cancelled educational classes and much more interrupted. Our TTC journey was longer and more strenuous than we ever thought so a lot of these resources can help along with that.

No matter where you are in your TTC, pregnancy or parenthood journey, I hope this list is helpful! Please leave your suggestions in the comments to help others. 

 

Trying To Conceive

These books come highly recommended in the TTC community whether you’re experiencing infertility or not. Education is power. The more knowledge you have the better! I know most education is geared toward women but men are just as equally responsible for learning as much as they can about themselves, females and the biological cycle! 

starts with the egg It Starts With The Egg by Rebecca Fett

This is half of the equation after all. The entire process of ovulation, fertilization and implantation is a long one. Even growing up with a basic understanding of our cycles and system there is so much to learn. There are many things you can do to improve egg quality through common and painful diagnoses like PCOS and your chance of success in treatments like IVF. This book is the ideal resource for detailed and up to date information. Women often share how much they learned after reading. 

 

taking charge 

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

This book helps women looking to avoid pregnancy, go about fertility in a natural way and/or maximize their chances of getting pregnant. Every woman should have the goal of learning how to gain better knowledge of their gynecological and sexual health. They say ‘control’ but there is only so much you can control. Your body goes through a lot month to month and it’s worth a read to see what you might be missing or can adapt to. 

 

before expecting 

What To Expect Before You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

I had heard of the timeless WHEN You’re Expecting title (mentioned below) but didn’t know this book existed until I really dove into research. All of the information you Google search, hear, ask or wonder about is outlined in this book in the form of a manual. I’ll admit this was one of the less helpful books just because it’s so large and wasn’t designed for sitting down once or twice and reading but if you’re thinking of starting a family soon and have the time, this is worth checking out and a great starting place before you do the deep dive.

 

fertility diet The Fertility Diet

This was one I didn’t read but had done lots of research online about. Women who were focused on diet changes to improve ovulation and naturally boost fertility or struggled with food habits in the past found this helpful. I think you, too, will find a lot of the same information so renting this from a library or finding a free/low-cost audiobook would be beneficial. Don’t forget there are guidelines and suggestions for males and females! There are myths and old wives tales you can (and probably should) ignore so get the facts here! 

 

beyond the pill Beyond The Pill by Dr. Jolene Brighten

While I didn’t personally read this book it was a common suggestion in the support group pages. I was on the pill for about 11-12 years and wondered in the beginning how much this effected at least the beginning of the process. Hormonal birth control was the go-to solution for extremely painful periods and as a contraceptive for many years but I had no idea how much it influenced so many parts of me and aspects of my life. One criticism I did see online was that it felt a little ad-ish. This was also published in 2019 so you’ll find up-to-date information to make the best decision possible now for yourself and your daughters.

 

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Pregnancy

One of the first things I did when finding out I was pregnant was start (private) registries on sites like Amazon and this journal was one of my first purchases. Yes, to kickstart the checklist needed to get your fun welcome box but also to write letters to our child from the beginning. It also goes through the first year of their life so I will have a place to record milestones.

My friend gifted me this journal in the beginning which allows me to write notes from myself to myself and, trust me, there are some things you’ll want to keep separate! Every week or two I update these journals and include my bump photos and ultrasounds. 

when youre expecting

What To Expect when You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

Congrats! You’re expecting and this 45 pound book will finally be relevant in your life! Kidding. Kind of. But this is large. The book is broken down by trimesters, months and weeks so I read in sections as I am coming in to a new milestone. There are inserts for the partner in this popular book, a few pictures and helpful size comparisons. It’s also fun to read about what will happen, is happening…and it’s eerily accurate a majority of the time. The app, along with Pregnancy+, are my go-to’s each week on my cell to track, record and learn. 

 

cribsheet Cribsheet by Emily Oster

My friend recommended this book to me and I am so glad I purchased it! This is completely data-driven and looking fairly at both sides without bias (maybe baby-book authors should help out with politics…). I appreciated the updated facts to combat the unsolicited or outdated advice as well as decipher old wive’s tales. It was helpful to take a look at everything from a newborn in the hospital to the hot parenting topics with toddlers. My husband actually read this after I did and enjoyed everything he learned to the point he will continually make references now that we’re parents. I highly recommend this for moms AND dads to be; first-time parent or not! 

 

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg & Jeannie Hayden

When you announce your pregnancy, it’s always fun to get dad a little something. Most of the books for dads to be are lighthearted and barely helpful with information but this was a decent mix of both. The illustrations are more detailed than Ikea instructions but reads like a comic style What To Expect book.  To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much and wanted a fun, inexpensive gift to include when I told my husband. 

 

Parenthood

*We are still very much new to parenting (At the time I am typing this I have a six week old sleeping behind me) so I will be sure to update as we go! I find myself watching TakingCaraBabies on Instagram along with many other educational accounts and YouTubers as I feed allll..dayy…annddd…niiighhttt…lonngggg. 😉 

 

What To Expect The First Year by heidi murkoff

Not like I am reading much right now with my hands so full but I did start this book which begins with your stay in the hospital, leads you through breastfeeding and then milestones based on week/month age. This was also a #1 Best Seller in the category of Men’s Health! I’m more likely to turn to the app notifications and emails that come through right now but do want to reference the hard copy; especially when it comes to sleep and the FAQ. 

 

Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford

I had heard interviews from Mallory Ervin on YouTube and her Living Fully podcast with the author of this book as well as referencing what she pulled from reading so I made the purchase when I was pregnant. Now that I see my son’s learning about the world around him I know I don’t ever want to be looking at my phone when he’s looking at me. This is still on my nightstand as I learn how to handle the demands of a newborn but it is next up. I don’t think it is ever too early, or late, to change your habits but it will be too late to spend that time with your kids. 

 


 

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Cheers!

Marin

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