Every year, the U.S. sees around 4 million births.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are around 4 million births in the United States every year. The journey to each one of these births is vastly different from one person to the next and can sometimes throw in a few challenges along the way.
Reading pregnancy blogs on the run-up to the big day may give some insight into the emotional and physical changes that are happening inside the body, help prepare you for the inevitable birthing process, and provide engagement with like-minded people who are going through similar experiences.
So, without further ado, here is Medical News Today's pick of the best pregnancy blogs, a behind-the-scenes look at the people behind them, and their most popular articles.
Alpha Mom is a pregnancy and parenting blog run by Isabel Kallman. The blog provides information in an easy-to-read format, layered with reality, personal accounts, light-heartedness, and an injection of humor. Alpha Mom also answers reader's questions in a way that seems as though you are in conversation with your best friend.
"Alpha Mom was started because, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, motherhood was not a natural instinct for me, and, I discovered I was not alone - there are many (many) just like me. Rather than running to grandma, I ran to Google," Isabel Kallman told MNT.
"See, it's connectedness that is a new mom's first instinct. And, with nonjudgmental support and advice from other moms and parenting professionals, we try to help women embrace motherhood with confidence," she added.
Isabel's top tips for parents-to-be: "Radically accept that just when you think you've got this parenting thing down, your kid(s) cut your sea legs out from under you again. That's their job: to keep you on your toes."
Here are Alpha Mom's top three most popular pregnancy articles:
- Week-by-week pregnancy calendar
- Labor & delivery turf wars: Delivery room bullies
- The gender-neutral clothing war
Pregnant Chicken is the brainchild of Amy Morrison. "I started the site in 2010 after being frustrated with how scary all the pregnancy sites were," Amy informed MNT. "They had tons of options but very little information, so I set out to create a site that laid out the facts in a clear, fun way so that parents could make their own decisions."
'Books, websites, and people should make you feel good about your pregnancy - not overwhelm you or make you feel scared or under-qualified.'
Pregnant Chicken tops our charts for the wittiest, most comically written pregnancy blog. The blog provides articles covering a wide range of topics from laugh-out-loud pictorial articles such as cool ways to announce your pregnancy, to serious articles that tackle subjects including postpartum depression in a reassuring way.
Amy's top tips for parents-to-be: "To all pregnant women, I say: 'be kind to yourself.' Take that extra nap instead of brushing up on baby sign language. Eat a donut if you want one. Books, websites, and people should make you feel good about your pregnancy - not overwhelm you or make you feel scared or under-qualified. You've got this."
Here are Pregnant Chicken's top three most popular pregnancy articles:
- Happily after giving birth - 10 things they don't tell you
- Breastfeeding in the first week: 4 things you will be glad you knew
- 7 things every pregnant woman should do, at least once
Evidence Based Birth
Evidence Based Birth is the creation of mother, wife, Ph.D.-prepared nurse researcher, and blogger, Rebecca Dekker.
"I started Evidence Based Birth after the birth of my second child," Rebecca explained to MNT.
"With my first baby, I left the hospital feeling disempowered and confused by the care I had received. With my second baby, my midwife respected my decisions and promoted my health throughout my pregnancy and birth. The care I received during that second birth inspired me to start publishing all of the research I had been collecting between pregnancies," she added.
The blog's popularity escalated quickly after its launch in 2012, with millions of visitors from all around the world lining up to learn about the evidence behind childbirth practices. The Evidence Based Birth site is also a hub for people who want to improve the quality of maternity care globally.
Our pick of comprehensive, evidence-based information on the blog includes evidence on due dates and inducing labor, the benefits of having support from a doula during labor, and the safety of water birth.
Rebecca's top tips for parents-to-be: "Hire a doula and take a really good childbirth education class. Educating yourself and gathering information is the first step in having an empowering experience!"
Here are Evidence Based Birth's top three most popular pregnancy articles:
- Evidence for the Vitamin K shot in newborns
- What is the evidence for induction or C-section for a big baby?
- The evidence on advanced maternal age
Mother Rising is a holistic pregnancy blog created by Lindsey Morrow. As a childbirth educator, doula, and mother of three, Lindsey has oodles of experience in the pregnancy advice arena and this experience is reflected in the positive and inspiring tone of the blog.
'Pregnancy and becoming a parent is not merely a physical process - it is an emotional and spiritual journey as well.'
"I started writing a blog because I made a website to advertise my local childbirth classes and it came with a built-in blog function," Lindsey told MNT. "It turned out I enjoyed writing about pregnancy and childbirth just as much as I enjoyed teaching face to face!"
"Eventually, I made the decision [to] focus my blog posts solely on helping women have a healthy pregnancy, natural birth and happy postpartum," Lindsey added.
Lindsey's top tips for parents-to-be: "Pregnancy and becoming a parent is not merely a physical process - it is an emotional and spiritual journey as well. Because pregnancy is more than a bodily function, it is imperative to respond holistically."
"For example," she added, "reading pregnancy books, practicing prenatal yoga, taking a good childbirth class, learning to navigate the medical community, and exploring one's responses to pain are all equally important pieces of the pregnancy journey."
Here are Mother Rising's top three most popular pregnancy articles:
- How to prevent tearing during birth
- Surprise! Pitocin is linked to postpartum depression
- How to labor at home as long as possible
Plus Size Birth
Jen McLellan is a published author, certified childbirth educator, public speaker, and founder of Plus Size Birth.
'As a plus size woman, my experience felt different because I couldn't find images of people my size in pregnancy magazines or websites,' said Plus Size Birth founder, Jen McLellan.
"As a plus size woman, my experience felt different because I couldn't find images of people my size in pregnancy magazines or websites. I also mainly found negative information online that led me to believe I would incur complications," Jen revealed to MNT.
"I did everything possible to have a good outcome. I ate healthily, fell in love with water aerobics, hired a doula, and connected with a midwife at a hospital with a low cesarean birth rate."
"Once I settled into motherhood, I wanted to share my story," she added. "I wanted other plus size women not only to see images of women they could identify with but also become educated in a very positive way on how to have a healthy pregnancy."
Jen's top tips for parents-to-be: "For all women, it's important they are proactive with their nutrition and activity throughout pregnancy. For plus size women, there's a third element to having a healthy pregnancy, and that's hiring a size-friendly healthcare provider."
Here are Plus Size Birth's top three most popular pregnancy articles:
The Birth Hour
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two, entrepreneur, and the women behind The Birth Hour. The Birth Hour is the go-to place for sharing birth stories, as well as pregnancy and postpartum struggles and triumphs.
"The Birth Hour was born out of the knowledge that new and expecting mothers love hearing birth stories and for most moms, sharing a birth story is a positive way to connect with other women," Bryn told MNT. "Each birth is unique and is beautiful and empowering in its own way."
"Through The Birth Hour podcast and blog, we want to help parents connect on a more personal level with all types of birth experiences," she added.
'[...] we want to help parents connect on a more personal level with all types of birth experiences,' said The Birth Hour founder, Bryn Huntpalmer.
We were impressed with the sheer number of birth stories on the site that reveal the wide-ranging experiences that people have during childbirth. Highlights include Diane's homebirth after a C-section with her first child, Jillian's induction with twins, and Elyse's unexpected C-section.
Bryn's top tips for parents-to-be: "Self-care is so important, and I think having a supportive partner who wants you to be your best self is huge. You should both be encouraging one another to set aside some 'me time' even if it's just a 20-minute bath or a trip to Target by yourself! It will balance your life out so much!"
Here are The Birth Hour's top three most popular pregnancy articles:
- The blessingway: A complete guide to honoring the mother
- Natural Birth: Everything you need to know
- Creating a birth plan: Everything you need to know + free download
As with any digital media that covers health, there is little to no regulation of the information provided on pregnancy and parenting blogs, and no guarantee that the content is based on evidence. If you have a health concern during pregnancy, always seek the advice of a doctor.