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What to Expect Before You're Expecting Paperback – Black & White, May 15, 2009
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More and more couples are planning for conception, not only for financial and lifestyle reasons, but in response to recent recommendations from the medical community. In the same fresh, contemporary voice that has made the 4th edition of What to Expect When You're Expecting so successful, Heidi Murkoff explains the whys and wherefores of getting your body ready for pregnancy, including pregnancy prep for both moms and dads to be. Before You're Expecting is filled with information on exercise, diet, pinpointing ovulation, lifestyle, workplace, and insurance changes you'll want to consider, and how to keep your relationship strong when you're focused on baby making all the time. There are tips for older couples; when to look for help from a fertility specialist--including the latest on fertility drugs and procedures--plus a complete fertility planner.
Read Heidi Murkoff's Introduction to What to Expect Before You're Expecting
Pregnancy, as you probably know, is nine months long (or 38 weeks from conception, if you're really serious about keeping count). And if you've ever been pregnant before, you probably think that's plenty long enough. But is nine months really long enough? Does that time-honored baby-making timetable really stand up to the latest obstetrical science?
According to more and more research--and more and more experts (including the Centers for Disease Control, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American College of Pediatrics)--the answer is maybe not. That traditional nine-month figure is being challenged by a surprising new suggestion: It’s time to add more months to pregnancy.
That's right, more months. At least three more months, in fact, for a full year (or even more) of baby making. But before you panic (three extra months of not seeing my feet? Of passing on the sushi? Of waiting to hold that bundle of joy?), here’s what you need to know: Those extra months aren’t meant to be spent being pregnant, they’re meant to be spent getting ready to be pregnant.
Before you're expecting--and before you even begin trying to expect--is the best time to get both your bodies into tip-top baby-making shape. And that's why I've written What to Expect Before You're Expecting--a complete, step-by-step preconception plan to help you and your partner prep for pregnancy. Whether you're hoping to fill your nest for the first time or the fourth (or more!), a little conception know-how--which lifestyle adjustments you should make now (cut back on caffeine and cocktails) and which you can hold off on (get your sushi while you can!); which foods are fertility-friendly and which are fertility busters (say yes to yams and oysters, so long to saturated fats); how extra weight can weigh on your fertility and his; how to track fertility and pinpoint ovulation--can help you fill that nest faster. What's more, the right preconception protocol can help ensure a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy (think less morning sickness, a lowered risk of premature delivery and gestational diabetes) and a healthier bundle of baby. And the plan doesn't end when you're finished with the prepping. It covers baby-making how-to's, do's, and don'ts--everything you need to know about conception sex (from timing, to logistics, to positions, and more).
Whether you've begun your conception campaign already or you're just starting to think about getting pregnant, it’s never too late--or too early--to start optimizing your preconception profile, giving the baby of your dreams the healthiest possible start in life. So put time on your side, and add a few months to your baby-making calendar. More pregnancy, as it turns out, is more.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Pregnancy guru Murkoff (What to Expect When You're Expecting) explains that a healthy pregnancy actually begins long before sperm and egg meet. In fact, she suggests that couples add at least three months to the requisite nine in order to prepare both their bodies for the best outcome. Backed by research and expert advice, Murkoff and Mazel present a preconception program that includes tips on what to eat (and not eat), how to maintain a healthy weight and advice about preconception medical care, such as having a physical and dental checkup. The text points out that dads are vitally important to pre-pregnancy health, with warnings that heavy drinking and smoking can damage or reduce sperm, as can certain sports such as spinning, cycling or heavy workouts. (Shaded boxes throughout the text address the ways in which men can contribute to baby-to-be's successful arrival.) The text also covers fertility issues, clearly explaining œthe biology of baby making and outlining the options available to couples who are facing conception problems. Readers who like to think ahead will also benefit from a detailed fertility planner, which includes a fertility chart to track ovulation and space to record various pre-baby appointments and information. Couples who are trying to conceive will find plenty of useful ideas to consider and implement in the months preceding their baby's debut. (May)
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Top Customer Reviews
Aside from the authors tone (another reviewer nailed it when they likened it to Cosmo-style writing) and very off-putting sense of humor (my partner begged me to stop reading before page 100 as I would read aloud every awful pun I came upon), I also found the book a little lacking in content (considering the size, it seemed there should have been more, and it should have come before I was halfway through the book). By page 80 I felt I had only learned 1 page worth of information, most of the new knowledge being random little factoids that were interesting, but not going to help me or provide me new direction in the process.
On validity of content, there is definitely some out-of-date info, which is the nature of the beast when writing about policy/medicine/health/science. Not the author's fault by any means, but I say it as a reader beware: if you are reading this, and it is your primary source of info on pre-conception/pregnancy, some of this info may have changed. (For example, the insurance section contains a few statements that are no longer accurate).
The formatting was also frustrating, and I often found myself having to flip back and forth through pages as a diagram would be on one page, with the text referencing it 1-3 pages later. They also added some little boxes of text (and some 2 page blocks) that breaks up the reading. Unfortunately, due to the sloppy formatting, this means you'd have to break off mid-sentence to read the box, or flip on (sometimes another 2 pages) to finish the sentence you're in the middle of before flipping back to get the box of info.
I also took issue with some of the nutrition advice in the book. Many of the options continually referenced (especially for those looking to lose weight) are just packed with sugar, and are foods that are often given a health-halo, though they are likely to do more harm than good to those seeking to lose weight. Pushing yogurt and whole-grain cereal just doesn't seem like the best advice, at least not without further instructing people to look at the sugar content. Yogurt and whole-grain products can (and most commonly are) PACKED with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Lots of folks following the advise in this book might be frustrated by the results they get, because the author provides just enough information to get folks into trouble, without the details they need to make truly informed decisions (which--hello--is why they are reading a book like this).
I definitely would not recommend anyone use this book's nutritional section as an authoritative or sole source. It covers the basics that anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past 10 years would know, but falls short of providing anything of any substance or value.
On the plus side, there is some content, and some of it is valuable. Due to the book being written at a somewhat low reading level, you can get through it pretty fast, so there's not too much time wasted. The style reveals itself right away, so if it bothers you enough to stop, you won't have gone so far you feel like you just need to push through. Unfortunately, as I feel somewhat desperate for information on the subject (as I imagine many readers will), I felt I had to push through, less I miss all the good information that--no matter how far I read--I was always worried might be on the next page.
I purchased this book because when I was in the military, the base Ob-Gyn's recommended the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" to mom's-to-be, and lots of the ladies seemed to find it a great resource. So I figured another book in the series would be a good place for me to start my book reading (having been doing other reading online for some time).
I would not recommend this book (especially to anyone who's read any other book on the subject).
First, the good: it has a lot of useful information in it, all in one place. A previous reviewer noted that you can get all of the info in it online, which is true, but you might have to spend some time looking for it and some you might never stumble upon. This book has it all in one fairly short book, so if you want to quickly look something up it's easy to do it. There are things in it that I never really thought about, and so wouldn't have looked up (why certain vitamins are good to have, the biology of getting an egg fertilized (getting pregnant)), but that I'm glad I know now.
With that said, this is obviously not the only book that has this information in it, and if you buy another one you can probably skip this one (I also bought "Before Your Pregnancy," which I have only skimmed so far but which looks better than this book so far). The pages at the end (for charting your temperature, keeping track of your cycles, etc.) were great 5 years ago, I'm sure, but you can download free apps that do all of this more conveniently now. Also, I agree with other reviewers who said the language is really annoying. You get past it eventually, enough to keep reading for useful information (or at least I did), but it does read like a Cosmo magazine. There are plenty of silly abbreviations, sex is called "baby dancing" or "baby making" and there is alliteration in spades. Ugh.
To sum up: I'm giving it three stars because on the one hand I did learn from it and it's concise (190 pages, if you don't include the charts at the end, which I don't, compared to 400 or 500 pages for "Before Your Pregnancy" (I forget which)), but other hand I could have gotten all the information in another book. On the one hand it's cheap, but on the other hand the language the author uses is annoying to read.