Jones, Catherine and Rose Ann Hudson. Eating for Pregnancy: Your Essential Month-by-Month Nutrition Guide and Cookbook. 3rd ed. New York: De Capo Press, 2019.
Recipes in the early months include ingredients targeted to ease the difficulties of nausea, too, which can be helpful when the thought of deciding what to eat feels much harder than it should. In addition to this middle recipe section, the book includes introductory chapters on prenatal nutrition as well as a discussion of eating, breastfeeding, and postpartum weight loss.
There is much to appreciate about what Jones and Hudson offer in this weighty book. When we found out we were having our first child, it inspired us to take a serious look at our eating habits and learn more about optimal nutrition and how we could make that more of a priority for our family. I love that the recipe section includes easy to read labeling for those looking for gluten-free meals or vegan meals or several other dietary concerns.
Though this newest edition advertises itself as "completely revised and updated," the discussion of alcohol and breastfeeding could use an evidence-based update. And, in the discussion of the difficulties of life after baby, more talk of reaching out for professional help if possible would make this book even more comprehensive. I do note, however, that having a chapter on postpartum mental health in this nutrition book was unexpected and much appreciated!
If you are a reader who has a history of disordered eating or struggles with body image, I would caution against the opening and closing sections of the book. With its emphasis on calorie discussion and "ideal" weight gain, the early chapters may be less rather than more helpful for some readers. Similarly, the discussion of dieting in the later chapters, while gentle, still uses a lot of the mainstream language common in diet culture and may be triggering for some readers.
If you'd like a helping hand exploring new recipes and emphasizing whole food habits as you gestate your sweet babe, the thoughtful month-by-month layout of this book may work well for you. But, please be gentle to yourself and understanding of your own relationship with food as you approach the opening and closing sections of the book.
Looking for more evidence-based info as you prepare for birth and baby? Nested Mama offers a full range of classes including childbirth education, breastfeeding, infant sleep education, and planning for postpartum.
Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.