4 Pregnancy Books That Won’t Terrify You (+ 1 for Your Marriage)

As a writer and book-lover, I spend hours wandering the aisles of the used bookstore down my street, perusing Goodreads, and even scrolling Amazon, weighing what book belongs between my fingers next with the same scrutinising spirit I approach a showcase of flaky French macaroons. (FYI: The best one, no matter the bakery, is always pistachio. At the very least, save pistachio for last.) Meanwhile, strategic mass marketers have interrupted my organic book hunt, filling my laptop screen’s adspace with, “If you liked _____, then you must read_____!” But often the big-brother-robots don’t know me better than I know me, and I’m left with a stack of more misses than hits.

And if there’s ever an era of your life you’d like to avoid investing money and time on something that proves fruitless, it’s during pregnancy. There’s just too much to do. Too much to research. Too much to buy. Too much to plan. (Too much to already wear you down and piss you off.)

Ever the school girl type, during my first tri, I flew through What to Expect When You’re Expecting, The Healthy Pregnancy Book, and a random (spider-webby) prenatal medical textbook I found in a box in our basement. Soon after this read-a-thon, I grabbed lunch with some pals, and discovered that those pregnancy books (and ones like them) freak out A LOT of women. Also, admittedly, they’re dry, technical, and (dare I say) humourless.

In an effort to shed light on some less traditional, less earnest, less official pregnancy texts, I give you these great reads. Check ’em out, laugh, relate, then pass them along to a friend.

1. Up The Duff – Kaz Cooke

Up the Duff - Kaz Cooke

This book is an Aussie classic for good reason: it’s real, it’s informative and it’s bloody funny. The book was first written more than a decade ago, but was fully updated just last year. All you really need to know about the book is the way Kaz Cooke introduces the update: “‘Wait a minute,’ I hear you say, rather suspiciously, with narrowed eyes, pausing in your reach for another Tim Tam, ‘What’s wrong with the first edition? Did it tell women a baby was going to come out of their ear?'”

2. The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy – Vicki Iovine

The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy

Vicki Iovine, a prolific author, columnist, and mother of four, provides tribal and anecdotal wisdom from women of all different walks of life, with great candor and humour in the first book in her ‘girlfriends’ series.

3. Bumpology: The myth-busting pregnancy book for curious parents-to-be – Linda Geddes

Bumpology - Linda Geddes

Linda Geddes is a New Scientist writer, so when she became pregnant she wanted to know the facts. Enter this reassuring book that doesn’t patronise, confuse or make a mum-to-be feel even more hysterical than she already does.

4. The Complete Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach for Caring for Yourself and Your Children – Sarah Napthali

The Complete Buddhism for Mothers

Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a pregnancy book BUT it will be the best thing you’ll ever read to prepare yourself for motherhood. It’s so calming, so nurturing, so reassuring. You’ll read this and feel like you can do it! The pregnancy, the birth, the whole mothering thing. This book has been a bible for so may mothers, so you may as well start as you mean to go on!

Plus 1. Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More and Argue Less As Your Family Grows – Stacie Cockrell, Cathy O’Neill and Julia Stone

When you’re pregnant, sometimes it’s hard to remember that the focus shouldn’t be all about the baby. Because babies have a way of taking over the known world and making us forget the relationship that started the baby in the first place. Not a good idea, right? This book should be mandatory reading for all couples. Sure, it’s a bit stereotypical. Sure, you could read parts of it is Daddy-bashing, but read it anyway. It will be the best reminder you’ll ever get that a relationship reality check and triage will be necessary throughout your children’s lives.


Good ways to celebrate being pregnant:

Image: Getty