Even though the girls are already here, there were a couple books I preemptively read to prepare myself for their upcoming arrival. So without further adieu, here are a couple of books that I’d like to review, in case there are any other preggos out there wondering about potential baby books worth reading. *Full disclosure – I actually wrote this review a couple weeks before the girls were here, so if you notice weird tenses (e.g., referencing the girls’ arrival in the future rather than past tense), it’s because I haven’t gone through and re-written anything. Just wanted to let you know.

The Vaccine Book. Making the Right Decision for Your Child. By Robert Sears, M.D., F.A.A.P.

I really liked this book. The writing style makes it a super-quick read. It reviews all of the vaccines that the American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommend and explains in layman’s terms (without sounding pedantic):

  • All about the disease that the vaccine protects against
  • How common and serious the disease is
  • Whether the disease is treatable
  • When the vaccine is typically given
  • How the vaccine is made (including a list of ingredients for different forms of the vaccine, which can vary by manufacturer)
  • A list of any “controversial” ingredients in the vaccine (most common are aluminum and formaldehyde)
  • Potential side effects of the vaccine
  • Reasons to get the vaccine AND reasons why some people choose not to get the vaccine
  • Different options to consider in regard to the vaccine (e.g., altering the recommended vaccination schedule, potentially splitting up vaccines if they guard against multiple diseases, etc.)
  • And a final little statement from the doctor giving his personal opinion on the vaccine, all things considered.

Being able to read through all the information made me feel much more informed (and shocked – who knew that vaccines can contain things like cow blood proteins or human cell proteins!? The formaldehyde was a surprise to me, too!). I also feel like I have a much greater understanding of the true need for some of these vaccines, while other vaccines I have decided I may like to delay until later in my childrens’ development. For example, Hep B is actually a sexually transmitted infection….unless the Mom tests positive for Hep B or the child needs a blood transfusion, the likelihood of encountering the infection during infancy is miniscule…and yet the vaccine is recommended to be given at birth, 1 month, and 6 months of age. I’ll probably choose to delay this vaccination until later.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 8th edition, by La Leche League International

Considering how many people have recommended this book….I was pretty disappointed in it. Don’t get me wrong – it definitely offers TONS of very helpful and valuable information regarding breastfeeding, and since I hope to breastfeed, I’m sure much of the information I learned will be put to good use.

My problem with the book is that I feel like instead of being empowering or uplifting, it is written in such a way that you are almost made to feel like a failure if you DON’T or CAN’T breastfeed. Also, considering how incredibly common twins (and other multiples) are becoming in western society, there’s only a very brief section dedicated to breastfeeding twins. A lot of the information they give sounds completely unrealistic when you think about applying it to caring for 2 babies. In fact, they even state that “the ideal adult-to-baby ratio is about three to one” (pg. 473). Really? Awesome, because we’re going to have a 1 baby-to-1 parent ratio….and when Chris is working it will be a 2 babies – to 1 parent ratio. Cool. It also talks throughout the book about how crucial it is to get help from family members. Again….um….we live in a different state than the rest of our family so…..yeah. Although I hope that we’ll be visited and get some help from family, its not something we can expect and CERTAINLY not for a long-term situation. This type of information left me feeling totally deflated and semi-depressed. Like I won’t be able to breastfeed if I don’t have some familial support around. I’m SURE this is NOT what the authors intended, but that’s how I felt when I was reading it.

Again – lots of helpful information that I will surely use, but if I were to make some recommendations for the next edition of the book I would say to (1) include more information, or perhaps an entire chapter, dedicated to breastfeeding multiples. And (2) include a section on breastfeeding for those who don’t have a lot of family or support around. There are all types of “special issues” that they tackle in the book….but as common as it is in today’s world for people to move away from their family you would think this would be addressed in the book. Instead, its written to sound as though they just assume all new parents are in close physical contact with their extended family. Obviously this is not true.

Anyways, this was quite a wordy post but I just wanted to get the info out there in case it can help anyone else. Happy weekend (my girls’ very first ever!!! Craziness!!!)