Did you recently find out you’re pregnant? Are you a new mama to a newborn? Or are you like me – not yet a mama – but love supporting the mamas around you in your life and want to soak in all there is to learn about being a new mama?
There are a plethora of books out there when it comes to parenting strategies, baby care, and motherhood however, we often overlook the need for books just for mamas themselves – books written and specifically catering to the NEEDS of mamas in the transition of pregnancy and new motherhood. As a therapist and social worker who works with mama’s in the perinatal and postpartum period, I have often seen the ways that we, as communities, will focus on the wellness and care of newborn baby and forget the unique needs that mama’s have during the postpartum period. Here are a few of my favorite books I love gifting and often recommend to new mamas:
1.) The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland
Genevieve Howland provides a detailed holistic guide on preparing for pregnancy and childbirth in her Mama Natural book. Known for her popular blog and videos, Mama Natural provides information on navigating through healthcare systems, pregnancy plan options, and provides a holistic look into how mamas and families can care for themselves prior to baby’s birth. The book walks mama’s week-by-week during their pregnancy, with practical applications and tips. This is a great book to gift your mama friend if she just recently found out she’s pregnant!
2.) The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou
In this new mama care guide and recipe book, Heng Ou shares about the lost art of caring for the mother in “the first forty days.” Ou shares about the traditional Chinese culture’s views and practices during the postpartum period. Ou provides mamas with nourishing broths and recipes that can be prepared before baby comes. The First Forty Days is a book for both pregnant and postpartum mamas, with recipes to used for years to come!
3.) The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality by Kimberly Ann Johnson
The postpartum period is now known among many birthing and mental health professionals as the “fourth trimester.” Professionals and mamas are recognizing the need for increased support during the transition into motherhood. The Fourth Trimester teaches mamas on how to take time to care for themselves post-pregnancy and how others around them can support them in the transition.
4.) This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleinman & Valerie Davis Raskin
Karen Kleinman books are an essential read for new mamas. Kleinman specializes and writes on the topics of perinatal mental health and postpartum depression (PPD). When 1 in 7 mamas will experience postpartum depression, we NEED to talk more about perinatal mental health concerns and dispel myths regarding treatment. Kleinman and Raskin provide a guide for mamas and families on how to move through and overcome PPD and postpartum anxiety (PPA). This book is an essential read for every mama!
5.) The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Success After Baby by Lauren Smith Brody
If the “fourth trimester” is dubbed as the first 3 months postpartum, the “fifth trimester” refers to the time frame when many mamas transition back to the workplace. The Fifth Trimester discusses transitions into motherhood and is written for the working mama. The book details tips and advice on how to transition from newborn and maternity leave back to the workforce.