The best pregnancy books for first time moms

I’ve plowed through dozens of books about pregnancy and childbirth.  Most were informative, many were interesting, some were opinionated, some were decidedly NOT opinionated.  When push comes to shove, though, you’ve got to have your go-to books, those you value above all the rest and turn to whenever you have a question.  These are mine.

Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth by Sandy Jones and Marcie Jones.

This is the best of the best, for this reason: it breaks down your pregnancy week by week.  Each of these sections includes the following topics:

  • the baby’s size
  • the baby’s development
  • what’s happening to you physically
  • your emotions
  • what you can do this week

I get an e-mail every week from BabyCenter with week by week info, but sometimes it’s nice to have it on the nightstand or in the car with me.  This book is factual and has opinions “where it counts” (i.e. breastfeeding and exercise), but doesn’t go over the top telling you what to do our what not to do.  It explains risks and benefits instead.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 4th Edition by Heidi Murkof and Sharon Mazel

I’ve used both the third and fourth editions of What to Expect, and I would highly recommend the fourth edition.  While it doesn’t have quite the same weekly detail as Great Expectations, this edition does give a weekly breakdown of your baby’s development.  In my opinion, the best part about this book is the monthly (and extremely timely) question and answers.  The index is also fantastic, so if you do have a question that the book hasn’t addressed in your current month, you can easily look it up.

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