Reviewing the Top 35 Best-Selling Pregnancy Books

The Best Selling Pregnancy Books

The 35 Best-Selling Pregnancy Books
It’s too much to read all of the top, best-selling pregnancy books! Use the reviews to choose one that’s right for you.

The top 35 best selling pregnancy books may be popular, but they’re not all good. I know this because I read a lot of pregnancy literature, both consumer-oriented books and journals and books written for maternity care providers. Reading popular pregnancy books from my informed perspective reveals a good deal about how new parents are sometimes falsely informed by what they read. Best selling pregnancy books contain both opinion and fact, and are written in ways that mask the difference. Some books offer very meaningful preparation guidance while others choose trivial or ineffective content. I can help you sort the good from the bad as well as figure out which books meet your particular needs.

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Some books on the Top 35 Best-Selling Pregnancy Book list do share wisdom that really will help you understand how to work with your body during birth. There is significant material addressing shifting roles, personal growth, relationships, the purpose and importance of parenting, and the needs of babies in some of the books. Unfortunately, the majority fall short. In order to help you find the books that are worth your time I wrote an article about what to read when you are pregnant. It introduces you to the topics that may be useful, helping you expand your thinking about what preparation entails and clarify what topics you really would most benefit from.

My reviews below of each of the top 35 best-selling pregnancy books utilize a rating system that will help you match these topics to books that address them well. The stars I’ve assigned to each book should help you know what that book focuses on and if it does a good job of presenting evidenced-based, empowering information. Reading my full review will give you an overview of the book’s content and a bit of my commentary on its accuracy and how to best use it.

How I Rated the Top 35 Best-Selling Pregnancy Books

Empowered5

When evaluating the top pregnancy books, this is my most important rating. Being empowered means: “to become stronger and more confident, especially in controlling your life and claiming your rights.” I also think of it in terms of practical skills – to become capable. I became capable of being a wonderful, effective birth attendant. I became capable of understanding my baby. This is what I believe most pregnancy books geared towards new families should do – teach you skills that will enable you to proactively optimize your own holistic health and promote optimal growth and development for your baby.

What I discovered while reviewing the top 35 best-selling pregnancy books was that they did an excellent job of pacifying the desire to be informed without truly educating. Many of the “best” pregnancy books are absolutely packed with information, but the type of information is just that – info. It’s not practically related to the work of parenting or birthing. Word choice and the emotional setting of the information were often patronizing. Anything that would remind a woman (or a man) of their inner strength or their real support-system in the world was often totally missing.

The result is an “education” that doesn’t build any real capacities, skills, or vision, and the reader is as equally dependent on doctors to direct their birthing and parenting as they were before they began the book. This model is not working. My blog post, United States Birth Outcomes, explains why. Luckily, there was a top pregnancy book now and then, those I truly to consider the best pregnancy books, that broke through like a shining light and offered a wealth of applicable counsel. Those will be found easily by looking for five stars for “Empowered.”

Healthier, Happier, or Prepared for Birth5

These stars help you see, at a glance, on what topic the book is really focused. Some of the top 35 best-selling pregnancy books are really focused on health, promoting information such as nutrition, exercise, or positive birth outcomes. These rank high in the healthier category. Others are written for entertainment, sharing common human experience, or emphasizing self-care and emotional health. These books have stars in the “happier” category. And finally, some best-selling pregnancy books focus on pregnancy, while others focus on labor and birth. If a book contains good, effective advice on labor and birth, it will have many stars in the prepared for birth ranking. Some of the top pregnancy books address all three topics, while others really are written specifically for one type of information or another. A lack of stars in two areas, with a third area really shining, doesn’t signify a weak book, but rather a good pregnancy book with a strong focus.

The Top 35 Best-Selling Pregnancy Books

  1. 1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting (4th Edition)

    By Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel - Published April 10, 2008
    What to Expect When You’re Expecting (4th Edition)

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 0
    Healthier 5
    Happier 2
    Prepared for Birth 1
  2. 2. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!

    By The pregnancy experts at Mayo Clinic - Published May 1, 2011
    Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 3.5
    Healthier 5
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 3
  3. 3. The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly

    By Amy Krouse Rosenthal - Published March 7, 2006
    The Belly Book

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 1
    Healthier 1
    Happier 1
    Prepared for Birth 0
  4. 4. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

    By Ina May Gaskin - Published March 4, 2003
    Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 5
    Happier 5
    Prepared for Birth 5
  5. 5. The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be (3rd Edition)

    By Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash - Published September 14, 2010
    The Expectant Father

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 5
    Happier 5
    Prepared for Birth 5
  6. 6. What to Expect: Eating Well When You’re Expecting

    By Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel - Published May 2, 2005
    What to Expect: Eating Well When You’re Expecting

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 2
    Healthier 5
    Happier 2
    Prepared for Birth 2
  7. 7. Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months

    By John Pfeiffer - Published April 18, 2011
    Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 1
    Healthier 0
    Happier 2
    Prepared for Birth 1
  8. 8. The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions (4th Edition)

    By Penny Simpkin - Published October 1, 2013
    The Birth Partner

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 4
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 5
  9. 9. What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding: Reassuring Month-by-Month Guide for the Father-to-Be, Whether He Wants Advice or Not (3rd Edition)

    By Thomas Hill - Published May 1, 2012
    What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 3
    Healthier 1
    Happier 5
    Prepared for Birth 3
  10. 10. HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: The breakthrough approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing (3rd Edition)

    By Marie F. Mongan - Published May 24, 2005
    HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 5
    Happier 4
    Prepared for Birth 3
  11. 11. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide (4th Edition)

    By Penny Simkin, April Bolding, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham, Janet Whalley - Published July 27, 2010
    Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 5
    Happier 4
    Prepared for Birth 5
  12. 12. The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy

    By Vicki Iovine - Published January 9, 2007
    The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 1
    Healthier 4
    Happier 5
    Prepared for Birth 1
  13. 13. Belly Laughs, 10th anniversary edition: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth

    By Jenny McCarthy - Published January 7, 2014
    Belly Laughs, 10th anniversary edition

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 0
    Healthier 0
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 0
  14. 14. Birthing From Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation

    By Pam England, Rob Horowitz - Published July 1, 1998
    Birthing From Within

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 3
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 4
  15. 15. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition

    By Susan McCutcheon - Published July 1, 1996
    Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 4
    Healthier 5
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 4
  16. 16. The Pregnancy Countdown Book: Nine Months of Practical Tips, Useful Advice, and Uncensored Truths

    By Susan Magee, Kara Nakisbendi M.D. - Published April 3, 2012
    The Pregnancy Countdown Book

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 0
    Healthier 1
    Happier 2
    Prepared for Birth 1
  17. 17. Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies

    By Stephanie Fritz - Published May 24, 2012
    Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 2
    Healthier 3
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 2
  18. 18. The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care

    By Sally Fallon Morell, Thomas S. Cowan - Published March 16, 2013
    The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 3
    Healthier 3
    Happier 1
    Prepared for Birth 2
  19. 19. From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy

    By Chris Pegula, Frank Meyer - Published May 26, 2014
    From Dude to Dad

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 2
    Healthier 3
    Happier 5
    Prepared for Birth 2
  20. 20. Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth (5th Edition)

    By Robert A. Bradley, Marjie Hathaway, Jay Hathaway, James Hathaway - Published May 20, 2008
    Husband-Coached Childbirth

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 4
    Healthier 5
    Happier 4
    Prepared for Birth 4
  21. 21. The Pregnancy Journal: A Day-to-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy

    By A. Christine Harris - Published September 30, 2009
    The Pregnancy Journal

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 0
    Healthier 1
    Happier 2
    Prepared for Birth 0
  22. 22. The Baby Bump: 100s of secrets to surviving those 9 long months

    By Carley Roney & the editors of thebump.com - Published September 8, 2010
    The Baby Bump

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 1
    Healthier 2
    Happier 2
    Prepared for Birth 2
  23. 23. The What to Expect Pregnancy Journal & Organizer

    By Heidi Murkoff , Sharon Mazel - Published January 18, 2007
    The What to Expect Pregnancy Journal & Organizer

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 2
    Healthier 2
    Happier 1
    Prepared for Birth 1
  24. 24. The Healthy Pregnancy Book: Month by Month, Everything You Need to Know from America's Baby Experts

    By William Sears, Martha Sears, Linda Holt, BJ Snell - Published September 24, 2013
    The Healthy Pregnancy Book

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 5
    Happier 4
    Prepared for Birth 4
  25. 25. Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be

    By Natalie Bovis-Nelsen - Published January 13, 2009
    Preggatinis

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 0
    Healthier 2
    Happier 4
    Prepared for Birth 0
  26. 26. Your Pregnancy Week by Week (7th Edition)

    By Glade B. Curtis, Judith Schuler - Published December 13, 2011
    Your Pregnancy Week by Week (7th Edition)

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 0
    Healthier 4
    Happier 0
    Prepared for Birth 0
  27. 27. Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth

    By Grantly Dick-Read - Published May 16, 2013
    Childbirth Without Fear

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 3
    Healthier 3
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 3
  28. 28. Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally

    By Janet Balaskas - Published March 16, 1992
    Active Birth

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 4
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 5
  29. 29. Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong - and What You Really Need to Know

    By Emily Oster - Published Aug 20, 2013
    Expecting Better

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 3.5
    Healthier 2
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 1
  30. 30. Spiritual Midwifery (4th Edition)

    By Ina May Gaskin - Published April 1, 2002
    Spiritual Midwifery (4th Edition)

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 4
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 5
  31. 31. From Pea to Pumpkin: A Pregnancy Journal

    By Geralyn Broder Murray - Published March 5, 2013
    From Pea to Pumpkin

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 0
    Healthier 2
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 2
  32. 32. The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth (3rd Edition)

    By Marshall H. Klaus, John H. Kennell, Phyllis H. Klaus - Published April 3, 2012
    The Doula Book

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 4
    Healthier 3
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 3
  33. 33. Supernatural Childbirth: Experiencing the Promises of God Concerning Conception and Delivery

    By Jackie Mize - Published July 1, 1993
    Supernatural Childbirth

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered N/A
    Healthier N/A
    Happier N/A
    Prepared for Birth N/A
  34. 34. The Pregnant Body Book

    By DK Publishing - Published May 30, 2011
    The Pregnant Body Book

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 1
    Healthier 1
    Happier 3
    Prepared for Birth 1
  35. 35. Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds

    By Cynthia Gabriel - Published March 17, 2011
    Natural Hospital Birth

    Reading this pregnancy book will help you be:

    Empowered 5
    Healthier 3
    Happier 4
    Prepared for Birth 4

That’s a lot of books! If you’ve made it this far, you are truly dedicated!

There are some solid, all-around picks among the top 35 best-selling pregnancy books of 2015, and many that address specific issues or attempt to lighten your mood. Choose some that feel right for you.

May your pregnancy and birth be filled with blessings!

Book Order

The Top 35 Best-Selling Pregnancy Books list is ordered by the popularity of the books. The popularity is measured by sales volume of each title (combining digital and print editions). The books selling in highest volume will be at the top of the list.

Because the relative popularity of books shifts through time, this list is a work in progress. Our goal is to keep it updated as much as possible as new pregnancy books are released and others become outdated and less popular. The freshness of the Best-Selling Pregnancy Book list is evident by the date it was last updated at the top.

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