The 10 Best Pregnancy Books of 2021

Read up and prepare

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff at Amazon

"A solid option for moms-to-be, it includes chapters on specific info such as symptoms and week-by-week developments."

Best Activity Book: 50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide by Jill Krause at Amazon

"With specific activities tailored to every stage of pregnancy, it's bursting with real-life information for moms who love lists."

Best Data-Driven: Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong by Emily Oster at Amazon

"The author examines data on nearly every decision pregnant women will need to make and encourages making an informed choice."

Best Holistic: The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevive Howland at Amazon

"Full of weekly advice for every stage of pregnancy, this holistic-focused book includes nutrition tips and natural remedies."

Best for New Dads: The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide by Armin A. Brott at Amazon

"Written for dads-to-be, this book offers men all the tools they need to support their partner and prepare for baby’s arrival."

Best Modern: Bumpin’: The Modern Guide to Pregnancy by Leslie Shrock at Amazon

"Written in a humorous style, the modern guide combines clinical research with practical advice from experts."

Best for LGBTQ Pregnancies: The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians by Rachel Pepper at Amazon

"Focusing on the unique needs of lesbians, the helpful book covers info on fertility, sperm banks, conception, and legal rights."

Best Humourous: Say No to Placenta Pics by Jillian M. Parsons at Amazon

"Ideal if you're looking for a lighter read, this comedic pick is an uncensored tell-all guide to pregnancy."

Best for Multiples: What to Do When You’re Having Two by Natalie Diaz at Amazon

"Calm some nerves with this well-loved twin survival guide, which helps parents plan for the changes and challenges."

Best for Intended Parents: Successful Surrogacy an Intended Parent's Guide by Susan MZ Fuller at Amazon

"Written by an experienced gestational surrogate, Susan MZ Fuller, the guide helps to demystify the process."

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but can also be full of nerves. Changes to your body and surprising symptoms can come out of nowhere and for first-time parents-to-be, it’s an entirely new experience. 

Getting prepared for the nine months ahead is key to mental and physical health. Reading a pregnancy book (or two!) can be a helpful experience to learn more about your body and the changes ahead. Find the right book for your lifestyle, needs, and situation. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

A classic book for good reason, this choice is a worthy option for moms-to-be that want one comprehensive book. Don’t be intimidated by the 600+ page book—you don’t need to read every single page.

The book includes chapters on specific info such as pregnancy symptoms, pregnancy lifestyle, info for dads, carrying multiples, and also week-by-week developmental information. 

Best Activity Book: 50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide by Jill Krause

Organized by trimester, this book will help women take things one step at a time. There’s specific guidance and activities tailored to every stage of pregnancy. Inclusive and logical, this book is bursting with real-life information that can be very useful for moms who love lists and step-by-step guides. 

Best Data-Driven: Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong by Emily Oster

Written by an award-winning economist, this book debunks myths and explains pregnancy by evaluating data. The author presents and examines data on nearly every decision pregnant people will need to make, encouraging them to make their own informed choice.

Readers appreciate the calm and informative tone of this book.

Best Holistic: The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevive Howland

Emphasizing that having a baby is a wondrous biological process and not a medical condition is the overall focus of this book. Full of weekly advice for every stage of pregnancy, this holistic-focused book also includes nutrition tips, natural remedies, birth stories, and expert advice. 

Best for New Dads: The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide by Armin A. Brott

Get dad involved with his very own expectant father book. Written just for dads-to-be, this book will give expectant papas all the tools they need to support their partner, prepare for the new baby’s arrival, and take care of themselves during the exciting nine months ahead. 

Best Modern: Bumpin’: The Modern Guide to Pregnancy by Leslie Shrock

Parents-to-be will appreciate that this choice is written in a frank and funny style. The modern guide includes clinical research mixed with practical advice from a bevy of experts including ob-gyns, therapists, doulas, lactation experts, pelvic floor therapists, and more.

The combination results in a useful book that highlights trimester-by-trimester overviews, pregnancy symptoms and relief, important decisions to consider, registry tips, exercises, and so much more.

Best for LGBTQ Pregnancies: The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians by Rachel Pepper

Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

An easy-to-read guide, women will appreciate that this pick focuses on the unique needs of lesbians. Starting from pre-conception through newborn life, the helpful book includes information on fertility, sperm banks, conception, pregnancy, legal rights, and more. Inclusively written, there’s relevant and specific content for both coupled and single women.

Best Humourous: Say No to Placenta Pics by Jillian M. Parsons

If a light and funny guide will put you at ease, choose this book. Co-written by two girlfriends, this funny pick is an uncensored tell-all guide to pregnancy. A great gift, this choice will have most expectant people cracking up, although it’s not as full of traditional information as some of the other options. 

Best for Multiples: What to Do When You’re Having Two by Natalie Diaz

Finding out that you are expecting twins can be a big shock. Calm some nerves with a well-loved twin survival guide. The comprehensive book includes information from pregnancy through the first year.

The twin-specific info will help parents plan for the unexpected and accept the changes (and challenges) that two babies will bring. 

Best for Intended Parents: Successful Surrogacy an Intended Parent's Guide by Susan MZ Fuller

The path to parenthood is different for everyone. For intended parents on the path of surrogacy, this title is a guide that helps intended parents and surrogates create a rewarding relationship through their pregnancy journey together. Written by an experienced gestational surrogate, Susan MZ Fuller, the guide helps to demystify the process.

Final Verdict

If you want just one book that will provide you with week-by-week information and useful tips, What to Expect When You’re Expecting (view on Amazon) is a tried and true resource. For a second source, choose a lifestyle-specific guide or the 50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide (view on Amazon) that’ll keep mom busy and engaged for nine months.

What to Look for in a Pregnancy Book 

Reputable Information

Make sure that the book you are relying on for information bases its information on science, medical information, and reputable sources. While the book doesn’t need to be written by a doctor to be helpful, it is important to check out the author to make sure they are legit. 

Tailored to Your Needs

Whether you are expecting twins, an LQBQT mom-to-be, a science-based reader, or a more lighthearted person, there’s a pregnancy book out there to fit your style and preferences. Choose a book that suits you! You’ll be more likely to read it and absorb the info if you connect with the content. 

Why Trust Verywell Family? 

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 7-year-old son, and 3-year old daughter. Maya prepped for her first pregnancy reading a few different books but nothing could have prepared her for reality. Her oldest was born in a taxi cab, in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, on the way to the hospital! 

Was this page helpful?