Customer Review

1,041 of 1,263 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars To All the Expecting Fathers ..., May 31, 2008
This review is from: What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition (Paperback)
Guys ... consider this a warning; this will be the worst book that your significant other can read and will make your life utterly miserable for the next nine months. It's been over four years since I had to deal with this serie's 3rd edition and I still can't stand the sight of it.

It may have been intended as a self-help guide, but its alarmist tone and condescending attitude leads this to act more as a bible for every worst-case scenario imaginable. After spending a few hours perusing this book's contents, your wife, girlfriend, whomever will become so overworked and paranoid that every little ache, pain, and irritation will become a sign of the baby being born with a forked tongue and three heads. The diet your partner will be instructed to keep is impossible for any human being alive to follow. She will be told to try and avoid ... damn near everything it seems like.

I was also incensed that after reading up on the author, all of this "wonderful" information was being brought to me by someone with NO MEDICAL BACKGROUND. If I'm going to want advice on dealing with pregnancy issues, wouldn't I want to consult an expert (i.e. someone with a degree)? Murkoff is no more an expert then I am ...

I'll be blunt, WTEWYE seems to be an EXTREMELY popular gift for someone who's pregnant for the first time and it's probably unavoidable. I came into three copies without any effort at all. I'm not going to stand here and pretend I know of a better source for information either, because (outside of ... oh I don't know ... a doctor) I don't. All I know is that if THIS is the definitive volume on the pregnancy experience, then God help us all.

I absolutely guarantee you, someone your partner knows WILL buy this for her. Your mission is to "lose it." If you're already stuck with it and you can't hide it or burn it, at least do your best to temper its pages with as much perspective as you possibly can. Again, for a first-time mom-to-be, who, frankly, is probably a bit nervous anyway about all the changes her body is going through, all this volume is going to accomplish is completely freaking her out.

Batten down the hatches and break out the antacid my friends, it's gonna be a long nine months
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 44 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 5, 2008 2:08:53 PM PDT
Dave says:
I couldn't agree more. This book has every single thing that can possibly go wrong with a pregnancy in it. Of the six or eight books we had, this was without a doubt the worst.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2008 6:48:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 9, 2008 10:14:47 AM PDT
Ron Sullivan says:
I feel the same way. It's amazing how much a catchy title can help a sale isn't it?

I just feel that this book took all the paranoid, irrational hypotheticals my son's mother was coming up with for herself, and instead of tempering them with little things like ... oh ... shear odds or (dare I repeat) a bit of perspective, it actually justified all of them and came up with some new ones to boot!

Then after dealing with all the panicked phone calls and having WTEWYE actually used, by her, as a source when it's being explained to me WHY we have to rush to the ER, I looked into the author. I was enraged when I found out Heidi Murkoff has absolutely no medical background at all! This thing had her in 24 hour freak-out mode and the woman who wrote it isn't even a doctor? This is the equivalent of getting medical advice from a neighbor!

After that, I always felt like it was ridiculous that this book, out of all the ones out there, was then held up as the be-all-end-all pregnancy guide ...

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 7:31:28 PM PDT
I agree! I am an obstetrician and I wrote The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book partly because my patients were being driven crazy by What to Expect. I keep wondering why it has done so well, other than the great title. It drives us OBs and midwives crazy as well because women call in worried about things that actually as an OB I have never even heard of! Plus I think calling their diet the "best odds" diet is meanspirited. No one can be perfect all the time, and all this book does is make people feel guilty!

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 8:03:49 PM PDT
B. Wilson says:
Oh... I'm not sure I agree with you entirely, as found a lot of the info in the 3rd edition helpful and informative while pregnant with my first child. However, your post made me crack up laughing. I am now pregnant with my second and I was crabby as hell today, but you put a smile on my face. Thank you. I wish you, your wife and your fork tounged, 3 headed child a better reference book!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2008 8:40:50 PM PDT
Ron Sullivan says:
I'm certainly glad I was able to help lighten-up the day for you a little bit B! As for the book, it was an experience that taught me (if nothing else) that sometimes too much information can sometimes be as bad as not enough.

... and yes ... my three-headed, forked tongued hell-spawn and I are terrific! Thank you again!

Posted on Aug 16, 2008 6:00:37 PM PDT husband who suffered through two WTEWYE pregnancies and my two fork tongued three headed children are all laughing while we peruse our new copy of the Mayo Clinic guide that will definitely replace the aforementioned fearmongering tome for our current pregnancy!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2008 8:41:27 AM PDT
Ron Sullivan says:
I'm glad that book's offering a better experience for you guys! Don't forget too, I started a new thread on this page to try and put a more positive discussion together dealing with alternate material.

I started to feel like it was easy to rip the product, but to leave people without a better option to turn to, didn't seem exactly fair ...

Posted on Aug 19, 2008 11:48:08 AM PDT
E. Haaland says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2008 1:50:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 19, 2008 1:59:32 PM PDT
Ron Sullivan says:
It's not the the advice was "bad" (per se). It was more that the tone of negativity was such that you were made to feel like if you DID slip a bit ... something bad WILL happen. Again, this is just my opinion, your experience might be the complete opposite and certainly kudos for maintaining such a heathy life-style. You have to grant me though, you know you're probably in the far minority in having been able to maintain that kind of disipline.

Now, granted, that may be a sad commentary on todays society's eating habits that this is the case, but the diet IS pretty damn rigid. I don't think it takes into good enough account that there are a LOT of people out there that ARE on-the-go all the way up to the end and possibly don't always have the luxury of eating a completely balanced meal 3x's daily. A plan that's able to take a more flexible approach for someone with an active life-style, I think, would be more beneficial. I certainly don't think they should have to deal with the guilt that if they slip a bit here or there they're not giving their baby the "best odds" somehow ...

Posted on Oct 19, 2008 9:48:35 PM PDT
Emily Bronte says:
Your review is rather well written and quite hysterical at times. I haven't read the book but just knowing that the author has no medical training or experience is reason enough not to purchase or read the book. And the fact that the tone renders some people (perhaps those who read between the lines) paranoid or fearful is even more of a reason not to purchase the book. The fact that your review is so well written is really wonderful not only for the pleasure of reading it, but also because it's the highest rated review which means that people read it first. Your review certainly makes a good case and leaves a strong impression. Thanks so much!
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