14 Best Books for New and Expecting Moms

14 Best Books for New and Expecting Moms

Learning doesn’t end when you walk across the graduation stage. Life is filled with lessons to learn and new knowledge and wisdom to acquire, and that becomes even more clear when you become a parent. As you move into this next phase of life — motherhood! — there’s no doubt you’ve got plenty of questions, concerns, and thoughts keeping you up at night.

Some of the answers you seek can only be discovered through experience. Others can be found in our handpicked list of books that were written with new and expecting mothers in mind. Take your pick and learn something new!

Crib Sheet — Emily Oster

Feeling confused by conventional parenting wisdom? Emily Oster says ignore it. This data-driven book shares some of the most common myths of parenting to help make better parenting decisions you can feel good about.

What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood — Alexandra Sacks and Catherine Birndorf

Pregnancy and new motherhood can take a toll on your mental health, and Drs. Sacks and Birndorf believe not enough attention is given to the brain during these critical months. This book reinforces the idea that mothers are “being born” at the same time as their little ones and offers tips and guidance to weather this perfect storm of emotions and what-ifs.

Bumpin’: The Modern Guide to Pregnancy: Navigating the Wild, Weird, and Wonderful Journey From Conception Through Birth and Beyond — Leslie Schrock

Made for the modern mom, this book explores the entire pregnancy journey and pulls back the curtain on some of the most confusing parts. It’s a mix of practical advice, science, and first-hand experience that can save expecting and postpartum moms some guesswork.

Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood—and Trusting Yourself and Your Body — Erica Chidi Cohen

Made with new moms and their partners in mind, this book focuses on inclusive pregnancies. Written by a doula that has supported hundreds of families, you’ll discover how to take a holistic approach to your pregnancy and the first few weeks post-partum.

The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby — Lauren Smith Brody

After a blissful maternity leave of bonding with your baby and nurturing a healing body, your first day of work postpartum comes too soon. What happens next, you wonder? This is what many moms call the Fifth Trimester, as you must now navigate life as a working mom. Get expert insights, advice, and brutal honesty to help you make the transition.

The Bottom Line for Baby: What the Science Says about Your Biggest Questions and Concerns — Tina Payne Bryson

From sleep training to first foods to finger sucking and more, good parents wonder what’s best for their baby. This book offers a science-first insight into some of the most common parenting questions, despite what “the experts” may say.

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five — John Medina

Babies learn so much in their first year of life. Their brains grow quickly and they’re constantly absorbing the world around them. You can use this period of growth to their advantage by helping them develop their brains and promote a healthy life of learning with the information shared in this book.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

Written by a group of obstetricians, take a deeper dive into your pregnancy month by month. Know what to expect at every trimester, track your baby’s growth, and explore everything from meal planning to medications use while pregnant.

Strong As a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy, and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenthood: The Only Guide to Taking Care of YOU! — Kate Rope

Mothers truly are superhumans when they’re growing, birthing, and raising a baby. This compassionate book covers a myriad of new mommy topics in depth to help you feel prepared for delivery day and the weeks ahead.

Why Did No One Tell Me This?: The Doulas’ (Honest) Guide for Expectant Parents — Natalia Hailes

There are a lot of things you probably already know about pregnancy and motherhood. But when you don’t know what you don’t know, how do you know the right questions to ask? This book helps to shed some light on the less-talked-about topics you didn’t know to ask about.

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know — Emily Oster

Another winner by Emily Oster (see the #1 spot on our list of best books for new and expecting moms), you’ve probably heard that sushi, wine, and deli meat are off the menu. But did your doctor ever tell you why? Don’t feel bad — many moms don’t know the why behind the rules of pregnancy. This book is changing that.

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting — Pamela Druckerman

Ever wonder what the new mommy journey looks like outside of the US? Get a glimpse into French parenting to see how it stacks up and learn some of the most underrated secrets of parenthood.

Designing Motherhood: Things That Make and Break Our Births — Amber Winick and Michelle Millar Fisher

Birthing and raising babies is a natural part of life, not something we associate with the word “design.” But from bras to forceps to bottles and more, the objects that surround pregnancy and motherhood lend to the experience as much as the process itself. This intriguing book explores the design of motherhood through the ages and offers an interesting perspective on how objects affect the relationship between mom and baby.

Like a Mother — Angela Garbes

One of the most heavily researched books on human reproduction, this book is a mainstay in pregnancy culture. Going beyond statistics and perfectly rehearsed quotes from your doctor, new moms can embark on a journey of self-education about pregnancy and the first days of motherhood.

Which of these best books for new and expecting moms are you most excited to read?

Nanit is dedicated to delivering high-quality, reliable content for our readers. Our Parent Confidently articles are crafted by experienced parenting contributors and are firmly rooted in data and research. To ensure the accuracy and relevance of the content, all articles undergo a rigorous review process by our team of parenting experts. Additionally, our wellness-related content receives further scrutiny from Nanit Lab, our think tank of scientists, engineers, physicians, academic experts, and thought leaders.

Our primary objective is to furnish readers with the most current, trustworthy, and actionable information concerning a host of parenting topics. We strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions by offering comprehensive and respected insights.

In pursuit of transparency and credibility, our articles incorporate credible third-party sources, peer-reviewed studies, and abstracts. These sources are directly linked within the text or provided at the bottom of the articles to grant readers easy access to the source material.


Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.