Today, one of my girlfriends announced she is pregnant with twins ! !

My friends know that I am a nurse as well as a designer, and will often seek my advice on many topics. One of their requests, since I am also a mom of two, is what parenting books did I find most helpful. They are seeking rich information from real experts, researched based and scientific knowledge, that is easy to understand and written in a lighthearted, friendly and practical way.
Since I share these books with my girlfriends, I thought I’d share them with you, too. I hope you find them as helpful as we do!

My top 5 books and one DVD recommendations for new and expecting parents:

  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Penny Simkin, PT, Co- founder DONA, Janet Whalley, RN, BSN, Ann Keppler, RN, MN
    This book is a wonderful comprehensive read I recommend to expectant families. I’m a big believer in informed choice and this book covers many of the options you have during your pregnancy and during childbirth. This book will help you to understand what your body is going through during pregnancy, what to expect during birth and how to care for a newborn baby.
  • Heading Home with Your Newborn by Dr. Laura Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP – published by the American Academy of Pediatrics
    Great information for your baby’s first year. Written by 2 mothers who are also Pediatricians – they tell it like it is. Short, easy to read chapters, written in an authoritative yet warm voice, helping you through baby’s first year like your best girlfriend would if she was a pediatrician.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics Caring for Your Baby and Young Child Birth to Age 5 by Dr. Steven Shelov, MD, FAAP Editor in Chief, Robert Hannemann, MD, FAAP
    A wonderful resource for basic care from newborn through age 5. Reassuring advice from experts, provides guidelines and milestones, safety checks and detailed guides for recognizing and solving common childhood heath issues and also how to deal with emergency situations.
  • Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach
    You can hear Penelope’s gentle soothing voice as you read this book. It’s a delight to read. An essential guide that will provide you with information for the psychological, emotional and physical well-being of your child. I love this book and the images of the little ones featured in each chapter.
  • The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins, RN, MS
    A must have book for nursing mothers. Read it before you have your baby and keep it handy. Breastfeeding is a learned art for mom and baby, and The Nursing Mother’s Companion will help you prevent problems, provide you with solutions should you run into difficulty and help guide you to successful breastfeeding.

For visual learners, I recommend this breastfeeding DVD by Shari Criso

  • Simply Breastfeeding by Shari Criso, RN, MSN, CNM, IBCLC

I wish I had had this DVD when I was learning how to breastfeed my first! Shari has a warm and reassuring voice. You will love her. She offers a wealth of information that you will use and refer to as you and baby learn to successfully breastfeed. Be sure to watch it before you have your baby.
Here’s a quick link:

Best wishes to all expectant families!

What are some of your favorite new parent or expectant parenting books?

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About Lynette

Lynette Damir is a registered nurse, a mom of two young children, a designer, and the founder and CEO of SwaddleDesigns. SwaddleDesigns is focused on stylish, innovative and quality baby products that help parents comfort and care for their baby. Lynette is an Inc Magazine featured entrepreneur from the 2009 Inc 500. She lives in Seattle, Wa. Please visit
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