Pregnancy is such a miraculous experience. While feeling your bump growing and noticing those first kicks are tremendously precious moments, you’ll likely have many questions and concerns. Your midwife will obviously be your first point of call for professional advice, but an invaluable resource to turn to for all the ins and outs of gestation and postpartum comes in the form of the best pregnancy books for expectant parents.
Uncertainties during pregnancy are common and so preparing for the birth of your child needs a lot of thought and planning. From morning sickness to gestational diabetes, all women will encounter different paths during pregnancy. Speaking with your midwife to discuss your options and coupling this advice with a good book can help you pave a personal experience that leaves you feeling positive and empowered.
So which pregnancy books are the best? From books for first-time mums, to guides about positive birthing, hypnobirthing, home births, water births and the fourth trimester, there is a huge variety on the market to choose from. We’ve reviewed some of the best pregnancy books around and also provide a brief guide about what to look for when shopping for them.
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Best pregnancy books: At a glance
How to choose the best pregnancy book for you
What topics are covered?
There’s a large range of pregnancy books available on many different subjects. You may be interested in a book focussing on one main topic like hypnobirthing, or perhaps an all-rounder is more your bag. First-time parents may choose a read covering lots of topics from morning sickness to birthing the placenta, whereas a second-time parent could be looking for something more specific: mental health during pregnancy, for instance, or how to deal with a new baby when you already have other children. The variety of books on the market allows you to browse for specific topics and choose one that caters to your needs.
What are the different formats?
Most pregnancy books come in the traditional hardback or paperback print versions and are great for making notes on and putting post-its in, but a lot of them are also available on an ebook reader, which is light and can be easily transported. Beyond that, pregnancy books are available in a range of writing formats and layouts. Some books are written in a much more formal tone, with a lot of scientific jargon, while others are a lot more conversational and incorporate a friendlier tone. And some provide a detailed index, with lots of subheadings and chapters running throughout making it easier to go back and forth as desired, while others are written more like a novel or memoir.
How much should I spend?
A good book on pregnancy can cost anywhere from £5 to £20. Though first-time parents may feel they need to buy every pregnancy book on the shelf, the good news is that you don’t have to. Choosing one or two that speak to you and your concerns is a good place to start, and you can always add more along the way if you have more queries or other avenues you’d like to explore.
This price will also depend on whether you’re buying the physical copy of the book, or opting for the Kindle or Audiobook version.
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The best pregnancy books you can buy in 2022
1. The Modern Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond by Marie Louise: The best pregnancy book for first-time mums
Price: £12 (paperback) | Buy now from Amazon
Many first-time mums have expressed how much they loved this humourous and relatable book. Written by senior midwife Marie Louise, this well-rounded read has plenty of advice and information on its binge-worthy pages. It features helpful tips and invaluable advice on creating a positive mindset and staying informed on key aspects of care during pregnancy.
It’s an easy read that offers insight not only into pregnancy and birth, but also on those early days of motherhood. This is a great book to help reassure any first-time mum about the subject of labour and any anxiety around the baby’s due date.
Key concept: A guide to support any woman, whether in the first or third trimester, helping to bring the science of pregnancy to real life. Louise covers complex subjects like the nervous system during pregnancy, the journey a baby takes when passing through the birth canal and anatomical facts on breastfeeding.
Key features – Publisher: Vermillion; Date: 5 March 2020; Length (print): 368 pages; Formats: Paperback, Kindle, audiobook
2. The Day-by-Day Pregnancy Book (Dr Maggie Blott ed.): The best pregnancy book for daily expectations and personal experiences
Price: £19 (hardcover) | Buy now from Amazon
Mums-to-be will be left feeling informed and positive after reading this informative book. With a handy reference guide describing everything from emotions during pregnancy to talking about what’s to come, this pregnancy book is one you’ll turn to again and again throughout those magical nine months. There is plenty of information on changes to your body, the baby growing inside and a section at the end on the different stages of labour too.
It’s a colourful read with lots of unique imagery and diagrams, and it also includes helpful tips on meal plans and exercises. We particularly loved that this book is littered with personal stories and experiences, which make it feel a lot more relatable.
Key concept: A non-stop, illustrated pregnancy guide, fully equipped with information from the moment of conception to the first weeks of a newborn’s life.
Key features – Publisher: DK; Date: 1 February 2018; Length (print): 496 pages; Formats: Hardcover, audiobook
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