As soon as you began thinking about getting pregnant (or realized you already were!) your mind was filled with a million questions. There’s a lot to learn about pregnancy and birth. Here’s a book list to get you started:
- The Mother of all Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth & Everything In Between by Ann Douglas. A great introduction and resource for first pregnancies. Lots of information on common problems of pregnancy.
- Mothering Magazine’s Having a Baby, Naturally by Peggy O’Mara. “We’ll inform, you choose” Having a Baby, Naturally reflects this spirit with straightforward, uncensored information about pregnancy and childbirth, addressing common concerns and questions in a compassionate, nonjudgmental style.
- Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook by Catherine Jones and Rose Ann Hudson. A practical book from a perinatal nutritionist on proper eating and weight gain goals, with a large collection of recipes. It’s a cookbook in its own right. Also addressing the requirements of diabetic, vegetarian and vegan diets during pregnancy.
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. A classic, full of positive birth stories to prepare you mentally and physically for natural childbirth.
- The Doula Guide to Birth: Secrets Every Pregnant Woman Should Know by Ananda Lowe & Rachel Zimmerman. Insights from experienced doulas and real moms for birth and the welcoming a newborn.
- The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. A truly empowering resource covering the many procedures and tests available during pregnancy and birth. Offering data and advice so you can make informed decisions regarding your care.
- The Doula Advantage by Rachel Gurevich. Why and how to hire a doula, with interviews from more than 235 women and birth professionals. So much good information, and real life tools to help women choose the best doula for their birth.
- Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block. “The United States has the most intense and widespread medical management of birth” in the world, and yet “ranks near the bottom among industrialized countries in maternal and infant mortality.” This provocative, highly readable expose raises questions of great consequence for anyone planning to have a baby in U.S.
Fun, Encouraging Reads
- Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife by Peggy Vincent. This fun, lighthearted book is chock-full with Peggy’s experiences delivering babies in Berkeley, California, including 40 birth stores from a wide-range of diverse, interesting women. It’s the perfect prelude to your own labor, sure to leave you with realistic expectations for your own birth and some inspiration too.
- The Girlfriend’s Guide to Prengnacy by Vicki Iovine. Although I don’t share the perspective of the author, this book is so hilarious that I had to include it here. The author’s sassy writing style will have you laughing at your pregnancy woes.
- Pregnancy Stories: Real Women Share the Joys, Fears, Thrills, and Anxieties of Pregnancy from Conception to Birth by Cecilia Cancellaro. A collection of honest short-stories written by real mothers about the ups and downs of pregnancy and birth. Support for the journey.