There is one thing for sure…being pregnant exposes you to a wealth of information that is both useful and stressful. Through no one’s fault but my own, I’ve come across a diverse collection of informational, conversational and sensational (not necessarily in a good way) sources. Here are a few I’ve found useful…
This is probably one of the most well-known sites in my experience and contains a ton of information. You can sign up for weekly update emails, log-in to see your progress and get access to lots of useful insights from other parents. One of things I like the most is that the site gives a good snapshot of what you’re going through, has articles on almost any topic you might think of…but the info is typically concise and free of embellishment. Many other sites sometimes give “too much” information and can really scare you into thinking about all the maybes and what ifs. Being a mom is overwhelming enough, I really don’t want to add to my stress level!
Baby Center also has a free iPhone app with daily updates that include informational snippets and even videos about the various stages of pregnancy. Very useful for a mom-to-be who is on the go!
Another well-known site (as well as a very popular book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”), however I don’t like the organization or useability. While this might seem trivial, when you’re in a rush or searching for something specific…this can be very frustrating. I also don’t tend to follow celebrity gossip and news so when a site caters to that realm of information, I tend to shy away. I get quite a few emails from them on a variety of topics and I find these to be pretty useful. The emails are geared toward your stage of pregnancy and address a whole host of topics that may or may not be of interest. I get quite a few emails, but the beauty of it is…I can just delete the ones I don’t want!
This site also has a free iPhone app which is more strictly informational. A good source of daily and weekly information if you just want simple updates.
This book was given to me by a close friend early in my pregnancy. I’d already been loaned “What to Expect” and purchased the Mayo Clinic’s Guide, however, I found this book to be particularly useful. While most other books have a very specific format that goes through every month of pregnancy sequentially, I sometimes found this limiting and would skip around and eventually resort to just flipping through the index for topics of interest. While this worked just fine, it was sometimes frustrating and time-consuming. I felt like I was reading a manual rather than an informational book. “You: Having a Baby” was much more conversational and approachable. The authors made an effort to provide the information in a sequential format, however they didn’t lose my interest in the process.
As I mentioned above, these books are chock full of good information. It can be incredibly useful to have the sequential format for each stage in pregnancy. Included in both books are tips for exercise, creating good eating habits, common symptoms and complaints and much, much more. My personal preference was for something less structured that I could approach from beginning to end…but it was nothing more than personal preference.