7 Best Pregnancy Books As Rated By Mums

Find out which pregnancy and parenting books parents loved (and hated!) the most.

Are you picking up any books to read during your pregnancy? See which books parents would recommend to other families, and here are the seven most recommended books (including a breastfeeding primer).

Calm and Collected Advice

Written by doula Erica Chidi Cohen, Nurture walks you through the months of your pregnancy and the early postpartum phase in a comforting (but not condescending) way. Cohen includes recipes and exercises (physical and spiritual) for each month to keep you going.

Since she’s a doula, the book also focuses on your labor and birth goals with a helpful “birth letter” exercise. A nice balance of hippie and brass tacks advice, this book is a welcome new addition to pregnancy lit.

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

The Most Realiable

Many parents counted on this Mayo Clinic book because it was such a reliable source for guiding you through the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

This is a great choice if you want a trustworthy reference book that’s not too cumbersome or burdened by details about everything that could go wrong. Authoritative, accurate information about your pregnancy from a reputable source, and it includes a 40-week pregnancy calendar and a symptoms guide.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

The Witty Guide

This book gives you the skinny on what really happens during pregnancy, just like you were hearing stories from your BFF. It’s written in a hilarious, direct way that balances brutal honesty with reassurance. “I liked that they were realistic without being gory or scary or too focused on everything that could go wrong.”

People who don’t connect with this book often mention that the author is too concerned about looking “fat” while pregnant. However, many seem to find comfort in the author’s frank discussion of her emotional insecurities. It helps them feel less pressure to have the “perfect” pregnancy.

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy

The Favorite

This book is a parent favorite! It reviews pregnancy health studies and evaluates the quality of their methodology, with the goal of giving the reader objective information to make informed decisions about pregnancy risks like what food should you avoid.

The author Emily Oster shares evidence that very light drinking is fine during pregnancy, even if heavy drinking is extremely dangerous. In general, she wants people to look at evidence and make their own decisions rather than follow black-and-white rules. Needless to say, it has been very polarizing.

Expecting Better

Activist Choice

Many parents love Ina May Gaskin. A long-time activist, Gaskin definitely writes her books with a very strong point of view. Her guide to childbirth criticizes the medical establishment to a point that many consider unfair. Although, Ina May’s real positions may be more nuanced than many readers assume.

Even if you disagree with some of her criticisms of hospitals and doctors, it can be interesting to read the birth stories of individual women. She describes the wide range of physical sensations people have feel when giving birth. And because she focuses on positive birth stories, she can help you feel less scared and more optimistic about labor.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Breastfeeding Tips

This book could definitely do a better job of speaking inclusively about the range of choices that need to be made around breastfeeding, work and parenting, since not everyone can (or wants to) choose to exclusively breastfeed. However, it does provide tons and tons of helpful information about getting around various practical breastfeeding difficulties.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

The Most Overrated Book

Although What to Expect When You’re Expecting is probably read more often than all the other pregnancy books combined, many parents mentioned that they would not recommend it. Stating that it feels like a dumbed down things quite a bit.

What to Expect When You're Expecting