I recently pulled out my pregnancy and childbirthing books and finally put them on my nightstand in hopes that I'd have some motivation to peruse them when I have time. I didn't read a ton in preparing for Eli, but what I did read was fairly helpful, and I thought I'd share my recommendations here.
One disclaimer: You'll notice I mentioned only the second half. The first half of the book is all birth stories and some very, very graphic photos that I still can't get out of my head a year and a half later. She talks about something called an "orgasmic birth" and suggests that women, in the right mindset, can have an orgasm at birth (can't believe I just typed that on the great www). Well, I don't care how powerful a birthing-warrior woman you are, you'd have to be on something to think you had an orgasm while pushing a semi out between your legs. An all-natural childbirth is painful. It's part of the curse. Epidurals are God's grace - orgasmic births are not.
Baby Center Pregnancy Email Updates - These have been a life saver in the second pregnancy. I can never remember how many weeks I am, so getting my Monday email with the week count has helped keep me on track and not sound like a totally checked-out mom-to-be. Much like the What To Expect When You're Expecting book, the emails list all the possible things that could be happening, so don't read too much into them, like assuming you need to begin incessantly drooling all the time to have a healthy pregnancy. Maybe you'll drool, maybe you won't. Hopefully you won't, right? Plus, these are the emails that provide the fruit comparison everyone talks about so you'll be able to join right in. And bonus, they're great for husbands, I know Mike liked reading these since they're short and sweet.
Childbirth Collective Parent Topic Nights - And while this isn't necessarily "reading material," more than any book, I found these classes the best thing I (and Mike) did in preparation for labor and delivery. If you're local here in the Twin Cities, I definitely recommend these classes. Most childbirthing classes are around $300, but these classes are 100 percent FREE, so save your mulah and go get your new baby that stroller you've been wanting instead. The classes are led by a group of doulas, so they'd be coming from a more medical/intervention free aka "granola" perspective, but I do believe they provide a very fair and balanced viewpoint on your options, and they don't look down on anyone who chooses elective interventions.
Okay, that's my list! Any you all would add?