Why is it that pregnancy books are such a “thing” while books about trying to get pregnant are few and far between?
Well — there are SOME!
These books all bring something different to the table — mix and match as you like!
Best Books for Trying to Conceive:
Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Toni Weschler — Best for those interested in charting and taking a hands-on approach to achieving conception
This book is basically the Bible of trying to conceive — it covers basic info, cycle charting/tracking (in great detail), “pregnancy achievement,” fertility/infertility, and miscarriages, plus other women’s health topics and natural family planning. Not for the faint of heart!
The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant, Jean Twenge — Quick and dirty guide on TTC
This slim volume from Jean Twenge (most well known for her work in psychology — most recently iGen, which explores the connection between screens, teens, and mental health) is a surprisingly comprehensive primer on all things trying to conceive, spanning from “before” to after and everything in between. Coverage of age and fertility (also covered in The Atlantic) is especially helpful for those approaching the (false) “deadline” of 35. *Note — the tone of this book is “jokey,” but the banter is *very gender-normative and a-little-too-1950s — some readers find it offensive.
It Starts With the Egg, Rebecca Fett — For nerds who want all the science
This book is packed with scientific research but also offers tons of practical (and doable) suggestions for improving fertility and increasing the chances of conception. A little dense at times, but equally beloved — check out Amazon and GoodReads for reviewers who swear something in this book helped them achieve pregnancy after years of frustration and failure.
The Art of Waiting, Belle Boggs — For those struggling with infertility
As The Boston Globe describes: “An eye-opening, gorgeously written blend of memoir, reportage, and cultural analysis. . . Examining infertility and childlessness through the lens of her own struggle to become pregnant, Boggs presents not only a courageous account of her personal experience but an illuminating, wide-ranging study of the medical, psychological, social, and historical aspects of a condition that affects one in eight couples nationwide.”
The Pursuit of Motherhood, Jessica Hepburn — Also for those struggling with infertility
This memoir of one woman’s struggle with infertility is bracing, emotional, and honest. So many readers going through IVF have said this book made for a welcome companion.
The Trying Game, Amy Klein — Best for those preparing for fertility treatment
The Trying Game is a tell-all book detailing the course of fertility treatment, and all kinds of practical, physical, financial, and emotional considerations along the way. Readers describe this book as part-roadmap, part-girlfriend and part-therapy for anyone navigating fertility treatments.
The Tao of Fertility, Daoshing Ni and Dana Herko — Best for those looking for a holistic approach to TTC
Author Dana Herko describes her own struggle to achieve pregnancy — and how skeptical she initially was of turning to Chinese medicine — in the prologue of The Tao of Fertility. When I spoke with her, she told me that The Tao of Fertility isn’t just a book about Chinese medicine — “it’s a book about health,” she said, “and it’s a book for anyone who is looking to become pregnant.” The Tao of Fertility offers an accessible overview of the science of conception plus complementary strategies to enhance fertility, including everyday changes women can execute on their own.
The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson — Best non-traditional book about fertility, conception, pregnancy, and early motherhood
The Argonauts is critically acclaimed from every direction. Here’s what Michael Lindgren, of The Washington Post, wrote about it: “Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts exists in its own universe. My first reaction to Nelson’s book was awestruck silence, such as one might experience when confronted with some dazzling supernatural phenomenon. Nelson is so outrageously gifted a writer and thinker that The Argonauts seems to operate in some astral dimension where the rules of normal physics have been suspended. Her book is an elegant, powerful, deeply discursive examination of gender, sexuality, queerness, pregnancy and motherhood, all conveyed in language that is intellectually potent and poetically expressive.”
Wishing you all the best, and do let us know if there are other titles that were a help to you at this stage. ❤️