Newly updated in 2019, Eating for Pregnancy is a simple nutrition guide and cookbook for expecting moms. Written by Catherine Jones and Rose Ann Hudson, RD, LD, this book tackles the basics surrounding prenatal health and nutrition in a straightforward way.

This guide is ideal for moms who are looking for a laid-back nutrition resource for pregnancy. The majority of the book provides recipes and food recommendations with additional tidbits tucked away in each chapter. Additionally, the authors do a great job at weaving in suggestions for a variety of dietary restrictions. A significant emphasis is also placed on variety, with recipe options spanning from breakfast to dessert and everything in between.

Some of the topics addressed include:

  • Preconception nutrition
  • Prenatal caloric needs
  • General weight gain recommendations
  • Prenatal fitness
  • Macronutrients and micronutrients, as well as their role in fetal development
  • Special diets and allergies
  • Food safety
  • Morning sickness
  • Heartburn
  • Food recommendations by month
  • Fetal development by month
  • Postpartum weight loss
  • Postpartum depression
  • Food-sources for various vitamins and minerals
  • And more!

What do I like about it?

Eating for Pregnancy is written from a very balanced perspective. The recipes and nutrition recommendations offer a significant amount of variety. As an added bonus, the primary ingredients are pulled from each month’s unique list of food recommendations, which are formulated based on the baby’s developmental stage.

The authors also take extra care to offer options for a variety of dietary preferences and restrictions, making this a well-rounded option for the majority of expecting mothers. Each recipe includes specific icons to indicate whether or not it is suitable for a certain diet. In the back, sample meal plans are also provided. These illustrate how these recipes work together for each dietary type.

Early on in the book, there is an overview of vitamins and minerals, their purpose, and an explanation of how much an expecting mom should consume each day. This is an unusual section to find in prenatal guides, but offers significant value to mothers. Knowing the rationale behind certain vitamins and minerals, as well as where to find them in real-food sources, is useful when building out a well-rounded plate. The brief breakdown will no doubt enhance the number and diversity of nutrients available to many growing babies.

Additionally, the authors provide a brief but thorough overview of general pregnancy recommendations, the why behind certain guidelines, and tips to achieve them. Unlike most weekly- or monthly-pregnancy guides, the information is a bonus to the rest of the book. The basics are covered and nothing more. I consider this a highly beneficial reminder for all moms, but especially those who feel overwhelmed by the exhaustive list of recommendations provided in other books.

Why is this book different from other prenatal guides?

The authors make a point to cover preconception through postpartum, which is not usual. I love this emphasis, as there is a significant need for moms to be thinking about good nutrition at every phase of the journey.

As already mentioned, this guide takes a straightforward approach to general and nutritional guidelines surrounding pregnancy. The information provided is thorough, but not in excess. This makes for both a quick and digestible read.

Additionally, Eating for Pregnancy is not technical. This makes it a great option for moms who aren’t interested in learning the ins and outs of prenatal nutrition.

What don’t I like about this book?

As this is a mainstream nutrition book, some of the recommendations do not line up with the available evidence or are controversial. That said, the bulk of this book provides a solid foundation for prenatal nutrition for the average mom.

Though the book provides a plethora of recipes, few are truly suitable for moms who have unconventional dietary restrictions and sensitivities. This isn’t necessarily a dislike, though, as navigating unique restrictions should be approached on a case-by-case basis. That said, I feel this is something important to point out.

Who would I recommend this book to?

  • Moms who want a little help making sure their diet is sufficient for pregnancy, but aren’t interested in a technical read.
  • Second-time (or more) moms who are looking for a resource to reference as a refresher on nutrition guidelines and recommendations.
  • Moms following a vegetarian or vegan diet who aren’t sure what to eat or how to make sure they are receiving enough.

What resources would I suggest for a mom who interested in a deep-dive on prenatal nutrition?

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