Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Moms

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Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Moms and What to Expect Isn't One of themWe are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

You know the classic pregnancy book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and while it’s full of information I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to read that book when it comes to your first pregnancy. I founds when I was pregnant with my first that What to Expect kind of scared me; it almost had too much information and when you’re a newly pregnant mama, too much information can be a bad thing. I’ve compiled a list of the top ten pregnancy book for first time moms that I think is worth your time.



Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Moms

Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Moms Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too! 

To the point but friendly this pregnancy book has a way of being authoritative in a non-condescending way. Publisher’s Weekly said, “…the book contains at least one feature that most pregnant women will find indispensable: charts that indicate how to handle ‘troublesome signs and symptoms’ during each three week period. For example, if a woman has slight spotting during the first four weeks of pregnancy, the chart tells her to notify a doctor during her next hospital visit. But if she has any bleeding at all during weeks 29 to 32, the chart indicates that she should tell her doctor immediately.”

The Healthy Pregnancy Book: Month by Month, Everything You Need to Know from America’s Baby Experts (Sears Parenting Library)  

I like Dr. Sears and for the most part adhere Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Moms to a lot of his practices so for me, this book is a given. As a mother who gained a whopping 70 lbs during her first pregnancy I so wish I would’ve read this kind of a book when I was pregnant for the first time. Not only does Sears and the contributing authors look at nutrition but they look at all sides of pregnancy in a very easy to read book. 










Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Moms

The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (Sears Parenting Library) 

Written by the same authors, Dr. William Sears MD, and Martha Sears, RN, of The Healthy Pregnancy Book I appreciate this book because it gives every single option you have as a first time mom when it comes to labor and delivery. It also does it in a very non-judgmental way. If you are aiming for a pain medication free childbirth, Dr. Sears and his wife, Martha Sears, give you the ins and outs of your options, as well as talks with dads about what to expect and how to be helpful before, during and after L&D. said, “In this helpful resource guide, the Searses cover the gamut of possibilities, and teach readers what they need to know to take control of their own birthings. The Birth Book is divided into three parts: ‘Preparing for Birth,’ ‘Easing Pain in Labor,’ and ‘Experiencing Birth.'”

Common Sense Pregnancy: Navigating a Healthy Pregnancy and Birth for Mother and Baby 

I did not try to go all natural with any of my labor and deliveries; it wasn’t something I Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Momsaspired to do either. For some reason though, there are a lot of books out there on how to have a natural, medication free L&D experience and there’s little to no resources on every option that’s available for first time expecting mothers. I like what Jeanne Faulkner has to say and how she says it.

Pregnancy: The Ultimate Survival Guide to Pregnancy and Birth 

This book was very interesting to me because it’s written by a psychologist, Dr. Jane Smart, and while it is by no means Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Momsa medical book I think there’s something to be said about having a different perspective to all of the emotions that go along with pregnancy. I would recommend getting this book as a companion to Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!

The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy 

This book is a stitch! If you’re an avid reader and want another book to read that’s related to your pregnancy as a first time mom this is definitely it! Be Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Momsforewarned that this is not written by a doctor or midwife so you should not think of the advice given in the book at medical, at all. There are over one million copies that have been purchased so I guess you could say that it’s a good book.

The Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Moms

Belly Laughs, 10th anniversary edition: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth 

Jenny McCarthy’s national best seller is a favorite among most moms-to-be. I haven’t read it but a few of my friends have and they swear by the honesty that McCarthy displays in the book. Booklist reviews, “What’s noble about this book (yes, noble) is that women who find these topics too embarrassing to bring up now have a place to read about them in a frank and open discussion. After all, they’re as real as morning sickness, and McCarthy treats them with a candor that borders on crude but that is refreshing, and, ultimately, necessary. Not to mention funny.”

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: Updated With New Material 

If you want to have an all natural, pain medication free labor and delivery, Ina May Gaskin’s book is the way to go. Laura used Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Momsthis book, along with birthing classes to help her prepare for her first L&D. Ina May is an expert midwife with 30 years of experience.

Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time MomsWhat to Eat When You’re Pregnant: A Week-by-Week Guide to Support Your Health and Your Baby’s Development 

I love when books have clear, concise purposes. Take this book, for example, it’s clear what the goal of the book is. I know what to expect from it and what I will gain by reading it. There’s also 50 recipes for mom to cook from so she can guarantee that she’s getting the best for her developing child. Dr. Mark Hyman says, “New research shows that when you’re eating for two, your diet can have profound affects on your baby. In this smart and easy-to-follow guide–which also features simple and delicious recipes–Dr. Nicole Avena tells moms-to-be how to give their babies a healthy start in life by eating foods that support baby’s development and keep mom feeling nourished and satisfied. A copy of this book should be on every pregnant woman’s bookshelf.”

The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be 

You can’t forget Dad! A friend of mine recommended this book to my husband when I was pregnant for the first time. My Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Momshusband isn’t a reader, he’d rather listen to an audio book, but I skimmed through the pages and from what I read this is an easy read. It’s important for the dad-to-be to be just as knowledgeable to what’s happening to his partner’s body and the child developing inside.

So drop what you’re doing and do a little shopping, or check out your library to see if they have any of these titles. What’s your favorite pregnancy book?

Top Ten Pregnancy Books for First Time Moms and What to Expect Isn't One of them


Natural Remedies for Acne During Pregnancy

Natural Remedies For Acne During Pregnancy

You’ve taken the test and saw the lines you’ve been wanting to see forever; you are pregnant!!! Yay! But wait a second, why on earth do you feel like you’re going through puberty all over again? Don’t worry, while this symptom is annoying you do have some natural remedies for acne during pregnancy.

Natural Remedies for Acne During Pregnancy

Acne during pregnancy starts around week six which is usually when you find out that you’re pregnant, unless you’ve been trying to conceive and know your cycle like the back of your hand, then you might find out a little earlier about your pregnancy status. If you are prone to breakouts during your period the likelihood of having pregnancy acne increases, however, everyone is different. I am prone to a breakout during my cycle, however, being pregnant gave me the best skin so it really varies from woman to woman. Before we can dive into natural remedies for acne during pregnancy let’s get to the basics so we can understand what causes this flair up in some pregnant mamas.

Natural Remedies for Acne During Pregnancy

What causes pregnancy acne?

Everyone say it with me….HORMONES!! Hormones rule the world for a woman and this couldn’t be truer than during pregnancy. The hormones called androgens increase and can cause the glands in the skin to grow and produce more sebum, an oily, waxy substance (you know, the white or yellow stuff at the center of that pesky zit). Sebum clogs pores and that leads to bacteria, inflammation, and breakouts. You also begin to retain fluids which can contain toxins and that may lead to zits.

What’s a gal to do?

Pregnancy acne peaks during the first and second trimester and while it may be incredibly annoying it’s not really something you can cure. Here are a few tips to help you get through this annoying symptom.

  • Daily washing with gentle, natural cleanser twice a day. I personally like Cetaphil because it’s so gentle and it doesn’t contain anything that may be harmful to my baby.
  • Do not over scrub. A lot of things change with pregnancy – your hair, your feet, and your skin. Being overzealous with the exfoliate will not help your acne woes; it will most likely create more oil as your skin’s way of overcompensating for dry skin. Gentle exfoliation with a washcloth is perfectly acceptable if you feel like you need to exfoliate.
  • Up the Vitamin A intake through food. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin so try increasing your daily intake by including carrots, milk, eggs, and fish. Do not go out and get a supplement to increase your intake as too much Vitamin A can cause birth defects when it’s in a concentrated form like a supplement. Getting more Vitamin A through food is safe because it’s not in a concentrated state.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Some people swear by it, I’ve never tried so I don’t know from personal experience, but using apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a toner can work wonders. Simply put it on a cotton ball and apply after you’ve washed your face. ACV is naturally rich in enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids which are great for your skin.
  • Use baking soda for spot treatment. Baking soda can dry the oil on your skin and promotes healing. To make a paste use 1 TBS of baking soda to 1 TBS of water and mix together. Then apply it to each pimple and allow it to dry before washing off.
  • Moisturize! It sounds counter-intuitive but if your skin is dry it will create more oil to remedy that problem so give your skin a break and use a gentle, fragrance free moisturizer. Some people swear by coconut oil as their moisturizer because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Use virgin coconut oil.
  • Drink your h20!!!! You need a lot, and I mean a lot, of water when you’re pregnant for many reasons which I’m going to get into but your skin craves water and the more you have the better it will look.
  • Before starting any treatment consult your doctor. You need to consult your doctor before you begin any over-the-counter treatment since many acne products have salicylic acid and Vitamin A which can be harmful to your growing baby. (Remember we talked about the overuse of Vitamin A.)

Natural Remedies for Acne During Pregnancy

Try not to stress too much about it. It will not last forever and thankfully you aren’t in middle school anymore. The social scarring from that experience is enough to make me have nightmares! (Yeah, like the time in sixth grade when I got a big red zit on the tip of my nose…and it was in the month of December.) Stay calm, drink lots of water and when it doubt use baking soda.


What You SHOULD Put on Your Baby Registry – Advice from Experienced Moms

What You SHOULD Put on Your Baby Registry

Registering for a baby can be very overwhelming. First off there are five billion options for the same product – just look at your standard pacifier – I can’t think of at least six different pacifier brands off the top of my head and that doesn’t even include generic brands and every possible option of pacifier. I set out to get you the absolute best products you have to put on your baby registry from experienced moms who have been there and done that. So skip the baby socks, tiny receiving blankets and Pee Pee TeePees and put these items on your registry!

Just so you know, there are affiliate links in this blog post; it won’t cost you anything extra, however, should you make a purchase from one of the links I’ll receive a small commission for your purchase which in turn helps keep First Time Mom running. Thank you!

What You SHOULD Put on Your Baby Registry – Advice from Experienced Moms

Marpac Dohm For Baby, Portable White Noise Sound Machine

Marpac Dohm


Megan, one of our First Time Mom contributors, just raves about the Marpac Dohm. She says, “I didn’t register for it but ended up replacing every sound machine we had gotten with that one. Its a teeny little fan inside the machine so it doesn’t play artificial sound on a loop but rather has a continuous fan. It helped Otto fall asleep so much easier and i think its because the song/sounds didn’t end or start over. If that makes sense. There is a lot of research about how its better for babies sleep routines [to have white noise] and i would have to agree that it worked GREAT for my son.” You can purchase the Marpac Dohm or add it to your registry here.

Fisher-Price Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

Auto Rock n Play

The Rock n Play was one of the most popular products from our little survey of moms. Angie L. said, “Rock n Plays are THE BEST THING EVER. Between colic, surgeries (mine and the baby’s), and reflux I would have absolutely lost my mind without our…Rock n Play. I’ve got it stored in a closet now for when baby 2 comes along.”

MamaRoo 4 Classic Infant Seat in Grey Natural Body Movements with Bluetooth by 4moms

MamaRoo 4

Similar to the Rock n Play but a step above in both price and technology, the MamaRoo by 4moms, boasts Bluetooth technology, five unique motions that move like parents do when comforting their baby (car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, rock a bye, wave) and the ability to recline the seat if you have a little one who has a tendency to spit up a lot after feedings or who struggles with acid reflux. Mandi, one of our First Time Mom contributors, said, “This time my ‘most wanted’ is the 4moms Mamaroo. I need a safe cozy place for new baby while I chase the toddler around.”


Babies love to be swaddled, for the most part that is; you’ll find that every child is different but two out of my three children needed to be swaddled to sleep as newborns. There are a ton of swaddles on the market though so the question becomes, which one is the best? Here’s what our experienced moms had to say:

The Ollie Swaddle
The Ollie Swaddle

Mandi loves the Ollie Swaddle and said she’s got hers washed and ready to go for baby #2!

Oliver and Kit
Oliver + Kit Swaddle Blankets

Heather W. prefers Oliver + Kit Swaddle Blankets to any other swaddle while most of our moms, including experienced mom of three, Rhiana, swear by Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets. Heather W. said of Oliver + Kit, “Oliver+Kit are bigger & better quality than Aden & Anais [in my opinion]. And the prints are just adorable, bright & flashy. Different from many of the swaddle blankets on the market.”

Aden + Anais
Aden + Anais


Many parents choose to have their baby co-sleep with them or sleep in their room for the first four to six months. There are many popular products out there that aid in safer co-sleeping, however, our moms suggested these products.

Arms Reach Co-Sleeper
Arm’s Reach Concepts Ideal Ezee 3-in-1 Bedside Bassinet

Cassidy said, “Arms reach co sleeper. Amazing!! So handy to not have babe in the bed but still co sleep.”

DockATot Deluxe+ Dock
DockATot Deluxe+ Dock

The DockATot was not around when I was having babies but I have been inundated with suggestions for this product. Here’s the product description, “Due to the raised tube design and breathable and hypoallergenic materials, the Deluxe+ Dock also offers parents a safe way to co-sleep with their babies (be sure to review and follow all the Sleep Safety guidelines on our website). Deluxe+ docks are lightweight and portable, allowing for easy travel. Additional covers are available for purchase to match your mood, room and style.”

Sleep Sacks

If you live  in a cold climate like I do a sleep sack or wearable blanket is a must. The other reason why I personally love sleep sacks is because they take away the worry you experience by having loose blankets in the crib with baby. Here are a few favorite brands.

Halo Sleep Sack
Halo Sleep Sack

Halo Sleep Sack is probably one of the most popular sleep sack brands and most hospitals give their swaddle sleep sack to new parents as a gift to bring baby home in.

aden + anais sleeping bag
aden + anais Sleeping Bag

Baby Deedee Sleep Nest is my personal favorite sleep sack. It’s soft and plush, I wanted one for myself! SAFE AND COZY SLEEP: breathable fabric & comforting cocoon shape mean a restful night’s sleep for all. UNIQUE FEATURE: exclusive shoulder straps make placing a sleeping or standing baby in the sleep nest a cinch, high-quality reverse zipper.

Baby Deedee Sleep Nest
Baby Deedee Sleep Nest

Baby Carriers

The key to hands free mothering is babywearing. The preferred brands were Tula, Ergo, and LILLEbaby. Check out your local babywearing chapter because they have classes and opportunities for you to go and try out carriers to find the one that’s best for you and your family’s needs.

Baby Carrier Options

Those products you’d never, in a million years, think would be worth it but totally are.

There are some products that you just have to categorize in the “other” category and these are those products! All still highly referred by the moms in our Facebook group, The Mom Hub.

Nose Frida

It sounds incredibly disgusting and bizarre but trust us, you must get a NoseFrida. It’s similar to the bulb aspirator but highly recommended by doctors because it’s more gentle on your baby’s nose than a bulb. “Parents use their own suction to draw mucus out of their child’s nose. Disposable filters prevent any bacterial transfer. Nosefrida is easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and BPA and Phthalate free. It is superior to the bulb aspirator, presents no risk or harm to internal nasal structures and is dramatically more effective,” from Amazon.

My Breastfriend Nursing Pillow

Both Laura, my little sister, and my friend, Rhiana, love the My Breastfriend Nursing PillowWrap around design secures to the body helping mom and baby maintain positioning and latch-on. Back rest helps you maintain good posture during feeding and prevents sore back and neck; Arm and elbow rests eliminate shoulder stress. Firm, flat cushion keeps baby from rolling. Adjustable, silent-release strap fits moms or dads comfortably and unlatches without waking baby.

ezpz Mat

I love love love the ezpz Mat. Pictured here is the Mini Mat but they have a ton of different sizes and options. Mat fits most highchair trays, including ‘space saver’ models. Promotes self-feeding and develops fine motor skills by suctioning to the surface making it difficult for baby to throw onto the floor.

NumNum Pre-Spoon

NumNum Pre-Spoon Gootensil is designed to introduce the concept of utensils to kids eager to learn to feed themselves. The design reduces frustration and builds independence

We could go on and on and on but that’s our list from some pretty amazing mothers who have already been there and done that! What would you add to your registry or do you have a must-have product that you think needs to be added to this list? Let us know in the comments!

What you should put on your baby registry - Advice from experienced moms

How to get your body back after pregnancy?

How to get your body back after pregnancy

How to get your body back after pregnancy

A woman goes through massive physical, emotional and hormonal changes during and after pregnancy. Becoming a mom is probably the best feeling for a woman. Yet, many women will also agree about having thoughts of a distorted body shape after giving birth. The pictures of those svelte new mom celebrities make them feel even inferior, they end of wondering how to get their bodies back after pregnancy and get rid of those extra pounds. Less of them actually know that if managed properly, pregnancy can actually help in getting a better physique and reduces the risk for various diseases. Here are a few proven tips that will work for you to regain that dream image. Take a deep breath and read:How to get your body back after pregnancy

  1. Get started early: It is natural to gain weight while you are pregnant. But remember, being pregnant does not mean that you throw all weight loss good habits to the bin and start eating a whole chocolate cake in the breakfast or a bag of chips for lunch. There will be cravings, of course. You should learn to manage them. By getting started early, will help you gain your image quickly after birth. So, be true to yourself and stick to your natural habits during pregnancy.
  1. Breastfeed: Breastfeeding is perhaps the most natural way to lose weight after pregnancy. Breastfeeding allows you to burn almost 700-800 calories a day. Talk to your doctor and get advice about how many times you should breastfeed in a day. A little bit of weight training, with breastfeeding, after recuperating will definitely let you lose weight easily.


  1. Take rest: You will need to adjust your timetable as per needs your newborn. This can disturb your sleep cycle and you will feel overly exhausted. Your metabolism will be disturbed making weight losing a hard job. So, the solution to manage this sleep-deficit is to get sleep while your baby is sleeping. This will also keep you energetic and maintain your sugar level.

How to get your body back after pregnancy. Sleep and rest when you can.

  1. Find weight loss ingredients in your kitchen: Weight loss foods are present right in your kitchen. Take apple cider vinegar, warm water with honey, salads, green tea and sufficient water. Avoid taking dietary supplements and processed foods.

How to get your body back after pregnancy. Healthy Eating

  1. Move around: Get yourself moving. Do not just keep on sitting the whole day long. Your body would not feel up for a full-length walk so you can just take a short walk around your house 2-3 times a day.

How to get your body back after pregnancy

  1. Weight training: Get strong by lifting weights. You cannot do this immediately after giving birth. So, be patient and allow your body some time. The good news is that you do not have to go the gym or buy weights for weight training. Just hold your baby and do lunges. This is your perfect mommy weight training.
  2. Count your calories: Do not munch on empty calorie, no nutrition foods. Take whole grains, fruits, and fresh meals. Keep a track of your diet and eat in intervals. You can do so by setting the timer on your medical watch which special features for it. Portion size would not be a big problem for now. Rethink your eating philosophy. You can have a little treat sometimes because you are a mommy to an adorable baby now.

How to get your body back after pregnancy. Find other moms who are in the same situation as you.

  1. Talk with new moms: Seek support by reaching out to other new moms. You will not only enjoy moral support but also know their ways of losing weight. A mom who had her second or third baby would be really helpful in advising first-time mommies. Then you can together decide some time when you could walk and exercise together.




This post was written by Beth Martel. She is a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian. She blogs at

The skinny on baby shower thank you notes.

The skinny on baby shower thank you notes.
The skinny on baby shower thank you notes
This post was written in partnership with Basic Invite. All opinions are my own. There are affiliate links in this blog post. Thank you!

I don’t know about you but when I was growing up my mother was what I like to call the Thank You Dictator. If I had a birthday you better believe she was all over my case about following up with a thank you note within two weeks of receiving the gift. I began to dread writing thank you notes and that’s probably why it took a year and the bribe of a pair of new boots for me to finish my wedding thank you notes. You know though? As an adult I appreciate a thank you note so much. If I’m going to take the time to purchase a gift, attend a baby shower and spend so many hours there I do want to be thanked for it! So many people want to shower and love on your new little family, the least you can do is show them that you’re appreciative.

The skinny on baby shower thank you notes. Pin now and have on hand later.

How long is an acceptable length of time to send out a thank you note for my baby shower?

According to the Emily Post Institute an acceptable length of time to send out thank you notes for your baby shower is before the baby is born or two months after the arrival of the baby. Now, I know this may seem daunting but the more thank you notes you can write and send out before your baby comes the better. You will be shocked how little you can accomplish in a day once the baby arrives.

What should my thank you notes look like?

Some people like to go with the theme of their shower and make it similar in appearance for their thank you notes. I like using websites such as Basic Invite to find and select not only the theme for the invites but also a cute thank you note that goes along with the theme. Basic Invite also has 40 different color choices for envelopes which is awesome for this non-artsy, never a DIY-er lady.

The skinny on baby shower thank you notes. Pin now and have on hand later.

Tips to make the process pleasant.

  • Just do it. – Nike was right when they suggested that everyone “just do it”. The faster you finish something the better everything seems to go. Don’t dilly dally around with thank you notes, as soon as that baby is born you’ll wish you didn’t have thanking Aunt Judy hanging over your head.
  • Use services that make life easier. – You may as well learn now that the smarter you become with technology the easier life is going to go for you. After all, there’s an app for that! It’s true.
    • Basic Invite actually has a free service that requests your guest’s addresses with just three simple steps: Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing.
    • You can also have guests address an envelope themselves while they’re at the baby shower; this way everything is addressed and you’re not spending the time writing everyone’s address.
    • Don’t have time to buy stamps from the post office? Try; you can buy postage, print the stamps on labels from your home computer and voila! You’re done.
  • Use fun gel pens. – Who doesn’t love a good gel pen? It made writing notes in high school fun and it’ll totally make a huge difference as you’re laboring over the thank you notes.
  • Get the envelopes that are self-sealing. – Nothing spells angry and in pain pregnant lady than one who happens to have a paper cut on her tongue as a result of licking an envelope. (Or so I’ve heard from a friend…that sort of thing, you know?) The envelopes from Basic Invite are all self-sealing so no accidentally tongue injuries are happening when you use those bad boys.

Really the important thing to remember when it comes to thank you notes and your baby shower is that you show your appreciation to your guests and the gifts they blessed you with. Don’t wait around to write thank you notes before the baby arrives because I can tell you that will not make life any easier; just trust me. Use tools that are readily available to help you like Basic Invite and Lastly, relish in the generosity of your friends and family, after all, they love your new little family more than you may know.

The skinny on baby shower thank you notes. Pin now and have on hand later.