Best Pregnancy Books to Read While You Are Pregnant

When you’re pregnant you spend a lot of time of just sitting around. Or more likely laying around.


Because you don’t want to do anything else.

This is a great time to read a book and if you’re going to read a book, you might as well read a book on pregnancy. You can never learn enough about that thing growing inside of your belly and why it’s making you fart more than you have in your entire life.

This list contains books that I’ve read, my friends have read, and ones that I’ve found through reviews. By no means should you go and read all 15 books unless you’re really a lover of books.

Instead, find the one that sounds the most appealing to you and go to town.

12 of the Best Pregnancy Books You Should Read

While you’ll find more than 12 books in this post, some of them are on here because they are overrated and you shouldn’t waste your time while others are a bit lukewarm but you never know, you might like them more.

They are arranged in chronological order from when the time you will need them.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

Many people count on this book because it is such a reliable source for guiding women through the months of pregnancy.

Check out this Amazon review:

The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy is an excellent, no-scare resource for pregnancy. I had heard “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” was fear and paranoia inducing “guide” to pregnancy. I wanted to educate myself on pregnancy with evidence-based information compiled by healthcare professionals who are mothers. This book provides exactly that. The book provides a wealth of information in a format that is easy to navigate and easy to read. You can ready sections all the way through, quickly look up your current symptoms, or look up whatever specific question pops into your mind at that moment, all with ease.

This is what I like about it, it’s based on scientific evidence. This is the type of person I am so this book really resonated with me.

The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy

This might be the most controversial book you see here because of its tone. Some people love it and some people hate it.

I enjoyed it because it injects humor into this crazy thing called pregnancy. You might appreciate the humor.

Just to offer some perspective here are two different Amazon reviews.

The positive…

I am so very happy I did. The book is written in such a friendly, conversational tone that feels like I am speaking with my new best friend – which is actually several dozen new best friends, since the author culls advice and experience from several recently-pregnant women. I immediately felt much more at ease about everything that was going on with my pregnancy and assured me that those women who stated they felt “great!” during their pregnancy were all dirty, dirty liars. These nine months simply aren’t as full of glowing and positive vibes as many would want you to believe (for some reason).

The negative…

This book will bum you out and make you fear pregnancy. The author describes birth using words like “pig prepared for slaughter” and that negative tone runs through the whole book–that your husband thinks you’re gross and fat, etc. She also shames anyone for exercising while pregnant, which is really out of touch with everything else I’ve read, and what my doctor has advised. Yeah, it’s funny, covers the sucky parts, but I’d be careful following her advice. I feel like that’s doing a disservice to tell pregnant women to just relax and enjoy the next 9 months without exercise.

If you’re looking for some humor-based pregnancy stuff this book might be for you but if you want positive reinforcement along with a lot of science then you might want to stay away from this one.

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know

I’m all about books that go against the grain so this one instantly drew my attention by saying how conventional wisdom is completely wrong.

What this book does is review pregnancy health studies and evaluates the quality of their methodology. Why? Because the author wants to provide you with objective information that you can use to help you make informed decisions about pregnancy risks.

An example of this is showing how very light drinking is fine during pregnancy even though heavy drinking is extremely dangerous. The idea is that you should be able to make your own decisions based on the evidence that you come across and I can respect that.

This Amazon review sums up my feelings:

It’s a pity this book got caught up in a kerfluffle about alcohol, when that is about 1% of the books actual content (I’ve put *exactly* what the author says about it at the bottom of the review for all those negative reviewers who couldn’t be bothered reading the actual book!).

This book was hands down the most useful pregnancy book I read, not because it tells you what to do, but because it calmly presents the data on every major decision you’ll need to make during pregnancy, and then encourages you to form your *own* opinions based on it, instead of treating you like an idiot who can’t be trusted to understand anything other than black-and-white ‘rules’.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Who doesn’t love Ina May?

She’s like the knowledgeable grandmother who has been through it all before and offers you reassuring advice to let you know that it is going to be alright.

The premise behind this book is that Ina May helps you understand that your body is awesome and it was made for this even though sometimes it might feel like the complete opposite.

However, because she is a big proponent of natural childbirth you might find that her criticisms against the medical establishment to be a bit unfair which is actually a fair point.

What makes this book really interesting to me are the birth stories of individual women because it showcases the different sensations that women feel when giving birth.

This Amazon review offers a slightly different perspective on things:

This book completely changed the way I looked at childbirth and the bodies natural ability to withstand the challenge. It was very informative and helpful about various aspects of giving birth in the United States medical system. I am thankfully giving birth in Germany where the approach is midwife centered, but this book will definitely come in handy when I give birth in the states in the future. It has given me a great sense of confidence about going through a natural childbirth and has empowered me to be in control of my own birth experience. Not only were the stories empowering but the information was very well written and informative. I would recommend this book to any first time mom, second time mom, etc.

If you fall in love with Ina May’s style then you will probably also like her Guide to Breastfeeding.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

This one obviously depends on whether or not you decide to breastfeed but if you do then it is hard to go wrong with this wonderful guide to breastfeeding.

While this book does provide tons of helpful information about getting around various breastfeeding difficulties it could do a better job of being more inclusive.

Here is an Amazon review:

I am a pediatrician and cannot recommend this book enough. It got my baby and I through the roughest part of establishing breast feeding. My baby is now 5 months old and still has never had formula (some of that is her though and not liking it, can’t say I never ever tried). It took a good month to get over sore breasts and nipples, and a few weeks into it I almost gave up. I had so much advice to put her on a schedule, only let her feed every 2 and a half to three hours, etc, and she wanted to feed every hour for the first couple months of life. I thought I was going crazy. But this book advises differently, to not even watch the clock and just let your baby decide when to feed. That helped a lot, took a lot of pressure off me. And that advice makes a lot of sense, because more frequent feeds mean more let downs and higher levels of hormones. Not only that, this book answers so many questions about pumping and storing milk and things that I would have never thought to ask. I was always pro-breast feeding, but now I am passionate about it. Breast feeding my infant has become one of the best experiences of my whole life. Now I can help other moms who are struggling with establishing breast feeding and answer all their questions. I have recommended this book to many new moms as well. Thank you so much for this book!

The Happiest Baby on the Block

The premise of this book is helping you to find your baby’s calming reflex so that you can do a better job of soothing them and helping your child sleep.

Instead of theory, this book works around medical evidence in showing you how you can support your baby by providing the proper environment that helps them stay calm which in turn produces a happy baby.

If you have a baby that loves to cry and be fussy then this might be the book that you are looking for.

Check out this review on Amazon:

The premise is that human babies are born 3 months BEFORE they are really developed because of the size of their heads. Therefore, the fist 100 days of their life is virtually a “fourth trimester” in which the baby needs constant vigilance and caring.

He offers “cuddle cure”… 5 steps done in sequence to calm a baby and simulate life in the womb: Swaddling (firmly), Side/Stomach, Ssshhhing, Swaying, Sucking. They are combined and should match the VIGOR of any crying to immediately pacify the baby.

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

Have you ever noticed that kids from other countries seem to be better behaved than their American counterparts?

Well, this American mother did when she lived in France and she decided to write a book on it.

Pamela Druckerman is able to blend her own personal story with studies and research. What is one of the differences that she found between American parents and French parents?

French parents are comfortable with setting limits for their kids and teaching them patience.

Seems simple enough.

I thought that this was a fair Amazon review:

As is the case with many books comparing American parenting styles with that of other countries, some potential readers have felt opinionated – even defensive – before even buying the book.While I certainly haven’t concluded that French parenting is “right” and American parenting is “wrong”, this intriguing book deserves a fair chance – one obtained by reading it – but some initial “reviews” were written by people who simply refused to read a book comparing American and French parenting techniques.

On Becoming Baby Wise

If you are the type that doesn’t like schedules then you will quickly find out that your baby is going to have some troubles. Figuring out the right slepe schedule for your child can be the difference between sanity and completely losing it.

If you are looking to put your baby on a schedule then this is the book for you.

The book is about feeding and sleeping schedules and how to implement a routine. It offers helpful example schedules so you aren’t randomly guessing.

As I mentioned if you don’t want to be sleep deprived then this might be the book for you and this Amazon reviewer agrees:

Love this book, have used it to help get all my kids on a good sleeping schedule. It’s especially helpful when you’re sleep deprived and not able to function well as a human because it basically gives you the schedule to use and you just have to fill in the times.

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

Usually I detest any type of whisperer but Tracy Hogg knows a thing or two about babies.

What really makes this book pleasant is that it goes down the middle between being a strick and flexible parent with regards to the approaches that you take.

It covers a variety of the standard parenting topics with a heavy focus on trying to understand what your baby is attempting to communicate.

This Amazon reviewer wish they had the book sooner:

This book should be given to ALL pregnant ladies! I have twin girls who were born 7 weeks early. I had gotten into the habit of nursing them to sleep and CONSTANTLY holding them, which worked until they started gaining weight. I knew I wanted to sleep train them, but our doctor said “No, they don’t weigh enough” (at 11lbs). I didn’t intend on ferberizing them. Then 2 other twin moms suggested this book. I followed it, and in 3 days I went from being a human pacifier with a bad back to a lady who has time to write a review, AND shave my legs! I like that I can sleep train without crying it out. My girls are 5 months, but I wish I had this from day 1! Buy this for all of your friends. This book, a bottle of wine, and a gift card for coffee.

Baby 411

If you’re the type that enjoys reference guides then this is the book for you. It covers all of the important topics in your baby’s first year.

With over 600+ pages of information you’ll find that you’re calling your pediatrician less and less.

Out of all of the books on the list, this might be the most highly rated as this Amazon review shows:

Have you ever left the pediatrician’s office and grumbled because you forgot to ask that one question that’s been bugging you for days? This book has got you covered.

It is packed with information that you wouldn’t have thought to ask, but find incredibly useful. It is an easy read, too. But you definitely do not need to read it sequentially. If your kid is already 6 months old, you may want to skip the newborn section at the front of the book. However, I bet most people will go back and read what they skipped after they have finished the more relevant chapters.

Pretty high praise.

Baby Bargains

Babies are expensive.

There is just no getting around this but that doesn’t mean you need to pay full price or find the most expensive item to keep a happy baby.

Baby Bargains helps you set up a general framework that allows you to approach each category of baby products in the right way.

You Can Never Get Enough Education

When it comes to babies it never hurts to read up on as many different opinions as possible. There is no one true way to deal with pregnancy so it’s great to know that there are plenty of resources out there that will help you through it all.

If there is a book that isn’t on this list that you enjoyed or if you’ve read one of the books on the list and had a different opinion, please let us know in the comments below.