Once you find out you’re pregnant—and, congratulations to you!—it’s easy to become overwhelmed with questions. What supplies will I need? What should I name my little one? When should I tell my family and friends? And the list go on. But maybe the best question is about what type of books to read during pregnancy. That’s because pregnancy books can help answer many—if not all!—of the pregnancy questions you have!
Best Pregnancy Books
The next nine months is all new territory. Even if you’ve already brought tiny humans into the world, no two pregnancies are alike. While the thought of food may have turned your stomach during your first pregnancy, your second baby may have you eating everything in sight. And if you’ve never experienced pregnancy before, you are sure to wonder what is normal and what is not.
That’s where pregnancy books come to the rescue. From tried-and-true favorites to the newly published guides on bookstands, the best books about pregnancy are filled with information sure to put mommy minds and daddy brains at ease.
10 Best Books About Pregnancy
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, amazon.com
What this pregnancy book delivers: Worried about delivery? Let the former president of the Midwives Alliance of North America walk you through her gentle approach to natural childbirth.
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too! by the pregnancy experts at Mayo Clinic, amazon.com
What this pregnancy book delivers: This pregnancy book breaks down baby’s growth by week and mom’s changing body by month, and includes a 40-week pregnancy calendar, symptom guide and illustrations. More importantly: it provides trustworthy medical information from doctors at the reputable Mayo Clinic. And as an added bonus, those doctors are also moms and dads, too, and know exactly what you’re experiencing.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham and April Bolding, amazon.com
What this pregnancy book delivers: Exactly as the title states, this go-to guide covers all aspects of pregnancy, delivery and early stage of baby. First published in 1979 and revised numerous times, the popular pregnancy book for moms-to-be is filled with information on what to expect with your growing belly, as well as nutrition, latest research and answers to your baby questions. This perennial favorite is a must-have during pregnancy.
Expecting 411: The Insider's Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Michele Hakakha and Ari Brown, amazon.com
What this pregnancy book delivers: Of the books about pregnancy, we like this one for its conversational tone and light humor, which makes the sometimes overwhelming information easier to digest. Instead of panicking about what’s happening in your body or to your developing fetus, let this pregnancy book, written by an ob-gyn and a pediatrician, will set your mind at ease.
The Pregnancy Countdown Book: Nine Months of Practical Tips, Useful Advice, and Uncensored Truths by Susan Magee with Kara Nakisbendi, MD, amazon.com
What this pregnancy book delivers: This book takes the less-is-best approach, offering up bite-sized chunks of relevant information served up at just the right time in your nine months of pregnancy. Balancing expert advice with real-mom anecdotal examples makes this a great pregnancy week-by-week book.
The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine, amazon.com
What this pregnancy book delivers: Some pregnancy books can feel a lot like sitting through lectures at a medical convention. With a confident, conversational tone, The Girlfriend’s Guide reads like a how-to written by your super-in-the-know BFF, or a confessional about pregnancy dos-and-don’ts over coffee (decaf, of course) with the girlfriends.
The Pregnancy Instruction Manual: Essential Information, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice for Parents-to-Be by Sarah
Jordan with David Ufberg, MD, amazon.comWhat this pregnancy book delivers: Cars, appliances and electronics all come with instruction manuals-—so why not the pregnant body too? Mixing graphics and helpful tips, this pregnancy book is a handy how-to for soon-to-be moms (and dads!).
The Healthy Pregnancy Book: Month by Month, Everything You Need to Know from America's Baby Experts by William Sears, MD, and Martha Sears, RN, amazon.com
What this pregnancy book delivers: Pregnancy books tend to offer differing opinions on how best to grow a healthy baby in your belly, which may leave you confused. What we love about this read on our best of pregnancy books list is how it provides well-rounded data to help you decide what’s best for you and your baby. This pregnancy book covers nutrition and lifestyle topics too.
Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy by Rosie Pope, amazon.com
What this pregnancy book delivers: When you just want to feel empowered and calm through your nine months with baby, this quick read, by maternity fashion and lifestyle guru Rosie Pope, packs in a lot of great tips and charts, without going overboard and stressing you out.
The Baby Bump: 100s of Secrets to Surviving Those 9 Long Months by Carley Roney, amazon.com
What this pregnancy book delivers: The Bump creator Carley Roney chatted with real moms to create this practical guide, filled with advice and tips from women who’ve been there and done that. With a more casual vibe, this book feels like chatting with a post-baby best friend, while also offering up handy birth plan checklists, a kick count tracker and tips for working your maternity wardrobe.
Best Pregnancy Books for First-Time Moms
If this is your first time pregnant, get ready to rely pretty heavily on pregnancy books. Your body is about to change in ways you’ve likely never imagined. And while you’re sure to get advice from every previously pregnant woman (and her sister), it’s hard to sort fact from the fiction of old wives’ tales. The best books for first-time moms will guide you through the next nine months while helping to eliminate the new mom jitters and stress.
Pregnancy: For the First Time Moms, What They Don't Tell You by Darell Spice, amazon.comWhy this pregnancy book is bumpin’: Pregnancy isn’t always pretty, and this pregnancy book dares to go there. Instead of the sweeter moments, like hearing your wee one’s heartbeat or kicks for the first time, the information here is more nitty, gritty—but exactly what you need to know.
The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, amazon.com
Why this pregnancy book is bumpin’: Kind of like a baby book for your growing belly, this pregnancy journal is designed to help you track your entire pregnancy. It makes a super-sweet keepsake, and while this pregnancy memory book may not afford much in the way of medical facts and stats, if you ever decide to have baby No. 2...or three or four, you can always refer to this journal for insight on what’s to come based on your past pregnancy.
Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Glade B. Curtis, MD,MPH and Judith Schuler, MS, amazon.com
Why this pregnancy book is bumpin’: With 25 years in print and more than a million copies sold, you know this week-by-week pregnancy guide is doing something right! The revised edition offers current medically grounded information delivered in a caring, conversational style.
The Panic-Free Pregnancy: An OB-GYN Separates Fact From Fiction on Food, Exercise, Travel, Pets, Coffee, Medications, and Concerns You Have When You Are Expecting by Michael S. Broder, MD, amazon.com
Why this pregnancy book is bumpin’: Get pregnant and you’re instantly bombarded with all kinds of dos and don’ts regarding what to eat, do, wear and more. Focused completely on lifestyle, this is a must-read pregnancy book for first-time moms.
Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy by Jena Pincott, amazon.com
Why this pregnancy book is bumpin’: Do you tend to be really curious about how your mommy lifestyle affects your developing baby? If so, you’ll love this author’s exploration of the “hidden” side of pregnancy, that’s grounded very much based in science but not often discussed.
Funny Pregnancy Books
As pregnancy hormones begin to wreak havoc on your emotional state, it’s best to seek out laughter—it really is the best medicine. The good news is that funny pregnancy books can make you belly-laugh while teaching you about the craziness to come in the next nine months and beyond.
Funny Little Pregnant Things: The Good, the Bad, and the Just Plain Gross Things about Pregnancy That Other Books Aren’t Going to Tell You by Emily Doherty, amazon.com
Get ready for your baby bump to bounce with laughter. This funny pregnancy book skips comparing your fetus to produce and tells you what you really need to know without trying to “scare the baby out of you.”
Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy, amazon.com
Pregnancy serves up some LOL moments, and Jenny McCarthy—yes, that Jenny McCarthy—captures them all in her classic pregnancy book, guiding moms-to-be for ten years and counting. She uses her sharp sense of humor to discuss hormones, hemorrhoids, having sex while pregnant, granny panties and so much more. When you start to take your pregnancy too seriously, this is one of the funny pregnancy books sure to offer comic relief.
It's Really 10 Months: Delivering the Truth About the Glow of Pregnancy and Other Blatant Lies by Natalie Guenther, Kim Schenkelberg and Celeste Snodgrass, amazon.com
What happens when three thirtysomething friends experience pregnancy at the same time? A hilarious pregnancy book that offers moms-to-be the emotional support they need over the next 9—er, 10—months.
Let's Panic About Babies!: How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant Who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain, and Finally Turn You into a Worthwhile Human Being by Alice Bradley and Eden M. Kennedy, amazon.com
If you’re a bit of a hypochondriac, pregnancy is no doubt causing your anxiety to skyrocket.But this book about pregnancy can help ground you by providing answers you need—with the humor necessary to make it easier to roll with the (baby) punches (and kicks).
The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People by Jordan Reid and Erin Williams, amazon.com
When the urge hits for coffee or wine, when baby kicks are keeping you up at night or when you made the umpeenth trip to the bathroom, this activity book will keep you from losing your mommy-to-be mind. Filled with ideas for journal entries, pictures to color, doodling prompts and more, this hilarious activity-based pregnancy book is there to help you maintain your sanity in a less serious way.
Pregnancy Books for Dads
Mom may have to carry baby in her belly during pregnancy, but dad, that doesn’t let you off the hook. The months leading up to baby’s birthday are prime time for you to prep and be a strong helper to your pregnant partner. These pregnancy books for dad are the reads the proud pop-to-be needs to get a parenting head start.
The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin, amazon.com
Fave for fathers: Dad, it’s go-time when delivery day arrives. Make sure your game is on point with this pregnancy book helping labor partners master how to be the best birthing companion they can be. This updated edition includes details about labor signs and stages, medication and non-drug relief techniques, and postpartum guidance, too, for helping mom and baby.
The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be Paperback by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash, amazon.com
Fave for fathers: With more than 20 editions under its belt, this classic guide informs and reassures dad about what’s happening as throughout mom-to-be’s pregnancy, as well as what’s to come on delivery day and with early parenthood. Plus, just for dad, this month-by-month pregnancy book also talks tools and technology—as it applies to babies, that is.
Dude, You're Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months by John Pfeiffer, amazon.com
Fave for fathers: If you’re a grown-up frat boy (or just want to feel like one), this entertaining take on pregnancy is the read you need to avoid a fathering (or husbanding) fail before baby is even born.
Bro, She Is Pregnant: Dad's Week by Week Pregnancy Guide by Darell Spice, amazon.com
Fave for fathers: The Bro’s guide to pregnancy? Dude, it totally exists. And it’s actually chock full of helpful advice for dad-to-be, from pre-conception to postpartum. It’s even got you covered on things like pregnancy sex, money worries, cravings and baby showers.
Your Pregnancy for the Father-to-Be: Everything Dads Need to Know about Pregnancy, Childbirth and Getting Ready for a New Baby by Glade B. Curtis, MD, MPH and Judith Schuler, MS, amazon.com
Fave for fathers: Like many pregnancy books for dad, this book covers what’s happening with mom and baby week to week. But what we especially like is how it also thoughtfully tackles lifestyle issues, such as budgeting for baby expenses and the effect pregnancy and baby may have on a marriage.
Commando Dad: New Recruits, A Guide to Pregnancy and Birth for Dads-to-Be by Neil Sinclair, amazon.com
Fave for fathers: Especially great for military dads-to-be, this no-nonsense (yet still funny) guide treats preparing for parenthood like daddy boot camp. Written in a guy-friendly tone and using an army training theme, this manual is a must for fathers who want to sharpen their minds and build their dad bods. Because baby may clock in at under 10 lbs., but parenting involves some heavy lifting.
From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy by Chris Pegula with Frank Meyer, amazon.com
Fave for fathers: Fathers who are freaking out need to read this funny pregnancy book that helps dad (and therefore, mom!) chill before baby arrives. It covers pregnancy information by trimester, gives tips for being a good labor coach and shows how to immediately start bonding with baby once he (or she!) is born.
The Pregnancy Book for Men: From Dude to Dad in 40 Short Weeks by Gerard Janssen, amazon.com
Fave for fathers: Guys may not always be great at asking for directions, but this illustrated pregnancy book creates such a great visual roadmap that he won’t need to. While mom is counting down the weeks using her body’s physical cues, dad can follow a calendar plan just for him to get ready for baby’s big appearance.
New Pregnancy Books
There are plenty of pregnancy books that can stand the test of time, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the newcomers to the shelves. New pregnancy books can offer a fresh take or unique perspectives, and are usually chock full of new research and medical findings. Be sure to add these new pregnancy books to your library to round out your pre-baby reading list.
The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland, amazon.com
Why you’ll go goo-goo gah-gah: While pregnancy has long been looked at as a “medical condition,” the famed YouTube host known as “Mama Natural” recognizes pregnancy as natural, and thus treats it as such. This book is filled with nutrition information and natural remedies for pregnancy symptoms, as well as how to have a healthy, natural childbirth, making it just right for parents who prefer a more organic lifestyle.
The Whole 9 Months: A Week-By-Week Pregnancy Nutrition Guide With Recipes for a Healthy Start by Jennifer Lang, MD, amazon.com
Why you’ll go goo-goo gah-gah: A woman’s health ultimately affects the health of her baby, which is why what she eats when she’s pregnant is so important. While many pregnancy books touch on nutrition and diet, this guide makes food the main event, offering information on nutrition, how much to eat and recipes for mom-to-be.
The Mindful Mom-to-Be: A Modern Doula's Guide to Building a Healthy Foundation From Pregnancy Through Birth by Lori Bregman, amazon.com
Why you’ll go goo-goo gah-gah: If you’re no stranger to Downward-Facing Dog and Warrior II poses, then making mindfulness part of your pregnancy is probably at the top of your new mom to-do list. In addition to the physical side of pregnancy, this book provides valuable insight, tips and exercises on the spiritual and emotional development pregnancy (and parenthood) requires.
Pregnancy: The Best Pregnancy Handbook For First Time Moms And Dads by Cassandra Paterson, amazon.com
Why you’ll go goo-goo gah-gah: Instead of just focused on mom or dads, this pregnancy book addresses what both parents need to know for first-time pregnancies. Consider this a primer on all the necessary information you need to get through those nine months together without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster, amazon.com
Why you’ll go goo-goo gah-gah: This book’s take: stop all the drama, breathe and focus on yourself and baby. This book helps you cut the anxiety that comes with pregnancy by debunking the myths, demystifying the “rules” and real offering advice for a laid-back, relaxed and peaceful pregnancy.
Yeah Baby!: The Modern Mama’s Guide to Mastering Pregnancy, Having a Healthy Baby, and Bouncing Back Better Than Ever by Jillian Michaels, amazon.com
Why you’ll go goo-goo gah-gah: You know Jillian Michaels as the personal trainer from NBC’s hit body transformation show The Biggest Loser. And while a big ole baby bump may seem the antithesis of Michaels’ slimmed down aesthetic, as a mother of two, she’s able to apply her nutrition and health knowledge to the pregnant body. Bonus: Mommy-focused fitness and meal plans are featured, so that you can feel your best while pregnant and bounce back better after baby arrives.
Bumpology: The Myth-Busting Pregnancy Book for Curious Parents-to-Be by Linda Geddes, amazon.com
Why you’ll go goo-goo gah-gah: Practical parents will love this book because it’s filled with myth-busting facts and statistics that can make pregnancy a little less stressful. Science journalist Geddes shuts out all the noise and gives it to you straight, from pre-conception to postpartum, addressing all your mom-to-be concerns with real information in an honest, easy to understand way.