Pregnant woman reading a pregnancy book at homeThere are so many pregnancy books that are patronizing, fear-inducing, or both. So we decided to put together a list of books that will make you feel more prepared for the arrival of your baby.
Books like the ones on this list are great to educate yourself on all the little details. You’ll feel so much more ready once you know all the facts.
Take a look, and let us know what we should add!

Here are the 10 best books to read when you’re expecting:

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
The nation’s leading midwife, Ina May Gaskin, has thirty-plus years of experience. She shares the benefits of natural childbirth, the essential mind-body connection, and how to give birth without technological intervention. It’s one of the most quintessential pregnancy books out there, and it will make you feel positive about your body’s ability to give birth.
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
The Mayo Clinic has always been a dependable source for health information, and this book is a pretty easy read. Many women actually prefer this book to the “What to Expect” series. It’s written by trustworthy medical professionals in clear language. Inside is a 40-week pregnancy calendar, week-by-week updates on your baby’s growth, monthly changes for mom, a guide to common symptoms, and reviews important pregnancy choices.
Birthing from Within
This book is recommended for any expectant mother to read, no matter what type of birth she plans on having. Birthing from Within helps you get in touch with your hopes, fears, and expectations so that you can make the birth of your baby a personal and profound experience.
Books like this will give you the big picture. This book reminds us that women have been giving birth for a long time, and our bodies are made to deliver a baby. Regardless of your birth plan, it’s a good read and can give you a feeling of real control and empowerment.
Birth Without Fear
January Harshe, the author, is mom to six so she knows how different each woman’s birth and postpartum experiences can be. Birth Without Fear is all about empowering women to have a voice in their childbirth and postpartum stories. It emphasizes that it’s all about deciding for yourself what you want, and how to ensure that you get the support, options, and respect you deserve.
Expecting Better
Pregnant women are told to avoid sushi, cold cuts, alcohol, and coffee without being told why these are forbidden. Rules for prenatal testing are unexplained as well. If you desperately want a resource that empowers you to make your own right choices, Expecting Better is for you.
This pregnancy book provides a fresh shift in perspective. It’s backed up by facts instead of “just-to-be-on-the-safe-side” myths. A must-read for any pregnant woman who wants an advice book that’s without preachy rules, but full of information that will allow you to make your own decisions.
Debunking the Bump
This book is packed with practical recommendations and clear explanations of risks and trade-offs. The author is a numbers freak, and she has reevaluated the guidelines of what should and shouldn’t be allowable during pregnancy. We love how she breaks down the real dangers and gives a realistic assessment of risk.
Young couple at a park. She's thinking about adoptionSo I Was Thinking About Adoption…
Sometimes, life doesn’t like you planned and you get pregnant unexpectedly. This book provides caring, honest info about the pregnancy choice of adoption, whether you just found out about an unplanned pregnancy, or have been thinking about adoption for a while.
So I Was Thinking About Adoption… is a quick read that gives you information about the modern adoption process and lists various adoption resources. This book also includes blank journal pages to write on as you consider adoption. It identifies what women and their partners should consider before making the decision to parent a child, including emotional responsibility, financial responsibility, education, and health insurance.
The Birth Partner
This manual goes over everything your birth partner needs to know to support you during labor and delivery. It covers how to tell when labor has started, methods to help ease labor pain, and how to be helpful during labor. There’s also info about c-sections, breastfeeding, labor care, and more.
The Birth Partner has actual hands-on information about possible complications, normal vaginal birth, medications, and interventions. You’ll appreciate the suggestions of how a birth partner can handle each stage of labor and possible emergency actions.
The Essential C-Section Guide
The idea of having a C-section can seem scary if you don’t know what’s involved. Even though about one in four babies in the U.S. is delivered by c-section, so little information about the experience is inside most pregnancy books. Childbirth educators and physicians often gloss over the details. This book covers what you need to know about the surgery, recovery, and plans for future pregnancies and deliveries.
With open discussions on the physical and emotional aspects of a c-section, the authors share encouraging wisdom about pain control, early bonding, breastfeeding, infant care, healing, postpartum exercise, partner involvement, and much more, in detail not covered anywhere else.
Expecting You
This is a little pregnancy journal, loaded with beautiful graphics and quotes. There are writing tips and pages to record your feelings, thoughts, and experiences during pregnancy. It has the most important facts, questions, and adorable quotes to inspire you throughout your pregnancy. It’s the perfect size to fit into your purse. Plus, the cover is removable in case you’re keeping your pregnancy news a secret for a while, but still want to write in it in public.

There are tons of great pregnancy books available today, but just as many crappy ones. So, if you find a book isn’t sitting well with you, ditch it and move on. Reading up on your pregnancy can make you feel more prepared, but don’t feel as if you need to hit the books like you’re studying for the SAT’s either. After all, your baby is coming whether you read up on it or not.