There's no rule book when it comes to pregnancy and raising a baby. But there are plenty of guide books out there that can come in handy when you're looking for a little extra help. These are the best reads for new and expectant moms, whether you want to gather up the classics or are on a mission to buy fresh releases.
Angela Garbes' book expertly breaks down the science of pregnancy in a way that hasn't been done before — with humor, empathy, and a feminist perspective.
When you should read it: As soon as you find out you're expecting.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be incredibly intimidating, but Nurture guides the reader through the entire process while encouraging soon-to-be moms to trust themselves and their bodies, without ever feeling like they're being judged.
When you should read it: Once you've covered the basics and want to learn about pregnancy from a more personal perspective.
Did your doctor tell you that sushi is off limits while your pregnant bestie's midwife gave the green light to enjoy a California roll? That's where Expecting Better comes in. This book breaks down the science behind some of the most common pregnancy "rules," and offers a fresh perspective on things like eating soft cheese and drinking the occasional glass of wine.
When you should read it: As soon as you start feeling overwhelmed and confused during your pregnancy. (It happens to the best of us!)
After giving birth, many women devote every ounce of energy in their tank to taking care of their newborn — which is more than understandable. But delivery puts a huge strain on your body, and healing is paramount. The Fourth Trimester encourages new moms to take time for themselves post-pregnancy, and tangibly shows you how to do so.
When you should read it: As you enter the home stretch of your pregnancy.
There's no right way to raise a child, but it can be helpful to know what parents around the world are doing. Pamela Druckerman's book reads like a charming novel you'd pour through on the beach, and it's full of incredible parenting tips ranging from sleep-training to feeding.
When you should read it: On those days when you can't handle another guide book and need something with more personality.
It's easy to get stressed out about what you "should" and "shouldn't" , and while you don't want to cook out of a book for nine months straight, having a book full of healthy recipes for pregnant women never hurts!
When you should read it: As soon as you find out .
This is an incredible week-to-week guide for moms who want to really lean into the idea of a natural pregnancy . There are tips on everything, from while your body changes to how to eat for you and your growing baby.
When you should read it: As soon as you're thinking about natural methods throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
Again, learning how kids are raised in other parts of the world is fascinating. And as Sara Zaske explains, German parents give their kids a *lot* of freedom, which seems to yield great results. It's definitely an interesting read as you think about for raising your child.
When you should read it: As you have free time throughout your pregnancy.
Look, it's the best-selling pregnancy book for a reason. What to Expect covers every possible symptom, walks you through pregnancy week-by-week, and is a must-have on every expectant mom's list.
When you should read it: Like, yesterday.
Consider this an introductory book to What to Expect, as it's slightly less intense than the best-seller. For starters, it focuses on just the first six months of your newborn's life, and includes tips on sleeping, feeding, and when to take your baby to the ER.
When you should read it: In your third trimester, as you're preparing to .
A baby who sleeps through the night = a mommy who sleeps through the night. And that's a glorious, glorious milestone to achieve.
When you should read it: As soon as you realize you *thought* you knew what tired felt like.
If the first sleep advice book you bought failed to work, this one may give you better luck — it's sold more than one million copies for a reason.
When you should read it: If you're feeling super sleep-deprived.
For a baby book that's less about reading and more about writing, go with this option — it provides a fun way to document and organize your experiences throughout pregnancy, which really does go by in the blink of an eye.
When you should read it: Throughout your pregnancy, whenever you have a few spare moments.
If you're going the midwife route, or choosing not to , this book is a must-read. One of the leading midwives in the nation, Gaskin details the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care for a comprehensive guide on the mind-body connection during childbirth.
When you should read it: As you're putting together your .
This book includes practical advice for everything you need to get done before your baby arrives, and it also includes tips from other moms for a super personal, community-driven feel.
When you should read it: Throughout pregnancy.
The Sears' baby book is another What to Expect-style mainstay of parenting, and it's pretty useful thanks to its organization and wide span of time covered, covering issues you'll face during childbirth and all the way up to the toddler years.
When you should read it: Throughout pregnancy.
The fact is sexism exists, the patriarchy is real, and the glass ceiling has yet to be fully broken. This book might make you frustrated about how far we have to go, but it's very eye-opening and may just inspire you to take action.
When you should read it: Whenever you have some downtime.
This baby book is full of humor, quizzes, games, and activities for when you're bored and want to lighten the mood. After all, parenting and pregnancy can have plenty of shake-your-head .
When you should read it: Sooner rather than later, for the sake of more LOLs.