Education

20 Best Pregnancy Books to Read Before Your Due Date

Some of the best pregnancy books available provide some great insight into the various stages of your pregnancy, covering each trimester so that you aren’t left wondering what is happening to you and your baby. However, it’s also important to get up to speed on more than the pregnancy and prepare for the more specific events to come.

This carefully selected list of books includes those that guide you throughout pregnancy, labor, childbirth, breastfeeding, caring for your infant, parenting, postpartum care, baby blues and postpartum depression and comprehensive books that explain every step along the way.

Pregnancy, labor, and childbirth:

  1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting

By Heidi Murkoff

What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a classic, and rightfully so! This is one of the best pregnancy books in existence and guides you through every step of pregnancy in a way that is not only informative, but enjoyable to read.

  1. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!

By the pregnancy experts at Mayo Clinic

This is another insightful book that guides you through pregnancy and it’s written by doctors who have experienced pregnancy and childbirth first-hand. They provide very useful information about self-care and have answers to many questions that are difficult to ask.

  1. Pregnancy, Childbirth, And The Newborn (2016-5Th Edition)

By Parent Trust for Washington Children

Another great resource for soon-to-be parents is Pregnancy, Childbirth, and The Newborn. Included in this gem is information about conception all the way through caring for your newborn.

  1. The Mindful Mom-To-Be: A Modern Doula’s Guide to Building a Healthy Foundation from Pregnancy Through Birth

By Lori Bregman

This book is insight from a doula regarding pregnancy care, childbirth preparation, natural remedies and much more.

Breastfeeding and nursing:

  1. Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding: From the Nation’s Leading Midwife

by Ina May Gaskin

A top midwife walks you through all the joys of breastfeeding and explains the importance of breastfeeding for nutritional sake and for the purpose of bonding.

Caring for your newborn

  1. Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality

by Laura A. Jana and Jennifer Shu

Read up on all the pregnancy books you want, but you’ll definitely want to catch up on information about how to handle your precious newborn once he or she is finally here. This will help you prepare for that moment.

  1. The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer

by Harvey Karp

You will also thank yourself later for reading this book. Once you are sleep deprived and too busy to read, it will help to have this knowledge beforehand.

  1. The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance

by Louis Borgenicht M.D. and Joe Borgenicht

If the title doesn’t tell you that this book is not only helpful, but hilarious, I don’t know what will! This is a must have.

Parenting:

  1. 1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting

by Thomas Phelan

This is another book you’ll want to read before your child comes into the world. Getting some knowledge about parenting in advance will teach you some valuable tools that will help when you don’t have a lot of time to read.

  1. The Baby Book, Revised Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Sears Parenting Library)

by William Sears and Martha Sears

Catching up on what you’ll be faced with once your newborn is finally with you will help you understand what to expect and how to handle important decisions. It covers the essentials, parenting styles, and much-needed guidance for you and your entire family.

Baby blues and postpartum depression:

  1. This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression Paperback

By Karen Kleiman

Postpartum depression and baby blues may seem irrelevant until you’re the one faced with either of the two. There’s good reason to catch up on what you might deal with. After childbirth, there are many hormonal changes and it is very common to be faced with what’s known as baby blues or postpartum depression. 50% of women deal with baby blues, and a staggering 10-20% of new mothers will experience postpartum depression. Both are difficult to go through and even harder if you don’t know what it is. Reading this book might save you a lot of confusion. Written by two doctors, you’ll be guided through ways to overcome negative thoughts, self-esteem issues, depression, and learn about options for medical and psychological treatments.

  1. The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook: Practical Skills to Help You Overcome Anxiety, Worry, Panic Attacks, Obsessions, and Compulsions

By Kevin Gyoerkoe (Author),‎ Pamela Wiegartz (Author),‎ Laura Miller (Foreword)

This supportive pregnancy and postpartum anxiety workbook is great for all new moms, but especially for new mothers with high anxiety. It includes worksheets based on cognitive therapy that will help you work out your thoughts and find more peace.

Postpartum self-care, nutrition, and fitness:

  1. Baby Weight: The Complete Guide to Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness

by Micky Marie Morrison

Physical therapist, Micky Marie Morrison shares ways you can control weight gain and tone your muscle to prepare for childbirth and to increase recovery time after childbirth.

  1. The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality

by Kimberly Ann Johnson

Author Kimberly Ann Johnson shares her wisdom based on her experience as a doula and postpartum consultant. This book guides you through postpartum healing on every level so that you are prepared for the changes that take place physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Broader topics about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting

  1. Motherhood: Box Set: A New Mom’s Comprehensive Guide to Breastfeeding + Natural Childbirth Labor and Delivery (Motherhood, Childbirth, Breastfeeding, baby … Pregnant, Baby Care, New Mothers Book 1)

by Misty Jordyn

This amazing boxed set includes comprehensive guides on natural childbirth, labor and delivery, along with a guide specific to breastfeeding. This is a fabulous set to read prior to your due date.

  1. Your Baby, Your Way: Taking Charge of your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting Decisions for a Happier, Healthier Family

by Jennifer Margulis

Award winning journalist and author Jennifer Margulis challenges the status quo on what we do with our bodies and how we care for our child throughout pregnancy and childbirth. She provides research-backed insight so that you can make informed decisions about the health of you and your baby.

  1. I’m the One Pushing: A Practical and Renegade Guide to Choosing Your Own Motherhood Adventure

by Ivette Garcia Davila

This is a great book that emphasizes the importance of taking control of your pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting decisions. Learn to trust your own instincts and live guilt-free about what your choices are.

  1. It’s Really 10 Months Special Delivery: A Collection of Stories from Girth to Birth

by Natalie Guenther and Kim Schenkelberg

If you need a laugh and some camaraderie, this is the book to get! Read about other parents’ journey of becoming a parent, and prepare for lots of humor!

  1. Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood – and Trusting Yourself and Your Body

By Erica Chidi Cohen and Jillian Ditmer

Author Erica Chidi Cohen is a professional doula and chef. She has helped many new parents welcome their baby into the world. In this informative book, she shares her knowledge about pregnancy stages, holistic remedies for each trimester, mindfulness exercises, self-care tips, recipes, nourishment tips for each semester, and over 40 illustrations.

  1. Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond

by Nancy Bardacke

The author of this book, Nancy Bardacke, nurse-midwife and mindfulness teacher, shares her knowledge based on neuroscience research, meditation, and holistic mind/body medicine to reveal ways to find peace through pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.

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