Beyond What to Expect: Books for the Modern Mama Every Pregnant Woman Should Read

You’re pregnant, congratulations! Chances are you’ve been passed down an old beat up copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Now before you sit down to read it, consider some other sources of information on this important, sometimes scary and let’s face it confusing (and yeah I’ll say it, sometimes even gross) time in your life. Check these titles out!

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin

Known as the “pioneer midwife”, Ina May Gaskin breaks down the importance of natural, gentle birth in such a comforting, and often funny way. Her books are a must read for nervous new moms or veteran moms who want to try to have a more natural birth the second time around. Check her out!


Birthing From Within: An Extra-ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparedness, by Pam England and Rob Horowitz

Originally published in 1998, this book has stood the test of time as one of the most important reads for those looking to go a bit deeper into the birthing experience. This book encourages moms to look inward and discover their thoughts and fears about birth through journaling, discovering birth art, writing a birth plan and even making a belly cast to remember that bump! Birthing From Within is also an empire of sorts, you’ll see at their website that there are lots of ways to get involved in their philosophical approach to birth.


Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience, by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

By the creators of the hit documentary “The Business of Being Born”, this book is a practical guide for moms who want to have happy healthy, self-empowered births like the moms in the film. The book will present all options from ob vs. midwife, hospital vs. homebirth, and more to help women make a truly informed decision about their upcoming births. It’s chock full of resources, so if you haven’t yet decided where you’ll birth or whom with please grab this book!


Our Bodies, Ourselves, by Judy Norsigian

This is a comprehensive guide covering everything from sexuality to pregnancy, birth and post-pregnancy. What sets this book apart is its emphasis on women’s rights and women’s awareness of our power and our sexual identity. There is a larger collective of information along with the book, check out the website here.


Where to score these books:

Since baby and pregnancy books only get used for a short time, used book stores and baby consignment shops are a great place to look for these titles. Check out “Turn The Page Again” in Bayside, Raising Astoria in Astoria and Petunia in Sunnyside.


Turn the Page Again

39-15 Bell Blvd Bayside, NY 11361

(718) 767-2341


Raising Astoria

26-11 23rd Avenue, Astoria, NY 11105

(718) 440-9444



46-21 Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside, NY 11104

(718) 729-3032


Barnes and Noble has several locations in Queens, here they are:


Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Fresh Meadows

176-60 Union Turnpike, Fresh Meadows

(718) 380-4340


Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Forest Hills

70-00 Austin Street, Forest Hills

(718) 793-1395


Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Bayside

23-80 Bell Boulevard, Bayside

(718) 224-1083


By: Christine Gibson