One of the first things that parents-to-be tend to do when they find out they’re expecting is hit the pregnancy books. And I was no exception…. If you’ve ever looked at the pregnancy education section in any bookstore, you know that there are an overwhelming amount of options out there. Honestly, the landscape of prenatal books for mums-to-be is as wide and varied as are the leaves of autumn. How can you possibly try to sift through all of them in order to find the right one for you?

Each parent approaches pregnancy in different ways. Some may feel more guided spiritually, some may prefer more modern methods to traditional, and some may have yet to decide their direction or are simply impartial. Either way, there is certainly a book out there that matches your preferences.

From guides that offer the essentials, to ones that help you laugh off your swollen feet and ridiculous food cravings, here are my top pregnancy books picks. In the end though, remember that “Mum” (that’s you!) is always the sounding expert and you should never feel overwhelmed or uneasy based on what others say.

PREGNANCY BOOK FOR HONEST ADVICE

The Best Friends’ Guide to Pregnancy. By: Vicki Iovine

When you’re looking for a straightforward, brutally honest opinion who do you typically turn to? Your best friend. Mother of four and delivery-room veteran Vicki Iovine answers your questions and calms your fears through this book in the way that only a best friend can. Get answers on all those little things that may seem too embarrassing to ask your doctor and useful tips and hilarious takes on everything that takes place those nine months. From first learning that you’re expecting, to the day your precious miracle arrives, Iovine gives the low-down on what really happens to your body, the many moods of pregnancy, staying stylish, insight on the latest technology and much, much more.

PREGNANCY BOOK FOR A REALITY CHECK

Pregnancy Sucks. By: Joanne Kimes

 In Pregnancy Sucks, Joanne Kimes pairs a no-holding-back sense of humour with truly helpful advice to ensure that you’re as ready and comfortable as possible while waiting for the big day. I love this book because it gives tips for alleviating dozens of annoyances associated with pregnancy and also tells you which money traps to avoid! Truthfully it reads like you’re getting advice from a real, experienced mum. This is a great buy if you want to feel like you’re not alone in hating morning sickness, fatigue and the other not-so-fun parts that often come along with making your miracle-to-be. With real solutions to all of the unexpected situations that can arise during a pregnancy, this book is full of insight, smiles and practical advice on every page. This book shows that, through it all, you can survive (with your sanity intact)!

PREGNANCY BOOK FOR FUN

Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? By: Jena Pincott

This book is great for the curious parent, as it provides answers to many of the seemingly odd but understandable questions that many women have surrounding their pregnancy (Think: “Do restless foetuses become spunky babies?”). All of these quirky questions were inspired by Pincott’s own questions drawn up from her experiences. She explores topics such as how certain activities might influence an unborn baby’s personality, how pregnancy can change the behaviour of both mothers and fathers and why the first hour of life is so important for mother-newborn bonding. What I also like is how Pincott presents her findings as fun things to simply think about and be intrigued by rather than as additional things to worry about. So, yes, even the most nervous of expectant parents can thoroughly enjoy the book. It’s truly a fascinating supplement to the typical maternity guide.

PREGNANCY BOOK FOR CHILDBIRTH

Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method, Revised Edition. the Natural Approach to a Safe, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing. By: Marie F. Mongan and Lorne R. Campbell

In this informative guide, HypnoBirthing founder Marie Mongan attempts to banish the myth of pain as a natural and unavoidable accompaniment to birth. She proves through scientific research rather that it is our culture that has portrayed and made childbirth a moment of anguish. She discusses how when we release the fear of birthing, a fear that makes our bodies tense, we will also be able to diminish the pain. The goal of this book is to relax the mind and let the human body work as it is naturally designed to. Mongan suggests calming exercises such as positive thinking, relaxation and visualisation paired with simple breathing and physical exercises, which aim to prepare and lead women to a happy and comfortable pregnancy. I will do a separate post on HypnoBirthing, as I am a massive fun!

PREGNANCY BOOK FOR POST-BIRTH AND SURVIVING THE FIRST YEAR

The Baby Book: How to Enjoy Year One. By: Rachel Waddilove

 A friend of mine recommended this book, and it became my “bible” before and after giving birth. In this book, experienced maternity nurse and mother Rachel Waddilove offers up her practical advice on coping through your baby’s first year. She draws on her own experiences to advise new parents on everything that she feels are need-to-knows. Areas covered include: the first day coming home, nursery necessities, breast feeding vs. bottle feeding, creating a routine that works for everyone, how to deal with crying, establishing sleep cycles and introducing solid food. In addition to the plethora of useful information given, Rachel also taps into the emotional and social changes that come along with becoming a parent. Rachel’s down-to-earth style makes this a fantastic guide for all who want the easiest transition into year one and the best care for their children.

If you’re anything like I was, you want to read anything and everything possible to ensure a safe and sane pregnancy as well as be fully prepared for that new little bundle of joy that will soon be moving in. These five books helped do just that for me, and I hope that as my suggestions they can do the same for you!