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Best Pregnancy Books: The 30 BEST Maternity Books of All Time

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.
6 MINUTE READ

Looking for the best pregnancy books and maternity books of all time?

You’re in the right place!

Here’s what you’ll find on this page…

You’re Not Alone!

NOTE: If you only do ONE thing to prepare for pregnancy and birth (beyond normal checkups), I recommend this AMAZING course from The Positive Birth Company. 🧡⭐️

Pregnancy is one of those things you don’t often need to know about until the first time you need to know about it. And then one day, you’re expecting a baby (or trying to get there), and it becomes the most fascinating topic in the world.

The good news? I know how that feels! Which is exactly why I created this list of the 30 best pregnancy books of all time. (Tip: You don’t have to read all 30!)

Whether you’ve just started your pregnancy, or you’re 30 weeks through; whether it’s the first time you’re pregnant or the tenth; whether you’re an expectant mom or dad – you’ll find tons of must-read books on pregnancy, maternity and childbirth on this ultimate list.

Bonus Tip: If you enjoy this list of maternity books, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy these lists of the best books on babies and the best books on parenting.

The 30 BEST Pregnancy Books of All Time

Why these top pregnancy books and not others? The best pregnancy books below are the top picks from my master database, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, the number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The goal is to balance what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s proven timelessly relevant advice.

Think something’s missing? Email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

Books 1-10: The Top 10 Best Pregnancy Books of All Time

Here are the 10 best pregnancy books from my database…

Best Pregnancy Books: Spiritual Midwifery
1. Spiritual MidwiferyIna May Gaskin
Published 1975 // 482 pages // Rated 4.4 over 5,500 reviews on Goodreads
Best Pregnancy Books: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
2. Ina May’s Guide to ChildbirthIna May Gaskin
Published 2003 // 348 pages // Rated 4.4 over 18,100 reviews on Goodreads
Best Pregnancy Books: The Birth Partner
3. The Birth PartnerPenny Simkin
Published 1989 // 337 pages // Rated 4.3 over 5,200 reviews on Goodreads
Best Pregnancy Books: Expecting Better
4. Expecting BetterEmily Oster
Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong – and What You Really Need to Know
Published 2013 // 336 pages // Rated 4.3 over 12,200 reviews on Goodreads
Best Pregnancy Books: Pregnancy, Childbirth And The Newborn
5. Pregnancy, Childbirth And The NewbornPenny Simkin
Published 1984 // 512 pages // Rated 4.2 over 2,200 reviews on Goodreads
Best Pregnancy Books: What to Expect When You're Expecting
6. What to Expect When You’re ExpectingHeidi Murkoff
Published 1969 // 597 pages // Rated 3.8 over 46,100 reviews on Goodreads
Best Pregnancy Books: Active Birth
7. Active Birth Janet Balaskas
The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally
Published 1983 // 272 pages // Rated 4.1 over 1,500 reviews on Goodreads
Best Pregnancy Books: Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
8. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy PregnancyMyra J. Wick
Published 2004 // 614 pages // Rated 4.1 over 4,800 reviews on Goodreads
Best Pregnancy Books: The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
9. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better BirthHenci Goer
Published 1999 // 384 pages // Rated 4.1 over 3,100 reviews on Goodreads
Best Pregnancy Books: Pushed
10. PushedJennifer Block
The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care
Published 2007 // 316 pages // Rated 4.2 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads

Books 11-30: 20 Good Pregnancy Books to Read Next

Here are the next 20 best pregnancy books from my database…

11. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way – Susan McCutcheon
Published 1984 // 336 pages // Rated 4.0 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads
12. Birthing from Within – Pam England
An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
Published 1998 // 331 pages // Rated 4.0 over 5,100 reviews on Goodreads
13. The Pregnancy Book – William Sears
A Month-By-Month Guide Tag: Everythg. You Need to Know from America’S..
Published 1997 // 448 pages // Rated 4.2 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
14. Natural Hospital Birth – Cynthia Gabriel
The Best of Both Worlds
Published 2011 // 272 pages // Rated 4.3 over 1,500 reviews on Goodreads
15. Childbirth without Fear – Grantly Dick-Read
The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth
Published 1959 // 352 pages // Rated 3.9 over 1,200 reviews on Goodreads
16. The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy – Vicki Iovine
Published 1995 // 255 pages // Rated 3.7 over 8,700 reviews on Goodreads
17. The Positive Birth Book – Milli Hill
A new approach to pregnancy, birth and the early weeks
Published 2017 // 320 pages // Rated 4.4 over 1,200 reviews on Goodreads
18. The Expectant Father – Armin A. Brott
Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-to-Be
Published 1995 // 271 pages // Rated 3.8 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads
19. Birth – Tina Cassidy
The Surprising History of How We Are Born
Published 2006 // 320 pages // Rated 4.1 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads
20. Like a Mother – Angela Garbes
A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy
Published 2018 // 256 pages // Rated 4.3 over 4,700 reviews on Goodreads
21. Birth Skills – Juju Sundin
Proven pain-management techniques for your labour and birth
Published 2007 // 304 pages // Rated 4.2 over 600 reviews on Goodreads
22. Birth without Violence – Frédérick Leboyer
Published 1974 // 144 pages // Rated 4.0 over 500 reviews on Goodreads
23. The Mama Natural – Genevieve Howland
Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
Published 2017 // 528 pages // Rated 4.4 over 1,000 reviews on Goodreads
24. HypnoBirthing – Marie F. Mongan
The Mongan Method
Published 1998 // 302 pages // Rated 3.8 over 4,600 reviews on Goodreads
25. Real Food for Pregnancy – Lily Nichols
The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition
Published 2018 // 348 pages // Rated 4.6 over 500 reviews on Goodreads
26. Nurture – Erica Chidi Cohen
A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood—and Trusting Yourself and Your Body
Published 2017 // 256 pages // Rated 4.4 over 500 reviews on Goodreads
27. Pragnancy Day By Day – Maggie Blott
Published 2014 // 496 pages // Rated 4.5 over on Goodreads
28. Our Bodies, Ourselves – Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
Pregnancy and Birth
Published 2008 // 384 pages // Rated 4.1 over 500 reviews on Goodreads
29. How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out – Clemmie Hooper
A guide to pregnancy and birth straight from the midwife’s mouth
Published 2017 // 224 pages // Rated 4.1 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
30. Expecting 411 – Michele Hakakha
Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy
Published 2010 // 608 pages // Rated 4.1 over 300 reviews on Goodreads

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best pregnancy books

Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

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