Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Books can be practical

My non-fiction lately has been baby-oriented of late (for how else does one learn anything, if not through a book?). I've written already here about the fascinating books I've been reading about pregnancy and motherhood, but made little reference to the more practical texts I've been reading. (I don't mean to imply that the other books aren't practical. In fact I'm sure they'll be the more referred to once baby ceases to be kicking on the inside, but in the meantime let's delude myself with the idea I can get prepared).

I was fortunate to have dear friends on the other side of the Atlantic send me over a copy of Yummy Baby: The Essential First Nutrition Bible and Cookbook. The book is pretty, full of babies as delicious as the food they're eating. I've learned a lot about nutrition, weaning, avoiding fussy eating habits, encouraging good family food culture, and how to create meals the whole family can eat together. We'll see how it works in practice, but right now in my pre-baby state, the whole system seems do-able.

One book I've been referring to throughout my pregnancy has been What to Expect When You're Expecting, which is pretty standard. I've found it really helpful, though I've heard a lot of negativity about it. Mostly referring to the book's negativity, which I hadn't picked up on, and I suddenly realized why. I like What to Expect..., because every time I looked up a symptom I thought I had, the book would say, "This is normal. You're fine. Unless you're hemorrhaging, then go to the doctor. Otherwise..." and I'd rest easy. Normal women, however, probably hadn't considered these numerous ailments until they consulted the book, which they might credit with making them crazy. I, however, was crazy already (though much less so lately. It's nice).

Others... I liked Raising Baby Green so much, I bought it. Stuart is currently absorbing The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. And I just managed to borrow a copy of Birthing From Within, so we'll see how that goes. Ina-May's Guide to Childbirth was also worthwhile.

Having read all these books, and never actually having spent much time with babies (or birthin' babies), I'm pretty sure I now know everything there possibly could be to know.