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The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy: Or everything your doctor won't tell you Paperback – October 1, 1995

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; Edition Unstated edition (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671524313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671524319
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (957 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Beginning with the "10 Greatest Lies About Pregnancy" (number 10: Lamaze works), and ending with postpartum dementia, Vicki Iovine's Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy has fast become the laywoman's mouthpiece for the American pregnancy experience. Iovine is irreverent, sassy, and incredibly reassuring as she exposes the "truths" of pregnancy and childbirth, from sex to cellulite to cesareans. Iovine birthed four kids in six years, none of them twins, which certainly qualifies her as an expert. The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy does reveal Iovine's particular cultural biases (pregnant or not, most of us don't have record-producer husbands, hang out with supermodels, or wear size-four pants) and philosophical beliefs (she's not a particularly strong proponent of natural childbirth or nursing), but, taken with a grain or two of salt, she provides many hilarious moments, acres of advice, and honest reassurance readers will find nowhere else. --Ericka Lutz

From Publishers Weekly

For first-time mothers-to-be, this candid, funny and very reassuring guide to pregnancy is just what the doctor ordered?or would if he/she knew about it. Iovine, who has had four babies and who seemingly has girlfriends with many more, believes that women learn the really valuable things about pregnancy from other women. Since too few women in today's mobile society have a close circle of experienced female friends to turn to, Iovine's sharing of her own and her friends' experiences and knowledge fills a genuine need for comforting, straightforward, non-euphemistic woman-talk. Without stepping on any medical toes, and in language that is neither technical nor cutesy, she tackles morning sickness, swollen breasts, exercises, stretch marks, sex during and after pregnancy, delivery and just about everything else, from maternity clothing to bladder behavior. Iovine anticipates every conceivable question, and her responses are warm, wise and witty.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

It does lack biology and medical facts and is mostly based upon the author's opinion.
Leiyuan Jackson
I love this book and recommend that anyone who is pregnant or even thinking about becoming pregnant read it.
Vicki Iovine's book is hysterical, and true, and actually even makes my husband laugh out loud.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

204 of 219 people found the following review helpful By miscellany78 on October 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy" is a difficult book to rate. Vicki Iovine's honesty and sense of humor about pregnancy deserves 5 stars. If you find pregnancy difficult for even a moment, this book will be a great comfort to you. It is a delightful antidote to the dry, frightening pregnancy books that flood the market.

But I found myself angry with a couple of the positions Vicki takes and how she presents them, especially regarding natural childbirth. This is why I knocked my rating down to 3 stars. She seems to take it quite personally that some women make birth choices different from her own, and she goes out of her way to be quite rude and petty about it.

The Good Stuff

* Vicki Iovine really and truly understands how traumatic pregnancy weight gain can be. We live in a society where we are taught to hate and fear getting fat, and we cannot just turn that lesson off when we get pregnant. It is HARD to go to the doctor and get weighed all the time, and be judged on if our gain is "acceptable" or not. Vicki gets this, she genuinely does, and it is such a joy to read her rants about it. You're not alone in being scared to step on the scale.

* The Guide includes a realistic, down-to-Earth discussion of what you really need to buy for your new baby, and what you can skip. A huge blessing for new moms!

* Much of Vicki's advice is wonderfully specific. For instance, she doesn't just tell you that you need to bring an outfit to the hospital for the baby to wear home - she tells you exactly what kind of outfit will work the best. She does honestly seem to remember what it's like to be a first-time mom and just not know these things.
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98 of 114 people found the following review helpful By bluesy18 on January 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
First, I think it's worth stating the (nearly) obvious: that every woman's pregnancy is a bit different. That said, this book is just out of date and--while apparently funny to some--tiresome in its "I can tell you what the medical community won't" schtick. Most problematic, I think, is the long diatribe against exercise, especially the way Iovine couches the whole discussion in terms of appearance and the American woman's need to look good and her inability to let go and do what nature is telling her to do. She says "Exercise will not help you in labor or delivery in any way." (98) This is simply untrue based on MANY studies (two are: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995, May;27(5):634-40; Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Dec;163(6 Pt 1):1799-805). It's just irresponsible for Iovine to suggest that "you might engander the pregnancy" and then to further manipulate the reader emotionally with "even if you don't endanger the pregnancy, if something goes wrong, you will forever wonder if you're exercising caused it." (100)

This section alone is reason to avoid the book. Ms. Iovine is speaking authoritatively based on little more than anecdote and what amounts to folk-wisdom. In writing for mothers-to-be, one would hope for a modicum of science would enter the dialogue. To ignore it is to do the readership a disservice.
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93 of 108 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have never written an Amazon review before, but I was so annoyed by this book that I just had to write one. The book was recommended to me by several people, so maybe I'm in the minority. I'm an avid reader with a good sense of humor, but I failed to see what's so funny or insightful about the "Girlfriends' Guide." I found it to be poorly written, sloppily edited and more irritating than amusing. Vicki Iovine bears no resemblance to my girlfriends. Her viewpoint strikes me as very west-coast-white-upper-middle-class, and much in her book seems dated (leggings with stirrups are her number one fashion tip!). "Girlfriends' Guide" reads like a slightly lewd "Cathy" comic strip without the pictures. She reinforces all sorts of stereotypes of women in general (vain, self-centered) and pregnant women in particular (irrational, grotesquely bloated) that I don't find to be true, much less funny. While I do think there's a market out there for a light-hearted, non-scientific "tell it like it is" book about pregnancy, this isn't the one for me. If you consider yourself smart and literary, you might be disappointed too. I suggest you read a chapter or two in a bookstore before you buy. That's what I should have done.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Morgaine on January 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
I, like most other reviewers, found the Girlfriends' Guide to be easy reading with a good sense of humor. It also has LOTS of good information.

However, I tend to hang out on the alternative side of things and this book just didn't work for me. Yes, the pregnancy information is just as useful to me as to any other pregnant woman, but information is not why you read this book! The Guide is most useful for its friendly tone, the feeling that you're sitting around a kitchen table getting advice from your Girlfriends. And these are not MY Girlfriends.

Some of the items that stuck in my head: (I'm paraphrasing!)

-All Girlfriends have husbands, so it isn't necessary to acknowledge that pregnant women actually have a wide variety of partner & family setups.

-We know home birth is an option, but who actually does that? You'd have to be crazy. And water birth is so ridiculous we can't even discuss it. The Girlfriends have utmost faith in the mainstream medical establishment.

-Don't bother doing any serious exercise because you'll be overcome with guilt if anything goes wrong with the baby.

-Apparently all the Girlfriends start out around size 4. There are lots of references to difficult feelings around body image, but many of them were quickly rendered irrelevant to me when I realized she was bemoaning her now-size-8 body!

While it may be fantastic for the majority of women, if you're not in the majority, save your money.

BONUS: If you're looking for something with the same tone but a more indie view of the motherhood experience, I can recommend the following:

- Breeder, edited by Ariel Gore

- The Big Rumpus, by Ayun Halliday
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