There are so many books out there to help get you ready to be a mom, but these (in my opinion) are the best pregnancy books.
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Now there are SO many books, covering every single topic, in print or digital format (hands up for the Kindle readers!). I rounded up what I think are the four best pregnancy books and the two best pregnancy apps I used during pregnancy (so far!).
4 Best Pregnancy Books to Read
Why: It’s basically the pregnancy bible. Your mom read it, your older sister read it, and your little cousins will probably read it, too!
When: Throughout pregnancy. I bought this when we first found out we were expecting, and I read up each week to see what was going on with the baby. It also addresses common questions new moms have.
Why: Because there are too many “rules” about being pregnant! (Spoiler: Some of them are not based on science)
When: Throughout pregnancy, especially at the beginning. My sister (who has no kids and is not pregnant) actually recommended this to me. She had a bunch of friends who all gave birth around the same time, and she wanted to read up a little bit so she chose this book. I really, really enjoyed this book, and I’ve recommended it to quite a few people. I started looking into what I could and could not do in early pregnancy and was completely overwhelmed with all of the rules. No sushi, no deli meat (or is it just no turkey?), no booze (but what if I just want a sip of my husband’s drink?), can I wear a seatbelt or no?, and forget about drinking caffeine!… I’m one of those people who is all about numbers, so this book, written by an economist, was perfect for me. She went through studies that some of these pregnancy “rules” are based on, explaining where some of the rules came from and debunking myths. A must-read if you ask me!
Why: A slightly different take on taking care of babies, an American woman living in Paris talks about her experience raising a child in a place with different norms from what she’s used to.
When: After baby is born. I started reading this early in my pregnancy, and while it was a good book, I didn’t feel like it really spoke to me – yet. I’ve put it back on the shelf to pull out once Baby T is here! I feel like it has some great parenting wisdom in there; I’m just not yet ready to talk about toddlerhood when I’m still trying to figure out what is going on with my third trimester bump.
Why: This book is geared toward a dad-to-be (or could be for any non-pregnant partner!). It not only talks about what’s going on during pregnancy in a pregnant woman’s body, but it covers what Dad might be feeling, too. One of my favorite parts of this book is the added info with suggestions for what Dad should do to help Mom out. It’s a refreshing take on modern pregnancies. Genius, if you ask me!
When: Throughout pregnancy, starting at the beginning. I bought this for T when we first found out we were pregnant. I have to admit, I have probably read more of this book than he has! It’s well-written and realistic for life today, where What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a little more about what’s going on biologically and not much else.
2 Pregnancy Apps You Need
Ovia: I love this app because it’s really clean and easy to use. It lets you easily track your symptoms, add notes like questions you want to ask your doctor, and has a weight tracker, sleep tracker, etc. One of my favorite features of this app, though, is the food safety lookup tool. You can type in an item (like American Cheese, for example) and it will tell you if it’s safe to eat or not. (Spoiler: Yes, American Cheese is safe to eat!) It also gives you more info like what’s in the food and why it is safe or not. There’s also a medication lookup (in case you can’t remember whether it’s Advil or Tylenol that’s bad to take during pregnancy!) and a symptoms lookup.
The app gives you basic info on what baby’s growth is, and also what mom’s going through.
Baby Center: This is my go-to app for extra info. There are some great little articles within the app to read, like whether or not you should give into your pregnancy food cravings. The app also gives a little more info on baby’s development than Ovia gives. I don’t use this app for more than those articles and the growth info, though.
One word of advice: Beware the “birth club” and community forums on any app or site. I’m sure for some people it’s really helpful to have, but you can go down some really deep black holes with what everyone posts, and it can get kind of depressing! Also… I will never understand why women will ask a bunch of strangers medical questions instead of just calling their doctor! You should always consult your medical doctors.