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Staff Picks: 7 Pregnancy Books You Should Read

Katlyn Joy | 5, June 2013


Have you ever heard, "You have to get a license to drive but anyone can be a parent?" It's true, it's the toughest job in the world and most the training is on the job but you can get a leg up. Get your bookshelf stocked with the best books and you will be ahead of the game.

1. What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition, by Heidi Murkoff.

Revised and updated again in 2008, this landmark book for pregnant women was named one of USA Today's 25 Most Influential Books of the Past 25 Years. Read by over 90 percent of pregnant women, it has become the expectant mom's Bible. Written in a conversational, girlfriend tone with the down to the nitty-gritty info every woman needs but may not want to ask her ob-gyn, Expecting is a book you'll read cover to cover and go back through time and again.

2. 100,000 Plus Baby Names: The Most Complete Baby Name Book, by Bruce Lansky.

If you are awaiting a baby, you have to have at least one name book and this is one you should have to consult for its completeness. The book contains meanings, derivations and covers over 100 ethnic backgrounds. This is one to read with highlighter in hand, and be sure and dog ear the pages as well. This name book was updated in 2006 and Lansky is the top baby name book writer with over 11 million books sold.

3. The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America's Baby Experts, by William Sears M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N.

The Dr. Spock of their generation, the Sears family gives a wealth of advice and information from pregnancy to childbirth to caring your newborn. Heard of attachment parenting? This is the family who pioneered and popularized the concept. You won't be worried by obscure and unlikely issues, as these are only touched on briefly in an appendix. This is great for the anxious and hypochondriac among us. This book will be the definitive guide to pregnancy which sits on that parenting bookshelf.

4. A Child is Born, by Lennart Nilsson.

An international bestseller for nearly 4 decades, this book gives you the most up-close looks at the wonders of a baby developing from conception to birth. While it may not be packed with info for expectant parents, what it does offer is a profound insight into the everyday miracle of pregnancy and birth. Older soon-to-be siblings will love looking at "what the baby looks like now," pictures and the whole family will feel a closer bond and connection when you see and read about baby's current developments.

5. Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During and After Pregnancy, by the ADA (American Dietetic Association) and Elizabeth M. Ward.

Eating well is one of your primary duties as an expectant mother, and truth is, the job really begins even before you take a pregnancy test. This book focuses on just this aspect of pregnancy and gives you details on what foods you need, how to best prepare them and even supplies you with recipes. Breastfeeding mothers will appreciate the after pregnancy section which covers your unique nutritional needs as a nursing mother.

6. Mayo Clinic Guide to A Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who are Parents, Too! By pregnancy experts at the Mayo Clinic.

When you want medical advice and information, you can't go anywhere better than the Mayo Clinic so do you and your unborn child deserve any less? Here you'll find a 40 week pregnancy calendar, month by month guide to the changes in you, and a week by week guide to the unborn child's development. You'll get the straight scoop on everything from medical appointments, to weird symptoms to pregnancy complications from the top doctors in the country who know what it is to be a worried parent or parent-to-be.

7. Your Baby's First Year, by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

You won't be pregnant forever, no matter how you may feel now, and after pregnancy begins parenthood so don't fill your shelf with only books about what will last less than a year. Learn about what you're going to be doing for the rest of your life: parenting. This book is a parenting standard, covering everything you need to know about babies from how to bathe and feed them, to what that bump is, to when to get what immunizations. This is a book you will crack open again and again, and know that the advice in it is as solid as a can be.

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