6 Pregnancy Books to Read When You’re Expecting

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Finding out you are pregnant is a very exciting time in your life–especially if it’s your first baby! But with that excitement comes a thousand unanswered questions! Like, what side effects are normal? When will the “morning sickness” go away? How soon will your belly start to show? How will you know you are in labor? And…..what exactly happens during delivery? Or after?

As you count down each day and get closer to meeting your precious baby, you soon realize that this is really happening. It’s very real. And while you thought you know what to expect, you realize there are SO many unanswered questions you haven’t even thought of until now. You either panic or get more excited, maybe both. And if you’re like me, you try to prepare yourself for every possible scenario by taking in all the information. I spent many hours of my first trimester reading lots of books when I was pregnant with Andrew. It was so helpful to learn about how my body and my baby were growing and changing, what to expect, what to watch out for, and what to look forward to.

I actually checked out several books from the library and then purchased the ones that I enjoyed to add to my own personal collection. I’ve put together a list of all of the books that I own and love and highly recommend each of these to all expecting mamas! Enjoy!

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

This was the most comprehensive pregnancy guide that I’ve read and was my favorite book based on the vast information and easy to read format. I’ve also sent it to a couple friends as well. It’s jam packed full of so much information that covers almost every pregnancy-related topic complete with diagrams and charts.

About the book: Women looking for authoritative, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this pregnancy book from the world-class Mayo Clinic. It provides hundreds of pages of helpful information parents can use. Features include week-by-week updates on baby’s growth and month-by-month changes for mom, a 40-week pregnancy calendar, a symptoms guide, and a review of important pregnancy decisions. In this illustrated book you’ll also receive advice on how to get pregnant, meal planning, exercise, medication use and parenthood. Plus, you’ll find answers to difficult or embarrassing questions. This pregnancy book is the work of a team of pregnancy experts who find nothing in medicine more exciting and satisfying to experience than the birth of a child. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy is an essential pregnancy resource for parents-to-be.

Buy it for $11.99 on Amazon

2. The Joy of Pregnancy: The Complete, Candid, and Reassuring Companion for Parents-to-Be:

I received this book from my sister-in-law and I really enjoyed reading it! It was very similar to the previous book but with a fresh perspective. I found them to compliment each other very well. The nurse/mom author did a great job of providing information in a way that was easy to absorb. I lent this to a friend during her first pregnancy and never got it back, so I’m assuming she loved it also! Hopefully she will pass it on to another expecting mama a la sisterhood-of-the-traveling-book.

About the book: Women today are celebrating pregnancy like never before. The new attitude of expectant moms is one of cheerful anticipation, optimism, and pride in their changing bodies. The Joy of Pregnancy reflects this positive spirit by emphasizing what’s normal, fun, and even funny about pregnancy. In a lighthearted and encouraging tone, Tori Kropp helps mothers- and fathers-to-be concentrate on the miracle of pregnancy and birth rather than on possible complications. The month-by-month format provides the essential information that expectant parents crave: how the baby is developing, how the mother’s body is changing, how to prepare for birth and baby, and the pros and cons of various pregnancy-related choices and issues. Tori’s tone is reassuring, nonjudgmental, and often humorous. Questions and answers from her online community Stork Siter, highlighted tips, and facts make the text fun to read as well as informative. With this book by their side, expectant parents will be prepared to take an active role in ensuring a healthy, happy, and truly joyful pregnancy.

Buy it for $8.45 on Amazon

3. Praying Through Your Pregnancy: An Inspirational Week-by-Week Guide for Moms-to-Be:

I also received this book from my sister-in-law. This book was a much shorter read and rather than answer all of the pregnancy questions, it focuses on your baby’s weekly developments. Each week, the book lets you know what your baby is up to and which part of his or her little body is developing. It includes specific prayers to pray for that part of your baby along with applicable verses. It’s a very inspirational book that allows you to truly bond with your baby and experience the miracle of growing a baby. It was really special to read and know that someday we would meet our little boy, whom I had spent 9 months praying for!

About the book: Praying Through Your Pregnancy shows a mother how to provide an early head start for her child through the power of prayer. With fresh spiritual insight, each chapter reveals what is happening with the baby’s development that week, starting with the very first moment of conception, when God begins the creation of either a boy or a girl. Readers will learn how the confidence they place in God affects the healthy development of their precious growing baby, and how to reduce their own stress and anxiety by looking to the Creator. In this interactive guidebook, the author shares excerpts from her pregnancy journal as an encouragement for women to write their own thoughts and feelings, and each chapter ends with a Mother’s Prayer and Scriptures for Meditation.

Buy it for $10.19 on Amazon

4. The Girlfriends’Guide to Pregnancy:

While this book is a bit older, it was filled with very helpful information. This book is a very tell-it-like-it-is guide to all the things they don’t usually tell you about pregnancy. It’s written as if it were a conversation between friends, very open and honest and no topics are off limits. If you want to know the unspoken pregnancy issues you could face during pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery, this book will give you exactly that. I personally wanted to learn as much as I could so that I was prepared for anything that could come. Every pregnancy is different of course. But….just in case. I wanted to be armed with all the info, sparing no details. While most of my friends had already had babies, none of them shared these kinds of details with me. Do yourself a favor and read this book just in case. You’ll set your mind at ease when and if it happens to you.

About the book: The practical, comforting, honest, and hilarious bestseller for moms-to-be, with more than one and a half million copies in print!

Your doctor gives you medical advice. Your mother buys you baby clothes. But who can give you the real skinny when you’re pregnant?

Your girlfriends, of course—at least, the ones who’ve been through the exhilaration and exhaustion, the agony and ecstasy of pregnancy. Four-time delivery room veteran Vicki Iovine talks to you the way only a best friend can—in the book that will go the whole nine months for every mother-to-be. In this revised and updated edition, get the lowdown on all those little things that are too strange or embarrassing to ask, practical tips, and hilarious takes on everything pregnant.

What really happens to your body—from morning sickness and gas to eating everything in sight—and what it’s like to go from being a babe to having one.

Buy it for $7.44 on Amazon

5. Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth:

This book, written by Jenny McCarthy, is filled with lots of short stories that are one part honest and one part humorous. Similar to the previous book, you get an unedited perspective on what your body goes through during pregnancy and childbirth and a lot of laughter. Some of the stories may surprise you, some may freak you out a tad, and most of them will make you laugh out loud. It’s an easy, short read. I read it in one sitting. But it’s fun and could make for a great baby shower gift for the right person.

About the book: Revealing the naked truth about the tremendous joys, the excruciating pains, and the inevitable disfigurement that go along with pregnancy, Jenny McCarthy tells you what you can really expect when you’re expecting! From morning sickness and hormonal rage, to hemorrhoids, granny panties, pregnant sex, and the torture and sweet relief that is delivery, Belly Laughs is must-read comic relief for anyone who is pregnant, has ever been pregnant, is trying to get pregnant, or, indeed, has ever been born!

Buy it on Amazon for $9.02

6. What to Expect When You’re Expecting:

Yep, this one. You knew it was coming. The one that literally EVERYONE has probably already read while pregnant, but just in case, I’m going to add it in because it is quite helpful and informative. This is a bigger book and it’s filled with all kinds of information about getting pregnant, being pregnant, preparing for child birth, delivering your baby, and the postpartum period. One great feature of this book is it’s used like a reference book so you can use the index to easily look up topics as needed instead of reading traditionally from cover to cover. You can certainly still read the entire book, but knowing where to find the answers to specific questions is quite helpful when you need them most.

About the book: With 18.5 million copies in print, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is read by 93% of women who read a pregnancy book and was named one of the “Most Influential Books of the Last 25 Years” by USA Today.

This cover-to-cover (including the cover!) new edition is filled with must-have information, advice, insight, and tips for a new generation of moms and dads. With What to Expect’s trademark warmth, empathy, and humor, it answers every conceivable question expecting parents could have, including dozens of new ones based on the ever-changing pregnancy and birthing practices and choices they face. Advice for dads is fully integrated throughout the book. All medical coverage is completely updated, including the latest on Zika virus, prenatal screening, and the safety of medications during pregnancy, as well as a brand-new section on postpartum birth control. Current lifestyle trends are incorporated, too: juice bars, raw diets, e-cigarettes, push presents, baby bump posting, the lowdown on omega-3 fatty acids, grass-fed and organic, health food fads, and GMOs. Plus expanded coverage of IVF pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, breastfeeding while pregnant, water and home births, and cesarean trends (including VBACs and “gentle cesareans”).

Buy it for $14.36 on Amazon

[clickToTweet tweet=”Are you pregnant? Check out these 6 Must Read Books for When You are Expecting! #pregnancy #momlife” quote=”Are you pregnant? Check out these 6 Must Read Books for When You are Expecting! #pregnancy #momlife”]

If you found this post because you are expecting, congratulations! I wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy and hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I did!

Be sure to check out some of my other blog posts written for moms just like you!

What pregnancy books do YOU recommend?

Leave a comment below!



FTC Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Should you wish to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting my blog and allowing me to bring you more great content in the future!



Written by Lindsay Satmary

Owner and operator of Paperclips & Confetti, a motherhood + lifestyle blog sharing all the best of #momlife. Lindsay is a mom of 3 (ages 2-7).  Lover of Disney World, office supplies, subscription boxes, and social media. Instagram: @paperclipsandconfetti


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