With endless pregnancy books to choose from it can be hard to know where to start and what is actually worth your time. I’ve read a number of books and I’ve complied a short list (because we are all busy!) of my top choices that provide important information for before, during and after pregnancy.
Please note: There are many great books I’m not recommending simply because I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. As I read more (and deem them worthy ;)), I’ll add them to the list. For now, here are my must-reads.
Before you get pregnant
This book came out this year and it’s quickly become the new handbook in the functional medicine world for pregnancy nutrition. It’s research heavy and focuses on what to eat and what to avoid to provide the best environment possible to make a healthy baby!
For someone who wants less science and a more easy read, I really like this book. It’s written by a nutritionist and a midwife and it has a clean holistic approach. I especially like the chapter that is just for Dad’s that explains the importance of them getting healthier before trying to conceive too. I like this book so much I have two copies that I lend out to my friends!
This book is different in that it really focuses on how to improve egg & sperm quality. It provides a number of environmental and supplemental recommendations that are not talked about widely. Again, I am a big fan of them focusing on the importance of sperm too, it’s so often forgotten. While it’s science based, it’s very easy to understand and I think it’s really important to read!
Vaccines are extremely controversial and frankly, stressful. For parents like me who do research on both sides and still would like some guidance, this book might be great for you. Written in 2016 by a pediatrician who is pro-vaccine but questions the current schedule, it’s a practical approach that gives pros and cons of each vaccine. This book covers more than vaccines and talks about all the ways to keep baby healthy from the newborn phase to the teenage years. He talks about nursing, sleep, developmental milestones and even how to handle behavior issues.
I have to admit I have only started this book before recently lending it to my pregnant friend. What I will say is I loved her weekly emails that I received while pregnant and she complied them into this book. I love the holistic approach she takes and this is truly a pregnancy handbook that would replace a book like “What to Expect When Expecting”. By the way, don’t buy that book, it’s awful. This book covers every question that arises during pregnancy and is truly a wonderful gift for a newly pregnant mama!
This book is incredibly important if you have gestational diabetes. The current standard approach to treating GD is extremely out of date and many women feel awful with constantly changing blood sugar levels. This research based and functional nutrition approach by Registered Dietician Lily Nichols strives to help women effectively balance blood sugar and have a healthy pregnancy. Her gestational diabetes program has become accepted as state curriculum in some areas of the US and Canada!
While I purchased books on labor and nursing, I honestly didn’t read them. I took hyno-birthing class and didn’t feel like I needed to read more on the subject. If you are looking for books on labor, here is what I have and what most people seem to like best.
Other “fun” pregnancy books
This book takes an in-depth look at every pregnancy symptom you can think of and the science behind them. From morning sickness, food aversions, vivid dreams and changes to our sex drive, she helps us understand why we experience what we do during pregnancy. She delves into all the old wives tales that supposedly determine the sex of your baby and uncovers which are true or not. Some other favorite topics that she covers are: All are sons Mama’s boys? What can listening Mozart really do? What does baby’s birth season predict? Is there a purpose to painful birth? What’s in our milk and why?
This book is great because it basically shows how we are hypochondriacs here in the US and how the rest of the world (or more specifically France as compared to in this book) is way more chill about all things pregnancy and child rearing. There is no country that worries more about every little thing during pregnancy and it doesn’t do anyone any good.
There are a lot of practical tips in this book as far as handling children in public and in restaurants, feeding and snacking tips. My favorite takeaway from this book is how the French don’t let children completely change their lives(or their homes) but instead fit their children into their lifestyle.
Also, this book was really fun to listen to!