When you’re newly pregnant, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the quantity of pregnancy and baby books that are out there. There were two that I ended up using the most, one of them being Pregnancy Day by Day, published by DK and edited by Maggie Blott.
I love the format of this book. They really do go day by day for the pregnancy, starting with day 1 of your menstrual cycle and going up to 40 weeks (although I stopped reading around 38 weeks because the little guy came early). Each day there is a picture at the top of the page that shows what the egg, embryo, or fetus look like at that particular time, including eventually showing ultrasound and 3D ultrasound images. Next to the image is a brief caption. For example, at 12 weeks and 3 days pregnant, with 193 days to go (I randomly selected a page), there’s an image of feet and the caption reads, “The toes are now separate and are all the same length. The ankle joints are now mature enough to be working, although it will still be many weeks before you are likely to be conscious of any kicks” (pg. 155).
The rest of each page contains information useful to the person who is pregnant or sometimes specifically directed to their partner. There might be elaboration on what’s happening in utero or descriptions of how the pregnant person might be feeling. There are “focus on” sections, such as focus on twins, nutrition, or dads. There are also “ask a” sections (ask a doctor, ask a nutritionist, ask a panel about home birth). There’s a full-page image at the beginning of each week of pregnancy with general changes that are taking place at that time.
The book also has pages and sections devoted to other information, such as exercises to do during pregnancy and types of pain management during labor. If you’re only going to get one book to help guide pregnancy, I’d make it this one. I also turned regularly to a pregnancy book by the Mayo Clinic, but Pregnancy Day by Day probably has most of the information you could need/want.
My one critique would be the lack of inclusivity around gender and sexual orientation. They use the word “partner” throughout but have that “focus on . . . dads” section. I honestly at this point don’t recall if they ever allow for the possibility that the partner isn’t a man. And I say “pregnant people” because it’s gender inclusive, but the book always (I think) refers to the pregnant person as female. I realize that this is still the norm and probably it’s difficult if not impossible to find an inclusive pregnancy book, but it’s such an easy yet meaningful change that publishers could make.
Unrelated, but can I just add that you all are freaking awesome writers? I was looking at some of your reviews when I skimmed through the Best and Worst Books posting on Pajiba, and it inspired me to want to read more books and especially to read more of your reviews. Just waiting to see if I ever get that energy back . . . the little guy has to sleep through the night eventually, right? Right??