Recommended Readings for Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting and often overwhelming time full of change, anticipation, and for many – some pretty uncomfortable physical sensations. For anyone looking for emotionally attuned literature that is also grounded in research, check out the recommended readings below!

  • What no one tells you: a guide to your emotions from pregnancy to motherhood by Alexandra Sacks and Catherine Birndorf
  • Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy by Angela Garbes
  • Expecting Better by Emily Oster 
  • Final weeks before Birth: The Last Days of Pregnancy – A place of in between

“There is no right or wrong way to be pregnant, to become a mother, to make a family. There is only one way—your way, which will inevitably be filled with tears, mistakes, doubt, but also joy, relief, triumph, and love.” 

“Throughout pregnancy, I liked to lie in bed and imagine all the changes happening inside me: cells splitting, fingernails and eyelashes growing, veins spreading, brain and gray matter forming and folding.” 

“In pregnancy, developing babies are of the utmost importance, yes. But so are mothers. There are no babies without us. Without being allowed our autonomy–ownership of who we are, messiness, flaws, contradictions, and all–we can begin to fade into the background, a shadow to ourselves and our future children.”

“As a result, our culture has adopted the belief that sacrifice and suffering—in silence—are simply the costs of becoming a mother.” 

“What I didn’t know then was that due dates are bullshit. Or at least only a very rough idea of when you might give birth. According to the American Pregnancy Association, only about 5 percent of babies are actually born on their estimated due date.” 

“Eventually, our experiences—with pregnancy loss, labor, birth, and motherhood—will reinforce to us that there is little we actually control.”

-Angela Garbes, Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy

“…I’m not crazy about the implication that pregnant women are incapable of deciding for themselves- that you have to manipulate our belief so we do the right thing. That feels, again, like pregnant women are not given any more credit than children would be in making important decisions.” 

“But the world is oddly lacking in discussions of what happens, physically, to Mom after the baby arrives. Before the baby, you’re a vessel to be cherished and protected. After the baby, you’re a lactation-oriented baby accessory.” 

“So, yes, it makes sense to take parenting seriously, and to want to make the best choices for your kid and the best choices for you. But there will be many times that you need to just trust that if you’re doing your best, that’s all you can do. Being present and happy with your kids is more important than, say, worrying about bees. At the end, let’s raise a glass to using data where it’s useful, to making the right decisions for our families, to doing our best, and—sometimes—to just trying not to think about it.” 

-Emily OsterExpecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong – and What You Really Need to Know

“The last days of pregnancy – sometimes stretching to agonizing weeks – are a distinct place, time, event, stage. It is a time of in between. Neither here nor there. Your old self and your new self, balanced on the edge of a pregnancy. One foot in your old world, one foot in a new world.”

-Jana Studelska CPM/LM