Top 3 Must-Read Pregnancy Books


When I think of my first pregnancy, I think of a colorful emotional mishmash of excitement, terror, and an all-consuming desire to absorb information. (Also: Nutter Butters.) When it came to pregnancy-focused books, websites, etc., I could not get enough.

By the time I was expecting my second child, I didn't read a single pregnancy book. For one thing, I didn't have time, what with the first child having grown into a horrifically energetic toddler, but I suppose the main reason is that I knew what was coming. Hemorrhoids? Oh, hi, right on schedule.

I still remember how utterly obsessed I was the first time around, though. For those of you who might be in a similar ALL PREGNANCY ALL THE TIME frame of mind, I thought I'd share my top 3 picks for pregnancy-related reading:



Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family

I once had a friend who claimed one of her favorite parts of pregnancy was re-reading Waiting for Birdy, that's how great this book is. Of course, you don't have to be expecting to enjoy this wonderful book, but it's sort of like eating ice cream when you're pregnant: one experience heightens the other. Birdy focuses on the year that author Catherine Newman’s second child was born, and her magical ability to elevate everyday thoughts and feelings will have you nodding along and wishing she lived next door to you so you could enjoy her deeply hilarious and satisfying conversations FOREVER.

(Along similar lines, The Zygote Chronicles is another amazing pregnancy memoir, and Operating Instructions is an absolute must-read for any new mom.)


Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife

I'm not even sure how to describe how empowering, exciting, and somehow soothing I found this book to be. I read it during my first pregnancy, even though I had zero plans of birthing at home or using a midwife at all. This memoir from a nurse-turned-midwife chronicles several individual birth experiences in great detail, demystifying all sorts of things I'd been unclear/worried about, and on the whole I found it to be incredibly encouraging. I will warn you that it is not completely without tragedy, but the great majority of the stories unfold in a way that helped give me a renewed sense of self-confidence about the approaching birth of my son. I'd vote for ditching every pregnancy manual on the market in favor of this honest and captivating read.

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy

Speaking of pregnancy manuals, this one's a little more entertaining than the dry and occasionally downright terrifying tomes out there (I'm looking at you, What to Expect When You're Expecting a Shitload of Weird-Ass Complications). I'm not sure this sort of collection is even necessary these days when there are so many blogs that provide the same sort of jokey, informal rundown of what it's like to be knocked up, but for $7 or so, I can think of worse ways to spend your money. It's chatty and more opinionated than strictly informational, but if you could use a break from the stern medical advice while still reading up on the subject that's slowly taking over your brain (and belly), The Girlfriends' Guide is pretty fun.


What pregnancy books did you devour when you were pregnant? Anything you'd recommend to a first-time mom-to-be?

Images via Flickr/sundaykofax, Amazon

1st trimester, 2nd trimester, 3rd trimester


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cek302 cek302

Ina May Gaskins!

Christy Morton Songy

I loved "The Pregnancy Journal" when I had both my kids.

roche... rochellemarie68

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth! I had a natural childbirth and this book was amazing!

Lo1427 Lo1427

I would definitely say Ina May's Guide to Childbirth! That should be #1!!!

Melis... Melissa042807

I didn't read many books. I had Husband go to the internet. :-) Dude lives for research. And while he researched, I stood in front of the freezer with a giant spoon eating chocolate peanut butter ice cream straight out of the carton. Win-win.

Yadie... YadielsMama

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - read it 3 times while I was pregnant!  So encouraging!

Esmeralda Friedman

I read "what to expect when expecting" lol i didnt really mind it as i am in the medical field. Plus it was nice to see pics of how your baby is suppose to look at each stage-helped the husband be more involved that way.

but i never really needed it to learn how to change a diaper,feed a baby,make a bottle,swaddle a baby,that kind of thing. i had lots of know how when it came to that. 

I also watched a lot of "a baby story" on TLC and would cry lol


Dakota Brizendine

Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay is another must read.

jezsikaq jezsikaq

I was going to recommend "The Girlfriends Guide" if you didn't have it. I read it with my first pregnancy in 2007 and it had me is stitches! Best Pregnancy Book EVER!

nonmember avatar ildiko papp

Two of THE best reads & left me in stitches. :)
"Belly Laughs" Jenny McCarthy
"Not your Volvo Driving Soccer Mom" (?) I loaned it to a friend and she loaned it to another friend and so on and so on; the happiness lived on. :)

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