A guide to the spirituality and biology of pregnancy and motherhood.
I (somewhat) recently had my fifth child. It wasn't until the very last days of that pregnancy that The Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy came into my hands, and it isn't until now- six months later- that I am getting a chance to write this review. How I wish this book had been around when I was just having my first child! Mrs. Reinhard takes you through pregnancy- week by week- covering every aspect that you could ever imagine. From miscarriage to physical complaints to fetal development to your changing spiritual life- this book talks about it all.
Each chapter covers one week (or so) of pregnancy and is divided into sections: fetal development, maternal development, "Walking with Mary", "One Small Step", and "Faith Focus". It includes meditiations, prayers, and practical information on your baby's future sacramental life. There are sections covering choosing a name, mothering a large family, pregnancy complications, medical issues, fetal death, and carrying a child with a fatal diagnosis. After the chapters covering pregnancy in part one, part two covers labor, birth, and the early days with your baby from a physical, practical, and spiritual perspective. Finally, the last section covers baptism, both the outline of the Church's teaching on the sacrament and a spiritual preparation and reflection for your baby's first sacrament.
In all, this book is a must-have for any newly pregnant woman. Or even someone closing in on those last days of pregnancy. Mrs. Reinhard is approachable and gentle in her writing and her book provides an invaluable source of information for any Catholic mother. I am no longer that young, Catholic wife just starting my family, but I know a lot of moms who are. I will definitly be recommending this book and purchasing it as a gift for friends.