Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pregnancy Book Reviews

One of my husband's friends has just found out that she's pregnant (remember, couples are expecting but only the mommy is pregnant!) and I thought that I would put together a book review in her honor. I will offer the reviews based on what I remember but in some cases, it's been a bit since I've read it and I'm just too sleepy to go and re-read. So, take the information with a grain of salt and feel free to offer up your own suggestions...

Don't Panic! Pregnancy Book by Judy Morris
In my opinion, this is the absolute best book for dealing with the practicalities of pregnancy and new motherhood. You won't find weekly updates on what your uterus and baby are doing but you will find concise information about things like how warm your bath should be, if you should dye your hair, and how to get all those thank you notes written. It's a small book that will fit in your purse so you can whip it out when you need to figure out which fish are safe, which type of sushi you can eat, or if you should think twice about that 2nd cup of coffee. It's all presented in a calm, clear manner that explains enough that you feel informed but not so much that you're bogged down. Every pregnant woman should have this book.

What to Expect When You're Expecting I didn't find reading this the terror that other women seem to. I keep hearing about how scared they were after looking something up in it. I did find it rather "meh" in the information department though. It seemed like it gave you adequate information but finding it could be a pain and it was written in a slightly condescending manner. That said, my husband said that it's the book he always looks things up in. They also seem a bit hung up on weight and nutrition. While I think it's important to be aware of, if you already have any weight anxiety or body issues, this book really won't help you out in that regard. On the plus side, it does point out that episiotomies aren't routine and offers some different
laboring positions.

Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week by Curtis and Schuler I liked this book on the whole. It nicely met my need of wanting to know what was going on with the baby with more detail and frequency than the monthly format of What to Expect. You can tell that there are some fairly slow spots where not much is happening beyond the baby getting nice and plump. There is definite "filler" material in those weeks. I wasn't wild about the way that it presented the labor process though. I got the distinct impression that the authors would like you to lie back and simply listen to the nice doctor rather than being a thinking (and opinionated) participant in the delivery. They also present episiotomies as routine.

The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy by Vicky Iovine
This is one to get from the library rather than buy. It's a nice overview of what is to come and is a quick read. It's ideal for when you just got the 2 lines and are both panicked and euphoric and want a basic idea of the road ahead without needing detailed information about the pros and cons of various screening test and the like. I found some of the information a bit dated (particularly about clothing) and she focuses a lot on sex and body image (neither of them astoundingly positively) as well as making some fairly negative assumptions about how the men in your life. But, it does give a frank discussion of all the stuff about pregnancy that you hadn't even thought to ask your friends about or, you thought about it but couldn't bring yourself to ask.

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