Pregnancy can really be a roller coaster ride! If you are a reader, and looking for books to read during pregnancy then read on! Pregnancy books are good resources to have on hand, especially because during pregnancy you should try to limit your time on the computer as well as mobile phone.
During my pregnancy, we moved cities twice! Yes, twice. In all the packing and moving, I somehow managed to read a couple of pregnancy books. One was ‘Pregnancy: What The Indian Woman Always Wanted To Know But Was Afraid To Ask’ by Nutan Pandit and the other was ‘What To Except When You Are Expecting’.
Out of the two, the only one I can truly recommend is the one by Nutan Pandit. She has really written a simple book in the Indian context. Answers all the queries most pregnant women have, while keeping it simple and easy to understand. The last section about breastfeeding and post pregnancy contraception is also a handy resource for new mommies.
If you are a techie, and manage better with apps, try these pregnancy apps which I have personally used and found adequate. A word of caution though, try to limit your phone use! I’m sure, I’m not the only one telling you this, right?
Here, are some of the most popular books to read during pregnancy which are also available on Amazon and Flipkart. Though I don’t claim to have read all of them, they have some good online reviews. Choose whichever category appeals to you!
Good books to read during pregnancy
#1. Books With Pregnancy Humor
Being happy is the key to a stress free pregnancy. Easier said than done! I know. So enjoy these humorous reads and have a laugh! You can thank me later!
I’m Pregnant, Not Terminally Ill, You Idiot by Lalita Iyer
As the title suggests, the book is a hilarious take on pregnancy. Unlike your traditional pregnancy books, this one provides a lot of firsthand advice and information as experienced by the author. Set in an Indian background, makes it more relatable to Indian women.
Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy
I haven’t read the book, but have seen rave reviews on Amazon.com As it is written by a Western author, many Indian women may not relate it to. The price is also on the expensive side. The author tells you about her pregnancy experiences in a funny way making it an easy read.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
The west is moving towards natural birth, and in India the numbers of C-sections are rising. It’s strange really, how women are losing the confidence in their bodies to deliver naturally. As a midwife, with over 30 years of experience under her belt, Ina May Gaskin, writes about the joys and benefits of natural delivery. Drawing from her experience, she gives examples on how our everyday choices are connected with our bodies and can result in a healthy birth.
It‘s just the kind of book which restores a woman’s faith in her body and ability to give birth naturally. Take everything you read with a pinch of salt, as some of the concepts are too hippie, even for me! How I wish I had read this book before giving birth! Maybe I could have avoided my c-section. Even if it doesn’t change your view on childbirth, it is always wise to make an informed choice.
#2. Pregnancy Books For Dads To Be
The early weeks of fatherhood can be overwhelming, confusing and even nerve-racking for some newbie dads. This book for dads-to-be will help to make the journey little easier.
Commando Dad by Neil Sinclair
Feeding, burping, bathing a baby trooper and everything you need to know about setting up basecamp for your little one! Written by an Ex-Commando and dad of three with military humor! Anyone with a fauji connect will absolutely love it!
My husband, being on study leave, the past two years, is also a very hands on dad, and I keep pushing him to chronicle his experience. He says he is not a writer, so I have taken up that job, with this blog! The price is expensive in India, so you can opt for a kindle version, if you are thinking of purchasing.
The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be by Armin A. Brott
A month by month guide for newbie fathers. Gift one to your husband, if he is feeling anxious about his abilities to look after and care for the baby to come. The book contains a lot of practical information and at the same time brings out a lot of new insights of the physical and emotional effects of fatherhood.
Pregnancy Sucks for Men by Joanne Kimes & Jeff Kimes
This book is written by a couple, but appeals more to the father to be. Again a funny take on pregnancy, it prepares the father to be on the problems faced by his pregnant wife. Though it contains a lot of gender clichés which may not be palatable to you as a woman, but getting this book for your hubby, may help him become for sensitive to your changing body and needs. It’s a little on the expensive side, so buy only if you are having a difficult pregnancy and want to sensitize your hubby.
#3. Books On Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Our mothers and grandmothers reproduced easily and frequently without all the fan fare we go through these days, isn’t it? Today a lot of factors affect a women’s pregnancy, which were not a matter of concern for the previous generations.
Our mom’s do their very best to advise and guide us, but sometimes we just need a fresher perspective. Some of the best books to read during pregnancy, which can help you have a healthier pregnancy are listed below.
Pregnancy: What The Indian Woman Always Wanted To Know But Was Afraid To Ask by Nutan Pandit
As I already mentioned, I referred to this book during my pregnancy. I bought it on an impulse without reading many reviews and boy, was I lucky! Priced at just 250Rs it is a book specifically for Indian women. Without bogging down the reader with too much technicalities, it provides all the information a pregnant woman requires. The 17 chapters discuss many areas of importance that a pregnant woman worries about like weight gain, nutrition and diet. The ending chapters also cover breastfeeding, formula feeding and contraception after childbirth – important information a new mother needs to be aware of.
Passport to A Healthy Pregnancy by Dr. Gita Arjun
The author id a obstetrician and gynecologist, passionate about promoting holistic wellness in women. Her “Passport to Health” program is focused on the same. This book covers all major topics right from preconception to taking care of newborn. Being healthy is the core focus of the book, which will surely help you in having a healthy pregnancy. It is quite reasonably priced at Rs 170 only.
Ayurvedic Garbha Sanskar : The Art and Science of Pregnancy by Balaji Tambe
Balaji Tambe, the author is an Ayurvedic Doctor. His book focuses on helping a woman conceive and deliver baby naturally. If you are a follower of Ayurveda, this book is a good buy. Using herbal mixes, visualization, breathing exercises, Vedic chants Garbh Sanskar helps a woman connect with her baby and have a holistic, spiritual pregnancy. Priced at Rs 600, it is expensive but really worth it.
Pregnancy Blues: What Every Woman Needs to Know about Depression during Pregnancy by Shaila Kulkarni Misri
India, is a a country where depression and anxiety are subjects not to be spoken of. Post partum depression or depression during pregnancy a taboo subject, slowly making its way into the mainstream. Dr. Shaila Kulkarni Misri writes about this oft misunderstood problem, forcing Indians to take part in this conversation.
70% pregnant women experience depression symptoms in varying degrees, according to Dr. Shaila. If you feel you may need to deal with the subject during your pregnancy, or you suspect a friend or your wife is going through this, do give this a read. If you are a happy go lucky person, don’t bother!
Drawing form my personal interaction with doctors in India, I have been were disappointed in their confidence in natural birth. For unfathomable reasons, they prefer you go under the knife. My friend told me about a gynecologist, in Bangalore, who says she will only take you on as a patient if you agree to a Cesarean. Isn’t it ridiculous that women are literally being cowered into surgical births?
This is also a book I missed when I was pregnant! Cynthia Gabriel, writes that women can attempt a natural childbirth under careful medical care. Literally, the best of both worlds! More than pregnant women, I hope the caregivers of pregnant women read this book, doctors included.
A Cesarean should only be treated as a last resort, not as a first or “scheduled” option. This is my personal view, please feel free to differ. I understand every pregnancy is different and my view may not apply everywhere. Twin pregnancies and difficult or complicated pregnancies rightly require medical intervention, for the safety of the mother and child. Always trust your doctor only when it comes to your pregnancy, but be sure to make an informed choice!
Pregnancy Miracle Book by Lisa Olson
Infertility in couples has seen an increasing trend in India. A good book for those struggling with infertility issues, it talks about holistic and natural ways a woman can get pregnant.
Addressing most issues faced by couples failing to conceive, the book could be a good resource. Chinese herbs and Acupressure has been used by many Western women to successfully conceive. Since I haven’t read the book myself, I would love if someone who has, would share their personal view.
#4. Diet And Nutrition Books On Pregnancy
As if you needed a book also to tell you “Eat for two”!!! Eating well and eating right is an important part of every healthy pregnancy. Grab a copy to read on your way to office or a meeting, so that it keeps reinforcing in you the need to eat well!
Fit-pregnancy by Namita Jain
A wellness and lifestyle coach by profession, the author focuses primarily on the diet and wellness aspect of pregnancy. Eating right, eating well – all from an Indian point of view. Recipes and tips to help you stay fit, while on the move.
Nutritious Recipes For Pregnancy by Tarla Dalal
Who doesn’t remember this cute short lady next to the tall and also delicious Sudhanshu Pandey?!? Priced at only 100 Rs this cookbook will put all your “Am I eating right?” worries to rest. The recipes are easy to make and nutritious and tasty to eat. You can also follow a good pregnancy diet chart to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients.
You need to know the week-by-week, month-by-month, and trimester-by-trimester changes happening during your pregnancy.
What To Except When You Are Expecting
This was the go to book for most pregnant women, before other, better books came along! This is a exhaustive book which covers almost everything about pregnancy. Sometimes, it can become to textual, which is why many women find it cumbersome to read.
When I was pregnant, someone recommended this book to me, and I somehow managed to read through it all. To be fair, it is very well researched and written. Broken down into a week-by-week and month-by-month format, you can really keep up with how your baby is growing inside you. Some of the tests and recommendations are not valid in the Indian scenario. Overall it’s a good book, if you are getting it on sale.
The Pregnancy Handbook for Indian Moms: A Doctor’s Answers to All Your Questions by Dr. Vinita Salvi
The author, Dr Salvi specializes in high risk pregnancies, a must read for women experiencing a difficult or complicated pregnancy. As the title suggests, it is written in the Indian context, hence quite useful.
Besides these books, there are numerous other books as well like
• The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
• The Pregnancy Countdown Book: Nine Months of Practical Tips, Useful Advice, and Uncensored Truths by Susan Magee and Kara Nakisbendi M.D
• Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide By Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham, April Bolding
They are more or less similar to each other, and if you have read one, it should be good enough.
Pregnancy journals are a marketing gimmick in my opinion! They make good last minute gifts! My sister bough one for me! I didn’t use it, so am thinking of re-gifting it to her when she begins her journey.
If you are the mushy, lovey kind, like my little sis, please by all means go ahead –don’t let my blabbering upset you! The first one was the one my sister bought.
• My Pregnancy Journal by Alison Mackonochie
• Sacred Pregnancy: A Loving Guide and Journal for Expectant Moms by Anni Daulter
• My Pregnancy: A Keepsake Book of Memories by Dan Spellerberg
Most of the books on this list are available in the Kindle version as well. You’re your convenience. Read whatever appeals to you! Which pregnancy book sounds most appealing to you? Is there any good book, which I missed? Please help me out, by mentioning it in comments, and I will add it to the list.