There are many pregnancy books on the market, and below you will find some of my favorites.
These guides are designed to provide reassurance that everything is okay and that your pregnancy is on track. If you’re interested in understanding how your unborn child is developing each week, or you want to know what’s actually happening with the changes in your own body, these books can be excellent resources.
Here is a compilation of reviews of the best pregnancy books currently available to help ease you into parenthood. These guides will offer support from the moment of conception all the way until you’re finally able to hold your newborn in your arms.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 4th edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
A New York Times bestseller that’s read by over 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is filled with up-to-date information that’s relevant to pregnant women. This new edition features a fresh perspective and a friendlier-than-ever voice. The newest edition of this book contains fetal development sections for each month, an expanded chapter on pre-conception, and a brand-new chapter on carrying multiples. It’s packed with tips, helpful hints, and humor to help make it more accessible and easy to use than ever before.
New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
This pregnancy book is perfect for anyone who wants to have an active and natural childbirth experience. With this book, you can learn how to use your body’s resources to deal with the instinctive experience of childbirth. Fully updated and extended with new information – including Water Birth and Recovery After Birth – this book offers prenatal and postnatal exercises with step-by-step photographs. It also presents a detailed section covering every aspect of Active Birth at home and in the hospital.
Birth Stories by Katrina O’Brien
This pregnancy book is perfect for women who want to read birth stories from other mothers. It doesn’t sugarcoat anything and tells it like it is, whether it be a natural birth at home, an unexpected birth in the outdoors, or a planned Cesarean. These personal and funny tales show that the method of arrival is less important than the love the child finds when it finally arrives.
The ultimate guide to conception, birth, and everything in between. Unlike all those other bossy, tell-you-what-to-do titles, this funny, entertaining guide presents parents with all the facts on such hot topics as pain relief during labor, episiotomy, and circumcision, and empowers them to make informed personal choices. You’ll find everything you need in this guide, including:
-A list of resources for more information on each topic
-A description of what to expect during each stage of birth
Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke
This pregnancy bible is packed with information about pregnancy and birth, including the baby’s growth and development, what to expect during pregnancy, and more. It’s also absolutely hilarious, so you’ll be sure to enjoy it from start to finish!
As a would-be mother, it’s important to have access to accurate and precise information about pregnancy. This guide from the celebrated Mayo Clinic offers week-by-week accounts of baby development, as well as entries on how pregnancy can be affected by dozens of previous health conditions (such as HIV and diabetes). You’ll also find self-care tips for side effects like nausea and back pain, sidebars that explain the difference between identical and fraternal twins, and charts that indicate how to handle “troublesome signs and symptoms” during each three-week period. Another amazing feature this book offers are the “decision guides” which help parents through the difficult decisions such as breastfeeding, circumcision, and whether or not to return to work. These decisions often come with a lot of guilt, but this book does an excellent job of helping parents to see all sides of the situation so that they can make the best decision for their family.
Your Pregnancy Bible by Dr Anne Deans
This pregnancy book, written by a team of specialists, is filled with practical and reassuring advice for parents who want to know how to create the optimum environment for their developing baby. It also includes information on how to safeguard the mother’s health during pregnancy. This book is different from all the others on the market because it contains special fold-out sections for each trimester and an illustrated guide of what to expect week-by-week during pregnancy. Not to mention sympathetically illustrated chapters that go into detail about pre-natal care, labor preparation, delivery experiences and post-natal care. Plus, for all you newbies out there – there’s even a comprehensive reference section included on medical treatments and procedures that you may experience throughout your pregnancy journey and after giving birth.
Conception, Pregnancy and Birth by Dr Miriam Stoppard
Pregnancy can be a very overwhelming time for first-time mothers or even mothers who have been through it before. With so much happening during those 9 short months, it’s difficult to know what changes are happening to your body and how to best take care of yourself and your unborn child. This guide offers comprehensive tips and information on everything from conception to delivery, with an emphasis on the latest developments in pregnancy and childbirth care. With stunning photography and up-to-date research on everything from stress levels during pregnancy to new delivery methods, this book is the perfect resource for any expectant mother. Miriam Stoppard, MD is one of today’s most popular medical personalities and has published over 40 titles, making her an expert on the subject of pregnancy and childbirth.
Feeding the Bump by Lisa Neal
This pregnancy book is your go-to guide for everything nutrition related during pregnancy. Chronologically divided into pre-conception, first, second and third trimesters and postpartum/breast-feeding sections, this book provides women with all the information they need to know about their own and their unborn child’s nutritional requirements and the best way to fulfill them. With tried and true remedies for common complaints such as morning sickness and heartburn, along with more than 100 easy-to-follow and absolutely delicious recipes, this book has everything you need to make pregnancy as smooth and enjoyable as possible. This resource is essential for all women who want to optimize their unborn child’s health through nutrition. It is also beneficial for the mother’s health. This guide provides information on which foods to eat (and avoid) during pregnancy, as well as how much of each nutrient the body needs.
Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy
McCarthy’s pregnancy and childbirth journey is hilariously recounted in this book, providing an open and frank discussion about topics that other books often gloss over. With her signature humor, McCarthy candidly discusses enemas, pubic hair growth, and sex in the ninth month – offering a refreshingly honest portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth that will have readers laughing out loud. McCarthy’s writing is like catching up with a gossipy girlfriend – she brings you in and makes you laugh. There’s a comfort in knowing that even a sex symbol gets stretch marks and balloons to 200 pounds during pregnancy.
Bonding with Your Bump by Dr Miriam Stoppard
This guide-book will present advice and guidance on how to form a close bond with your baby before birth, which is beneficial for the baby’s wellbeing, the parent’s feelings, and creating a loving environment for when the baby arrives. The book will be based on up-to-the-minute research with enlightened and compassionate wisdom that explains why mother-baby bonding is so vital. As you read, you will learn to understand and cherish your unborn baby. This book is your perfect guide to this amazing journey, from hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time, to those magical first days post-birth.
The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood Editors: Joanne Stone MD, Keith Eddleman MD
The Pregnancy Bible is the most comprehensive guide to fetal development week-by-week, with full-color photography and life-size ultrasound images. It is written in an easy-to-understand style that will appeal to first-time parents, and includes authoritative information about the latest developments affecting the well-being of an expectant mother and her baby. These include:
New CDC recommendations about mercury and fish
Update on nuchal translucency screening
Update on screening for genetic disorders
Updated information about loss rates after amniocentesis
New information about 3D/4D ultrasound
Recent trends in cesarean delivery “on demand”
Update on Downs syndrome screening.
The Natural Way to a Better Pregnancy by Naish & Roberts
Aspiring to conceive a child? Preconception health is key to having a healthy pregnancy – did you know that the food you eat, the environment you live in and the lifestyle you lead in the months before you conceive can have a profound effect on the wellbeing of your baby? Preconception health care, as outlined in this book, can prevent miscarriage, premature and stillbirths, congenital abnormalities and has a better than 80 per cent success rate in the treatment of infertility. This guide will provide you with all the information and resources necessary for optimal pre-conception health! Did you know that by following its simple principles, you can actively help ensure your baby will be content and alert, won’t suffer from colic, feeding problems or other common ailments, and will be less likely to suffer from allergies, asthma or behavioral problems? Complete, easy-to-follow guide to preconception health for BOTH prospective parents. Written by a Naturopath, herbalist, hypnotherapist and bestselling author who runs Australia’s only clinic dedicated to helping people conceive happy, healthy babies naturally – this book is a must-read for anyone hoping to start a family!
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
British author, Sheila Kitzinger, is celebrated for her work on the sociological and anthropological aspects of birth, breastfeeding, and early parenthood. In this book, she guides readers who are seeking a woman-centered birth experience through the newly researched alternatives that are now available. The book is divided into five major sections: Early Weeks, Physical and Emotional Changes, Anticipating the Birth, the Experience of Birth, and You and Your Newborn. It provides candid information about what mothers need to know, ranging from ways to navigate the technical landscape of hospital births to making the personal choices of a water home birth. This guide is designed to help you create a birth plan, make your own space, and choose an effective birth companion. With revised appendices and 300 updated photographs, drawings, and diagrams, this guide is a valuable resource for all.
The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book by Marjorie Greenfield
Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, an obstetrician and working mom, uses her first-hand experiences and over 100 interviews with mothers from various occupations to create a one-of-a-kind guide for working women who are pregnant. This book addresses all the relevant pregnancy topics as well as issues that are particularly important to the majority of women who are employed during their pregnancy, such as:
Is my workplace safe for my developing baby?
When should I tell my employer that I am expecting?
How can I handle the discomforts of pregnancy when I need to work?
What laws will protect me when I take medical leave?
The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy: The Surprising Unbiased Truth about Foods You Should be Eating During Pregnancy but Probably Aren’t by Jonny Bowden PH.D. C.N.S., Allison Tannis MS
Eating the best foods for your baby’s development is key to their future health! Nutrition is extremely important during pregnancy and what you consume will directly affect both you and your child’s health not only now but for years to come. This guide is based on the latest nutritional research, and it debunks common pregnancy food myths while revealing a number of surprising food choices that are actually superfoods for expectant mothers. If you’re looking for a comprehensive and easy-to-use nutrition guide for pregnancy, look no further! This one-of-a-kind book is packed with helpful quick-reference charts and sidebars, highlighting healthy (but no less delicious!) substitutes for commonly craved foods like ice cream and potato chips. You’ll also discover the most up-to-date research regarding pregnancy dilemmas, such as how to get more omega-3s from fish in your diet while avoiding mercury. Pregnancy nutrition has never been so easy!
Babycare Before Birth by Zita West
A pregnancy book that is full of new research about how a woman’s diet and lifestyle choices during pregnancy can have a major impact on her baby’s health, well-being, and future potential. If you’re looking for ways to give your baby the best possible start in life, this book is a must-read!
What to Expect: Eating Well When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
This book is perfect for the mom-to-be who wants to take a realistic and delicious approach to pregnancy nutrition. It covers everything from weight gain and food safety to the postpartum diet and eating when trying to conceive again. Plus, there are 150 contemporary and healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare – perfect for when you’re short on time or feeling queasy. The best part is that it’s all delivered in a light, reader-friendly tone with the most up-to-date information.
What to Expect Before You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life, but it can also be a confusing and overwhelming one. In the same fresh, contemporary voice that has made the 4th edition of What to Expect When You’re Expecting so successful, Murkoff explains the whys and wherefores of getting your body ready for pregnancy, including pregnancy prep for both moms and dads to be. Filled with information on exercise, diet, pinpointing ovulation, lifestyle, workplace, and insurance changes you’ll want to consider, and how to keep your relationship strong when you’re focused on baby making all the time. Here are some tips for older couples who want to conceive: when to consult a fertility specialist–including the latest on fertility drugs and procedures–plus a complete fertility planner.
Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook for Today’s Mothers-to-Be by Catherine Jones, Rose Ann Hudson
A cookbook specifically for the mother-to-be, with nutritional advice to balance optimum weight gain with the required dietary needs for a healthy lifestyle. Addresses the requirements of diabetic, vegetarian, and vegan diets. A chapter is dedicated to the vegetarian diet. Each section contains recommended pantry items for the recipes. Makes full use of convenience and semi-prepared ingredients to provide simple yet flavorful dishes. Every recipe in this cookbook is based on a nutritional goal for both baby and mother-to-be, and is complete with tips for cooking, storage, health, special diets, andVariations. You’ll also find meal ideas, as well as the approximate nutritional content of each recipe.
This book is like having your own personal herbalist and midwife at your side throughout your pregnancy journey. One of the first books to explore botanical medicine and pregnancy, it follows the woman’s journey from conception to birth while focusing on natural health. It describes herbs that can promote and maintain a healthy pregnancy (along with those you should avoid during your term) and provides the basics of a healthy diet, with an emphasis on natural foods. This is the complete guide for the woman who envisions a safe pregnancy without technological intervention, as nature intended.