Pregnancy Books

NaBloPoMo Jan2011

So, these are the books I used for reference and information during my pregnancy. (The numbers are from the Reading 2010 list, of course.) While they each have more or less information on both childbirth and breastfeeding, I also got specific books on both topics, which I’ll discuss separately (both sets also have some discussion of pregnancy, of course). They were chosen largely on grounds of being available in the bookshops I walked into, rather than recommendations, since only my DH and I knew I was pregnant when I bought and began reading them. (Well, the bookseller probably guessed, when we bought copies of practically every book on pregnancy and birth they had, all at once, but that’s okay.)

36. The Guide for When You’re Expecting by Rabbi Simcha Fuld

This wasn’t the first I began reading, but being short it’s the first I finished. (Admittedly, these books are probably numbered later than they should be, since I didn’t put them on the list until I was willing to admit to being pregnant.) It’s a very useful pocket-sized tome of specific information for English-speaking orthodox Jewish people having babies in Jerusalem. While there’s useful stuff there for people who only fit some of those criteria, it’s aimed at those of us who fit all of them, and being published in 2009 it’s pretty up-to-date with useful names, phone numbers and bus numbers to get in touch with hospitals, specialists, officials and others. It wasn’t particularly expensive and I’d highly recommend it to anyone else who fits the criteria. It doesn’t appear to be available online, but can probably be found at the bigger sellers of Orthodox Jewish books in English in Jerusalem.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

37. What to Expect When You’re Expecting (4th ed.) by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

This was the first relevant book we bought, and the only pregnancy/childbirth specific one not from a Jewish perspective. It has a lot of clear medical detail, although the social and pregnancy-care aspects are – reasonably enough – fairly US-centric. I like how it’s laid out, with some general information chapters at the beginning, then month-by-month chapters on what’s likely to be going on for mother and foetus (with some more specific week-by-week foetal development info included), going right up to about six weeks after the birth, and then some ‘special’ chapters for particular circumstances, including ones on problems that could occur. There’s a note somewhere near the beginning of those recommending that they only be read if specifically relevant, as worrying unduly about such things isn’t helpful. That does sound somewhat patronising, which is a complaint I’ve heard about this book (although I believe more with previous editions) so other books may be found to be better – I simply didn’t have easy access to them.

Cover of B'Sha'ah Tovah
46. B’Sha’ah Tovah: The Jewish Woman’s Clinical and Halachic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Rabbi Baruch and Michal Finkelstein

This may have been the only one of all these books I’d actually heard of before looking into all this. (Having seen it at friends’ houses.) It’s fairly comprehensive in covering the medical and Jewish aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, and while I didn’t find the chapter/topic division suited me quite as well as some of the other books, I definitely appreciated having it.


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3 Responses to “Pregnancy Books”

  1. Rajiv Says:

    Nice collection 🙂 will be useful in next few years 😛

  2. hakea Says:

    “What to expect when you are expecting” scared me witless when I was pregnant. Pregnancy is a scary time, especially the first time, and I didn’t want to know in explicit detail all the things that could go wrong (denial is a good thing!).

    I recommend the book “Up the duff” by Kaz Cooke to parents. It’s written by an Australian author in a humorous way. You might as well have a laugh whilst finding out about all the bad stuff, eh?

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