Best Books to Read While Pregnant
Pregnancy means you have a million things to do to prepare for your little one’s arrival. But pregnancy can also be exhausting and requires plenty of rest. The solution? A little light reading can help you get the rest you need while also accomplishing preparation for your family’s new addition.
Whether you’re a first-time mom or interested in learning something new this time around, here’s a list of current books that should make the reading list of any expectant mother in 2022.
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong – And What You Really Need to Know has become a favorite with new parents in recent years. As the subtitle implies, author Emily Oster casts a fresh eye on tried-and-true pregnancy wisdom in this book.
Her goal is to reexamine traditional pregnancy wisdom with the hope of alleviating fears and helping women take on a more relaxed attitude during the nine months of pregnancy.
Oster is an economist at Brown University, and her academic roots form the basis of her book. She presents readable data analysis and breakdowns of academic studies about all sorts of safety concerns faced by pregnant women.
Topics touched on by Oster include cleaning the litter box, whether seafood and deli meats pose a health risk, and caffeine and alcohol consumption. It’s one of the best books to read while pregnant, especially if you find yourself dealing with anxiety about common pregnancy risks.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth has risen in the ranks to become a seminal text for women to mentally, physically, and emotionally prepare for the process of giving birth. May is a well-known American midwife credited with leading the movement of midwives returning to play a role in the American birthing process.
May’s text has become one of the best books to read while pregnant because it aims to educate women on details of the process of labor and birth. When women are informed of what’s happening to their bodies during labor, they’re better able to give birth confidently. May’s book clarifies this physical process to empower women during the labor process.
The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson
The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality is one of the best books for first-time moms to read. Many women give birth totally unprepared for the needs of a new infant. New mothers know a new baby will entail some significant changes, but they’re often unprepared for the specifics.
The book is excellent for establishing realistic expectations for an infant’s needs and serves as a guide to help new mothers set a plan for success while navigating the complicated physical and emotional changes a new infant brings.
What No One Tells You by Dr. Alexandra Sacks and Dr. Catherine Birndorf
What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood provides much-needed emotional support to women as they navigate the transition to motherhood. Authors Sacks and Birndorf introduce the concept of how, when a baby is born, a mother is also born.
While many parenting books focus on bodily changes and parenting techniques, this book aims to provide emotional support to new mothers, often lacking during birth and pregnancy in the U.S. healthcare system. It’s one of the best pregnancy books to read for a mother’s emotional preparation and planning.
Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen
Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood - and Trusting Yourself and Your Body is another of the best pregnancy books that have grown in popularity over the past few years. Cohen is a doula, and she offers exercises, recipes, and a host of information aimed to prepare new mothers for the challenges of childbirth.
Her guide educates women on each stage of pregnancy. It offers helpful, practical advice for planning the birth and recovery so that details are correctly planned for, and unnecessary stress is avoided. She also provides tools for successfully achieving a healthy recovery.
Lactivate! by Jill Krause
Lactivate! A User’s Guide to Breastfeeding is one of the best books for first-time moms, especially those curious about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has many benefits, including immune-strengthening effects, ease, and convenience. Breast milk is also much cheaper than formula.
Whether you already plan to breastfeed or you’re just interested, Lactivate! offers detailed troubleshooting to just about every type of breastfeeding-related challenge.
Many women plan to breastfeed but take no steps to prepare or inform themselves of the potential challenges. Preparing before the baby arrives is the best way to pave the road to success.
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