Most women start searching for information about pregnancy the day they find out that they are expecting. Browsing the local library or bookstore can be overwhelming, with dozens of books about pregnancy lining the shelves. In no particular order, here is our list of the Top 10 (really, 11) books to read during pregnancy.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
This is one of the most well-known and popular books about pregnancy. Most women will purchase a copy or receive one as a gift at some point in their lives. The best feature is it walks you through the pregnancy, month by month. While some people criticize the book for sharing too much information about pregnancy risks, other women find it to be informative and about what to expect throughout their pregnancies.
The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancyby Vicki Iovine
If you want a book that is lighthearted, funny and honest, then this book is for you. Iovine shares tips and advice based on her friends’ experiences and her experiences of having four children. She is sassy and reassuring, and most women find her book to tell real truths about pregnancy. The only downside is a lack of information on natural childbirth and breastfeeding.
Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Glade B. Curtis and Judith Schuler
Written by an OBGYN, this book breaks down each part of the pregnancy with details on how the mother’s body is changing and how the baby is developing. It gives a comprehensive look at pregnancy, with information on nutrition and common tests done during pregnancy. If you want a book that you can follow with each week of your pregnancy, then this one is a top pick for you.
The Pregnancy Book by William and Martha Sears
Written by two of the most well-known childcare experts, this book walks you through the pregnancy month by month. It covers topics that include the mother’s physical and emotional changes during pregnancy, common questions and answers, and how to bond with an unborn baby. The book also covers childbirth options and prepares you for the big day.
The Birth Book by William and Martha Sears
For a more comprehensive look at childbirth options, you can check out The Birth Book, which is written by the same authors of The Pregnancy Book. It covers anesthesia choices, childbirth environments and the father’s role during delivery. The book also explores labor positions and Cesarean sections.
Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
Written by a registered nurse and certified midwife, this book takes a holistic approach to natural childbirth, if that is something you want to consider. It will help you learn how to manage labor pain and what the father’s responsibilities are during labor. This book also gives tips for how to care for a newborn, including breastfeeding, bathing and sleeping.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirthby Ina May Gaskin
This book is packed full of inspiring birth stories and real advice for pregnant women. Topics covered include episiotomies, anesthesia risks, managing labor pain and what to expect during the delivery. Because the book is written by a midwife and focuses more on medication-free births, it is a top pick for those planning natural childbirth.
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answersby Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman
Written by a pediatrician and La Leche League leader, this book explores every aspect of breastfeeding, from premature infants to sore nipples to getting a good latch. It has received good reviews, based on how informative it is for women who want to breastfeed. If you want to learn before your baby arrives about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to breastfeed, this is a good book to read during pregnancy.
The Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by the Mayo Clinic
This book offers a comprehensive look at pregnancy from a reputable source. Topics covered include symptoms during pregnancy, fetal development and health conditions. It also offers handy charts of troubling signs to notify your doctor about and an overview on how to make important decisions during pregnancy.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin, April Bolding, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham, and Janet Whalley
Written by several respected heath professionals, this book has an abundance of information, covering everything about pregnancy, birth, VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesearean) and interventions during the birth. It provides valuable information on the postpartum period and caring for a newborn, which includes illustrations to help new parents learn proper techniques for newborn care. It has a section that covers common misconceptions and real facts about pregnancy.
The Bonus: Number Eleven
A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson
While this is not a regular maternity book that pregnant women might read, it is full of beautiful pictures of a baby as he or she passes through various stages of development. You can look through the book to see full-color pictures of a baby in the womb through each stage of a pregnancy. Each picture is full of details that seem to bring the pages of the book to life, which gives you a real view of how your little one might look inside your growing abdomen.