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

958 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, October 1, 1995
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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671524313
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (958 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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 109 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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90 of 110 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm fully aware that as a expectant dad, I'm not in the "girlfriends" club this book is aimed at; however, I've read all the "What to expect..." type books that my wife has bought or have been given to us, and this was the worst of the lot and the only one I actually found offensive. I thought it might give some insight into what my wife is going through, but instead it told me that I'm an insensitive clod who doesn't really care what she's going through. And that men are just lying when they compliment their wives' changing bodies (not true!) among other absurd stereotypes. This book is a great way to plant the seeds of doubt in a pregngant women's mind and create division between expectant parents. If that's what you want, go for it.
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116 of 143 people found the following review helpful By KMC on February 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
I really hated this book. Because I did spend money on it, I did read it all the way through, although very grudgingly. I have a FANTASTIC sense of humor and hardly anything offends me, but this woman managed to do it. Her whiny, self-important, condescending attitude actually made me hurl the book at a wall...and that wasn't just pregnancy hormones. It was THAT bad.

Ms. Iovine, a former Playboy playmate, would like you to believe that she is on YOUR side - she and her bevy of what I'm convinced are imaginary girlfriends. However, she goes on about what an evil thing pregnancy is and that it will rob you of your body and good looks...FOREVER. She clearly states numerous times that after having a baby you will be fat, overweight, unattractive, and have saggy breasts. This was one of the first books I bought after finding out I was pregnant and didn't know what to expect. I literally cried after reading it thinking my life was over. I was surprised Ms. Iovine doesn't have a Smith & Wesson ad in the back of her book. The "you might as well die" tone just unsettled me.

She is obviously unhappy with herself and her life and is looking to bring others down with her. She's like the girl who claims to be your "friend" but gives you backhanded comments every chance she gets (eg. "Oh, wow...those pants really make your butt not look as huge as it really is!"). In reality, I think SHE was probably too lazy to exercise after pregnancy and expects you to throw in the towel, too, and be just as miserable as she is.

For anyone else depressed after reading this, I had my baby and lost all the weight and now have six-pack abs and my breasts don't sag even after six months of breastfeeding. My husband DOES still find me attractive and my life didn't end.
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