Over the years, I’ve read a lot of books about birth and breastfeeding, pretty much every single one I could get my hands on. (I’m not exaggerating.) I gleaned little nuggets of information from every one of them, but of course, some of them really stood out from the others as both well-written books and genuinely helpful guides through the complex process of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.
I know that when you’re an expectant parent, time is SHORT. You don’t have time to read anything but the best of the best. So that is why I have created this list of the top five pregnancy and breastfeeding books I have ever read. I have included the links to these books on Amazon, but if you are frugally minded like me, never fear, they are all available through the public library.
- The Big Book of Birth-Erica Lyon This book is a user-friendly and straightforward guide to the entire labor and delivery process. The author does an excellent job of telling the reader what happens during birth and how to cope during each stage of the process, in addition to information about possible medical interventions that may be needed during the birth. A must read for anyone who hasn’t been able to take a childbirth education course, or for brushing up on your knowledge if you’ve given birth before.
- Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn-Penny Simkin For a comprehensive pregnancy and birth guide, this is what I recommend. Packed with evidence based information, this book allows you to be informed of all your options. The book covers having a healthy pregnancy and potential complications, as well as information about eating and exercise during pregnancy. It also contains a lengthy section to help you prepare for labor and birth. If you could only buy one pregnancy and birth book, this should be it.
- The Doula Guide to Birth-Ananda Lowe Most of the go-to pregnancy and birth books cover the same handful of topics, but in this book, Lowe gives a fresh spin to preparing for and getting through labor and birth. She offers many ideas for managing the process and challenges of labor that anyone can use.
- The Natural Pregnancy Book-Aviva Jill Romm For the granola moms out there, this is your pregnancy book. Romm’s book covers what you need to know about pregnancy and birth, but with a natural flair. She incorporates detailed information about using herbs during pregnancy, as well as natural treatments for many of the complaints of pregnancy.
- The Complete Book of Breastfeeding-Laura Marks An excellent reference on breastfeeding is worth having on hand before you’re trying to figure out why your baby is screaming at 3:00 in the morning, and this guide is both thorough and approachable. If you can read some before giving birth, that's even better!