The Best Pregnancy Books for Preparing for Baby
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Pregnancy is such a special and unique time of life. It changes your body, your daily experience, and your future. It can be very comforting and helpful to find information about pregnancy that can help you feel at ease, know what to expect, and plan for different stages of pregnancy accordingly.
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There is a multitude of books on pregnancy out there to choose from, but very much like pregnancy itself, they are not one size fits all. It is important to find the pregnancy book that works best for who you are and for the book to reflect your personal experience.
Below are the top eight pregnancy books of 2020 for parents-to-be to consider:
Our Top Picks
- Best Pregnancy Book for Natural Moms: The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
- Most Entertaining Pregnancy Book: The Sh!t No One Tells You About Pregnancy: A Guide to Surviving Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Beyond
- Best Pregnancy Book for First Time Moms: 50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
- Best Pregnancy Book for First Time Dads: We're Pregnant! The First Time Dad's Pregnancy Handbook
- Best Home Birth Pregnancy Book: Our Births, Our Stories: Inspirational Home Births From Communities Around The World
- Best Data-Driven Pregnancy Book: Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--and What You Really Need to Know
- Best Book About Pregnancy Nutrition: The Whole 9 Months: A Week-By-Week Pregnancy Nutrition Guide with Recipes for a Healthy Start
- Best Pregnancy Book for Gay Dads: The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads: Everything You Need to Know About LGBTQ Parenting But Are (Mostly) Afraid to Ask
What to Consider When Choosing a Pregnancy Book
Pregnancy books can vary greatly in purpose, format, and intended audience. Before you choose one, consider the following questions:
- Who is this book for? Is it more to help me or someone else in my family?
- Do I learn best when information is fact driven and to the point, or do I absorb information better when it is set in a lighter format?
- Am I looking for a book that shares some information about all pregnancy topics, or would I like a book that does a deep dive into a more specific area?
- What does my personal family situation look like and does this book reflect who we are with its intended audience?
How We Chose Our Favorites
We consulted with experts and real parents to get the lowdown on the best pregnancy books of 2020. We also tapped into experts' advice to find out which were easily available on Amazon.
Best Pregnancy Book for Natural Moms
The author, Genevieve Howland, better known as Mama Natural, is a YouTube sensation. Her website, MamaNatural.com, has been a go-to resource for moms who are interested in all things natural when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth. This week-by-week guide is informative, yet it is not overly medical or reflecting the typical pregnancy books of the past written by men who have not experienced pregnancy themselves.
The biggest theme of this book is that pregnancy is a natural process and not a medical condition. It contains the latest research, yet it also offers information about natural remedies and interventions as well as nutrition. If you have any interest in making more natural choices throughout pregnancy and childbirth, this is an excellent resource.
“I wasn't familiar with Genevieve Howland before I read this book and I was afraid that this book was going to be unapproachable, as so many books with the word "natural" in the title can be. I think what I like about Genevieve, though, is that natural is her lifestyle, but it is not her religion and she will meet you where you are on the spectrum. If you consider yourself super crunchy, there is lots in here for you, however, I would even say that if you think you are uninterested in whatever you think a "natural pregnancy" means, but happen to be pregnant, you will probably still really enjoy this book.”
Most Entertaining Pregnancy Book
If you are the type of person who loves being entertained and enjoys taking a lighter approach to life, Dawn Dais’s book is a great choice for you. In a very readable way, Dais offers the info you need for pregnancy and childbirth in the form of lists, tips, and warnings. Nothing is off limits in this book, so it will cover everything from poop to postpartum depression.
Moms love the entertaining aspect of this book, and how it makes important information digestible and easy to understand. This is also a great choice if you’re looking for a pregnancy gift for one of your girlfriends.
“I am a nurse so I know a bit about the medical “stuff” that happens to a woman’s body during pregnancy so I wanted a book that was very blunt and honest about the other aspects of pregnancy! This book made me both laugh and cry (thanks hormones) I will be purchasing a copy for all of my girlfriends as they become pregnant!”
Best Pregnancy Book for First Time Moms
This book is very unique in that it provides actual action steps for first time moms who are preparing for the birth of their babies. Pregnant moms often have that inclination to nest and actively take on as much as they can to get ready for their baby’s arrival. This book is perfect for that including 50 action items for moms to complete.
Tasks are broken down by trimester, and the tips also really speak to women who like to be organized in their approach to everything. The author shares how to track, learn, and document everything about your pregnancy and baby prep. Jill Krause’s honest and funny style will also help to put first time moms at ease.
“This is absolutely the perfect gift for a newly pregnant friend or family member! I remember being terrified by the clinical feeling of all the things that could go wrong thanks to books like "What to Expect When Expecting" - but this book keeps it easy going and helps to ease that constant feeling of worry!”
Best Pregnancy Book for First Time Dads
This book is filled with resources for first time dads. There is a section to track milestones and pregnancy info, must-ask questions for the doctor, and month-by-month tools to prepare for the baby’s arrival. This book is informative without being too much, and it focuses on how dads can and should fully participate in a partner’s pregnancy.
Adrian Kulp shares info that really speaks to dads to help them feel as confident and prepared as possible. Overall, this book is easy to follow and presents information in easily digestible chunks. Dads can count on feeling empowered after reading this book.
“By far, what my husband and I love most about this book is that it doesn't have a sexist overtone. It's not obnoxiously stereotypical like other "dad-to-be" books in that it doesn't assume that every man is a slack-jaw, knuckle-dragging idiot. It's smart and witty. The tone is generally, "Look, here's what's going on and why. It's going to be scary and fun and you'll do great. Just step up, dude." Highly recommended!”
Best Home Birth Pregnancy Book
This book is an inspiring collection of stories from around the world for women who are interested in having a home birth. It also includes stories of various kinds of birth including breech birth, twins, and VBAC. The author is a traditional midwife, and she also teaches midwifery skills to other midwives.
Even if you are not interested in home birth, these stories are beautiful and demonstrate the power of women. Some of these stories depict unassisted births, and you will feel inspired by what women have the ability to do regardless of the experience you are looking to have with your upcoming birth.
“Love this book, full of inspirational birth stories and shows the vast spectrum of what’s normal in home birth. This is a must read for any birthing person.”
Best Data-Driven Pregnancy Book
This book is written by an award-winning economist and is a dream come true for parents who just want to see the research and data to make their own decisions rather than being told what to do. Emily Oster debunks long-standing myths about pregnancy, and she is not afraid to go against the grain with information that is typically not shared with pregnant women.
If you appreciate science and analysis, this is the book for you. Facts are presented in a calming and comforting way. The intended audience for this book is one that the author clearly trusts and respects. You will not be made to think in any one direction while reading this 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'.”
Best Book About Pregnancy Nutrition
Nutrition is one of the most essential parts of pregnancy. Informing yourself on the impact of nutrition on pregnancy and childbirth is something of great interest to many moms. This book provides nutritional guidelines, the latest pregnancy research, real advice from other moms.
There are over 100 easy recipes included, as well as nutritional information, and tips and tricks to help you handle things like nausea and cravings. The author is an OB-GYN, mom, and gynecologic oncologist. She can offer the facts and perspective that women need, while still being relevant and understanding of the pregnancy and childbirth experience. This is a perfect choice for women who love to learn about nutrition and enjoy cooking.
“Favorite book during pregnancy - hands down. Has a simple mix of what's going on week-by-week with baby and some really simple recipes / things to focus on eating. The recipes are SUPER simple and don't take a ton of time to put together - this is exactly what I needed.”
Best Pregnancy Book for Gay Dads
This book is much like other parenting books as far as the depth and breadth of information presented. It is an excellent resource for gay dads though because all of the chapters that are traditionally written for women are replaced with information specific to the interests, questions, and experiences of gay dads.
The author, Eric Rosswood, is an in-demand authority and commentator on LGBTQ issues and parenting. He covers everything from parental leave to adoption and surrogacy to LGBTQ+ friendly pediatricians and schools. This witty book will be the resource gay families need to feel empowered and confident in their fatherhood journeys.
“A Must Have for any gay man/couple thinking about starting a family or already raising children! So much of the literature available is geared towards the perspective of male-female relationships and parenting. What is genius about this book is it's like being inside the brain of a gay male raising a baby, young child or older child.”
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Charise is a Travel Planner and founder of Experience the Dream Travel, specializing in family and Disney holidays.