The #1 Best Book to Read While Pregnant

husband and pregnant wife reading a book in an article on the best books to read while pregnant

Books to Read While Pregnant for the Baby

Determining which books to read while pregnant can feel overwhelming.

Everyone has an opinion and the choices are endless.

I have two children ages 5 and 3 as I write this. And during my pregnancies with both of them, I read a lot of books. But my most favorite parenting book is one I just finished on Audible.

I think it might compete with my list of The Top 10 Best Parenting Books. It is one a preschool mom recommended to me, and I wish I would have known about it sooner.

The book provides advice from the start of pregnancy all the way through childhood and beyond. It is a book I know I will be referring to for guidance over and over as my children grow.

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The Best Book to Read While Pregnant

cover of the best book to read while pregnant

Pregnancy is an incredible journey filled with excitement, anticipation, and sometimes a bit of anxiety. As you prepare for the arrival of your little one, there are countless books you can read on pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

But there is one that stands out as a must-read for parents-to-be, and that book is The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (And Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) by Phillipa Perry.

It is a valuable resource on how to have the best possible relationship with the people who matter to you most, making it one of the greatest books to read while pregnant.

8 Reasons to Read The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

1. It offers a holistic approach to parenting.

husband, wife, and child walking outdoors

Unlike many parenting books that focus narrowly on specific stages or issues, Perry takes a holistic approach.

She covers a wide range of topics, from handling tantrums to dealing with teenage rebellion, all while emphasizing the importance of empathy, understanding, and connection.

She provides a comprehensive perspective, making the book a valuable resource throughout your parenting journey.

It is because of this that I know I will be referring to this book during the many different chapters in my own life as a parent.

2. It emphasizes the importance of focusing on YOUR emotional well-being and mindset.

mom with daughter and son smiling

This is my most favorite message in the whole book. How you feel from the start–with your baby in the womb–tells a story to your baby of what they will find once he/she is born.

If you enjoy yourself during pregnancy, the story is one that your baby and you will want to continue after birth. Your mood affects your child.

And with all the information out there from doctors and science telling us what to do and what not to do in order to have an optimal pregnancy, we often experience a lot of fear and worry.

We tend to think of all the things that can go wrong, especially when we hear other women’s labor stories. Focusing on the negative is not the most productive route for you and your child.

Perry discusses the importance of looking in the direction you want to head and focusing on all the things that can go right.

The habit of optimism is important to building a strong, healthy, lifelong relationship with your child. I LOVE this message.

3. The book reminds us we are creating a child to love, not a work of art.

mom and dad with son in an article on the best books to read while pregnant

If you are pregnant as you read this, the above statement might sound silly. But, as a mom of a 5 year old and a 3 year old, it resonates with me.

I am not one who likes to compare or “keep up with the Jones’s”. But, I hate to admit that I do find myself worrying whether I am doing enough in things that really shouldn’t be the focus.

For example, if I hear a mom tell me her daughter is taking three dance classes and doing sports and learning to play the piano all at the age of 5, I start to think, “Oh my gosh. I’m not doing enough. My daughter isn’t XYZ….”

I start to feel pressure, which is dumb. Because my children are not objects or works of art. They are human beings who are made to be loved.

If putting my kids in a bunch of extracurricular activities is fun and good for them, awesome. But, I should be doing that from a loving state, not from a place of wanting to compete or “keep up with the Jones’s” as if my children are objects or works of art.

4. It promotes building strong parent-child relationships.

mom playing with daughter on her legs

Most of the parenting books out there focus on parenting techniques…how to feed your baby…how to sleep train…how to handle tantrums…

All of the advice on those topics are super helpful and are in some of the best books to read while pregnant (which you can access in my list of The Top 10 Best Books for New Parents). But what I love about The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read is that it goes deeper.

The author stresses the importance of understanding the dynamics of your relationship with your child.

If the bond with your child, no matter their age–be it a teenager, adult, toddler–isn’t where you’d like it to be, Perry provides insight as to how and why that possibly came to be so that you can fix it.

She goes into detail about how as parents, we are bound to rupture/make mistakes. But, it’s not the rupture that causes the relationship damage, it’s the repair (or lack there of).

I found that to be so comforting and I just love that message. We all make mistakes. But we don’t always know how to fix them.

Perry gives great advice on how to fix our errors (or ruptures) to foster a secure attachment and loving bond with our child that will last a lifetime.

5. The book discusses the power of breaking generational patterns.

dad carrying toddler daughter in an article on the best books to read while pregnant

Many of us carry emotional baggage from our own childhoods, which can inadvertently influence our parenting styles.

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read encourages parents to reflect on their upbringing and recognize patterns that they may unconsciously pass onto their children.

To help with this, Perry shares real life stories of parents unknowingly continuing their own parents’ behaviors. Hearing the various stories is enlightening.

By becoming aware of these patterns, we can make conscious choices to break the cycle and create a healthier, more supportive environment for our children.

6. The author gives PRACTICAL advice rooted in psychology.

mom and daughter laying talking in bed

While many parenting books offer advice based on trends or anecdotal evidence, Perry’s guidance is rooted in psychology and backed by research, making it one of the best books to read while pregnant.

She provides practical, actionable advice that is grounded in an understanding of human behavior and emotional needs.

One neat example of this is her theory on sleep nudging, a concept that is different than sleep training.

So many of the books (and the doctors I’ve seen) talk about the importance of sleep training and having solid night time routines where your child falls asleep on their own. I do agree with this to an extent…

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read, however, discusses how sleep training methods can leave your little one feeling scared, alone, and unheard in the darkness of their room.

No matter the method you choose, Perry reminded me that sleep should be a place of comfort, peace, and relaxation. As a mom who has struggled with her toddler waking up at night for years, I was fascinated by the sleep nudging theory and wish I had known about it much earlier.

Perry’s recommendations are both reliable and effective, helping us mamas navigate the challenges of parenting with confidence.

7. The message on self-compassion is beautiful.

silhouette of mom holding baby boy at sunset on the beach

Perry’s approach is refreshingly compassionate, both towards parents and children. She acknowledges that parenting is hard and that mistakes are inevitable.

Instead of striving for perfection, she encourages parents to practice self-compassion and to learn from their experiences. This mindset is invaluable during pregnancy, a time when many parents feel pressure to do everything “right.”

Embracing self-compassion can reduce stress and enhance your overall well-being.

8. It provides preparation for the long-term journey.

mom kissing daughter

Pregnancy is just the beginning of a lifelong journey of parenting. The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read prepares you not only for the immediate challenges of raising a newborn but also for the long-term relationship you will build with your child.

Perry’s wisdom extends beyond the baby years, providing insights that will remain relevant as your child grows and develops.

Final Thoughts

I absolutely love The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read and think there is something of value for every mom out there.

It is more than just a parenting manual; it is a guide to building a strong, emotionally healthy family.

Reading this book while pregnant equips you with the tools to navigate the emotional complexities of parenting, to build a loving and secure relationship with your child, and to break free from negative generational patterns.

It truly is one of the best books to read while pregnant.

Read Next:

The Top 10 Best Books for New Parents

Visual Adventures: Top Black and White Baby Books

35 Best Baby Books for Girls – You’ll Love #18!

35 Best Baby Books for Boys – You’ll Love #22!

5 Beautiful Benefits of Playing Board Games With Your Family


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