Many many years ago, pregnancy and parenting advice was passed down from generation to generation. Today, new parents must contend with the often conflicting information the internet provides about this vital part of life.
Not to worry though; there are many pregnancy books that hold the gentle wisdom of our parents. We have books covering everything from the pregnancy journey to caring for your child and yourself after birth. Some of these titles even demystify long-held beliefs and shed light on the most important aspects of parenthood.
Here is my top favorite books that helped me feel confidant during my first pregnancy.
How I Chose My Top Pregnancy Books?
In my opinion, a good pregnancy book provides evidence-based advice in an approachable and supportive manner. Also, they should be easy to follow and understand, with visual references to clarify. Following 2 pregnancies and 2 births, I read more than 15 pregnancy and beyond books. I have listed my top choices here. The books are easy to read (or listen to, if you prefer audio books) and educational, with a touch of maternal seriousness.
My 5 Favorite Pregnancy Books- for First Time Moms and Dads
The books below were recommended to me by friends and some of my Instagram followers, so I gathered my insights and thoughts and here they are! 5 of my favorite pregnancy books for first-time parents .
The Mama Natural
This was the first book I read when I found out I was pregnant! The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth looks at pregnancy and childbirth as natural and beautiful biological processes, not medical conditions.
The author, Genevieve Howland, is a well-known influence thanks to her YouTube channel and blog MamaNatural.com. Hers is a week-by-week advice and tips for a healthy and fun pregnancy detailing nutrition, natural remedies for those troublesome symptoms, as well as positive pregnancy and birth stories from women of all backgrounds and stages.
The book also features advice from a certified midwife, a registered nurse, a doula, and a lactation consultant. It is encouraging, fun, and very well researched, plus the funny stories and illustrations will keep you hooked until the end.
50 Things to Do Before You Deliver
If you are getting ready to have a baby, you have plenty to plan. Between preparing the baby room to getting the baby registry going and finding a hospital, a few things can slip through your fingers. The book 50 Things to Do Before You Deliver narrows down the million things people have to do during pregnancy to only 50. These 50 specific steps are everything you need to be ready for that baby.
The author Jill Krause is a mother of 4 and the creator of the award-winning pregnancy blog Baby Rabies. Her book is organized by trimesters, so you can take one step at a time. But while the 50 guidelines are specific, Jill acknowledges that no two pregnancies are similar and encourages young moms to follow their instinct.
The book also features supportive tips and encouragements from other moms, mid-wives, OB-GYNs, and contributors like Amy Morrison of the Pregnant Chicken blog.
Bumpin’: The Modern Guide to Pregnancy
Leslie Schrock has based this book on the latest clinical evidence to give you practical advice on all things pregnancy. Relying on science, Bumpin’ has tackled all pregnancy FAQs and topics, including nutrition, epidurals, activities, work, and baby budget. It also takes you through the postpartum period with all the unexpected physical, mental, and emotional changes it brings.
This warm, funny, and personal book will leave you feeling ready to tackle anything pregnancy and child birth throws your way.
Inside this book, you will find;
- A trimester-by-trimester overview all the way through the postpartum period and returning to work.
- Scientific research on vaccination, exercise, and breastfeeding, among others.
- The truth about age and fertility.
- The science behind some of the physical changes women go through like leaks, discharge, heatwaves, and how to manage them.
- Unique advice for partners.
- Budgeting, finance tips, hospital checklists, and baby registry.
- Birth preferences and what to expect.
What to Eat When You’re Pregnant
There is a lot of information online and among friends about what to avoid eating or drinking when pregnant. However, this book is an easy-to-follow guide on what to eat during pregnancy.
This book draws inspiration from medicine, psychology, and nutrition to give you a clear picture of what your body really needs to be a vibrant haven for a growing baby. It has 50 easy-to-make and delicious recipes hand-picked and curated to give your baby a healthy start in life and nourish the mom as well.
The author, Dr. Nicole Avena is an expert in nutrition, neuroscience, and obesity. She has applied her vast knowledge to create a week-by-week guide for moms in this book, using a fun and easy-to-read manner.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is the most read pregnancy book in history, which led to it becoming a movie and having its own app. The book is comprehensive with 600 pages of science-based information, and it has everything you want to know as a mom.
You will find chapters on pregnancy symptoms, information for dads, carrying multiples, pregnancy lifestyle, and a week-to-week developmental guideline. Want to know what’s going on with your body and emotions each day? This book has a page or a topic on that. There is also a topic on how to manage pregnancy complications and loss.
Though some people think the book’s style has become outdated, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is still the most recommended pregnancy book.
There’s obviously no way to fully prepare for what pregnancy and childbirth will do to you, but knowing what you can expect is super helpful for mothers and fathers to be. Sometimes, having a science-backed and informative book on your bedside is all the comfort you need when those cravings, unending nausea, and fatigue hit, and you need a solution.
While it sometimes feels like you need to read everything, it’s easy to get burned out on pregnancy books quickly. I will recommend you to choose to read a couple of books that interest you and then give yourself a break with different content. Therefore, choose also a non-pregnancy-related book to read during your nine months. In my first trimester, I began reading “My Brilliant Friend” series and enjoyed it so much that I continued to read it even after I gave birth.