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The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: How to Stay Sane and Care for Yourself from Pre-conception through Birth, 2nd Edition Paperback – September 23, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"At last, a lesbian-specific treatise on making a baby and what to do with it once it arrives. Includes lots of bright, funny info about stuff like sperm bank selection and the legal rights of lesbian families." —The Advocate

About the Author

Journalist/mother
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press; 2nd edition (September 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157344216X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573442169
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Hooray! The second edition of this first-of-its-kind book has even more useful information and is totally up-to-date. The best thing about it is still the author's voice, which is strong and supportive -- and funny -- on every page. This book is infused with the wisdom of someone who's been through it all, back when there weren't any books about it, and is eager to shepherd others through the process. Equally encouraging are the many quotes from other dyke mamas (and mamas-to-be) describing their own experiences, from the just- thinking-about-it stage to actually giving birth.

Some questions this book will help you think through: am I (are we) ready for kids? can I do it alone? how to choose a donor? what is it like, trying to get pregnant? what are my options if I don't get pregnant quickly? how will I handle being pregnant? what kind of birth do I hope for? what is it like for the non-bio mom? and what kind of family will we be in those early days?

In each case the author doesn't tell you what to do, but helps you figure out what YOU want to do. She clearly has her own preferences -- unmedicated birth is best; circumcision sucks; breastfeeding rocks! -- but they are carefully argued, pretty persuasive, and the tone is consistently pro-child and pro-women.

Sensibly, Pepper puts the tough stuff up front: the first chapter is about getting yourself as physically, mentally, financially and legally ready to start a family as you can possibly be. Then it's on to getting the goods, finding out what's going on under the hood, and starting the crazy ride on the conception "rollercoaster." The chapter offering Ten Tips to Keep You Sane during this crazy period is worth the price of the book alone!
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Format: Paperback
I'm really surprised at all the glowing reviews of this book! For me, the only thing setting it apart from a million other mediocre pregnancy books is the lesbian perspective, which I do appreciate. Overall, though, I found it pretty fluffy and not entirely reliable. The book gives an overview of numerous topics without providing a lot of detail on very many of them. This author's only qualification seems to be that she is a lesbian who had a baby, and she therefore offers tidbits of sometimes-dubious advice based on her own experience, such as...don't eat broccoli while you are pregnant? My midwife thought that one was hilarious.

I ordered this book along with Stephanie Brill's "New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth," which I found to be MUCH more useful and informative. All of the same topics are covered there, but in more detail and with more authority -- Brill is a renowned midwife and educator who has worked extensively with queer families. The Brill book provides WAY more detail and guidance on fertility charting, sperm banks, and insemination methods.

I am giving this book two stars because I think it's really important that there be pregnancy and birth resources geared specifically to queer women, and to the best of my knowledge, there are only really two such books out there. But trust me: The other one is much better.
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Format: Paperback
Rachel Pepper's new edition of her Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians is a welcomed event. With her clear writing and pull-no-punches style, Rachel takes the mystery and fear out of this amazing and popular process. Lesbians deserve to be spoken to in our own language, and this book is accessible and smart in the best ways. Things I didn't know I didn't know are answered fully, informatively, and often with a lightheartedness that reaches across the page to the reader so we can understand what's going on. I would recommend this book to any single or coupled lesbians who are thinking of embarking on the baby journey.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is terribly written. I can't believe I paid for a book with so many exclamation points; it reads like a teenager's diary. The only reason to buy this book is because there is still so little information available on the internet about conception for lesbians and there are no other books on the topic. Beyond exploring the issues of conception, this book is useless. The advice is either common sense or completely made up and lacking in any scientific support. If you don't need this book to learn about conceiving a child with a donor, then don't buy it. I am sure there are much better books about pregnancy and childbirth out there.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An "Ultimate Guide," this book is not! I bought this book hoping that it would have specific information on the entire spectrum of options lesbians consider for pregnancy - sperm banks, known donors with fresh sperm, known donors with processed sperm, etc. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Ms. Pepper casually dismisses every option besides using a sperm bank. Fresh sperm doesn't warrant more than a paragraph in the entire book!

Additionally, while this book is marketed as an ultimate guide, there is not a single section that provides exhaustive information. If you're looking for a brief introduction to human biology, written with the right pronouns for a lesbian relationship, and you don't mind a mildly condescending tone, this book is for you. Otherwise, skip it.
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