Best Pregnancy Books: ParentDish's Top 10 Picks

Filed under: Books, Books for Parents

Catch up on your pregnancy reading with these top titles. Credit: Betsssssy, Flickr

In "The Godfather," they went to the mattresses. In pregnancy, you go to the books. And, since you've already got a lot on your mind, we did the work for you, breaking down some of the most popular pregnancy books on the market.

Like birth plans, a pregnant woman's pick is very personal, so we don't expect you to buy all 10 titles. But, we think we've found at least one for every family -- even the Corleones:

1. The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger. If you're looking for a woman-centered approach to pregnancy books, this is it. A natural childbirth advocate who campaigns for women's rights to make their own choices in childbirth, Kitzinger offers the same approach in her books.

2. What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. This is the book to pick up for information --we're talking lots of information. Set up as a step-by-step through the months and trimesters, it covers prenatal to the early days after the baby's born. It's one of the best-known pregnancy books, but it's not for everyone.

3. The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine. Want to know what to take to the hospital or why you're feeling randy when you're four months in? This is the book that takes a "we're all girls here" approach to pregnancy and puts out information with a touch of spunk.

4. Your Pregnancy Week By Week by Glade Curtis. Written by an OB/GYN, this is a very specific path through pregnancy. As the title suggests, Curtis lets you in on what's going to be happening week by week for the 40 weeks of gestation, making this the pick for women who want to know what's going on right now.

5. Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley and Ann Keppler. Let's face it -- having a baby is an emotional time, and not just because of hormones. With information on the physical and psychological pregnancy, this is a thorough trip from early pregnancy to early infancy.

6. Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. Don't let the celeb's name on the cover fool you into thinking this is fluff. Full of real information on taking charge of the birth, it's got a light, conversational tone, but it delves into deep issues on the options women face.

7. The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins. In-depth details on everything from nursing after a C-section to breastfeeding when you've adopted a child makes this a go-to for first-time nursers.

8. The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin. The rare pregnancy book written not for the mother, but for the people who will be present at the birth, this has earned a reputation as the "birth partner's bible."

9. The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America's Baby Experts by William and Martha Sears. From advocates of the attachment parenting movement, this overview of pregnancy includes not just the month-to-month physical symptoms and development, but tips on home birth, avoiding the episiotomy and more to make this mom-centric.

10. Fathering Right from the Start: Straight Talk About Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond by Jack Heinowitz. Written by a psychologist, it's no surprise this book approaches dad's path through pregnancy through his emotions. Heinowitz makes clear a man's role begins at conception -- not when he has to change his first diaper.

Related: Pregnancy, Pregnancy: Week by Week

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