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From the Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Uncensored, Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Becoming a Parent Paperback – May 22, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Neither Odes nor Morris is a doctor, but as eager authors and recent mothers themselves, they aim, in this chick-friendly guide, to dish out Internet-accessible information and you-go-girl supportive advice. Their approach is to consider the authorities with a mere grain of salt, while seeking a supportive environment in which to nurture one's pregnancy and child-rearing. And while sorting through the opinions along the way, from choosing a health-care provider, coping with loss, birthing strategies, breastfeeding and sex, and baby-care basics, among other topics, the authors provide on most pages plentiful belly-shaped bubbles containing lively quotes from "anonymoms." Hear the mothers from the trenches express what they really feel, from one mom who enthuses, "The belly—I loved everything about it, and it makes people—strangers, even—feel enthralled with you") to the sadly modern refrain of another, "Sometimes I bury myself in work so I don't feel the sadness, fatigue and stress of having the baby waiting for me at home." The authors' are upbeat and well informed, and their useful back-of-the-book references address sensitive specific needs such as adoption and surrogacy, teen and older parents, and breastfeeding controversies. (May)
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Review

“Incredibly important reading for anyone about to have a baby…From the Hips gives you what you need to make informed decisions, shares experiences from other parents that will make you laugh, and reveals many of the secrets our mothers didn't tell us.”

–Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bee Moms and Wannabe Dads

“What every new parent needs–a ton of expert advice, presented with humor and zero negativity, from two moms who instantly feel like your best friends. This is the one pregnancy guide that new parents will actually want to read."
 
Leslie Morgan Steiner, editor of Mommy Wars and The Washington Post's online work/family column, “On Balance”

From The Hips is a deeply refreshing, honest look at the profound changes we undergo during pregnancy and beyond. Ceridwen and Rebecca unabashedly go into areas that other guides shy away from, offering support to every kind of prospective mother. Being pregnant and having a child is alternately the most beautiful, complex, difficult, rewarding experience a woman can imagine. This book gives it straight and from all sides, without judgment, and with irreverent humor and candor from its authors.”

-Gwyneth Paltrow

“Supportive, positive, real, and rarely preachy…Finally a reference guide for parents that treats us like we have brains.”
- Bust Magazine

The honest talk about epidurals and C-sections, including anonymous quotes from moms, is must-read info for anyone planning a hospital birth. In fact, the book is full of frank advice about most of today's biggest hurdles for pregnant women, from going back to work to breastfeeding in public... At every step, it addresses not just what you'll be going through physically, but what you and your partner might be addressing emotionally, too. Cheers to this realistic take on the lifestyle change that is pregnancy and parenthood.
- Pregnancy Magazine
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307237087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307237088
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I am a childbirth educator and mom of four. I've read almost every pregnancy and childbirth book that's out there. From the Hips is my new favorite. It's easy to read, amusing, and packed with well presented options with none of the preachy, prescriptive tone of so many parenting books. For example, birth options--hospital/birth center/homebirth; midwife/OB--are explained factually and fairly leaving the reader to decide what feels right for her. I love the many "Anonymom" quotes sprinkled throughout the book--makes it feel like a community effort.

My only criticism of the book is the riotous use of color--it's fun but at times too intense and intrusive. Not enough of a distraction to lower my 5 star recommendation though.
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Upon reading this book for the first time this evening, I am so relieved. I am in my first trimester of my first pregnancy and, after getting "What to Expect" for my first reference, I was left feeling overwhelmed and inadequate right from the start. From the Hips is fun, frank, informative and well organized. This book is so much better than the others -- it even inspired me to write my very first review on Amazon.
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I am pregnant with my first child. I picked this book up from my library and am now going to buy it for anyone else I know who gets pregnant.

If you are like me, you tend to fantasize about all the fun and games and great expectations of having a baby. And, while you do also have doubts and worries, you tend to push those to one side because you think they are "unnatural" or "not healthy." But, the truth is, new parents really need to know what is involved in the REALITY of having a child. Friends and relatives who have had babies may tell you some things, but often they romanticize the process either because they really don't remember how hard it was or, they don't want to scare you/talk badly about their children.

This book was great because it gave me the feeling that even if things don't go the way I had envisioned that doesn't make me a failure or a bad mom. Sometimes we react to this huge life-change in ways we never expected. I like that this book presents you with all sorts of possibilities--good and bad--and assures you that we all just do the best we can.

I would not make this the ONLY book a new mother reads, but definitely put it on your MUST list. It will make the road a little easier to waddle :)
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I cannot emphasize enough what a fantastic book this is. I am pregnant with my first child and this book is very thorough but still manages to be entertaining. It is much more substantial than I might have guessed-- it is a true reference book despite the lighthearted title and cover imagery. Not patronizing, but doesn't assume you come into pregnancy knowing the difference between a midwife and a doula! :-) By far the best book I've read in terms of covering A LOT of material in a unique and interesting way. Has an amazing way of anticipating what the reader might want to know about a subject and giving MANY perspectives and opinions. Don't hesitate to get this! If you're thinking about it, get it! I'm so glad I did! Would also make a great shower gift.
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By S. Chavez on January 10, 2010
My doula recommended this book and I loved it! Reading the introduction made me know right away that this book was meant for me. It was honest, straight-forward and included answers to all the questions the rest of my baby books left behind. I also liked that they had quotes from other mom's who shared their experiences about everything from how they felt about writing a birth plan to what their experience was like when they arrived at the hospital. I would recommend this book to anyone expecting a baby!
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I looooooove this book! I work in a bookstore and shelve the Parenting section, so I've flipped through many a pregnancy book. When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately bought this and a few others, and this turned into my favorite. The writing style is a pleasure to read, it's never condescending like some other books I've found. It feels like your best friend, who just happens to be an expert on pregnancy and childbirth, is giving you information and reassurance. I felt it gave me all of the information I needed, but without scaring me. I especially liked the real "anonymoms" weighing in on each page about their experiences, because some said things that I myself had thought, which reassured me that I'm not alone. Some brought things up that I'd never thought of before, which will be helpful if I too feel that way, or to relate to a friend who feels that way. It really was totally honest, open-minded and comprehensive. It let me know that I have choices when it comes to pregnancy, birth and infant care, that there isn't one right way to do anything. Whereas Your Pregnancy Week by Week made me feel anxious and angry, this book made me feel informed and empowered. I'd recommend it as part of anyone's pregnancy reading.
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My last comment in the title line was the one which gave me pause. As someone not particularly interested in pain and hospitals (or even children) I read this book more for reassurance than any other reason. For that purpose, I'd suggest that others are better off with a grade-school textbook which glosses over all the unpleasant bits.

There are scads of comments from pregnant or recently pregnant women splashed about the book discussing everything from conception to sore nipples, and amazingly enough, most of them were negative.

I can't imagine why, in this modern, image-overconscious, sexually laden, instant-gratification, pain-killing society, women would feel negatively about their bodies distending, erratic sex-drives, 9-month "baby vessel" status, followed by a painful labor process (where 10 hours is still considered short...) and then a loss of personal space, sex-drive (again) and sore nipples. Oh, wait. Yes I can imagine. Ouch. Yikes.

All that scary commentary aside, this book really is useful. There is an amazing wealth and variety of information presented in a strangely bias-free (mostly) environment, usually with comments from parents who tried it, with varying results.

Nausea remedies, natural birth options, water-bith discussions, hospital information, introduction to different epidural styles, the use (and general uselessness) of a "birth planning" document - its all in there.

Also in there are reams of info on new babies - you know - the ultimate wrinkly shrieking goal of the whole enterprise. Yeah. There's the requisite breast-feeding vs formula debate, a how to get your baby to sleep section (co-sleeping, SIDS, how many hours of sleep mom will lose (300 in the first year) whether they should be on a sleep-schedule...
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