On Pre-Pregnancy Books

by Lara on April 27, 2012

When we started thinking about TTC, the first thing I wanted to do was read everything I could about the subject.  My reading ranged from books like Taking Charge of Your Fertility (I don’t categorize this as a pre-pregnancy book so much as one on reproductive understanding, whatever your aim is), to more specific reads about how to prepare your body, relationship, and wallet for a future baby.

Sidenote: the following are my thoughts on pre-pregnancy books about general pregnancy preparation, not books on infertility or even specifically “how to get pregnant” books.  I have no experience with those and therefore no opinion.

I purchased and read What to Expect Before You’re Expecting, though there are many similar books on the market such as: The Pre-Pregnancy Planner, Get Ready to Get Pregnant, Before You Conceive, and Before Your Pregnancy.


In short, here is my advice: these books are pretty uninformative and you are far better off preparing yourself for pregnancy by simply buying books written for women who are already pregnant.

I understand the temptation to buy pre-pregnancy books.  You might feel silly buying a book on pregnancy when you’re not actually pregnant yet, and these books seem like they are written just for you!  Well, consider this blog post written just for you.  This is a summary of what most of these books will tell you (for free!):

  • See your doctor for a full-body checkup.
  • Prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy by eating a healthy diet and taking prenatal vitamins for at least three months before conception.
  • Reduce or eliminate your alcohol and drug consumption.
  • Prepare your partner’s body to produce healthy sperm by eating a healthy diet and reducing or eliminating alcohol and drug consumption.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Limit your exposure to common environmental toxins.
  • Make efforts to get to an ideal weight for your body.
  • Consider an STD test, a flu shot, and getting current on your vaccinations.
  • Stop using any form of hormonal birth control and use a barrier method until you are ready to officially “start.”
  • Familiarize yourself with your cycle, keeping notes or charts if necessary.

Basically, these books will tell you that if you wouldn’t do it while pregnant, reduce or eliminate it while trying to become pregnant.  They may provide you with a fertility chart or calendar with which to chart your cycle, but you can find those online or just use a regular calendar.

In retrospect, I would have felt far more prepared for pregnancy by reading the books I didn’t buy until I got pregnant.  It also would have been a better investment, as these are the books I have returned to over and over again during pregnancy.  My pre-pregnancy book, on the other hand, has a few notes written in the margins and will be shelved forevermore.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay April 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

I love Taking Charge of Your Fertility- wonderful book for those who are TTC or want to try a natural methods of birth control


Lara April 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

I definitely learned a lot from that one!


Ruby April 28, 2012 at 3:47 am

Good points, here are a couple more:
– Go see the dentist. Getting dentist work done during pregnancy can be risky (aside from a routine check up) and having infected gums can also pose a risk to your unborn child. So get it out of the way 🙂
– Another thing I heard was to get a full gyn-check up. If they find anything “off” when you’re already pregnant there might be some tough choices to make or at least you may have to postpone treatment until after birth.
– Start an exercise “regime” beforehand. It’s pretty annoying to keep hearing “don’t start any exercise regime when you’re pregnant”. Think about what you’d like to be doing during pregnancy (be it running, walking, swimming, light weights, yoga) and familiarize yourself with it BEFOREHAND. that way you’ll know how your body feels, what you can handle, AND you’ll be setting the basis for a healthy pregnancy & birth. I recommend at least incorporating some kind of core work (to help prevent back aches during pregnancy & help during labour), squats (help strengthen the kegel muscles) and some cardio (great for the baby, great for the mom).


Lara April 28, 2012 at 9:35 am

Ruby those are all great!


Emily May 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Another A-M-A-Z-I-N-G book for women TTC is “The Fertile Heart”. It’s a total alignment of the social and emotional sides of bringing a spirit into this world. Although it is geared toward women who are on a windy path to conception- I think every woman could benefit from it!


Lara May 2, 2012 at 11:40 am

Sounds wonderful!


Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition May 2, 2012 at 11:36 am

Such an exciting time in a woman’s life : )


Marie-Sophie May 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Looking forward to those recommendations, Lara! I am not planning to get pregnant in the next 6 months to a year but would LOVE to start reading … I am just so looking forward to the whole thing already! 🙂


Lara May 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

Aww! I certainly don’t see any harm in starting to read up now! 🙂


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