Over the past eight years, having “almost” five babies I have been in a constant search for great books to read with my kids about pregnancy and childbirth. Kids have so many questions…
“Where do babies come from?” “How are babies born?” “Do they come out of your belly button or does the doctor cut your tummy open?” “Are they all goopy when they come out?” “How big is our baby?”
You have all heard them yourself many times too I am sure. The first time Kelsey starting asking these questions I was immediately nervous. How much do I tell her, how much is too much? I was also thinking ahead though… I want to have an open and comfortable relationship with all my kids on the topics of sex and such. It seemed so clear to me that if i wanted that outcome it all starts now. How I approach these kinds of topics. I know I want to be the one to talk to my kids about these beautiful and sacred moments in a woman’s life (pregnancy & childbirth). So the search for books began to help me in my task.
Of course there are the little soft back books and Little Golden Books such as:
“The Berenstain Bears’ NEW BABY”
“The New Baby” by Mercer Mayer
“Where Did the baby Go?” a Little Golden Book
“The New Baby” a Little Golden book
“Now We Have a Baby” by Lois Rock
These are light and fun to read kids of any age! however they don’t tackle any of the questions that the kids ask. They just touch the surface. Which is completely appropriate and fun for little ones.
Here are what I would call the middle of the road books on pregnancy and childbirth.
“When You Were Inside Mommy” by Joanna Cole
- This book is illustrated with a few pages of pictures of the baby growing in the mommy’s uterus (belly), and says things like “you started out a tiny cell half from your mommy and half from your daddy.” For some kids that might quench their thirst for knowledge on the topic, but not my kids. It only creates more questions.
“Koala Lou” by Mem Fox
- The is a beautifully illustrated book about a little koala that grows up and the mommy has other babies and how jealously sets in. I love this book to read with the kids. it gets them talking about the things they already feel sometimes and how life is about to change again when the new baby comes. (not necessarily a book about pregnancy and birth)
“A Ride on Mother’s Back” by Emery & Durga Bernhard
- My mother-in-law gave this book to the kids and I to read together when I was pregnant with Drew. It is about breastfeeding and baby carrying around the world. The illustrations are very tasteful and show how having babies and mommies nursing is normal and happens all around the world.
The More Educational or Graphic books I love: (when I say graphic… meaning illustrations of or pictures of baby in uterus, etc.)
“Let Me Tell You About My Baby” by Banish
- This is an old library book you can find on Amazon for $.40. Given to me, to borrow, by a dear mentor and friend from church a few weeks ago. It is an older book published in the 70s, written from a little 3-4 yr old boys perspective of his mommy getting ready to have the baby and all the emotions and thoughts that go through his head after the baby is born. very good for getting your kids to talk to you and also to get them to realize that big change is about to happen.
“Welcome with Love” by Jenni Overend
- This book is my second new favorite book. I just checked it out from the Water birth Center yesterday along with a birthing video to watch with Kelsey. I will caution you though, it is very open about the “pain” of childbirth. It is a great book for people to read with their kids who are contemplating home birth or letting their kids be present during the birth. It is illustrated with a few more “fleshy” pages, but nothing I won’t be showing Kelsey and Megan.
“Why Do plants Grow?”
“Why Do Birds Build Nests?” both by Susan Horner
(these are the first 2 books in the Miracle of Creation Series)
- These books are great for getting ready to teach your kids about sex, you can read them with 3-8 yr olds
“God’s Design For My Body?” Susan Horner (3rd book in series)
- This book describes the physical changes that occur in the body as well as the biblical covenant of marriage and sexual intercourse.
I was motivated to share these books with you because I feel very strongly that part of the problem that we see in today’s society is because of the lack of communication on the topic of sex, pregnancy, and childbirth between children and parents. I believe that kids should be learning these things in the home. Not in School! It is a beautiful natural thing that God created for good. The only reason we struggle with feeling uncomfortable talking about it is because of natural sin. Adam and Eve didn’t feel the desire or need to hide their naked bodies until after they sinned against God. And now forever, the human race struggles with the “uncomfortableness” of talking about these beautiful, intimate and spiritual moments.
As believers who have been made new in Christ, we need to leave a legacy with our children that is strong. Strong families, strong marriages, strong morals, and strong faith! We need strong kids in the world today who know what sex is, what it was intended for, how God created our bodies so intricately and amazing. It can only strengthen their faith and strengthen our relationships with our kids to teach them and discuss these things while they are young.
So please let me urge not to wait to open the door of communication with you kids. Don’t wait until they are 14 and already “know” because of what they see on tv or hear from friends at school or dare I say church. Don’t wait and then just say “Having sex is evil.” Or “Don’t have sex because I said so.” Lets start a new legacy together of strong families teaching their kids how having babies is beautiful and natural. God created our bodies to do this, with His help.
*Disclaimer: I know that for various reasons many women can not have children any longer or have struggled and wondered why or felt guilty or inadequate. Many different circumstances for every one. I in no way intend on making any of you who struggle in this area feel bad. This is mostly about educating our children and viewing childbirth (if you can) from a different perspective. God be with those of you who struggle deep in your heart with these kinds of pains. I grieve with you and pray for you!
Also I would like to add that God does call us as women to dress modestly and respectfully. As well as approach these topics with our children with a certain modesty. That does not mean that we are to avoid these topics with our kids or pretend like they don’t observe or question these things. Children are smart and are capable of doing and understanding way more than most of us give them credit for. They are mini adults. If we expect and pray for our children to be strong men and women of God, that lead responsible lives. Then we need to use this short time they have as children with us to teach them. This is training ground, now. If they don’t learn it from us… when and where will they learn it? School, life, friends? It is our responsibility to teach them.