Best Pregnancy Books For First Time Parents 2020

pregnancy books
Written by Kelly Roberts

Every pregnancy is a roller coaster of emotions, stress, and excitement all rolled into one – and trying to find your way through this process (whether it’s the first time or not) can feel like trying to complete a puzzle in the dark.


Thankfully though, there are a lot of really great pregnancy books available on the market today to help you better navigate what to expect when expecting.


No pregnancy is going to be identical to any other, but having the opportunity to soak up the experience and the wisdom of women that have gone through this same process before is worth its weight in gold, not to mention the benefits of reading while pregnant. 


Below we highlight some of the very best pregnancy books available on the market today. These are the books that are going to give you the advantages you need to meet the challenges of pregnancy had, the confidence you need to move forward without as much stress and anxiety, and tips and tricks to help you navigate some of the uncertainty ahead.

Best Pregnancy Books For First Time Parents

What to Expect When You’re Expecting 

A perennial bestseller and the number one best-selling pregnancy book of all time, there’s an amazing wealth of knowledge and wisdom packed into each and every one of the 656 pages in this title.


The author dives deep into pretty much every aspect of pregnancy imaginable, covering areas that might be a little bit uncomfortable otherwise – but areas that every expecting mother is going to want to better understand as they move forward.


Some call this the “pregnancy bible”. We would agree!

Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood

Not only does this pregnancy book cover the basics of what to expect when you are expecting, but it goes above and beyond to help provide a more comprehensive and judgment-free resource you can pull from before, during, and after your pregnancy.


On top of the incredible wealth of knowledge, you’ll find throughout this book, you’ll also find it easy to read with a real down-to-earth kind of voice and personality thanks to the work of Erica Cohen, the author of the title. She knocks it out of the park and the 40+ illustrations throughout the book bring a little bit of extra clarity to areas of the text that might have been otherwise misinterpreted.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Another of the most popular pregnancy books ever written, the author has been working with women going through pregnancy since the mid-1970s and has a wealth of knowledge and information she pulls from to flesh out the book from top to bottom.


Every year, the author assists in more than 2200 natural births at her commune known as The Farm in Tennessee. This book as a more holistic look and a more traditional look at having a baby, particularly on the delivery side of things, that’s well worth looking into.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

One of the coolest things about this title is that it was written by several doctors and medical experts that our parents as well, giving them a unique perspective and a unique wealth of experience to share with people that are expecting.


The entire book is broken down on a week by week kind of basis, following the development of your baby as well as the changes that mom’s body is going to go through during the pregnancy process. Fully illustrated, it includes all kinds of information that you simply will not find anywhere else.


This is an amazing resource to have whether you’re going through your first pregnancy or not.

Pregnancy, Childbirth, And The Newborn

Now in its sixth edition, there’s a reason why this book continues to be published and republished year after year – and why it is one of the perennial bestsellers and has been for more than two decades.


At 512 pages you’re going to get a wealth of information with this most recently updated version, sharing with you details about pretty much every aspect of childbearing – all the way from conception through the early infancy stages and beyond.


You’ll get detailed tips and tricks, inside information, and world-class advice to help you have a safer and more satisfying experience from top to bottom. Combine this book with even just one of the other top options on this list and you’ll be in a great place to have your baby!

The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy

Some of the otherwise great pregnancy books on the market today can feel a little “standoffish” and almost clinical, but nothing could be further from the truth with this title.


The author has gone above and beyond the call of duty to create a book that is not just a wealth of information but also presented in a way that is immediately accessible and engaging. It’s been written from the standpoint of two girlfriends just talking about pregnancy, with all kinds of detailed info packed in, and it does feel like a casual conversation you’re having with someone you trust and someone you love.


While maybe not as exhausted as some of the other options on this list are well worth checking this title out if you’re finding some of the other options to be a little too dry for your tastes.

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide

Specifically designed around helping first-time moms better understand what to expect after they find out that they are pregnant, the book is broken down into 50 different sections that will give you a lot of peace of mind and a lot of confidence in what can be a very stressful time in your life.


The author behind this book has written several great pregnancy titles in the past, but this one is the one most commonly recommended out of her entire collection. You’ll find it accessible, fun, and confidence-building for sure.

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know

While plenty of books out there promise conventional wisdom to help you better understand the pregnancy process, this book takes a bit of a contrarian approach to show you the other side of the coin – and to share details with you that your doctor and your friends may not have even thought to share with you at all.


The details in this title are built on the back of a real data-driven kind of approach to understanding pregnancy, perfect for those with more analytical minds that don’t want to deal with “fuzzy” pregnancy advice.


At the same time, this book is anything but dry or humorless. It’s a lot of fun and you might find yourself turning back to it time and time again even after you’ve had your baby just for a laugh.

Belly Laughs, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth

Another great pregnancy book that highlights the funny and humorous side of this sometimes painful, stressful, and emotional roller coaster there’s a lot to get out of this New York Times bestseller.


Jenny McCarthy isn’t at all afraid to share with you everything – and we mean EVERYTHING – that she experienced during her pregnancy. You’ll hear about morning sickness and hormonal mood swings, hemorrhoids and pregnancy sex, and a whole bunch of other “nitty-gritty” details you literally will not find anywhere else.


10 years on and this is still one of the best pregnancy books money can buy.

Expecting 411: The Insider’s Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth

 You might have a hard time finding young people that know what 411 used to be back when landlines were the only phone available, but this book is anything but outdated and instead is back to the brim with inside information to help you move through the pregnancy process a little easier.


One of the best OB/GYN professionals in the United States is the co-author of this title, providing you with insight and information you might not have had access to otherwise. The other co-author is a nationally recognized pediatrician so you’re getting the best of all worlds with this book.

The Pregnancy Countdown Book

The average pregnancy goes on for 280 days, and that’s a lot of time to plan for, to account for, and quite a few milestones to be on the lookout for as well.


This book covers all of those major milestones and then some, providing a page of helpful information for every single day and every single stage of your pregnancy. On top of that, you’ll get fun stories, motivational quotes, and a lot of advice to help you navigate this process (particularly if you haven’t navigated it in the past). 

The Pregnancy Instruction Manual

It sure would be nice if every pregnancy came with an instructional manual, but unfortunately, that’s just not the way it works – until now!


This book has been created from front cover to back cover to help you better bring a new baby into this world all while navigating a situation that can at times feel completely overwhelming. You’ll get a lot of information about how to deal with day-to-day stresses, not only on your body but mental, emotional, and social stresses as well.


The tips and tricks here will help guide you through this process from start to finish with a lot more ease and grace.

The Baby Bump: 100s of Secrets to Surviving Those 9 Long Months

 Written from the point of view of a bit of a “survival guide”, you’ll learn everything you want to know about what to eat – and what’s safe to eat – how your baby develops on a week by week and day by day basis, and things like what to expect in the delivery room all the way through bringing your new bundle of joy home and starting their life out on the right foot.


Checklists, quick tips, daily quotes and little pockets of information help to flesh this book out into one of the best pregnancy titles on the market today.

The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly (Potter Style)

 The coolest thing about this baby book is that it starts things off recognizing that you are going to have nine months (or so) to get acquainted with your body, your new baby, and the experience of going through pregnancy – and it really leans into this longer, more drawn out kind of approach to giving you information.


Instead of flooding you with tips and tricks, bombarding you with endless information, and overwhelming new moms that are already pretty overwhelmed with the magnitude of pregnancy, the content in this book is much more bite-sized and deliberate. It takes a focus on giving you what you need to know before you need to know it – but not burying you in a landslide of minutia.

The Panic-Free Pregnancy

 There’s just no way to get around it – every pregnancy is going to be stressful.


We are, after all, talking about bringing a brand-new life into this world and dealing with all of the different changes your body, your mind, and your relationship are going to go through along the way. At the same time, though, pregnancy doesn’t have to be crazy – and it doesn’t have to induce panic, either.


You’ll get a lot of clarity out of this pregnancy book, and that’s what makes it so special.

Pregnancy: For The First Time Moms, What They Don’t Tell You

 EVERY mom in your social group is going to offer help throughout your pregnancy, giving you tips and tricks that they found useful for themselves as well as pulling from their wisdom and experience already having gone through the process previously.


At the same time, there are always things (different topics) that are a little bit difficult to discuss even when you are close to someone else. This book is designed to fill in those gaps from a no judgment kind of standpoint, preparing you for some of the not so pretty parts of pregnancy, your labor, and life after your pregnancy with your newborn.

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