Grab or gift our top picks for new-mom reads

Let’s be honest, we moms are all kind of winging it—and rightfully so. But when you’re looking for information or inspiration, a good book can be just what you need. Whether you’re seeking advice on pregnancy, parenting or guidance on breastfeeding, we’re sharing a few of our favorite books for new moms. (These also make wonderful gifts for new moms!) Pick up one of these books to read, reference or listen to during your next lunch break or pumping session.


While there’s always the classic “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” we’ve rounded up three other go-to guides you can turn to as your baby bump grows. Just keep in mind that no one book will be a perfect fit, and every pregnancy and mom is unique, so you do you

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

This bestseller focuses on natural childbirth, so the benefits and risks are presented through that lens. But no matter what your birth plan, the positive birth stories featured in this book can empower and inspire. Get to know your body during this time of (literal) growth and change, build trust in your body and cultivate a strong mind-body connection.

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin, et al

Authored by a team of childbirth educators, this guide will help you prep for birth, breastfeeding and basic baby care. It provides a range of experiences, serving up stats, facts and research as well as quotes from real moms in a reassuring tone, so you can confidently navigate pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong — and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster

This book debunks common pregnancy myths, breaks down data and helps you relax a little in the face of so many different “do’s and don’ts.” With data-driven research from an economist (who’s also a mom), you’ll learn which pregnancy “rules” make sense and which you can probably let go.


Wouldn’t it be nice if babies came with instruction manuals? These parenting books are the closest you can come to that! With expert info and real-life advice, we recommend these four titles for a solid start to parenthood.

Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year by Ari Brown and Denise Fields

Think of this as an encyclopedia of new babies. The reference book serves as a resource on all those day-to-day topics like food, first aid and fussiness, giving practical advice on your baby’s development—and perhaps saving you from middle-of-the-night Googling. (Author Dr. Ari Brown is a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics!)

Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Sleep Longer by Harvey Karp, M.D.

Babies cry to let us know they need food, a diaper change and sleep. But when their basic needs are met and they’re still crying, turn to this book for tried-and-true techniques for soothing your baby. The “5 S’s” method is a must-know for the fourth trimester! (Psst, there’s also a DVD that demonstrates these soothing techniques, which is super helpful. View it with your partner and you two can calm your baby with consistency.)

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina

Everyone has an opinion on how to handle TV time and temper tantrums. But what does science say? This book lays out the research on human brain development in a readable, accessible way. Learn about happiness, intelligence, emotions and more for a clearer insight into your baby’s brain.

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott

Need a dose of reality or maybe a good laugh? Pick up this humorous and honest account of Lamott’s first year of motherhood. You’ll find comfort as she recounts her all-too-familiar struggles and triumphs with a relatable mix of wit, bravery and vulnerability.


A big part of new-parenthood is feeding your baby. While breastfeeding is natural, it doesn’t always feel that way. Having a few resources on hand will give you confidence and keep you informed along the journey. (Our team at Ashland Breast Pumps is also here to help answer your breastfeeding questions and can connect you with an IBCLC!)

Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger et al

This classic bestseller from La Leche League is chock full of information and stories to help you find breastfeeding success. Although it has a strong stance on natural childbirth and other topics, it includes helpful strategies, tips, data, reassurance and real-mom wisdom on all things breastfeeding. Whether you want to avoid sore nipples or build a solid support network, this book will give you the info you need.

Work. Pump. Repeat.: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work by Jessica Shortall

Looking for the nitty-gritty on pumping at work? This book offers tons of practical tips and motherhood hacks—and we’re here for it. Covering everything from the logistics of pumping schedules and business travel to the emotional and social aspects of pumping at work, you’ll find plenty of advice and support in this working mom’s must-read.

Latch: A Handbook for Breastfeeding with Confidence at Every Stage by Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC

If you’ve ever wanted around-the-clock access to an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, this book is the answer. You’ll find plain-English info to guide you through each stage of your breastfeeding journey—from first latch to weaning. Helpful illustrations make the info even easier to put into action, and the compassionate, judgment-free tone is refreshing and reassuring.

We hope these books for new moms will guide you and inspire you. But if you’re seeking some “live” help, our team at Ashland Breast Pumps is here for you. As moms ourselves, we’ve been there and we get it. Get in touch and we can share our best advice and resources for pregnancy, parenting, breastfeeding and beyond.