Pregnancy is exciting as you plan the future of your growing family, but it may also be full of questions and worries. Changes to your body and surprising symptoms can come out of nowhere. And not everyone goes through the same experience. Good thing there is a book for all of the different circumstances you can expect. Do you like to giggle? Or are you more business? There’s a pregnancy book for you. Depending on how you feel, where you are in your pregnancy, or what you’d like to know, we’ve compiled the five best pregnancy books for you to choose from.
New parent or not, the worrying is endless. After reading this list, you may buy one or all of the books. You can’t get too much info when you’re a new parent, so it’s inevitable that you will combine your reading with Google searching for everything that comes to mind. The average parent spends over 1,600 hours holding their newborn, has 77 sleepless nights, and makes an average of 56 phone calls to their own parents and 67 to medical experts in that first year. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CeraVe, the survey also shows that new parents carry out over 2,000 Google searches a year with baby questions – that’s an average of six searches a day. The top-Googled topics include how to take care of skin conditions and information on which baby products and brands are recommended by experts (both at 43%). Other searches included feeding-related questions (40%), why their baby is crying (38%), and why their baby isn’t sleeping (37%). Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
In fact, a new study finds many moms and dads admitting they could use a book to turn to during and after pregnancy. Two in three parents of infants say they have no clue what they’re doing when it comes to parenting. A recent survey of 2,000 American parents with children under one year old finds 68 percent feel like they’re just winging it, especially for the first six months of their baby’s life. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Enfamil, the survey also reveals nearly half of parents (49%) worry about their infant’s cognitive development and health. For 54 percent, their baby’s pediatrician is their top choice for getting words of wisdom, with friends (45%) and online searches (43%) following closely behind. However, all of this advice can be overwhelming for 56 percent of parents. In fact, three in four (73%) want to prioritize caring for their infant’s emotional needs just as much as their physical ones.
So go ahead and get yourself one of these step-by-step guides to indulge your pregnancy curiosities. We’ve curated a list of the five best pregnancy books, according to experts for your viewing pleasure below. Our list is based on the titles that appeared most frequently across top reviews. If you’ve got your own suggestions, by all means, leave them in the comments at the bottom of the post!
The List: Best Pregnancy Books, According to Experts
1. “Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know” by Emily Oster
As soon as you’re pregnant, you’re thrown into uncharted territory filled with statistics, recommendations, opinions, and more. “In this book, economist Emily Oster explores the actual numbers behind verified studies that often challenge conventional pregnancy recommendations. Balanced with her share of tales from her own experiences, Oster provides some peace of mind to moms-to-be who find solace in facts, percentages, and science,” offers Brides.
“Expecting Better” is best for parents who like numbers, tend to ask lots of questions, and want an educated take on the most common pregnancy questions. “Oster is a medical economist who uses her statistics training to come up with her own answers to questions about pregnancy – ‘Expecting Better’ is like ‘Freakonomics’ for pregnancy. It has a sort of ‘myth-busting‘ feel to it, which some people might enjoy but might be a turn-off for others. For example, Oster took a lot of heat for suggesting that it’s OK to drink small amounts of alcohol in moderation. Whether or not you agree with her personal decisions (which she shares openly), Oster’s take on topics like weekly miscarriage risks, dietary advice, weight gain, genetic testing, and home birth is definitely informative,” informs Lucie’s List.
Moms-to-be appreciate the calm and informative tone of this book that encourages parents to make their own informed choices when faced with many confusing guidelines. “Written by award-winning economist Emily Oster, this book debunks myths and explains pregnancy by evaluating data. The author presents and examines data on nearly every decision pregnant people will need to make, like what to eat, what kind of screenings to undergo, and how and where the birth will take place,” explains Parents.
As you may know, The Mayo Clinic has always been a reliable source of information. According to the expert lists, it is a popular vessel of information in book form as well. “Many women preferred this book to the ‘What to Expect’ series. It’s a complete guide to pregnancy, including a week-by-week guide to baby’s growth,” says Pregnant Chicken.
This pregnancy reference will get you through the ups and downs of pregnancy, trimester by trimester, “Filled with facts and helpful information, this pregnancy book has an informative and authoritative tone that won’t scare expectant parents. The book contains an index of symptoms for quick reference and a 40-week pregnancy calendar which arms you with knowledge fast without your having to read about everything that could possibly go wrong,” offers Babycenter.
“Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy’s” 40-week pregnancy calendar is a huge bonus because soon-to-be parents can track their baby’s development each week while learning about their own body’s constant changes. “The book explains the benefits and risks of different types of childbirth, like home births, C-sections, and more. There are also several chapters on postpartum topics, including breastfeeding and contraception, to help you troubleshoot any issues you may have,” states Parents.
It can’t be a complete best pregnancy book list without the classic “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” It was first released in 1984 with over 20 million copies sold. “This book is considered one of the staples of pregnancy reading. Now in its fifth edition, this handy guide is filled with timeless information and recommendations, as well as takes on newer pregnancy concerns including dietary trends, and medication safety,” explains Brides.
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” bodes a friendly tone that feels like an invested older sister telling you everything you need to know. “I love reading ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ every week. Makes me feel validated with all these weird symptoms,” shares Babycenter.
This book is thick! The length may feel overwhelming, but it literally covers everything. “‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ tops our list because it’s one book filled with all the information you need to know about pregnancy. Don’t be intimidated by the 600-plus pages; you don’t need to read every single page,” explains Parents.
Non-birth partners need support too. We couldn’t help but notice this book recurring on the lists for dads. “Grounded in scientific research, this empathetic book focuses on the emotional and psychological journey of expectant partners,” says Baby List.
This classic guide informs and reassures the dad about what’s happening throughout the mom-to-be’s pregnancy, as well as what’s to come on delivery day and with early parenthood. “Just for dad, this month-by-month pregnancy book also talks about tools and technology—as it applies to babies, that is. The new, revised edition even includes work-life balance lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains The Bump.
Some may find the advice in this book condescending, but it is helpful when dads-to-be are often an afterthought. “Get dads involved with their very own expectant father book. Written just for them, this book will give expectant papas all the tools they need to support their partner, prepare for the new baby’s arrival, and take care of themselves during the exciting nine months ahead,” says Parents.
Let’s face it, sometimes you have to view things with some humor. Unlike the “big sister” tone in “What to Expect” this is like your friends who shoot straight, telling you it how it is. “Written to feel like your best friend is giving you the inside scoop on what really goes on during pregnancy, this book’s sarcastic, yet lighthearted tone is filled with humorous anecdotes that will teach you how to gracefully handle things like embarrassing pregnancy gas. With its recently updated version, this pregnancy book is a top seller for a reason,” offers Babycenter.
Many find it refreshing to have a break from the “business” tone of pregnancy information. “This book gives you all the info on pregnancy just like you were hearing stories from your hilarious, brutally honest, supportive BFF. The author’s frank discussions of emotional insecurities can help you feel less pressure to have the ‘perfect’ pregnancy,” says Baby List.
“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,” explains The Bump.
You might also be interested in:
- Pregnant Chicken
- Lucie’s List
- Baby List
- The Bump
- The Atlantic
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.