I've lurked around here and other websites to figure out what supplements to take (if any) while I begin attempting to get pregnant, but I'm looking for book suggestions on the pregnancy process as a whole.
One that I have heard of is "What to Expect When You're Expecting," but then I found a very unfavorable review about it, claiming it's full of alarmism.
Is this a good catchall book, or are there others? Particulary any that seem to align with natural health/paleo principles? (I will say that I found Chris Kresser's Healthy Baby Code, but I'd like to avoid spending the $200 if possible.)
Oh, my. If there's a continuum, "What to Expect" is probably as far from paleo thinking that you can get!
Anyway, food-wise, the closest I've seen is Nina Plank's Real Food for Mother and Child. It's more of a Weston A. Price sort of viewpoint than paleo, though.
My favorites were La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Dr Sears' The Baby Book. It's pretty mainstream, but I liked the book Your Pregnancy Week by Week. Less alarmist than What to Expect, and with cool "this is what the embryo is doing now" moments for each week.
A really cool anthropological look at babies in different cultures is called Our Babies, Ourselves. Really fascinating stuff.
And, for the first several years I was a mother, I learned a lot from the community at mothering.com. With this second child (first is 6-1/2), I'm there quite a bit less, but the people there know lots of good stuff. The focus there is "natural family living" so you'll have people who ascribe to that because of their food habits, cloth diapering, attachment parenting, extended breastfeeding, green living... sometimes one, sometimes more.
I am co-author of an upcoming book due this year from Wiley, along with my wife who is a physician. It's called The Better Baby Book and contains 1300 references, including a carefully crafted diet that is paleo and then some, recommending specific toxins to avoid when you're pregnant. (these toxins are present in lots of paleo foods, unfortunately)
Check us out at www.betterbabybook.com and look at the infographic for nutrition on the site.
Top recommendations: iodine vitamin D3 K2 hydrolyzed collagen MCT oil magnesium 50mg B6 krill oil
There are some excellent recommendations in this thread. Have your baby at home if possible, or away from a hospital. The difference in stress hormones from that decision is profound.
Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods- Nina Planck
"Birthing from Within" is awesome
spiritual midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
The Pregnancy Book and The Baby book by William Sears
The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk (indispensible if you plan on working and pumping)
If I think of more I'll edit later. Those are the top ones I can think of and enjoyed myself.
You might enjoy what this family in Hawaii did prior to and post delivery.
I'm a Pregnancy/Nutrition Coach and am working on an e-book right now!
Also, Peggy of The Primal Parent blog will have a new book out on Primal Pregnancy--but I don't know how soon.
My fave birth/post-partum book is Dr. Sarah Buckley's Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering.
My blog has some posts that may be helpful & links to other blogs I like, as well as some good resources.
I would recommend anything by Penny Simkin.
Sounds like you are just starting to try for a baby, so her information about birth and after won't be needed for a while, but she makes the most compelling, biologically appropriate, and logical cases for how to deal with labor and breastfeeding I've seen. I found her DVD The 3Rs: Relaxation, Rhythm, and Ritual to be the most helpful and non-romantisized (which I found quite refreshing) piece of footage I saw before giving birth.
You will find that there are numerous "methods" for birthing that folks are going to claim will make birthing easier, or more spiritual, or help you avoid whatever it is you might fear, and I think you should study any of those methods that appeal to you. But Penny is good at explaining and showing that birth is a totally doable thing that has happened forever and women find their own way, their own style, and their own rhythm if they don't focus so much on doing it "right".
Which leads me to Birthing From Within which has much of the same focus on finding and working on your own coping skills. Or you can just skip reading the book and practice holding ice cubes and figuring out how to distract yourself for 9 months (combined with hypnobirth this was seriously the best thing I did to prepare).
Back to Penny Simkin, in The Birth Partner she writes about breastfeeding, how to make it go as smoothly as possible, and it is the "most paleo" thing I've seen in regards to birth published anywhere. It pretty much boils down to most nursing problems can be helped and/or resolved by the mother and baby spending 1-3 days skin to skin in bed, the mother must be freed of all responsibility during that time except for getting herself to the bathroom. She will rest, and snuggle, and nurse on demand (the breasts are uncovered during this and near or touching the child at all times), and mom will be attended to and fed by loving helpers. Happy mom and steady flow of pheromones between mama and child, what could be more conducive to natural feeding? Breastfeeding is an animal experience, all of our modern trappings of clothing and schedules can muck things up sometimes.
There was a discussion on the Primal Parent site about this, and quite a few people felt that Nina Planck's perspective was TOO lax - "do what you can but everybody cuts corners so don't sweat it". I guess it depends on how committed you are to your diet as to how swayed you might be by that kind of advice while faced with any first trimester food problems.
Food Renegade offers a Beautiful Babies course that covers preconception through breastfeeding. She's WAPF (and LLL) but paleo-friendly, and also refers to the Bradley Method.
I love Deep Nutrition by Cate Shannahan, though it's not specifically for pregnancy, or paleo. Also check out Your Amazing Newborn. For a solid academic perspective, try Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives.
Being 18 weeks along with my second, I was just browsing What to Expect the other day. I remember finding it alarmist the last time (Ina May Gaskin is a great antidote to that) but this time I just found it totally irrelevant. Many paleo people report less sickness, fewer or no aversions or cravings, minimal stretch marks or varicose veins, GD and eclampsia are obviously very rare, and certainly a distaste for medical interventions that tend to cascade into "events". There's not much left to the book except the baby's growth rate.
Chris Kresser just did a guest post on MDA about foods for fertility. Print that and the WAPF pregnancy diet guidlines out, and then rest assured that when you're well nourished the gestational gig is a non-event compared to how TV, movies and What to Expect portray.
Here's the thing: you can prepare your body, mind and home for a baby, but you can't actually prepare for pregnancy. No book will serve you as well as a good midwife. In fact, and I say this as an inveterate researcher and reproductive health professional, there is a risk that intellectualising this truly biological process is counterproductive. At the risk of sounding hippy-dippy woo-woo, you most need to get in touch with your body and learn how to meet its needs (and they may change on a dime!) and then get comfortable with being a mammal. We as individuals are not in control of this process; millions of years of evolution are and they all had to work for you to be here. Our hardest task is to support it without trying to control it. We can't and then we fear. Fear is your biggest enemy.
I know this is an old question, but I wanted to add this for any women who might be reading. Weston Price foundation website has free information on diet for achieving pregnancy, diet during during pregnancy and nursing, and diet for growing children.
Powerpoint presentation: http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/healthy-pregnancy-presentation-by-sally-fallon-morell
(And yes, it mentions soaked whole grains, but their book Nourishing Traditions say it's optional)
I agree that "What to Expect" will be the opposite of what you want as a paleo preggo. It is very alarmist and will push you toward the most unnatural pregnancy and birth possible. I would steer clear of that one!
Nina Planck's book is FANTASTIC, even though she does eat some grains. I guarantee that you will get a lot out of it as a paleo mom.
La Leche League's book is great. Just be prepared that it does get a little preachy in places. They believe all women should stay home with their kids and not work. Still, it has tons of great information, and I liked everything else about it.
Also, I know you're not there quite yet, but check out "The Happiest Baby on the Block". Really awesome!
People already gave you good suggestions food-wise, but if you're interested in the Paleo upbringing, how about:
I posted link to separate articles, but there's also a book by that name, The Continuum Concept. This book/articles had a huge impact on my confidence around children, and it made me a lot less anxious about having children of my own.