When I first found out I was pregnant, I was over the moon (understandably.) During that awkward I-know-but-I-can't-tell-everyone-yet phase, I did a fair bit of reading to satisfy my need to think about baby often.
I was overwhelmed by the level of contradictory information I received from pregnancy magazines, so I opted to read books that seemed to align more with my quest to avoid chemicals in my everyday life.
Here are some books I found helpful:
The Complete Organic Pregnancy- Deirdre Dolan and Alexandra Zissu
What I liked about this book was that it was quite specific about what you should avoid eating and putting on your body during pregnancy. It's divided into the different stages of pregnancy, covering postnatal life too. It was an American book, so some of the information was of limited value (e.g. the types of fish you should avoid...half of them aren't available in Australia anyway.) One of the best features about this book is the fact that it contains many, many accounts from people other than the authors. These accounts describe the real challenges and decisions facing new parents, and how the situation panned out for these particular parents. This allowed me as the reader to make up my own mind, based on the anecdotal evidence. I much prefer this to an instructional book, as I know there is not always a 'right' and 'wrong' way of doing things in life.
I bought my paperback copy on Amazon. I've noticed they have a Kindle version out too.
Mother's Little Helper- Wendyl Nissen
This book outlines they way Grandma used to do things (totally up my alley, I know.) I found it quite practical, and there were recipes for yummy foods, remedies for morning sickness and ways of making your own organic baby wipes, lotion and bath wash. The last three I am particularly keen on, because I have recently been reading labels on 'organic' baby products and have been disappointed to say the least. At least if I have a go at making some myself, I know exactly what is and isn't going on my baby.
There were some pieces of advice I chose not to take (e.g. Stimulating nipples is a technique used to assist in labour induction, so I won't be rough-housing mine to prevent cracking/bleeding later on.)
Wendyl is from New Zealand, and I found a lot of products she mentioned are readily available in Australia, which was helpful. I also liked that when I e-mailed her with a question, she replied within a day or two. Knowing you can access the author is also a definite advantage in my opinion. Her website is filled with regular updates for people interested in chemical free living.
I bought my copy of Mother's Little Helper on Mighty Ape.
Baby Love- Robin Barker
This one was given to me by my older sister. She swore by it when she had her three children. Don't be put off by how huge the book looks (it's like two inches thick!) Everything is conveniently divided into chapters, and when curious about certain topics, they are easy to locate.
The information so far (still working my way through this one!) has been very practical and there are multiple suggestions for how to overcome certain obstacles, such as difficulty breastfeeding. There was also a great little section for fathers-to-be. I like this as I often feel like the poor guys get left out and feel helpless. So far the only other literature I have found for men is a booklet given to us at birth class. While it did contain some helpful information, it did describe the baby in terms of a car (e.g. 'When to change the oil', 'understanding your model' and 'things will be easier once you clock up a few kms.') Not entirely endearing, so I appreciating Baby Love speaking about the baby as if it is a human.
I have seen this book at nearly every major bookstore. Alternatively, I am sure you can get a copy online from Booktopia etc.
Reading has made me (hopefully) a little more prepared for what is to come. At birth class and the physio class I attended recently, much of the content was going over what I had read, so that was reassuring as well.
Let's see what the next seven or eight weeks brings!