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Books To Keep You Sane While Pregnant

My bestie Barbara King‘s latest guest blog on motherhood features the best books to read while pregnant… Let’s be honest, I will read all of them NOW (even though I’m nowhere close to being pregnant) because I am an anxious person who wants to be prepared for EVERYTHING well in advance. Thank you for giving me some reading material aside from the pile of Us Weekly’s I’ve been hoarding, Barbara!

Long before I was ever pregnant I asked a relative what her favorite book on parenting was. Her response: The Bible.

Although I believe that was best for her, it’s not really what I had in mind. But, I did read many other books from the time I got pregnant until now, some of which I LOVED and want to pass on to anyone and everyone. I do think that you learn to be a parent from parenting, not from reading, but these books can only help!

Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care

By Benjamin Spock

It’s a classic. I pulled the original edition from the shelf of my grandparents’ house when I was still in high school. I loved thumbing through the tattered pages and reading up on the “old fashioned” advice about babies. Fast forward to now and I’ve realized that Dr. Spock’s timeless book isn’t just old fashioned – it’s straightforward, honest, and not at all “trendy.” The simple and real approach to parenting is refreshing and I can’t recommend it more highly.

I’m Pregnant!

By Lesley Regan, MD

This is a great alternative to the classic and widely popular book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  I loved the large color photographs in I’m Pregnant and appreciated the gentle approach to all the stages of pregnancy. Unlike some pregnancy books that end up scaring soon-to-be moms with frightening possible diagnosis or complicated descriptions and diagrams, I found myself excitedly referencing this book often throughout my pregnancy and the few weeks right after.

The Happiest Baby on the Block 

By Harvey Karp, M.D.

This is a must-read, and there are some “techniques” in this book that my husband and I followed faithfully from day one. Just a few days ago my family was on an overnight flight and there was a young couple right behind us rocking and loudly shushing their crying baby. The mom made eye contact with us and we all whispered “Happiest Baby on the Block.”  Major bonus: There is a DVD as well!

Bump it Up

By Amy Tara Koch

The cover of this book features a fashion sketch of a tall, skinny, and very pregnant woman wearing a sleek black dress, high heels, and looking more classy and cool than I ever did when I was pregnant. Even so, I loved looking at the sketches in this pregnancy style book and attempting to recreate some of the looks. Although it was mostly just for fun, I did end up getting some really helpful style tips that hopefully kept me from looking like a total blob throughout those 9+ months.

Let’s Panic About Babies!

By Alice Bradley and Eden M. Kennedy

This is truly the funniest book out there about pregnancy, labor, and babies. It’s a satire that will make any pregnant woman laugh so hard she pees. It includes witty drawings and diagrams and humorous sections like “Dante’s Nine Stages of Labor”; “What if my baby isn’t smart, cute, strong, or funny?”; and “Can I just have the epidural now?” Seriously funny.

Your Self-Confident Baby

By Magda Gerber and Allison Johnson

I absolutely love the RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) approach to parenting. If you haven’t heard of RIE, it’s a beautiful and respectful guide to parenting, encouraging parents to trust themselves and their children. I am lucky enough to live in L.A. where they offer RIE infant classes but for those who don’t live here, this book is a great introduction. It addresses the most important aspects of caring for babies (like “Crying is your child’s language” and “uninterrupted play,” in a very readable, simple manner. If you can’t get enough of RIE, you can also check out:

Elevating Child Care by Janet Lansbury


Baby Knows Best by Deborah Carlisle Solomon

(My daughter’s photograph is featured in this book!)

Books To Keep You Sane While Pregnant

{ My daughter enjoying some RIE uninterrupted playtime outside. }

Bringing Up Bébé

By Pamela Druckerman

Yes, I admit I am a total Francophile, but you don’t have to be one to love this book. It’s written in a very easy-to-read novel-like fashion and basically compares the American method of parenting to the French…and the French approach wins every time.  Although one of my favorite chapters about the amazing French crèche (daycare,) led me to send my kids to French school, the book also delves into basic French behavior and how that affects parenting in some very interesting ways.

The Whole Brain Child

By Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Full disclosure: I haven’t read this book yet, but almost every single mom I questioned about parenting books recommended this one to me. Have you read it?  What do you think?

Any other book suggestions?

Barbara King-Wilson is an actress and writer living with her family in Los Angeles. Follow her @TheBarbaraKing and visit her at!

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