Although multiple best-selling books are available for pregnant women, it can be difficult to find a book that specifically deals with nutrition during pregnancy.
As a new mom or expectant mom, you might want to know how to stay healthy for your child’s wellbeing and learn about fetal development and maternal nutrition. The book you choose must be written by a credible and trustworthy author who can provide expert commentary on the subject. If not, expectant mothers may end up with false or outdated information that can cause more harm than good.
Megan Imhoff, writer, mom, and founder of Ish Mom, says, “Pregnancy nutrition is not only important for developing fetuses, but it also helps train mothers for what will hopefully become a life-long habit of using food as medicine for both themselves and their families.”
We’ve reviewed several tried-and-trusted pregnancy nutrition books that provide you with all the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy. Read on to know more.
Why Is Pregnancy Nutrition So Important?
- A nutritious diet during pregnancy ensures that you are getting the required nutrients at the right time.
- A nutritious diet helps your baby have a healthy birth weight, good physical and brain development, and lower risk of birth defects.
- If your folate levels fall, it can lead to your pregnancy naturally terminating, so nutrition must be taken seriously.
- A balanced diet during pregnancy greatly reduces the chances of morning sickness, anemia, and fatigue.
- A healthy pregnancy diet plan along with a proper eating schedule can reduce the chances of indigestion and acid reflux.
- Pregnancy requires special nutrition needs such as more iron, calcium, proteins, folic acid, and vitamin D to avoid hazards like certain birth defects and preeclampsia. In addition, hydration during pregnancy is extremely important as water requirements increase.
- Managing pregnancy weight and staying within the weight gain limit of 25 to 35 pounds is important.
- It helps monitor calorie intake. Pregnant women don’t really require extra calories in the 1st trimester. Pregnant women need about 340 extra calories per day in the 2nd, and about 450 calories extra per day in the 3rd trimester.
- Pregnancy diet books make readers aware of foods to be avoided during pregnancy such as alcohol, fish that have high mercury content, too much caffeine, unpasteurized milk, and refrigerated meat spreads, store-made egg, or tuna salads.
10 Best Pregnancy Nutrition Books In 2024
1. Best Researched: Real Food For Pregnancy – Lily Nichols
A lot of tips about the food that should or shouldn’t be eaten during pregnancy may lack evidence-based and scientific authority. This expert-approved book clearly describes what to eat and why, backed by research and evidence. The author, Lily Nichols, after much research, came to the conclusion that huge gaps exist between the prenatal nutrition of the present and what is required for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Considered one of the best books for pregnancy, it’s extremely comprehensive with suitable references that will provide food choices to get women through pregnancy in the best of health. If you are still unsure, check out this book assessment video.
2. Best For Standard Nutrition: The Whole 9 Months: A Week-By-Week Pregnancy Nutrition Guide – Jennifer Lang
Written by Jennifer Lang MD and Dana Angelo MS RD with a foreword by Jessica Alba, this book describes what should be eaten and avoided in pregnancy.. This prenatal book sets the standard in pregnancy nutrition. There’s also a weekly breakdown and critical evaluation of the milestones of a baby’s growth with accompanying maternal changes. This popular pregnancy book features a shopping guide for organic food to avoid pesticides and harmful hormones. If you are following a vegetarian pregnancy diet, this book will take you through 100+ vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free recipes for your nourishment. All that’s rounded off with tips and expert advice to manage cravings, nausea, and other pregnancy symptoms through food.
3. Best For Healthy Pregnancy: The Feel-Good Pregnancy Cookbook – Ryann Kipping
This book offers simple, delicious, and nutritious recipes for an extremely healthy pregnancy with all the nutrients required by babies and their mothers. This book provides a variety of balanced and tasty meals to help expectant mothers meet all the dietary requirements. It also has nutrient-rich diet recipes to reduce nausea and facilitate postpartum recovery. This is one of the must-read pregnancy books as it encourages healthy eating during pregnancy and helps readers make sensible choices for both baby and mother. The book also provides an in-depth examination of pregnancy milestones and bodily changes to help you track the development of the baby in each trimester. Readers will discover wholesome food in different eating styles. Expectant mothers will love trying 100 easy recipes that help promote lactation and relieve nausea and cramps.
4. Best On Supporting Brain Development: Brain Health From Birth – Rebecca Fett
A lot of us realize rather late that we are doing things all wrong when it comes to nurturing and enhancing children’s brain development. Research shows that the most crucial time for supporting brain development starts during pregnancy and continues into early infancy. That’s when even the smallest thing, and especially nutrition, can have a huge impact on your child’s learning abilities, IQ, attention span, and memory. Conditions like ADHD, autism, and delay in speaking often have their roots in the early developmental stages. This book guides you on supporting the brain development of your baby when it’s most important. It contains some of the latest research which the author has converted into practical, simple advice based on scientific evidence along with advice from obstetricians and pediatricians. It will familiarize you with all that should be done during pregnancy and the first year, so that your baby can thrive intellectually.
5. Best For Baby’s Development: What To Eat When You’re Pregnant – Nicole M Avena, PhD
This 240-page pregnancy nutrition book features 50 recipes and guides you on what should be eaten and avoided for baby’s development and maternal health through each stage of pregnancy and nursing. Studies suggest that diet in pregnancy can have a permanent effect on baby’s behavior and brain development. The author has taken input from the fields of nutrition, medicine, and psychology to help readers understand what should and should not be ingested by pregnant women and how food impacts having a happy and healthy baby.
6. Best Comprehensive: Eating For Pregnancy: Your Essential Month-By-Month Nutrition Guide And Cookbook – Catherine Jones
This comprehensive pregnancy nutrition book by Catherine Jones and Rose Ann Hudson gives month-by-month guidance on baby’s development and maternal health. It includes 25 new recipes apart from the 150 classic recipes, and has a very practical outlook as it runs mothers-to-be through the steps they need to follow to eat right. It does an in-depth examination of the nutrients that mothers need every month of pregnancy, preconception, and postpartum. The new edition of this comprehensive book is updated with easy-to-make dishes, including vegan, vegetarian, low-carb meals, dining-out options, recipe variations, and gluten-free options. It also contains the most recent information on sources of nutrients, supplements, and high-risk pregnancies, as well as info for mothers with gestational diabetes or diabetes.
7. Best For Stress-Free Pregnancy: Mindful Pregnancy – Tracy Donegan
For a stress-free and natural pregnancy, it’s vital to have a positive outlook. This prenatal book guides readers through various phases of pregnancy, trimester by trimester. It teaches various techniques of nutrition, meditation, safe yoga, natural remedies, and hypnobirthing. It has food recommendations and natural remedies to reduce morning sickness and teaches how to relieve aches and pains with exercise, get relaxation through meditation, and keep the body and mind healthy for childbirth through nutrition and strengthening exercises. Expectant parents will empower themselves with the knowledge of how to nurture a healthy and happy baby with this informative guide to pregnancy nutrition.
8. Best For Knowing Household Hazards: The Healthy Pregnancy Book – William Sears, MD And Martha Sears, RN
Written by William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN, this prenatal book is a comprehensive guide that takes mothers through all the steps of having a trouble-free pregnancy and healthy baby. It takes expectant mothers and fathers through the various stages of pregnancy to enhance the health of the baby and mother. It lists simple ways to ensure babies are healthier and smarter, informs how the baby is developing, and maternal physical and emotional changes. A list of superfoods for pregnancy and information about prenatal exercises, childbirth options, genetic counseling, and apprehensions about technologies used and tests conducted can all be found in this book. It also advises on how to recognize household hazards and protect the womb environment, working while pregnant, childbirth classes, and choosing appropriate healthcare providers.
9. Best Prenatal: The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book – Reed Mangels
A thousand questions go through a mother’s mind when it comes to pregnancy and nutrition. Is there enough protein, is the baby getting enough nutrients, and are mothers doing the right thing if they want to continue with a vegan lifestyle during pregnancy? This pregnancy nutrition book is written with vegans in mind and the good news is that you can have an extremely healthy baby maintaining a vegan lifestyle. It guides you through all the phases from conception to birth and gives all the information needed on the foods that should be eaten and avoided so that fetuses get required nutrients. It also describes how to deal with the disapproval of well-meaning people, have a hospital birth that’s vegan-friendly, and set up a vegan nursery. It features 150 nutritious recipes for the family and is a great resource for parents who want to maintain their vegan lifestyle and still do what’s best for their baby.
10. Best Guide For Herbal Supplements: The Natural Pregnancy Book – Aviva Jill Romm
This 304-page book is a powerhouse of information on nutrition during pregnancy, nurturing exercises, rituals, and herbs. It also features information on natural childbirth and alternative childbirth methods. It contains simple nutritional plans as well as tools for stretching. Parents get to know what’s most important when it comes to nutrition and what can be done without. If you are looking for a pregnancy nutrition book to guide you in herbal supplements for fatigue, nausea, colds, the flu, and for a practical guide as far as simple nutrition plans go, this is it.
How To Choose The Best Pregnancy Nutrition Books?
Keep these factors in mind when choosing a pregnancy diet book for yourself so that you get authentic and reliable information and derive the most benefit from it.
- Reliable information: Whichever type of pregnancy book you decide to buy, you must ensure that its information is based on scientific facts, reliable medical information, and sources that are reputable. The best pregnancy diet books don’t necessarily have to be written by a doctor, but you must check out the reliability of the author. It’s not a bad idea to research their credentials and check if they are known in the field of nutrition or pregnancy. Information on the internet can be rather sketchy at times, so it’s advisable to keep your doctor in the loop.
- Tailored to your needs: Every pregnancy is different and a lot of our lifestyle choices differ too. Your pregnancy nutrition book should cater to your preferences and lifestyle. So if you are a vegetarian, vegan, expecting twins, or have any particular preference, make sure the book is tailored to that.
- Culture: We all come from different cultures and backgrounds where a lot of advice is meted out to the expectant mother. Not all of that advice can be discounted as old wives tales and may have a very solid basis without being scientifically recognized. There are a lot of pregnancy nutrition books that keep this in mind and tell parents how to incorporate traditional ideas with practical advice based on scientific research. It’s always better to do a bit of research and find a book that gives credence to both.
Why Trust MomJunction?
To understand the needs and requirements of people regarding pregnancy health, our writer and reviewer of books, has scoured numerous trusted websites to give you well-researched information. This list of the best pregnancy nutrition books has been curated after a rigorous assessment of numerous reviews, testimonials, and features. Besides, Wedetso has added a brief description of each book for your convenience and a buying guide to help you pick the right one for yourself.
Nutrition is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. Getting your hands on the best pregnancy nutrition books written by experts in pregnancy nutrition can be immensely helpful in planning everyday meals in a way that you get adequate nutrients. The books listed here eliminate the need to browse the Internet, review different sources, or check for videos. It includes the Feel-Good Pregnancy Cookbook, which offers delicious recipes that reduce nausea, and the Brain Health From Birth, which focuses on supporting the little one’s brain development during pregnancy and early infancy. Opt for a book with recipes of your preference that suit your lifestyle, whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or eggetarian. You will also readily find culture-specific and cuisine-specific books. Once you have access to a nutrition book that is reliable and tailored to your needs, you can depend on it during your pregnancy period.
Infographic: What To Look For In A Pregnancy Nutrition Book?
Eating nutritious food during pregnancy is essential to ensure your and your baby’s good health. However, finding the right pregnancy nutrition book that meets your requirements may be challenging. So, check out the infographic below to know the factors to consider when choosing a suitable book.
- Eating During Pregnancy
- Giorgia Sebastiani et al.; (2019); The Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diet during Pregnancy on the Health of Mothers and Offspring