Congratulations, Mama!

I’m guessing that if you’re googling books to read, the initial excitement has taken a back seat to some pre-baby jitters. This is totally normal and happens to everyone.

I still remember sitting in a prenatal group and the facilitator asking, “What are some of the things you’re feeling unsure or worried about?” My response was, “Birth.” Everybody chuckled, but I was serious. 

You are growing life inside you, a life that will soon be blowing raspberries and crawling into all the crevices you don’t want them to. A life that will transform yours. And you want to do everything you can to give them the best life you can. That right there shows you’re already doing everything right. 

But if you’re looking for some guidance, look no further. I’ve got you covered. Here are my top fifteen books for expecting mothers.

  1. The Mama Natural


This is a week by week guide to pregnancy and childbirth for conscientious mamas who live an organic lifestyle. The book of course outlines what foods to eat and why. It also gives great tips for natural remedies to common pregnancy pains such as morning sickness and acid reflux. And it shares information about the natural childbirth process and helpful pointers for breastfeeding. 


  1. What To Expect When You’re Expecting 


If like me you’re looking for a book that will tell you exactly what to expect each month, this is the tried and true choice. And here’s the best news. It has some follow-ups: What to Expect the First Year, What To Expect the Second Year, and What To Expect the Toddler Years. There is also an up to date website with a handy week by week calendar as well. 


  1. Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth


Ina May shares her wisdom as a midwife for thirty plus years. This book is filled with lots of practical advice ranging from the mind-body connection to medication-free strategies for reducing the pain of labor. What really stands out about this book though is the many inspiring birth stories it features. While no two births are alike, reading a positive birth story makes the unknown less scary. It’s empowering to remember that there is a natural process that will take the reins. 


  1. The Bottom Line for Baby


This is a must read!

Tina Payne Bryson co-wrote The Power of Showing Up, The Yes Brain, The Whole Brain Child, and No Drama Discipline with Dan Siegel, and now she’s written a pregnancy book backed by science.

To be honest with you, I’m jealous because this wasn’t published when I was pregnant.

It gives answers to your soon to be pressing questions: When is it OK to introduce a bottle? Is it OK to give a pacifier? And the question that will weigh on you the most: How do I get this child to sleep through the night?


  1. The Expectant Father 


The mental load of parenting is no joke so start getting him involved now. Trust me. He wants to be included. Give this to him as a gift for Father’s Day or the day of the shower. It will help him feel part of the process. Bonus: If he has a book telling him it’s time to set up the crib, you don’t have to. 


  1. The Fourth Trimester 


I cannot recommend this book enough.

When a baby is born, your body needs time to heal. And your hormones may take time to level out. Also, you will get half the sleep you used to. All of your energy will go towards taking care of your baby. Self-care will go out the window.

Having this book on hand reminds you that you need and deserve time to heal. 


  1. Nurture



If you only have time for one book, this one captures it all from pregnancy to birth to early motherhood.

The author shares her knowledge as a doula. She really focuses on self-care and offers trimester-specific natural remedies with recipes, mindfulness exercises, and what to expect postpartum. 


  1. Parenting from the Inside Out


I know right now you’re thinking about birth and caring for your baby, but in the blink of an eye, your baby will be a toddler. If there is a part of you that struggles with managing your emotions, you need to read this. Even if, maybe even especially if, you are someone who internalizes and keeps those emotions quiet, you need to read this. 


In this book, Dan Siegel, a renowned child psychiatrist and Mary Hertzel, a leading early childhood specialist, explore how interpersonal relationships have a direct impact on the developing brain. It is a guide for how to build a secure attachment with your child. 


  1. Waiting for Birdy 


This one is for all the Mamas who are expecting number two. This time around, it’s different. Sure, you may need to skim for what’s expected each month, but what’s really on your mind is, “How am I going to divide my time between two?” Enter this book.

It’s a memoir written by Catherine Newman that follows her journey from a pregnant mom chasing after her toddler to her life with two little ones. Its genuine feel lets you know you’re not the only one, but best of all, it will have you laughing in stitches. 


10.What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood


It’s important to know that sleep deprivation and fluctuating hormones can bring out emotions you aren’t expecting such as increased irritability, anxiety, and anger throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. This book is written by two reproductive psychiatrists who suggest that matrescence, the birth of a mother, is an adjustment period similar to adolescence. 


  1. Moms on Call


 When my little one was eight weeks old,  I was a zombie from lack of sleep. Imagine my dismay when another Mama at baby group whose child was the same age as mine was sleeping through the night. She swore by this book, which gives a formula and suggested sleep schedule. I highly recommend this one for first time moms. Bonus: It’s part of a series that will get you through the first four years. 


  1. Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Need To Know


It’s interesting to get an economist’s perspective on pregnancy. She debunks myths and explains things such as the real effects of caffeine to the surprising risks involved with gardening. Oster also has a follow-up parenting book called Cribsheet, which gives data-driven answers to questions about matters such as breastfeeding, circumcision, sleep, and childcare. 


  1. Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method


This book is written by a clinical hypnotherapist. Mongan emphasizes that hypnobirthing relaxes the mind in order to let the body follow its natural process. The exercises include positive thinking, relaxation, visualization, breathing, and physical preparation for the birthing process. 


  1. What To Do When You’re Having Two 


If you’re having twins, this is the book for you. It’s a guide from pregnancy through the first year that gives tips for coordinating sleep schedules, breastfeeding two babies at the same time, buying a bazillion diapers, etc. The author also has their own website called Twiniversity


  1. The Girlfriends Guide To Pregnancy


Reading this book is like talking to a best friend who is a mom already. It’s hilarious and down to earth. Some of you may be the first one in your circle of friends to be pregnant. If that’s the case, then this book is definitely for you. 


Well, I think it’s time to get reading. Let me know in the comments below which of these books you find the most helpful. If there’s another book not listed here, tell me about it and why you love it. I can’t wait to hear from you. 


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