Nobody will argue with the fact that pregnancy can be an all-consuming, scary, frightening, exhilarating, happy, and magical time. (But you can pretty much add any adjective in there and it works.) Especially if it’s your first pregnancy, you’re bound to have (endless) questions that you might forget to ask the doctor, or encounter situations that nearly everyone seems to have an opinion on.
The best way to navigate pregnancy is with a balance of knowledge and calm. To help with the first part, here are some of our favorite books to read while you’re expecting.
From the moment you’re pregnant you’re thrown into a new, uncharted territory filled with statistics, recommendation, personal anecdotes, and more. In this book, economist Emily Oster explores the actual numbers behind verified studies that often challenge conventional pregnancy recommendations. Balanced with her share of tales from her own experiences, Oster provides some peace of mind to moms-to-be who find solace in facts, percentages and science.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
First released in 1984 and with over 18.5 million copies in print, this is considered one of the staples of pregnancy reading. Now in its fifth edition, this handy guide is filled with information, recommendations, and current information on newer pregnancy concerns including Zika, dietary trends and medication safety.
The Sh!it Nobody Tells You About Pregnancy by Dawn Dais
If you’re looking for a down-to-earth guide to pregnancy filled with humor, honesty and lots of story sharing from MOFLs (moms on the front lines) this is the book for you. If you can’t tell from the title, it’s an honest book that takes you through each trimester and tells you first-hand accounts of the good and the bad (but mostly the good), the triumphs and pitfalls, and everything in between.
You’ve heard by now that a happy, healthy mom is what’s best for baby, and this book can help you get there. The author explains that, “you’re not just birthing a baby; you’re birthing yourself as a mom, too.” Bregman provides empowerment, techniques, and spiritual/emotional exercises to help calm and prepare you for the journey ahead.
See more: Demystifying Pregnancy: Fact vs. Fiction
Written by a birth and postpartum doula, this book offers a holistic approach to pregnancy and provides remedies, nutritional advice and recipes for specific months of pregnancy, taking you from early pregnancy through baby’s first few weeks. Judgement-free, it’s a comforting book that focuses on wellness of all parties involved through the pregnancy, complete with illustrations, honesty, and support.
Eat This, Not That When You're Expecting: The Doctor-Recommended Plan for Baby and You! Your Complete Guide to the Very Best Foods for Every Stage of Pregnancy by Dr. Jennifer Ashton and David Zinczenko
All of a sudden, food and nutrition might feel like a minefield in pregnancy, even for those who were quite health-conscious before. Thanks to this book, you’ll be provided with help in making smarter, healthier choices that provide the vitamins and minerals your baby needs to grow, and that you need for a healthy pregnancy. Written by both a board-certified OB/GYN and a leading name in the wellness game, you’ll be provided with excellent options that can arm your decision making skills with knowledge, even when giving in to your cravings.
Newborn 101: Secrets from Expert Nurses on Preparing and Caring for Your Baby at Home by Carole Kramer Arsenault, RN IBCLC
You’re going to want a bit of guidance on how to care for the little babe you’re spending nine months creating, and thanks to this book, you’ll receive tips and secrets from expert nurses on how to care for your new little babe. Chock full of research and professional tips, it’s sort of like having your own personal baby nurse, just in the form of a book.