(Closed) What's the best pregnancy book?

posted 5 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
1671 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@jules28:  commenting to find out 🙂 

Post # 4
580 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I have “What to Expect” and the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. FWIW, I found the WTE book informative and it was not overly alarmist to me. Stay away from reading articles on sites like babycenter, etc….nothing against those sites, but I would look up something mundane for reassurance and would wind up getting scared to death. 

Post # 5
1572 posts
Bumble bee

I actually really liked WTE. They go over eeeevery little thing, including things that could go wrong, but there are clear warnings not to read those sections unless it is affecting you already, because it can freak you out a little. It had a lot of really useful information written plainly.

Post # 6
492 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I second tnbellebee.  I like both WTEWYE and the Mayo Clinic guide.  I also really like the What to Expect iPhone app.

Post # 7
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I have both WTE and Your Pregnancy Week by Week. They both have similar content and layout. I primarily bought YPWbW because it had life size photos of the baby, rather than the generic “it’s as big as a plum” description. I just attended the maternity orientation at my hospital and they gave away copies of Expecting 411 to all attendees. Again, similar information but the way it’s presented is quite funny and entertaining. There’s a lot of criticism that the first two books I mentioned scare new parents and are alarmist, but I didn’t find that to be the case and I would be overly cautious than not, especially since I’m a FTM.

I also have the babycenter Your Pregnancy app on my phone because I like the weekly updates on what the baby is being growing/developing.


@ahavah:  I didn’t know WTE had an app! Downloading now! Thanks!

Post # 8
2196 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

+1 to everything @tnbellebee:  said! I really like WTE and find the mayo clinic guide good too, but lots of overlapping info. I’d just get one, and if I had to pick I’d get the mayo clinic one 🙂 I also have the mayo clinic guide to babies first year and learning a lot!! 

Post # 9
3501 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2002

for when baby comes, i LOVED happiest baby on the block. love love love.

Post # 10
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I have the WTEWYE and use apps but I recently bought Baby Bargains to find out which products would be best and I noticed that the same authors have Expecting 411 which is more of a baby prep book. I flipped through it and it looks really cute. I heard Baby 411 (the next book in the series) is great too. I haven’t bought them but might be tempted to next time I’m at the store.

Post # 11
31 posts
  • Wedding: June 2015

I am a doula so my opinion will be off from the majority. I do not recommened (along with many birth professionals) What to Expect because it covers all the bad stuff. It is very fear based which is not healthy for pregant woman to be reading. Many of the info is incorrect and includes many cliches.

The mayo book is a good.

I would recommend:

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin

Any books by Ina May (Ina May’s Guide to childbirth)

Dr.Sears who is a well known Pediatrican has written many books, The pregnancy Book and Birth Book are good ones to get

The Birth Partner

Natural Hospital Birth  by Cynthia Gabriel

The natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm M.D


Post # 12
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

The ones I like:

What to Expect: Not the best but I found a free copy at the local charity shop and it does go through lots of basic stuff. I didn’t have the fear based reaction that others did to the book. It’s best to have the most recent edition.

A Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin: Positive birthing stories and a guide to natural childbirth by one of the key people behind the modern midwifing movement. A little tinged with sixties-isms, but overall a positive and empowering text.

Our Bodies Ourselves: Pregnancy and Childbirth: I love the straightforwardness of this one and that it’s a good middle ground between the two above.

And would strongly NOT recommend the Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy. Found it bitchy, gossipy, judgemental and really prescriptive. Lots of girls recommend it on here which is why I picked it up by I returned it within a week. Really didn’t like it.

I’d also recommend you check out the books in the library rather than buying them right away if that’s an option for you. You’ll get a better sense of what works best for you then.

Post # 13
1660 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I had major baby fever a few months ago and tore through a bunch of books… Here’s what I read:

What to expect BEFORE you’re expecting:  a decent book, but pretty basic info. (i.e. get healthy, make a baby)

What to expect when you’re expecting: like others said, it has a TON of information but it is a lot of scary information… I think it’s actually best to read it before your pregnant so you are aware of the bad stuff but not fixating on it.

Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth: I LOVED this book.  There are some birth stories that are flowery and get a bit repetitive (she’s very much an earthy crunchy kind of lady so if that’s not your thing, then skip the birth stories all together). But the lady knows her stuff.

Spiritual Midwifery: Also by Ina May, a great book, a lot of the same info, tons of birth stories… But still a good read.

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding: Can you tell I like Ina?  This is a great read about breastfeeding.  I was interested in it and knew nothing about the subject so I found this VERY helpful and encouraging.

Mindful Birthing: I had a hard time getting into this one because it’s a lot of exercises to prepare you for birth, and without being pregnant it was hard to be excited about it, BUT I feel like it will be a great resource when I am pregnant.

The Thinking Women’s Guide To a Better Birth: I actually returned this one pretty quickly, it was just regurgitated info from the other books I had read… And the writing was boring.

If anyone has any new books please share!!

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