Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Useful but not perfect (for me)
on February 10, 2013
Update: After reading this book over more thoroughly, I found it a little less helpful than at first glance. The author seems very proud of himself, almost smug, for being able to successfully convince pregnant women to follow his suggestions. I found that rather weird. He does still seem credible, but that aspect just struck me as being odd. Also, as a person who believes strongly in evidence based research, I found it very concerning that some alternative remedies are listed alongside proven medical treatments with no differentiation between the proven effectiveness. I guess if you are someone who believes in things like homeopathy or naturopathy, this may be a good book for you. As someone who is more interested in concrete facts proven by reputable studies, it left me feeling a little uneasy. I will say though that it seems the author was very cautious to not include anything that could be considered harmful. I didn't purchase "What to Expect When You're Expecting" partly because of the poor reviews it got within this book review thread and on its own page. I was turned off by the claims that it was gossipy and silly, but when my mom got it for me, I actually ended up finding it to be more helpful and in some cases more fact based than the Whole Pregnancy Handbook!
The following comments I made previously about this book still apply:
I really liked how they included many different questions you should consider because it did make me think about things that previously hadn't occurred to me.
I didn't expect to care for the "real voices" but I actually found myself connecting with the other women who had doubts, fears, embarrassment as well as excitement and happiness. It added to the book's authenticity for me.
I was disappointed in some of the recommendations in the section about exercise. When I got the book, I immediately skipped to that section and looked at what they said about weight lifting. 3 to 5 pound dumbbells... really?? And nothing above 10lb... "honey can you lift this head of lettuce into the crisper for me? my weak pregnant body just can't handle it" While I get that women who have never done any sort of weight training may find this a non-intimidating entry into exercise; for someone who loves to exercise (including regularly lifting wights in the 100-200lb range) and finds that it adds to her overall health and sense of well-being- I find this recommendation overly simple and somewhat condescending. And with running, it just says to continue if you already do it and feel comfortable continuing. Are you sure? What about hill repeats? What about my long runs? My lactate threshold runs? This book doesn't seem to take into account that there are women out there who exercise beyond the occasional leisurely jog. (If you are looking for a great book with more detailed and realistic recommendations on exercising during pregnancy, I would urge you to read "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" by Clapp.)
I did like the very detailed section on how to modify yoga for pregnancy.
Overall- I still think that this book is somewhat helpful and worth reading, but it's not my favorite.