5 Great and Touching Audiobooks to Listen to When You're About to Have a Baby
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Amusing, down to earth and well-performed audiobooks I have enjoyed during pregnancy and which kept me going during those long postpartum nights.
I don’t know about you, but once I announced I got pregnant, mommy friends just dumped their old pregnancy advice books on me. I bet none of them mothers finished any of those books. The copies looked as pristine as they were massive. I have now got 6 unread pregnancy books waiting to offloaded on the next unsuspecting first time pregster.
There are loads of lists out there which self-help pregnancy book to read. But I was more drawn to the stories of real people, ideally from people who took life head on with a sense of humour and would be sincere about their ups and downs. How do they experienced and related to parenthood, motherhood and family? And what does it mean any way?
You know those blissful mom and baby pictures in oh so many parent magazines where everything is dipped in warm fuzzy lighting? Mom looks like she has been woken up by Bill Wither’s “Lovely Day” while stylists have gently brushed her hair and applied a touch of rouge on her cheeks. And a lot of those pregnancy books just had that air of a fabric softener commercial.
In my head I could hear the Downy bear telling me I was going through another exciting gestational phase, my baby was now the size of a teeny-tiny jelly bean and I should probably skip the bad bad sushi. Understandably, I wanted something real, grown up, infused with joy and humour.
Speaking of real. First trimester fatigue and pregnancy brain exist. With audiobooks you have somebody with a pleasant voice doing the reading for you. So put on the headphones and get comfy:
1. Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy
written by Angela Garbes, narrated by Roxana Ortega
The first time I stumbled over Angela Garbes was when her article in The Stranger was shared in my Hong Kong Breastfeeding Facebook support group*. It was very well researched, compassionate and relatable. When I read on The Lily that the author of that article has written a book about motherhood, I immediately spent and Audible credit. And it was worth it. The book is deeply personal, packed with knowledge and will highlight the joy but also the rawness of becoming new mom. When to listen: Before pregnancy, 1st/ 2nd/ 3rd trimester, postpartum *(If you’re pregnant in Hong Kong and are considering to breastfeed, join this group. They are an awesome, non-judgy bunch. Contact the Admin Gemma MacFarlane)
written and narrated by Shea Serrano and Larami Serrano
It’s only 29 minutes long, but lordy lord, it’s so sweet. I do not want to spoil it. Let’s just say it’s about when expectations and reality only do not align, but come crashing into each other and what a true bond really means. Just like pregnancy. And it’ll make you weepy. Just like pregnancy. When to listen: Before pregnancy, 2nd and 3rd trimester
3. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
written and narrated byTrevor Noah For me this book has always been about the special relationship between Trevor Noah and his mother Patricia Noah. As moms we worry about all the different ways we can go wrong and completely mess up our kids. Like most of us, Patricia Noah was not a perfect mom. But she loves her son fiercely. And that’s what mattered. When to listen: Before pregnancy, 1st/ 2nd/ 3rd trimester, postpartum
4. Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
written and narrated by Andrew Solomon When I watched Andrew Solomon’s TED talk “Love, no matter what” I was not a mom yet and was still considering the pros and cons of becoming one. But for the first time, after watching this talk, I had an inkling of what it meant to be a parent. In his TED talk as well in his book he wonders: What's the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance? Over years, he interviewed and spent time with parents whose children are not considered being within the norm. No matter if it was deafness, dwarfism, autism, down syndrome, a different sexuality, or criminals, Solomon discovered that all parents felt a defining and profound sense of being parents. During my pregnancy I worried about those things that could go wrong. Could I still love my child if it did fall “far from the Tree”. I was encouraged to hear that most parents could. When to listen: Depends on what kind of person you are. This is the grittiest but also the most touching book of all the five. Maybe start with the 30 minute TED talk first before you dive into the audio book.
5. Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life
written by Ali Wong This is the only book I did not listen to during my pregnancy as it’ll only be released this month. But this is Ali Wong, mother of 2 girls and hilarious stand up comic. She has two stand up Netflix specials and she’s pregnant in each of them. It’s a no holds bar romp through motherhood and pregnancy. I expect the audio book to go into the same direction. And yes, I already pre-ordered.
When to listen: Before pregnancy, 1st/ 2nd/ 3rd trimester, postpartum... definitely postpartum
Quotes: Scroll gallery to the right to see some of my favourite of some of he books.
What books can you recommend? And what are you reading right now? Comment below.
In my next media and entertainment post I'll list what I've been watching on Netflix. Stay tuned and keep that pregnancy brain entertained.