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Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-and What You Really Need to Know Hardcover – August 20, 2013
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"Expecting Better will be a revelation for curious mothers-to-be whose doctors fail to lay out the pros and cons of that morning latte, let alone discuss real science. And it makes for valuable homework before those harried ob-gyn appointments, even for lucky patients whose doctors are able to talk about the rationale behind their advice."
New York Magazine:
"Emily Oster combs through hundreds of medical studies to debunk many widely followed dictates: no alcohol, no caffeine, no changing the kitty litter. Her conclusions are startling… Expecting Better walks women through medical literature surrounding every stage of pregnancy, giving them data to make informed decisions about their own pregnancy. "
New York Post:
"It seems that everyone—doctors, yoga teachers, mothers-in-law and checkout ladies at grocery stores—are members of the pregnancy police. Everyone has an opinion. But not everyone is Emily Oster, a Harvard-trained economics professor at the University of Chicago … To help the many women who reached out to Oster for advice, she compiled her conclusions in her new book, Expecting Better, which she describes as a kind of pregnancy 'by the numbers.'"
"[Oster took] a deep dive into research covering everything from wine and weight gain to prenatal testing and epidurals. What she found was some of the mainstays of pregnancy advice are based on inconclusive or downright faulty science."
"Economist and author Emily Oster contradicts conventional wisdom and advocates a much more relaxed approach to pregnancy."
“She’s such a brilliant researcher and wordsmith.”
The Times (UK)
"[Expecting Better] offers expectant mothers a new route to the delivery room."
"A comprehensive and lively debunking of the myths surrounding pregnancy."
Harvey, Karp, MD, bestselling author of The Happiest Baby Guide to Sleep and The Happiest Baby on the Block:
"Expecting Better gives moms-to-be a big helping of peace of mind! Oster debunks many tired old myths and shines a light on issues that really matter."
Pamela Druckerman, New York Times bestselling author of Bringing Up Bébé and Bébé Day by Day:"It took someone as smart as Emily Oster to make it all this simple. She cuts through the thicket of anxiety and received wisdom, and gives us the facts. Expecting Better is both enlightening and calming. It almost makes me want to get pregnant."
Charles Wheelan, New York Times bestselling author of Naked Statistics:
"Expecting Better is a fascinating and reassuring tour of pregnancy and childbirth, with data leading the way at every juncture. From start to finish, Oster easily leads us through the key findings of the extant pregnancy-related research. My only regret is that my wife and I had three children without the benefit of this insightful approach."
Rachel Simmons, New York Times bestselling author of Curse of the Good Girl:
"The only antidote to pregnancy anxiety is facts, and Emily Oster has them in spades. Disarmingly personal and easy to read, this book is guaranteed to cut your freaking out in half. Pregnancy studies has a new heroine. Every pregnant woman will cheer this book—and want to take Oster out for a shot of espresso."
Steven D. Levitt, New York Times bestselling co-author of Freakonomics:
"This is a fascinating—and reassuring—look at the most important numbers of your pregnancy. It will make parents-to-be rethink much of the conventional wisdom: think bed rest is a good idea? Think again. This may be the most important book about pregnancy you read."
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Top Customer Reviews
Then the furor struck on the Interwebs. Because Oster draws the conclusion from a variety of studies and data that it's fine to indulge in the occasional alcoholic beverage during pregnancy, she has been excoriated in a variety of articles and in the responding comments. Current Amazon.com reviews are skewed by those who take issue with an economist (not a medical doctor) who will, in their minds, increase the number of children born with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). Several comments made nasty remarks about the author's 2-year-old daughter, Penelope, implying that it was only a matter of time before she would begin to fail IQ tests and demonstrate signs of FASD herself.
Was Oster truly that horrible and conniving? Did she write her book to cause birth defects and emotional trauma? I had to know the truth, and while 40 weeks and two days pregnant, I picked up Expecting Better and read it carefully.
Spoiler alert: it's really not that bad. I love authors who examine evidence, explain scientific studies and methodology, and draw logical conclusions about the data. Oster isn't an ob/gyn, but she's a well-trained economist whose job is interpreting data. Her analysis is thorough even as she keeps her writing accessible, humorous, and sympathetic.Read more ›
The negativity is around drinking --- Emily Oster is NOT supporting drinking while being pregnant. This book provides multiple studies on women who drink and shows us that if you have a drink or two, you are NOT HURTING YOUR BABY. But if you don't agree with this philosophy, then don't drink and mind your own business! There are plenty of women around the world who drink while carrying a child. I highly doubt that the reviewers who are so concerned with FAS have actually read the book!!
I loved the chapter on miscarrying since there is so much random information online. I too, like Emily's friend in the book, wondered the % of miscarrying at varying weeks. It is comforting to know that there are many reasons why women miscarry and you can't make a generalization as to your chances of miscarrying.
Another chapter I appreciated was foods you really should avoid. Even though I'm pregnant, I don't want to feel like I can't live and enjoy food! Knowing the foods I must avoid brings me a peace of mind. In addition, I always wondered about listeria and did not believe it would be harmful to me or my baby.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Couldn't love this book more! Contrary to some negative reviews, it never pushes anyone to make certain decisions or supports unsafe practices. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Clara
In my 8th month I've already done a lot of research. While this book was a good basic outlay of data, Oster missed a lot of big picture thinking i.e. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very informative. Deflates some old beliefs.wish I would have bought it sooner.Published 16 days ago by catherine paklaian
This book gave me peace of mind throughout my pregnancy. I read the information a trimester at a time and was relieved at all of the things I felt like I didn't have to stress... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Was an OK read. Somewhat informational but very long winded and boasting. I can find just as much out from google and not get so bored.Published 23 days ago by Thompsolonian
Found this to be such a great resource, I gave my original copy to a friend who was expecting - then decided to buy another copy for myself! Read morePublished 24 days ago by J. Wyant
LOVE this book. Was given as a gift after I had complained to a girlfriend about all the "you can't" or "you shouldn't" conversations I had already had with the... Read morePublished 24 days ago by L. Ritter
This is my first time expecting and I thought this was an excellent read. Most expecting books outline the options and the current recommendations without the evidence to back it... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
The most helpful and informative book about pregnancy that I've read yet--get it now!Published 1 month ago by Annie