Wednesday Randomness & My Favorite Pregnancy and Motherhood books!

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! I wanted to share with you a random Wednesday around here in our teeny Dutch apartment. We are planning on moving to the UK soon, and I wanted to share with you a little glimpse of what our life is like here in Holland before we make the big move.

This morning started out pretty lazy (most mornings do). Fé slept for a whole seven hours straight! Isn’t that amazing?! She has been sleeping for longer stretches of time (usually around 6 hours) and last night she surprised us by sleeping a whopping seven hours. We normally put her down for the final time around 11pm (last night was more like 12am) and today she didn’t wake up until 7am! I was shocked, I woke up around 6am surprised that she hadn’t yet woken us up to feed.

Pregnancy Books

Anyway, we ended up dozing a little bit more after she woke up at seven and finally got up again around 9:30 when Fé wanted a second breakfast. Daniël loves cuddling with Fé in the mornings before he starts working on his thesis so he cuddled with her in bed a while, while I made a big pot of coffee. My morning coffee is honestly one of my favorite things in the whole world! I stopped drinking coffee during my pregnancy and while I was breastfeeding, but since I have stopped breastfeeding (read more about that in Fé’s two month update) I have started drinking coffee again and let me tell you, I really missed it. I think I am one of those people who just needs coffee in their life so going back to my morning cup of joe has made me a much more pleasant person!

Pregnancy Books

After I made some coffee we got our day started. I did some housework while Daniël worked on his thesis and Fé played with her new foot finders and wrist rattles!

Pregnancy Books

After getting some housework done I ate a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins and dried apricots (yummy!). I am trying to lose my baby weight (check out my weight loss tips here) so I have been using MyFitnessPal to count calories and it is really working. I have lost a couple of kilograms since I started counting calories just about two weeks ago!

After lunch/breakfast we tried to take Fé on a walk in our Ergobaby baby carrier but when we got about 15 minutes away from our house, the wind really picked up and Fé just wasn’t having it. She started howling and crying so we just decided to come back to the house.

Afterwards, I decided to continue packing up some things for our big move to England in a couple of weeks. As I was going through some old books I found some of the books that got me through my pregnancy and helped prepare me for motherhood (although nothing can truly prep you to be a mother!)

Pregnancy Books

I wanted to share with our my favorite pregnancy and motherhood books that I think every mama-to-be should read 😉

10 Pregnancy and Motherhood Books

1. What to Expect When Your Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

This book was easily one of my favorite books during my pregnancy. It became my go to pregnancy bible. I outlines every single month of your pregnancy and tells you what to expect to feel, doctors visits, how your baby is growing and so much more. It really gives you all the information you need to get you through your pregnancy and labor and delivery!

2. Eating Well When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

Another AMAZING book from the What to Expect series. This books gives you a TON of information about how to stay healthy when you are pregnant. It really shows how the food you consume impacts your baby’s development and encourages you to eat as healthy as possible, not only for you but also for your baby. It shows you how to eat well plus there are a ton of great recipes to try in the back of the book.You cant really see from the picture above but I have filled this book with sticky notes so I can flip to my favorite recipes or other important pages of this book. Check out my pregnancy nutrition post for some insight into what this book has to offer.

3. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

This book is also awesome. From the Mayo Clinic it provides you with great information about your pregnancy and your babies weekly development. It also includes a 40 week pregnancy calendar and outlines some of the important decisions you need to make as expecting parents (like different pre-natal tests and things like that!)

4. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Glaskin

I mentioned this book before in my Guide to a Natural Childbirth. This book is an amazing resource if you are planning a natural childbirth. Ina May, one of the most reputable midwives, provides you with everything you need to know in order to have the best birth experience. My natural birth experience was truly amazing and Ina May shows women how to have their own wonderful birth experience. Whether you are planning on having a natural childbirth or not, I seriously recommend this book!

5. Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricky Lake

Another great book to help you prepare for childbirth (whether natural or not). This book outlines all your options so you can choose the birth that is right for you!

6. When We Became Three Memory Book

This isn’t technically a book for reading but a memory book for you to fill out during your pregnancy. My friend sent me this book and I had so much fun filling it with pictures and memories of my pregnancy!

7. The Shit No one Tells You by Dawn Dais

I LOVE this book! Its hilarious and so true. My friend send me this book and I read it in about two days! Real moms tell real stories of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. This hilariously honest book is a total must have (in my opinion) for any mama to be! It also makes an awesome gift for any pregnant friends you may have 😉

8. What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff

If you couldn’t tell, I am a huge fan of the What to Expect Series! This is another one of their awesome books that provides you with a ton of information about your baby’s first year! As new parents, Daniël and I constantly have questions and this go-to book clears up so many baby confusions! It is truly a life saver!

9. The Wonder Weeks by Frans Plooij

Okay so I don’t actually own this book, but I really really want it! I outlines all of your babies different developmental phases, known as the wonder weeks. It also provides information on how to stimulate your baby and encourage their development. The wonder weeks also has a journal (sold separately) to track your baby’s developmental milestones!

10. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

This book is an awesome parenting resource for all first-time (and second and third-time) parents. It helps parents understand their crying babies, teaches them soothing techniques, and helps get their babies to sleep. What parent doesn’t want that!

I hope this list helps some of you mamas-to-be prepare for your little bundle of joy to arrive. I know these books helped me so much throughout my pregnancy and they still provide such a great resource for all my parenting questions!

I would love to hear any more of your baby book suggestions if you have any. Feel free to comment below. Until next time, have a happy Wednesday!

Why you should be eating Organic Food during Pregnany!

After my sister visited Holland in July, Daniel and I were inspired to “Go Organic!” My sister lives in Minnesota and has a subscription to a local organic farm where she gets fresh fruits and veggies delivered to her house every week! How cool is that! Daniel and I don’t have access to something that awesome here in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, we decided to give Organic food a shot anyway! We hit up google for some more information on Organic food and we were blown away by the amount of research there is about consuming organic foods.Organic foods during pregnancy

When we initially decided to take the plunge, we were a little bit worried about how much extra money we would be spending! But, we actually found that we don’t spend any more money per week on groceries than we did before. I think most of this is due to the fact that we started planning our weekly meals and doing all of our shopping at once (check our Our Weekly Meal Planning for more info on that!) which cuts down on the cost of all that extra junk we would buy every day just because we were hungry!

Now for the fun stuff. There are actually a ton of proven benefits of eating organic food during pregnancy!

1. Reduced rick of male birth defects

This study  found that women who ate organic food during their pregnancies were less likely to give birth to a male child with hypospadias! This is a developmental abnormality where the opening of the urethra is located lower down on the shaft of the penis (or more generally speaking, it’s not where it is supposed to be!)

Hypospadias

Note the picture on the left is where the opening of the urethra should normally be!

Why does this happen? The hormones in pesticides consumed during pregnancy can interfere with the hormonal development of the fetus. This can lead to “feminization” of male reproductive organs!

Not having a baby boy? There are still other reasons to consume organic foods as well!

2. Link between Organic food and Higher IQ

Organic food during pregnancy

If you read Can Breastfeeding make your Baby Smarter? | The Link Between Breastfeeding and IQ, you know that there is a significant correlation between breastfeeding and cognitive development. But there is also a correlation between eating organic foods and intelligence! This study found that there was a link between the prenatal consumption of pesticides and a lower intelligence among 7 year olds! The study found that exposure to pesticides prior to being born were associated with poorer scores for Working Memory, Processing Speed, Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, and Full-Scale intelligence quotient (IQ). Children with the highest exposure had an average IQ of seven points lower than those with the lowest exposure! That’s pretty significant!

Did you know eating Organic foods during pregnancy can make your baby smarter? Click To Tweet

3. Lower Risk of developing ADHD

This study  found a link between food additives and artificial food coloring and an increased chance of developing Hyperactive disorders. The study looked at a group of 3 year-old boys and a group of 8-year-old boys and found that those who were exposed to food additives and artificial coloring were more likely to express hyperactive behavior!

Not convinced? Check out the links to the studies provided for more information!

The Dirty DozenDirty Dozen Organic Food List

If you are ready to take the plunge into the world of Organic foods, there is some important
information to know! Not all foods are the same and there are some that contain more pesticides than others. This list from the Environmental Working Group explains the Dirty Dozen foods that have the highest amount of additives and pesticides! Check out this ideographic for a complete list of which foods you should defiantly buy Organic!

Now, I can’t say that going organic has changed my life, or that I have seen any health benefits from cutting out non organic foods. To be honest, I don’t feel any different than I did before. There is also absolutely no way of knowing whether there is an actual impact on my baby girl after she is born. But so far, incorporating organic foods into my diet has been a completely easy transition! If you can find a way to incorporate (at least the dirty dozen) into your diet I encourage you to do so!

Be sure to comment and let me know if you have tried going organic throughout your pregnancy! Have you found it difficult to incorporate eating organic foods? Does it fit into your budget? I would love to hear from you!

Until next time, Enjoy your fall weekend =)

Sources:

  1. http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/new-study-organic-food-during-pregnancy-can-reduce-the-risk-of-certain-birth-defects/
  2. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Organic_Food_Reduces_Birth_Defects.php
  3. http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1003185/
  4. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17825405