Top positive review
45 people found this helpful
The only book you'll need - I promise.
on July 10, 2015
Seriously - this is the only pregnancy book you need. I received a few others as gifts, and I never liked the tone, style, or presentation in the other books. Whether it's the "hey, girlfriend - let's talk about being prego over a cup of decaf Starbucks and shoe-shopping!" (yuck) or a condescending/patronizing tone as though I'm a knocked-up idiot, I found myself quickly donating all other books except for this one. The Mayo Clinic Guide is to-the-point but friendly enough with excellent pictures and descriptions of each stage, and the doctors' tone doesn't question your intelligence or know-how. I appreciate that the source material is valid as this is a peer-reviewed effort including many doctors in the field listed as contributors (I'm a PhD/professor who teaches source evaluation, so yeah - it's important to me), and I like the logical organization of the chapters. There's isn't too much information stuffed onto one page, and the layout makes it easy to skim to the parts you're most interested in at the time of reading. I also greatly appreciate that the book doesn't get preachy, doesn't sway from trying to remain objective, offers different birthing options without judgment, and includes helpful charts and lists along the way. I found everything spot-on (I'm now entering my 7th month of pregnancy), and it helped me to know what to expect with each ob appointment, what questions I should ask, and when to start planning for things such as interviewing pediatricians, filling out hospital forms, etc (each of these are included as reminders for each month of pregnancy, so it's not like you're bombarded by information up front that you'll have to remember throughout all 9 and 1/2 months of pregnancy). I have found it most useful to skim through the book in its entirety upon first perusal, and then follow along as each month progresses.
My only suggestion is that for those of us who like to check references or refer to them ourselves, it would have been helpful to have a bibliographic list of sources used in the book. For example: ob doctors often frighten women away from all forms of vitamin A because of one study that was done in the 1990s, but vitamin A as beta carotene hasn't been shown to cause birth defects like vitamin A in the form of retinol has, which is stored in fat cells, and vitamin A as beta carotene is necessary for fetal eye development (this is based on newer data I've found through my research). I had to argue with my ob about this when I told her I wouldn't take prescription prenatals and preferred my own vitamin mix - well, it was for many reasons, including the synthetic junk and dyes in most prescription prenatals (boy, I've got some stories about pharmaceutical reps pushing those things and their reasons why they include dyes in them that have been linked to birth defects, one of which included an old man making the statement that "pregnant women don't want to take ugly brown pills; they want to take pretty blue ones!" I kid you not. Apparently we women are that dumb and shallow, according to pharmaceutical reps), but a scholarly article would have been nice to give to her in my defense of taking a holistic vitamin cocktail that included vitamin A as beta carotene, a vitamin that is flushed from the system once the body has taken what it needs. I do realize that many readers wouldn't care about this kind of information, but it wouldn't hurt to include a "works cited" or "bibliography" page at the end with helpful, legitimate scholarly articles and information about various studies, and maybe some parenthetical citations throughout that could lead us active readers to the biblio reference. More work? Sure, the editors would have a good bit more work to do gathering this information, but it would make this book absolute perfection!
Anyway, I do highly recommend this book for those of you who want medical advice from medical professionals, delivered in an approachable yet no-nonsense way that keeps you happy and motivated without the saccharine pandering often found in pregnancy guides.