The Best Pregnancy Books to Answer Your Next 9+ Months of Questions

For every question parents ask during pregnancy, we’ve got the best pregnancy books to provide the answers—and so much more!
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Updated May 28, 2023
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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 goes on. If you ask us, 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!

What to Look for in Pregnancy Books

There are so many different types of pregnancy books—probably because each pregnancy is so different! Some books are chock-full of detailed information about your health and baby’s, while others are funny or lighthearted reads. But no matter the tone or focus, there are some constants: You want to find a book that’s medically accurate, uses relatable and understandable language and offers useful and actionable advice.

The next nine months are 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’re sure to wonder what’s normal and what’s not. But a well-written and engaging pregnancy book can help to put your mind at ease.

The Best Pregnancy Books

From tried-and-true favorites to the newly published works, these books offer comprehensive guides to the whole nine+ months. If you don’t know where to start looking for guidance (and there’s so much to learn, who does?), these pregnancy books have your back.

Guide to childbirth

Worried about delivery? Let the former president of the Midwives Alliance of North America walk you through her gentle approach to natural childbirth. Based on the midwifery model of care, this pregnancy book has been considered the gold standard for natural childbirth for decades, and contains everything you need to know about having a drug-free birth, and how to approach and manage pain during labor.

Number of pages: 400 | Year published: 2003

Mayo Clinic pregnancy guide

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Image: Amazon

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. What’s more, this revised and updated edition includes information on new trends and technologies in pregnancy and childbirth.

The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy provides trustworthy medical information from doctors at the reputable Mayo Clinic. And as an added bonus, those doctors are parents too, and know exactly what you’re experiencing.

Number of pages: 520 | Year published: 2018

Go-to pregnancy guide

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn the Complete Guide
Image: Walmart

Exactly as the title states, this go-to guide covers all aspects of pregnancy, delivery and baby’s first few months. First published in 1979 and revised numerous times (most recently in 2018), this popular pregnancy book for parents-to-be is filled with information on what to expect with your growing belly, as well as nutrition, the latest research and answers to your baby questions. This perennial favorite is a must-have during pregnancy.

Number of pages: 512 | Year published: 2018

Data-driven pregnancy guide

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong and What You Really Need to Know
Image: Amazon
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Emily Oster is a professor of economics at Brown University, as well as a mother. When she became pregnant, she found that pregnancy is full of accepted norms and conventional wisdoms that rarely come with explanations (why shouldn’t you have a cup of coffee, anyway?). Expecting Better uses the kind of hard data you’d expect from an award-winning economist to debunk the myths, demystify the “rules” and offers real advice for a laid-back, relaxed and peaceful pregnancy.

Number of pages: 368 | Year published: 2014

Week-by-week pregnancy book

The Pregnancy Countdown Book
Image: Walmart

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.

Number of pages: 288 | Year published: 2012

Conversational pregnancy guide

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy
Image: Amazon

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 friends.

Number of pages: 288 | Year published: 2007

Pregnancy instruction manual

The Pregnancy Instruction Manual
Image: Barnes & Noble

The Pregnancy Instruction Manual: Essential Information, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice for Parents-to-Be by Sarah Jordan with David Ufberg, MD

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 parents.

Number of pages: 224 | Year published: 2008

Month-by-month pregnancy book

Healthy Pregnancy Book
Image: Amazon

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 list of the best books on pregnancy is how it provides well-rounded data to help you decide what’s best for you and baby, for everything from food and exercise to genetic testing.

Number of pages: 464 | Year published: 2013

Complete guide to pregnancy

Mommy IQ,: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy
Image: Walmart

When you just want to feel empowered and calm through your nine months of pregnancy, turn to this quick read by maternity fashion and lifestyle guru Rosie Pope. It packs in a lot of great tips and charts, without going overboard and stressing you out.

Number of pages: 272 | Year published: 2012

Practical guide to pregnancy

The Baby Bump: 100s of Secrets to Surviving Those 9 Long Months
Image: Amazon
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The Bump creator Carley Roney chatted with real moms to create this practical guide, filled with advice and tips from those 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 building your maternity wardrobe.

Number of pages: 176 | Year published: 2010

The Best Pregnancy Books for First-Time Moms

If this is your first time being 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 pregnancy books for first-time moms will guide you through the next nine months while helping to eliminate the new mom jitters and stress.

Week-by-week pregnancy guide

Your Pregnancy Week by Week
Image: Amazon

With 30 years in print and more than a million copies sold, you know this week-by-week pregnancy guide is doing something right! Now in its eighth edition, Your Pregnancy Week by Week offers current medically grounded information delivered in a caring, conversational style.

Number of pages: 480 | Year published: 2016

Lifestyle-focused pregnancy book

The Panic-Free Pregnancy
Image: Amazon
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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, *The Panic-Free Pregnancy” cuts through the myths to produce a must-read pregnancy book for first-time moms.

Number of pages: 304 | Year published: 2004

Science-based pregnancy book

Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?
Image: Barnes & Noble

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 in science but not often discussed—Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? provides answers to questions you may not have even known you had!

Number of pages: 287 | Year published: 2011

Lighthearted pregnancy book

Bumpin' The Modern Guide to Pregnancy
Image: Barnes & Noble

Never been pregnant? Start here! Bumpin’s fresh approach and relatable tone will have you nodding your head going, “girl, yes!” from start to finish. You’ll learn all the new-mom basics here, but the book keeps things relatively high level, which means it’s perfect for a breezy read that’s informative without getting too deep in the weeds. If you’re looking for a lighthearted read that’s more than just funny, Bumpin’ is the obvious choice.

Number of pages: 384 | Year published: 2019

Pregnancy journal and book

The Belly Book
Image: Walmart

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 number two (or three or four), you can always refer to this journal for insight on what’s to come based on your past pregnancy.

Number of pages: 96 | Year published: 2006

The Best Pregnancy Books for Dads

Mom may have to carry baby in her belly during pregnancy, but that doesn’t let you off the hook, Dad. The months leading up to baby’s birthday are prime time for you to prepare and be a strong helper to your pregnant partner. These pregnancy books for dads are the reads the proud pop-to-be needs to get a parenting head start.

Month-to-month pregnancy book for dads

New Father: The Expectant Father, The Ultimate Guide for Dads-To-Be
Image: Walmart
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This classic guide informs and reassures dad about what’s happening 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 baby, that is. The new, revised edition even includes work-life-balance lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of pages: 336 | Year published: 2021

Entertaining pregnancy book for dads

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, loaded with advice on everything from pregnancy tests to delivery, to help you step up your game from frat boy to dad.

Number of pages: 224 | Year published: 2011

First-time dad pregnancy book

Written by the voice of the hilarious online community, Life of Dad, this all-purpose pregnancy book for dad gives all the info he’ll need before stepping into his new title. This comprehensive read is informative and fun, with a quick pace that ensures he’ll actually, you know, read it.

Number of pages: 292 | Year published: 2018

Pregnancy and birthing guide for dads-to-be

Commando Dad
Image: Amazon

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 pounds, but parenting involves some heavy lifting.

Number of pages: 192 | Year published: 2015

From Dude to Dad

From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy (Paperback)
Image: Walmart

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 they’re born.

Number of pages: 224 | Year published: 2014

The Best 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 straight talk pregnancy book

There's No Manual, Honest and Gory Wisdom about Having a Baby
Image: Walmart

If you’re in the mood for some straight talk that’s often informative, sometimes funny and always feminist-leaning, this is the pregnancy book you’ll want to dive into right away. The authors’ no-holds-barred approach to pregnancy and childbirth is refreshing and honest, and comical enough that you’ll laugh while you learn.

Number of pages: 272 | Year published: 2020

Realistic and funny pregnancy book

Funny Little Pregnant Things
Image: Amazon

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.”

Number of pages: 188 | Year published: 2016

Celebrity pregnancy book

Belly Laughs (10th anniversary edition)
Image: Amazon
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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 almost 20 years. 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.

Number of pages: 192 | Year published: 2014

Activity-based pregnancy book

Big Activity Book: The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People
Image: Amazon

When the urge hits for coffee or wine, when baby kicks are keeping you up at night or when you’ve made a million trips 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.

Number of pages: 176 | Year published: 2017

Hilarious pregnancy book

It's Really 10 Months
Image: Amazon

What happens when three thirty-something 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.

Number of pages: 334 | Year published: 2013

The Best 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 perspective, and are usually chock full of new research and medical findings. What’s more, they tend to be ever more inclusive to all different types of families. Be sure to add these new pregnancy books to your library to round out your pre-baby reading list.

Pregnancy book for LGBTQ+ and solo parents

Baby Making for Everybody: Family Building and Fertility for LGBTQ+ and Solo Parents
Image: Amazon
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This brand-new book is a great resource for families of all types. Full of essential info and helpful advice, it’s truly meant for everybody, no matter how they identify; even solo parents will find support here. Learn about how gender identity can inform pregnancy decisions, like IVF and other fertility treatments, and about legal considerations as well. Written in a friendly, compassionate tone, this pregnancy book is a great addition to any library.

Number of pages: 352 | Year published: 2023

Pregnancy book for couples

The Couples' Pregnancy Guide: How to Navigate Pregnancy and Childbirth as a Team
Image: Amazon
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If you’re a couple having a baby, you’re likely hoping to take this huge leap together. And that’s exactly what this book encourages. With helpful advice, checklists and strategies for coming together as a team, this book helps to ensure that having a baby brings you together instead of pulling you apart into separate universes.

Number of pages: 192 | Year published: 2023

Relatable celebrity pregnancy guide

Dear Future Mama: A Tmi Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood from Your Bestie
Image: Walmart

She is a mother; listen to her! Get ready to laugh, cry and likely snort when you pick up this hilarious read by Meghan Trainor. This quick read is a real-life account of all the things you’ll face during those long 40 weeks; many reviewers indicated they felt like they were reading their own journals! Once you’re done, pass it to your partner so they can understand exactly what you’re going through.

Number of pages: 240 | Year published: 2023

Empowering birth book

The Positive Birth Book: The Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and the Early Weeks
Image: Amazon
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This wonderful read aims to empower those giving birth to create the birthing situation they’d most like to have. It takes a non-judgemental tone and addresses all types of births, from home deliveries to c-sections in a hospital setting. Here, you’ll receive guidance on creating and executing a birth plan, learn what you need to know about optimal cord clamping and breastfeeding basics, and even postpartum pelvic floor information.

Number of pages: 328 | Year published: 2023

Personal pregnancy journal

Big Activity Book: The Big Journal for Pregnant People
Image: Walmart

If you’re looking for a pregnancy journal that allows you to record things about you, not just baby, this is the one for you. This brand-new journal not only provides practical tips and information, it also contains plenty of blank space for you to explore and get in touch with your own thoughts, desires and needs as they pertain to your pregnancy. As the authors put it, “Most baby books are about the baby. This one is for you.” Finally, right?

Number of pages: 128 | Year published: 2023

How We Chose the Best Pregnancy Books

To help you find the best pregnancy books on the market today, we browsed lots of different options from some of our most trusted retailers, read user reviews to find out how pregnant people enjoyed them, and leveraged our own familiarity with the best publishers and experiences as expectant parents. We didn’t consider any pregnancy books with less than an average four-star rating.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

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