Take one look on Amazon or Barnes and Noble and you’ll see that without a doubt the parenting niche is one of the most popular sections. With so many titles available, how do you know what the best books to read before getting pregnant are?
In this article, we take a look at 10 amazing books that you should read, broken into Fertility, Preconception And Conception, Pregnancy and Childbirth.
Fertility, Preconception And Conception
Christa Orecchio, Willow Buckley
As more and more mommas-to-be for women to choose to start a family later in life, it’s becoming increasingly common for them to experience fertility issues and problems conceiving.
The main reason for this is that fertility begins to decline around 30. The result is that an increasing number of ladies are turning to expensive and invasive treatment to help them conceive.
In How to Conceive Naturally: And have a Healthy Pregnancy After 30, Orecchio and Buckley share their knowledge of holistic, nutrition and fertility to set out a roadmap to help you naturally conceive in your 30s and 40s.
The book takes an in-depth look at the challenges of conceive as fertility decreases and sets out some interesting methods of improving your chances of getting pregnant.
How to Conceive Naturally: And have a Healthy Pregnancy After 30 is ease to read and will leave you with a better understanding of conception.
Toni Weschler, MPH
If you’re looking for a book that’s going to empower you to take charge over your fertility then Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control and Pregnancy Achievement could well be the book for you!
The book promises to help you:
- Maximise your chances of conception
- Speed-up fertility treatment
- Identify Impediments to pregnancy achievement
- Take a more scientific approach to natural birth control
- Gain more control over your sexual and gynaecological health
Sounds promising, but is the book worth a read?
If you’re looking to get a scientific understanding of your fertility then this book is absolutely for you. While the concepts are very science based, you don’t need a phd to understand them as the author Toni Weschler does a fantastic job at breaking them down so that they’re easy to understand.
Taking Charge of Your Fertility is one of those books that should be read by all women as it provides the insights and lessons that should be taught during high school sex ed classes but which in reality rarely is.
If we did have one criticism, it would be that there is some fluff and “woo” contained within Taking Charge of Your Fertility, however, you shouldn’t let this put you off what is otherwise a fantastic read.
Myra Wick, M.D., Ph.D
When it comes to the best books to read before getting pregnant, the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy is one that will be a helpful companion before, during and after your pregnancy.
At 512 pages, this is one of the most comprehensive books on the market and it’s easy to see why it’s a best seller for mommas-to-be.
This book is certainly an authority source, with less fluff than many of the books on our list and more fact and science backed advice.
During your pregnancy, the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy will be a constant companion and a reliable reference to answer all of your pregnancy related questions.
Strong as a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenthood
Mixing humour with practical advice, Strong As A Mother is a fantastic read for those looking for a guide of what to expect during pregnancy.
While many books choose to focus on the changes to your body, this book will help you prepare mentally – keeping you sane and emotionally health through pregnancy and well into motherhood.
The book is broken down into three sections:
- Your first year as a momma
- Motherhood and beyond
The main message that runs through the book is that you need to give more priority to your own mental wellbeing (something that many mothers neglect). It’s this message that mental health should be a priority that has seen me buy copy after copy for family and friends during their pregnancy.
Honestly, I can’t stress enough just how good this book is and yes, there are certainly others out there that deal with the physical journey in more detail but in terms of preparing you for the mental journey – Strong As A Mother really is the best.
If you’re someone who likes to know exactly what’s going to happen before getting into something then Pregnancy O.M.G.! is one pregnancy book that you’re going to want to add to your bookshelf.
By the time you’re done with this book, you’ll find yourself asking “is this normal” less and less often and instead recalling the advice given in Pregnancy O.M.G.!.
In a market saturated by helpful but dry self-help books, Pregnancy O.M.G.! is a refreshing read.
Nancy Redd writes with humour, candour and warmth to tackle the often embarrassing world of pregnancy – all the whole providing helpful support and guidance leaving you with a real sense that you’re not alone.
As a visual guide, the book is incredibly helpful and features pictures of real women of all shapes and sizes.
If you want a complete visual guide of how your body is going to change during those 40 weeks then make sure you grab a copy of Pregnancy O.M.G.!
Featuring the sage advice from a panel of experts, The Day-by-Day Pregnancy Book is your perfect companion throughout your pregnancy.
For those looking for a good book to read before getting pregnant, The Day-by-Day Pregnancy Book will provide you with a good reference of what to expect as the days, weeks and trimesters go by.
What we really like is that this book covers what happens both with baby’s and mommas development.
Combine this book with Pregnancy O.M.G.! and you really do have a full picture of what pregnancy is really like so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into!
A good midwife is one of the biggest factors in how you experience birth. A good midwife will provide advice and guidance with warmth and authority.
This is exactly what you can expect to find in Ina May’s book.
Ima May Gaskin is one of the world’s leading experts in childbirth. Within her bestselling book, she shares an amazing amount of lessons about childbirth, learnt over her time as a Midwife.
While there is a little bit of “woo” in this book (May does discuss “orgasmic births”), the rest of the advice is solid and practical.
In Ina May’s book, you’ll learn:
- What really happens during labor
- How to create a safe, comfortable birth environment
- How to plan for an unmedicated labour and birth
- What doctors don’t tell you about anaesthesia and caesareans
If you’ve got worries about the final stages of pregnancy, then this book will be a delight to read. Ina May is truly a master of writing with warmth and honesty that will leave you confident that you know what to expect and that you can manage it.
Mark Zakowski A.D.
If you’re planning on getting pregnant and think that a c section is the birth route that you want to go down then C-Section: How to Avoid, Prepare and Recover from your Cesarean is essential reading.
In C-Section: How to Avoid, Prepare and Recover from your Cesarean, Mark Zakowski A.D. discusses in detail all you need to know about cesareans
Drawing on his experience as an Obstetric Anesthesiologist, this book is designed to help you:
- Reduce anxiet and stress
- Recover quicker
- Bond with your baby after surgery
Throughout the book, Zakowski dispenses advice through real stories and practical tips designed to create a better cesarean surgery.
Increasingly, many ladies are struggling to choose between a natural birth or to go down the medically assisted route.
In Natural Hospital Birth, Doula Cynthia Gabriel suggests that there’s no reason that you can’t benefit from both. Throughout this book, Gabriel shares stories from many mothers who’ve had a natural birth in hospital without any medical intervention.
The advice contained within is practical and inspiring to read.
If you’re contemplating a natural birth and fear that this isn’t possible in a hospital then this book will go a long way towards changing your perceptions of what’s possible and what support is available from your midwife.
For close to a decade, this book has been the go-to reads for healthcare professionals and doulas.
The book is designed not for those about to do the pushing but for those who will be there right next to them during childbirth.
What I really like about this book is that it’s packed full of practical advice on what your partner can do in the final few weeks of pregnancy, during the birth and in the early postpartum period.
Penny Simkin has an amazing way of demonstrating just how important it is for a birth partner to provide just the right level of support and arms them with the key tools to be of most help during childbirth.
The Bottom Line
So there you have it, our list of the 10 best books to read before getting pregnant. Have you read any that you feel should be on our list? Leave your recommendations in the comments below or send us a message through our social channels.
Last update on 2024-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.