I didn't do much more than skim through that first stack, but throughout my pregnancy I started (and mostly finished) a variety of books on pregnancy, labor and delivery, and all such related matters. While many were pretty drab and mundane, or simply scared the life out of me by listing everything that could go wrong(!!), there were a few that I really loved.
For the record, and to consider the types of books I was reading, we had a natural childbirth with a midwife in a hospital.
1. Redeeming Childbirth - Angie Tolpin
This is my #1 reading recommendation for momma's-to-be! I absolutely loved this book! It was recommended to me by a friend who claimed it really calmed her heart and prepared her spiritually for labor - and I would completely agree! I read this book during my third trimester and found it to be a great devotional tool. It helped me look at labor and delivery from a more spiritual perspective and see childbirth as an opportunity to draw closer to the Lord rather than just a feat I had to "endure."
While the author chose to take a natural childbirth approach (which I appreciated as that was the route I knew I was headed and loved the mental tools she suggested) she in no way suggests natural childbirth as the right or only way to go. In fact, the friend who recommended the book to me did not take a natural childbirth approach and loved the book as much as I did!
2. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - Ina May Gaskin
This was a book my midwife recommended I read. The first half of the book is a complete index of birth stories. This was a little shocking to me when I first picked up the book - particularly because the stories centered around women who were going a little more "natural" than I intended (i.e. birthing at home or at "the Farm" - the author's midwife center), but as I got closer to my due date, I found some comfort and empowerment in simply reading others' stories and gaining confidence in my body's abilities.
I enjoyed this book because it talked through the physical and mental aspects of labor and really emphasized the power and beauty of natural labor. It also answered many practical questions and spurred some great conversations with my midwife.
3. The Power of a Praying Parent - Stormie Omartian
There is no better time to start praying for your child than NOW! This book was a gift from my mom. I had read and loved its companion - The Power of a Praying Wife, while Brandon and I were engaged, and was eager to read Omartian's thoughts from the perspective of a parent.
Simply put, this is an excellent read that emphasizes the power a parent's prayer has over his/her children. It provides great tools as to when, how, and why we need to pray for our children.