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Pregnancy Books to Read...and to Skip

  • Soon after you find out you are expecting, you want to find out what's going on with your body, and the best way to do that is with a pregnancy book (or Parenting.com, of course). But when you visit Amazon, your local bookstore or your library, you soon realize the choices are endless! You certainly do not have time to read every pregnancy book on the shelves when you're getting the nursery ready and trying to squeeze in a few naps (growing a baby is tiring work!), so we have compiled a list of some must-have books for your pregnancy reading.

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  • Read It
    Hands down, the No. 1 book that our moms recommended was "Belly Laughs" by Jenny McCarthy (2003). Katie, veteran mom of four, says it was "hilarious and relieving to read that there [are] so many other pregnancy symptoms that are embarrassing for everyone." McCarthy covers everything from gas to morning sickness and sex to exhaustion with an honest, casual voice. It is a great book to buy yourself or for a friend who is expecting. Don't worry, McCarthy doesn't cover the autism or vaccination topics she has become known for, so you can give this gift without fear of controversy.

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  • Skip It
    A book that was panned by many moms that I spoke with was "The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy" by Vicki Lovine (various editions). I must admit that I picked this book up while I was trying to conceive and even gave it as a gift to a few moms. However, by the time that I actually got pregnant a few years later and dug out this book, I found that I didn't like it at all. The moms I spoke to had the same complaints as I did from the tone of the book to the outdated information. However, a new edition is out, which might contain updated information.

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  • Read It
    If you are looking to explore an unmedicated birth or a birth with few medical interventions, pick up "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin (2003). New mom Stephanie called it a "must-read for any pregnant woman, just to get familiar with your options." Gaskin is an extremely well respected midwife who is based in Tennessee. Her book provides information about labor, birth and your body during the process. She aims to arm you with information and help build your confidence as you get closer to meeting Baby.

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  • Skip It
    Believe it or not, the book that was most controversial among moms was "What To Expect When You Are Expecting" by Heidi Murkoff (various editions). While some moms loved this popular pregnancy "Bible," most moms that I talked to gave the book a thumbs-down. Moms thought the information in the book was too dumbed down or was too overwhelming with how much it covered. Perhaps, before you buy this book for your pregnancy reading list, head over to the local library and check it out. So if you don't like it, you aren't out any money and you can buy ice cream or a maternity top instead.

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  • Read It
    Are you looking for a good book for your partner to read to prepare him for becoming a daddy? Adam, dad of two, recommends "The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be" by Armin Brott and Jennifer Ash (various editions). Expect this book to cover many topics that new dads want, and need, to know before Baby arrives.

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