If you're pregnant and need a break from advice books, try one of these good books to read. 

By Rebecca Renner
Updated January 09, 2019
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The weeks before you give birth are full of anticipation, and finding good books to read on pregnancy and parenting can be so comforting. It’s an exciting but scary time of what-ifs, worry, and planning. Millions of other parents-to-be have felt the same way you are. Some of them have even put those trials and joys into good books, including wonderful novels, for those of us who are self-help adverse.

The minute you conceived, someone probably bought you a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Expect a lot of unsolicited advice, both on the internet and in person. Other books will tell you what to eat, what not to eat, how to plot out your birth plan like a 1,000-page fantasy novel, why you should have a home birth, why you shouldn’t have a home birth, everything you never needed to know about breastfeeding, how to have the most stylish hipster baby in daycare, which organic baby food is the best, why screen-time is bad, why screen-time doesn’t matter, how to start your baby on the track toward an Ivy League education before they can talk—are you ready to scream yet? Take a deep breath, put down the stress-inducing baby books, and try some different reading material.

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Studies have shown that women become more creative after giving birth. Novels by mothers contain beauty and insight, and mothering memoirs show determination, drive, and oh-so-necessary humor. If you’re more of a strictly nonfiction kind of reader, other good books rise above the average how-to fare. Instead of going for a book that will scold you into changing diapers differently or convince you to buy a $1,000 stroller, steer toward edifying reads that will help you organize and improve your life, even while chaos is breaking loose.

There are plenty of good books by mothers in every genre and style. Let them welcome you into the ranks of parenthood with their captivating stories.

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