15 Best Pregnancy Books to Read Before the Due Date

I know from experience that many expectant mothers during pregnancy strive to prepare for birth and meet with their babies in a proper way. They want desperately to avoid possible mistakes not only during childbirth but also in taking care of them, in communication, in nurture.

They attend classes for pregnant women, address specialists, and, of course, read the literature on these issues. I will help you to choose the best pregnancy books, that you might have heard of from your friends or relatives, from your relatives, expecting the future offspring. The choice of these books may be not always successful. So today I want to share the best pregnancy books from my personal experience as a reader.

Over the years of practice and my maternity, I had to refer to the various print and electronic sources. Since then a solid list was formed, in my opinion, good, worthwhile literature on the issues of carrying a baby, giving birth, and parenting. Part of this list is intended for a wide audience. I hope you’ll find answers to your questions. Plus reading books on pregnancy is not only informative but also interesting!

Grantly Dick-Read. “Childbirth Without Fear”

Moms always fear the upcoming birth. Doctors often argue that childbirth is not possible without pain. Outstanding English physician Grantly Dick-Read proved that painless childbirth is not only physical training of the body but also the right psychological and emotional state of expectant mothers. How to get rid of unnecessary fears you’ll learn by reading his book.

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Glenn Doman. “Fit Baby, Smart Baby, Your Baby!: from Birth to Age Six”

Glenn Doman is a physical therapist and a pioneer in the field of child brain development. In 1955 he founded The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP), a non-profit organization providing teaching programs and books designed to improve and accelerate the mental and physical development of normal as well as brain-damaged children. Research has shown that for the first 6 years children learn three times more than for the rest of their lives. “And there is nothing strange, – said Glenn Doman, – children do what they like”.

Another Doman’s discovery is important too: the child’s brain from birth is programmed to be learned, and while there is an active growth (after three years it slows down significantly and stops after six), a child does not require any extra motivation for learning.

Reading this book for parents you’ll learn how to organize learning that any child will begin to learn everything with pleasure.

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Montessori. “Books for Parents”

“To nurture a child, you should know him, to know him you should watch him, to watch him you should give him freedom”

Maria Montessori created a teaching system that is close to the ideal situation when the child learns himself. The idea of the system is to encourage the child to realize his personality, to find their own way. The system consists of three parts: the child, the environment, the teacher. In the center of the whole system is a child. There is a special environment around him where he lives and studies on his own. Here the child improves his physical state, he forms the motor and sensory age-appropriate skills, acquires experience, learns to organize and compare different objects and phenomena. The teacher also monitors the child and helps him when it is needed. The basis of Montessori methodology is her motto: “Help me to do it myself.”

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Michel Odent. “Birth Reborn”

“Birth Reborn” is a fascinating book on pregnancy by a French obstetrician. Michel Odent has developed a special interest in environmental factors influencing the birth process. He introduced the concepts of home-like birthing rooms, birthing pools, and singing sessions for pregnant women. After his hospital career, he was involved in home birth, founded in London the Primal Health Research Centre, and designed a database in order to compile epidemiological studies exploring correlations between what happens during the “Primal period” and health later on.

This book for pregnant women is like a piece of art and is perceived as a collection of tips on what the birth should be, how to make this moment less stressful both for the woman and for the newborn.

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William and Martha Sears. “The Baby Book: Everything you Need to Know about your Child’s Health from Birth to age two”

The authors of this book are pediatricians plus parents of 8 children. The book contains a lot of useful tips, a diary, many specific examples about the different children, detailed guidance about feeding and walking with children, bathing and treatment, games, and activities. I would bravely call it one of the best pregnancy books.

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 William and Martha Sears. “Baby on the Way”

Birth is a thrilling event and test not only for you but for your baby. Mother’s and baby’s health depends on how the expectant mother will behave during birth. That’s why it is very important to prepare so childbirth will pass without complications.

This book may help you to prepare. William and Martha Sears are not only famous pediatricians in the USA but also parents of 8 children, thus they know everything about childbirth!

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William and Martha Sears. “The Baby Sleep Book”

You will learn where your child should sleep; whether you can leave him to cry; how to ensure that he slept the whole night; how to feed your baby to help him sleep well; what are the advantages of breastfeeding; what is paternal care of the baby; what to do if the child doesn’t want, etc. This book got into the list of the best pregnancy books because sleeping problems are essential.

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Winnicott D.W. “Talking to Parents”

Donald Woods Winnicott was a great English pediatrician and psychoanalyst (his ideas have influenced pediatrics, particularly B. Spock); he didn’t believe in tips and recommendations. Moreover, he considered them harmful, depriving parents of intuitive wisdom and confidence. Then what could he tell his parents?

It was intuitive wisdom that he talked about. With surprising frankness, warmth, and without sentimentality he told such things about which it is not accepted to speak. For example, the moments when you don’t love your child, and he doesn’t love you. This book is about children’s jealousy. It is about the ambition to be a perfect mother and why a child needs an ordinary, imperfect one.

This book is almost frightening but at the same time, it is attractive. It supports and encourages, not instilling false hopes that “someone knows better.” It is absolutely necessary to read by professionals, teachers, psychologists. But for real it is still addressed to those who D.W. Winnicott knew and understood, for the sake of those he worked long, long years: those who have and will have children.

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Winnicott D.W. “Babies and their Mothers”

This book is extremely important for parents because it helps to avoid groundless anxiety and gives confidence. It describes and analyzes many of the things that bother young mothers and they have no one to talk to. For example, the feeling of complete preoccupation with a baby bordering with the vanishing of the self, depression, and anger, the fear of being a “bad mother”, strange behavior of the child. In general, motherhood is as it is without embellishment.

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Winnicott D.W. “Family and Individual Development”

This book is addressed to those who care about the developing process of a child from birth to juvenile age.

D.W. Winnicott introduced the term “a good-enough mother” who has the primary sense of motherhood, so that her child feels love and security, and develops fully.

But there are children that are not so lucky, they have a “sad childhood” because of bad emotional bonds with the mother. Such children develop like the other children but they have psychological trauma. The author also paid attention to the nurture of the child in unhappy families, adopted children, twins, and the only child in the family. A specific type of communication and nurture should be chosen for each of them.

How to avoid mistakes in the nurture of a child; you’ll find answers in this wonderful book.
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Alice Miller. “The Drama of the Gifted Child: the Search for the true Self”

The book of Alice Miller has dedicated not too gifted children and their parents in the traditional sense of the word “gifted”, it is addressed to all the children and all the parents. All the children without exception are gifted from birth and have many talents and abilities, and perhaps the most important of them is the ability to live, to experience life, and to act.

The drama of a gifted child is that his behavior, his feelings, and his life itself can be (as a rule) instruments in hands of his parents. The child’s life becomes only “life for” When he becomes more and more well-bred, he loses his talent exchanging it for “love”, “recognition”, “praise”, “care”, “attention”, etc. However, he loses his life, his experiences, his actions, and finally, he loses himself.

To change the world is sufficient to change people’s ideas about this world. The author deprives us of illusions about childhood and gives us the opportunity to face the reality of our own lives, so you choose: live your life or continue alienated existence “life for …”. The choice of a genuine life is impossible without returning to childhood with the help of psychotherapists. The main purpose of returning is the experience and awareness of the feelings which had been banned some time.

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John Bowlby. “The Making and Breaking of Affectional Bonds”

The main author’s theme is why separation from the mother during infancy and early childhood is experienced by the child as acute grief and why the consequences of separation affect the mental and physical well-being throughout later life?

The author tries to convince the reader in this book that the concepts and approaches developed in the study of animal behavior clarify a lot and they can be the foundation for the action of child psychologists.

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Michel Odent. “The Caesarean”

The author examines in detail the history of the cesarean, analyzes the changes that have occurred over the last fifty years in the practice of obstetrics. Nowadays society believes that such operations are safe: today many children are born so around the world. The author dispels the myth that birth by cesarean section does not affect the mental and physical health of the child in the future. The prospects of human civilization development are analyzed if we accept it completely.

The book will help you to make a choice whether you are for or against the cesarean.

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Depak Chopra. “Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives”

This book is addressed to expectant mothers and fathers and to everyone who wants to have and bring up a baby. This one is also one of the best pregnancy books of the age.

The book is very practical despite its inspiration and elevation. The author’s ideas, techniques, and exercises will help expectant mothers to listen to the wisdom of the body. You’ll develop the skills of avoiding stress, balancing the nutrition, strengthening muscles, increasing flexibility and elasticity of your tissues; as the result, you’ll prepare for childbirth.

Guided by the principles of this book you’ll learn a lot about yourself and your body.

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Janusz Korczak. “Loving Every Child: Wisdom for Parents”

Janusz Korczak – is a legendary child’s advocate and devoted fighter for the rights of children. Belonging to the time, when bringing children up was moved by totally different ideals, the doctor and psychologist, Janusz Korczak, managed to persuade millions of people in the necessity of an almost scientific approach to raising children. Observations help to understand the nature of a child’s psychology and build up the line of your behavior according to the demands of the developing personality. The editor, Sarah Joseph, has seized the profound insights of the author and presented them in a great read, which would help you see your baby as a ‘foreigner who does not speak our language…ignorant of our laws and customs…Treat his ignorance with respect.

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It’s hard to tell if those are really the best pregnancy books, but any list of the kind is actually personal. I wish you find your best pregnancy books and read them with enthusiasm.