15 Books About Pregnancy Every Future Parent Should Read

Having a baby can be a massive step in a woman’s life. It is perhaps the most stunning actions of nature at work, the way a new life can come into this world. But as any woman will tell you, it’s not so simple as merely growing a child inside your body and popping it out when he or she is ready. There’s a lot that goes into pregnancy and it can be a very difficult time if you’re not fully prepared for the pains and problems that come with carrying a child around in your body. For those having their first child, it can be a scary thing venturing into new territory. There are so many questions that may swirl in your head about what you can and can’t do when with a child. With all of this in mind, these stellar books listed below should hopefully give you a better sense of comfort when it comes to handling pregnancy.

Birth without Fear

written by January Harshe
Published in 2019
288 pages

As the founder of the online community Birth Without Fear, January Harshe aims to make pregnancy an open experience where there are no dumb questions. Leaving no stone unturned, her book covers a wide range of topics that pregnant women may have concerns about including covering care provider choices, medical freedom, birth options, breastfeeding, intimacy, postpartum depression, and so on. It’s not just for moms either as the book also addresses the concerns of partners and helps them out along the way to be supportive in the birthing process.


written by Erica Chidi Cohen
Published in 2017
256 pages

Erica Chidi Cohen, the co-founder and CEO of Loom in Los Angeles, CA, has taken her many years of experience in birthing babies to offer up incredibly useful advice in her book on pregnancy. The entire process is covered for expecting mothers and their partners, from the early stages of pregnancy to the first days of your baby once born. With the aid of some insightful illustrations and charts, her book contains plenty of helpful and essential information that can ease the pregnancy process. This includes numerous exercises to alleviate stress and food recommendations that can keep your body properly prepared.

The Sh!it No One Tells You About Pregnancy

written by Dawn Dais
Published in 2017
256 pages

As a part of Dawn Dais’ amusing series of guidance books of The Sh!it No One Tells You, Dais explores the topic of pregnancy with humor and sincerity (it’d have to be funny with a title like that). Through a series of lists, tips, and warnings, Dawn gives a comprehensive guide on what to expect with some unexpected facts. This isn’t exactly going to be a painless or pleasant journey considering how uncomfortable and messy birth can be for both the mother and the partner. There’s even plenty of training included for childhood that’ll make the reader a little more comfortable with some of the more unorthodox things a parent may have to do with their child. It’s a fearlessly informative and funny account of charging ahead into parenthood.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

written by Ina May Gaskin
Published in 2003
348 pages

As one of America’s experienced and leading midwives, Ina May Gaskin divulges 30 years of experience on the topic of natural birth. Focusing on the mind as well as the body, she fuses ancient wisdom on the subject while also presenting a certain level of comfort and faith in the female body’s ability to produce another life. Her book goes into just about everything involved in the process including labor, orgasmic birth, episiotomies, postpartum bleeding, anesthesia, and cesareans among so much more. It’s an incredibly comprehensive and thoughtful guide for the more emotional and physical aspects of those expecting a child soon.

Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?

written by Jena Pincott
Published in 2011
288 pages

Science writer Jena Pincott provides a lot of fascinating info about what goes on in the body during pregnancy. It’s the perfect kind of book for the expecting mother who stresses about questions that may not be as widely covered in most pregnancy material. For example, will stress make your baby more astute or less inclined? Is there a correlation between your babies behavior and at what time of the year they’re born? Does the material your baby leaves behind affect your health for the future? All these questions are answered in this book that has been referred to as brain candy for expecting parents.

The Birth Partner

written by Penny Simkin
Published in 1989
337 pages

While there are plenty of books for expecting mothers, the partners in the relationship may need some specific guidance as well. Penny Simkin’s The Birth Partner is just such a book that’ll guide the partner of the relationship through what to expect during each phase and how to handle it properly. The time frame covers the few remaining weeks leading up to the birth, the labor act itself, and the post-birth time of adjusting to life with a child. Thanks to some informative writing and detailed illustrations, this book is sure to make navigating the tricky waters of being there for your partner not so tough when you have some idea of your role in this process.

Bringing Up Bébé

written by Pamela Druckerman
Published in 2012

If you ever wondered why the children of France just seem so much better behaved, that question may be answered in Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. This New York Times bestseller documents Druckerman’s experience with French children and how there are some stark differences when compared to American kids. She notes how the French babies would sleep through the night at a mere two months of age. They were also more inclined to play with themselves rather than rely on their parents for all their activities at such early ages. How is this possible? Druckerman aimed to find out in her many observations of just how such children are raised.

Newborn 101

written by Carole Kramer Arsenault
Published in 2011

When the due date nears, most parents may find themselves scrambling to make sure their home is ready for a baby. Carole Kramer Arsenault pulls from her two decades of experience in dealing with birth to give some useful tips in Newborn 101: Secrets from Expert Nurses on Preparing and Caring for Your Baby at Home. This book outlines a great deal of expert advice that includes safety tips, essential supplies to stock up on, breastfeeding instructions, milestones to look forward to and methods for soothing your baby through those early days and sleepless nights. It’s a handy collection of insight that will hopefully help most parents develop a routine when adjusting to life with a baby.

The Happiest Baby on the Block

written by Harvey Karp
Published in 2012
336 pages

Doctor Harvey Karp tackles the toughest problems of raising a newborn in his groundbreaking book, The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer. Many pediatricians have hailed Karp’s insight and writing, as well as celebrities such as Madonna and Pierce Brosnan. He details various strategies that can be utilized in combating everything from crying babies to dealing with colic. This is detailed in such concepts as The Missing Fourth Trimester, The Calming Reflex, The 5 “S’s”, and The Cuddle Cure. Even common questions on these subjects are answered in case you’re still in the dark about colic and when to call the doctor.

Expecting Better

written by Emily Oster
Published in 2013
336 pages

Emily Oster utilizes her knowledge as an award-winning economist to debunk myths of pregnancy while also empowering women in her unique book she wrote while pregnant. Based in the realm of economics, she notes how the expectations of pregnancy are not a completely clear path as all women are different. This is why it can often be concerning when doctors treat all pregnancies with a similar template for medicine that may not be beneficial for all. Emily questions so much about the birthing process while unearthing some important studies about how doctors may be going off outdated data and that some recommendations and concerns may not be as ironclad as the experiences mothers may suggest.

The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly

written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Published in 2006
96 pages

Though a rather light read, Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s The Belly Book is specifically for the expectant mother about becoming accustomed to the changes in their body as a baby looms in the months ahead. The book presents the pregnancy process in a linear fashion by breaking the guide down into trimesters, as well as visuals of belly photos and ultrasound images to give you an idea of how you may be coming along. There’s also some coping methods in the form of writing exercise that can be a great experience in getting out your frustrations and feeling more open about what you’re going through in one of the most taxing natural experiences on the female body.

Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!

written by John Pfeiffer
Published in 2011
224 pages

This book is specifically for the husbands who may fear they’re treading in unknown waters when their wife becomes pregnant. It’s a guide designed to help guys navigate around the pitfalls and avoid the landmines in how to handle a woman’s changing body and trying to be there for her without adding to her pain and stress. John Pfeiffer steps up to the plate to be the coach for being present in everything from morning sickness to doctor visits, walking readers through this adventure every step of the way. For the fathers who need some extra help, this is the book to read.

Bumpology: The Myth-Busting Pregnancy Book for Curious Parents-to-Be

written by Linda Geddes
Published in 2013
336 pages

Science journalist Linda Geddes writes this fascinating and practical book on answering common questions about pregnancy. Lots of unique questions are posed and answer from figuring out if unborn babies dream to how to get a baby to sleep through the night. Having been pregnant herself, Linda draws upon a wealth of scientific research she amassed during her pregnancy to be as informed as possible about what to expect. And now she’s sharing this incredibly helpful knowledge with a wider audience of expectant mothers who could use some easement in the process, answering questions both big and small.

Belly Laughs

written by Jenny McCarthy
Published in 2004
165 pages

Noted celebrity Jenny McCarthy reveals all the joys and jeers of what it’s like to be pregnant in her extremely honest book on the subject of having a baby. As a New York Times bestseller, Belly Laughs aims to be a bit more blunt in terms of what one can truly expect from such a life changing event as birthing a baby. Written in a refreshingly comedic tone, McCarthy walks the reader through everything that goes into process which includes hormonal rage, hemorrhoids, granny panties, pregnant sex, and the relief of delivery.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

written by Heidi Murkoff
Published in 1969
597 pages

One of the most classic and informative books on the topic of pregnancy, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is the all-encompassing book for everything there is to know about pregnancy. Despite being so old, there’s a lot of ground covered in this book that spans from preconception plan to sex while pregnant. Even the more unorthodox of topics are covered such as twins, second pregnancies, and alternatives for choosing the right method of birthing. There’s a reason why this book has been so revered for generations, due mostly in part to being so deeply informative about the various details of pregnancy while walking women through a process they may not be familiar with.

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