Times of change can be stressful and difficult. Often, even when you’ve got some idea of what’s happening next, navigating uncertainty can be a challenge. How do you start a new career, or end one, or start a family, or move to a new city, or make your way through a global pandemic? How do you deal with a significant loss? How do you learn in a new environment? If you want some resources to learn about making your way through change, we here at the Winnipeg Public Library can connect you with many.
Pregnancy during a pandemic
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been sequestered in spaces with those nearest and (hopefully) dearest to us. It’s not altogether surprising that being pregnant or giving birth during this time might be accompanied by challenges that wouldn’t be present in a non-pandemic year. Without the ability to have visitors in the form of family helpers and friends to give you some “adult time”, having a baby might feel like an isolating, overwhelming, and lonely experience right now.
There’s a lot to navigate: from understanding how the embryo grows into a fetus and the physical effects of pregnancy, to picking a name for the child and preparing other children within the household for the change, to deciding on childcare options, and when or whether you or your partner will return to work. Here are some resources to help you navigate this time:
- What to expect when you’re expecting by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff is widely regarded as one of the first places to look for information about pregnancy. This edition is updated, as of 2016.
- The Science of pregnancy by Sarah Brewer is an illustrated guide to well, the science of pregnancy. There are so many fascinating things that happen during this period!
- Cribsheet by Emily Oster uses empirical evidence and data to examine pregnancy and parenting advice.
- Pride and joy: a guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans parents by Sarah Hagger-Holt Pride shares stories, advice and real-life experience from LGBT parents and their children.
- Penny Simkin’s books about pregnancy and supporting a pregnant person are fantastic resources as well.
If you’re looking for other books about navigating pregnancy, check out this book list. Your doctor may also have recommendations for resources for you to check out.
Maybe you learn through stories
Stories can help us to understand another person’s point of view, or help us feel connected. If you’d prefer to read accounts from others on experiencing pregnancy, carrying children, and living in their bodies from a variety of perspectives, you could give these a try:
- Great Expectations by Dede Crane and Lisa Moore
- Where’s the Mother? Stories from a Transgender Dad by Trevor MacDonald
- Through, not Around by Allison McDonald Ace, Caroline Starr, and Ariel Ng Bourbonnais
- Dear Diary, I’m Pregnant by Anrenee Englander
- What we’re told not to talk about by Nimko Ali
- High Risk by Chavi Eve Karkowsky
- Rad Dad by Tomas Moniz and Jeremy Adam Smith
- What we didn’t expect by Melody Schreiber
How do you name a baby?
If you don’t have a family name you’d like to pass along, or a name that you’ve had picked out since you learned it was possible to add children to your family, we’ve got a book list that might help!
Some of my favourites from this list include:
- Hello, my name is Pabst by Miek Bruno and Kerry Sparks
- The alternative guide to baby names by Cara Frost-Sharratt
- The best gender-neutral baby name book by Melanie Mannarino
Life with a new sibling
If you already have a child (or two, or three, etc.) in your life, they might be curious or confused about this whole process. I have a few favourite picture books for this – Silverberg’s What Makes a Baby? is one of them, followed by Sex is a Funny Word for slightly older kids.
We’ve got tons of books that share stories of characters anticipating the arrival of, or adjusting to a new sibling:
- Awesome Man: The Mystery Intruder by Michael Chabon
- Babies don’t eat pizza: a big kids’ book about baby brothers and baby sisters by Dianne Danzig
- 15 things not to do with a baby by Margaret McAllister
- Lola reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn
Feel free to call the library if you’re looking for something else! Our librarians are available to help you find the information you need for this period of change.