For National Read a Book Day 2020, we asked you guys to recommend pregnancy and parenting books so we could put together a list – well, here we are!
1. Practical ways to make your birth better by Siobhan Miller
In this book, Siobhan, founder of The Positive Birth Company, debunks common myths about hypnobirthing and explains why she believes it can make every type of birth a better experience - from a water birth at home to an unplanned caesarean in theatre.
'Siobhan manages to completely demystify hypnobirthing, making it accessible and relevant to all women and all births. This book will be a complete game changer and I will be recommending it to mums-to-be from now on'
Sarah Turner, author of The Unmumsy Mum
2. The Modern Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond by Marie Louise
Whether you are planning for a baby, just found out you are pregnant or well into your third trimester, this book will help you to feel confident, informed and inspired about your exciting journey ahead.
‘Marie Louise is a dream come true for any parent with her uncanny ability to simplify the most important and complicated questions’
Emma Bunton, co-founder of Kit and Kin
3. Give birth like a feminist by Milli Hill
For too long women have been told, ‘a healthy baby is all that matters’. This book dares to say women matter too.From the importance of birth plans to your human rights in childbirth, and including birth stories from women across the world, this call-to-arms will help you find your voice, take an active role in your choices, and change the way you think about childbirth.
‘I feel so lucky to have read Milli’s book while pregnant, she completely changed my way of looking at giving birth’
Ella Mills, author of Deliciously Ella
4. Your baby, your birth by Hollie de Cruz
In-demand hypnobirthing coach Hollie de Cruz provides you with the skills and tools to make any birth feel safe, calm, connected and empowering. Drawing on her experience working with new mums, including Fearne Cotton and Giovanna Fletcher, Hollie de Cruz helps you prepare for a positive (not 'perfect') birth experience and approach to motherhood with confidence in yourself and your instincts.
“Hollie has completely changed the way I look at giving birth. I have no doubt that my experiences would’ve been entirely different had she not given me her calm and soothing guidance”, Giovanna Fletcher
5. The Baby Feeding Book by Vanessa Christie
A unique, fascinating and holistic guide into the world of feeding babies and becoming a parent. Packed full of expert information, practical tips and true stories from parents, this book smashes through the myriad of myths and conflicting advice to detail everything any new parent wants to know, in order to help them make their own informed decisions and feed happily and successfully, according to their own goals.
'I love The Baby Feeding Book's no-nonsense, realistic, empowering and compassionate approach. It's a must-have book for all new parents'
Rebecca Schiller, author of The No Guilt Pregnancy Plan
6. The Gentle Parenting Book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith
Parenting trends come and go. Gentle parenting is different - it isn't a label for a precise set of rules but a method of parenting that embraces the needs of parent and child, while being mindful of current science and child psychology. It means parenting with empathy, respect, understanding - and boundaries.
“Sarah Ockwell-Smith uses the term 'gentle parenting' to encompass deep insights into the ways that parents can be responsive to the needs of children while maintaining their own inner balance. I love the way Sarah breaks the concept down into clear guidelines - without being strident about one right way to be a parent”, Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting
7. Parenting the sh*t out of life by Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka
This is one couple's take on the horrors and humour of modern parenting told from his side and hers: honest, sad and laugh-out-loud funny. It will speak to anyone with a child or children of their own - or to those hoping to take that monumental step. It may not be easy and you might have no idea what you are doing but, as the Pukkas demonstrate, with a bit of teeth-gnashing, tongue-chewing and joke-cracking, you too will be parenting the sh*t out of life.
Cherry Healey, author of Letters to my Fanny
8. Letters on Motherhood by Giovanna Fletcher
A collection of heartfelt and deeply poignant letters written by Giovanna to her three young sons Buzz, Buddy and Max, husband, Tom, and the family and friends who have inspired and supported her to become the mother that she is today.
“Her trademark humour and honesty remind us that positivity is key to making it as a mum... Giovanna knows there's no perfect way to parent - and that's why we will always love her!”
9. Mindfulness for Mums by Izzy Judd
This book will guide you through invaluable, quick and easy self-care tips to help you find a moment's calm in the chaos of motherhood and life as a whole. Izzy Judd's beautiful and practical book will hold your hand through the challenging and exhausting days, exciting and happy days and most importantly provide something you can teach your children and share together over the years.
“Most mums probably feel anything but mindful at the moment. However, Izzy believes that it's possible to find tiny moments of calm amid the chaos, and in her practical book she'll teach you how”
The Sun Newspaper
10. Ask Me His Name by Elle Wright
Ask Me His Name is a moving account of Elle's pregnancy, Teddy's life, and what happens when a mother leaves a hospital with empty arms. In the UK, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in premature death, but conversations about the heartbreakingly frequent issue of baby loss are few and far between. In this honest, beautifully written and hopeful exploration of a different kind of mothering, Elle explores how she navigated a parenthood that no one had prepared her for.
“Teddy is such a lucky little boy to have Elle as his mummy. I have no doubt that he is so proud of the way Elle speaks about him and honours him in all that she does. A beautiful book, from a wonderful woman, about a very special little boy”
11. Life After Baby Loss by Nicola Gaskin
In this very gentle guide, Nicola Gaskin opens up the conversation around baby loss offering raw, honest and deeply empathetic support to all parents. From coping with the initial shock, finding ways to overcome jealousy and anger, surviving birthdays and Mother’s Day, through to living with everlasting grief and the fresh round of grief and anxiety that comes with parenting after loss, it will help you to navigate through a huge range of intense and complex emotions.
“We love that Nicola is both tackling the stigma and helping other parents to reach out and access the support they need through this book”,
Tommy's the charity
'Try not to focus on the circumstances around your pregnancy and enjoy it!'
One mum shares her experience of smoking during pregnancy and why she urges other mothers to try and quit.
"I spent a couple of weeks at home taking it very easy. Even a sneeze or a cough could be painful, so I didn’t do much other than take a few steps around the flat when I could."
'I wish there was more I could say about that but it really was over so quickly!'