Books to read if you’re expecting a baby

If you're feeling bewildered by all the practical baby books, these works of memoir and fiction will help you deal with the highs and lows of pregnancy and remind you that whatever you're feeling, you're not alone.

Nell Frizzell
An image of book covers on a blue background
Image: Flynn Shore for Penguin

How does pregnancy feel? Like the worst hangover of your life, wearing too-tight trousers, permanently haunted by the mouth-ghost of cheese and onion crisps, with PMT and during a heatwave.

How does pregnancy feel? Like your body is an island, the shore lapping against your ribs, your pelvis, your bladder, your belly; a volcano gathering beneath your skin and the unpregnant mainland just a speck on your horizon.

How does pregnancy feel? Like being ushered into a private party, surrounded by the soft, whispering excitement of a backstage knees up, like being a ship in full sail, like being in a timeshare with the blood and bones your mother gave you, like the morning after an all-nighter, like a bloated and fly-blown fish washed up on the shore, like temporary entry into the pantheon of milk and honey, like a rubber band stretched across the flies of your old jeans.

The book that reconsiders the matriarchy

The emotional journey to pregnancy

Parenting from different perspectives

Morale boosting reads

...and just for fun

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