The first thing I loved about The Christian Mama’s Guide to Having a Baby was the cover: A cute mom in her adorable maternity dress about to chow down on three scoops of ice cream…with chocolate sauce…and sprinkles. That’s how I knew I was in for some laughs mixed in with the wisdom about having a baby. This is no medical guide to pregnancy and child birth. It’s not going to be encyclopedic in its info or highly technical in its presentation. This is a girl telling the truth about pregnancy cravings (or “grrrrravings” as she terms them), the perils of morning sickness, maternity clothes, and prenatal care.
Right from the beginning, I was surprised by the spiritual insight and encouragement in the book. Dotted among the pages are tiny sections called “Time-Out for Mom,” which include a Scripture verse or two and a prayer relating to the topic she’s covering, like keeping healthy and making good food choices or not worrying (especially in the early days when you can’t feel the baby move, can’t see the baby, and are convinced that something is wrong.). I loved her reminders about how pregnancy grows us closer to God as we learn to wait on Him, trust Him and not worry, and pray for our unborn babies.
I’m halfway through my fourth pregnancy now, so there’s very little info about pregnancy that she gave that I didn’t know or couldn’t write the book on myself. But for a first-time mom, this would be such a fun “No, you’re not crazy, yes this is what pregnancy really is like” read. I’d probably still encourage moms to have a more medical resource on hand to answer questions, but it’s also easy to get so bogged down and overwhelmed with the calorie counters, weight charts, and risk statistics, and a good laugh and some realistic, practical mom-to-mom advice is refreshing. This book is also solely focused on pregnancy—not the growth of the baby—-so don’t turn here to find out how your unborn child is growing in the womb or even when to expect things like consistent fetal movement and such.
She is very careful to share info on home births, midwives and birthing centers, natural childbirth and the like, despite being a fan of hospital births, epidurals and having had C-sections herself. Some women might not feel she goes far enough, those, for instance, who advocate natural child birth at all times for everybody. But I appreciated her attempts at balance and the encouragement to read up, seek counsel, pray over and make your own choices. Her reminders to plan out how you’d like the delivery to go but be willing to make adjustments are also invaluable. I know women who are devastated to find that their deliveries didn’t go according to their carefully outlined birthing plan. We need the reminder that God’s in control and we, really and truly, are not.
For a funny and down-to-earth take on pregnancy and all the joys and pains that go with it, this is a great book, especially for first-timers. Even more importantly, it’s the only pregnancy book I’ve read with encouragement and insight on drawing closer to God when having a baby.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”