Despite the glut of pregnancy books, moms-to-be often can’t find answers to questions like, “Can I eat peanuts?” Geddes, a science journalist with two young kids, was one of them. So in this fascinating guide, she set about sharing little-known tidbits about everything from when fingerprints start developing (between the third and fourth month) to whether newborns sweat (full-term ones typically can from day one). She wisely devotes most of her chapters to topics not included in many other books, though she also tackles many common concerns, such as, “How much alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy?” Not everything is black and white, including the answer to that one. Geddes is not a medical doctor, but she adds credibility to her book by citing many physicians and studies. One MD, for example, sensibly advises pregnant women to avoid falling-off and getting-hit activities such as horseback riding or skiing after the first trimester, when the bigger baby is no longer protected by pelvic bones. Geddes could write a specialty Trivial Pursuit game with these facts. --Karen Springen
About the Author
Linda Geddes is a London-based magazine journalist who writes about biology, medicine, and technology. She has worked as both a news editor and reporter for New Scientist
magazine. She has received numerous awards for her journalism, including the Association of British Science Writers’ award for Best Investigative Journalism and the European School of Oncology’s Best Cancer Reporter. She was also shortlisted for the Paul Foot Award in 2011 and the Press and Periodicals Association’s Writer of the Year award in 2009, 2011 and 2012.