The first trimester of pregnancy can be challenging for many women. In addition to the physical discomforts (nausea, vomiting, fatigue) many women are overwhelmed and even paralyzed by all of the competing information out there on the best ways to navigate pregnancy.

The gold standard for pregnancy reading has, for many years, been the What To Expect When You’re Expecting series. While these books are packed with sound advice, they’re also filled with recommendations that are outdated or have since been proven incorrect.

There are thousands upon thousands of books out there on all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, and I’ve distilled these down to my top five. This list is recommended if you are trying to conceive or in your first trimester.


Expecting Better 

Researcher Emily Oster provides the data on the most common pregnancy recommendations allowing each mom to make up her own mind. She covers things like alcohol consumption, common food avoidances and the differences between your OB and midwife.


Real Food For Pregnancy: The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition

Registered Dietician Lily Nichols dives into all of the outdated, and sometimes flat out wrong nutrition advice pregnant women are so often given. She provides the research to back up her claims, and provides a clear path to what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy. Nutrition has never been LESS confusing!


The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth

This book is on the top list of recommended books from doulas and midwives, and for good reason. Genevieve Howland not only dives into current research on navigating pregnancy, she also includes pregnancy stories from women of all backgrounds. This book is for the reader that likes to know exactly what’s happening in both baby development and body changes each week of pregnancy.


The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People

This one is purely for fun. When you’re lying on the couch suffering through nausea or fatigue, this fun, sarcastic activity book will have you laughing so hard you’ll forget about your discomforts (or at least be distracted from them for a while). Filled with coloring pages, quizzes and journal pages, this one is a must for the first trimester!


What To Expect When You’re Expecting

The most popular pregnancy book on the market. This book is continually updated and while some of the advice may be considered “old school”, it’s still filled with week-by-week descriptions of what’s happening with baby and your own changing body, tips for dads/partners, and guides for what to expect at your doctors visits. A great compliment to the other books on this list!