I was just watching TV and saw an ad for the new movie, What To Expect When You Are Expecting, and made me think about how much I loved all of those books when I was pregnant and a new mum. That TV ad made me think about doing a whole pregnancy series (even though I am NOT pregnant!) so over the next month or so, expect some book reviews, some health and beauty tips, and of course, some ideas on how to be a Chic Mummy!
For today, though, I thought I would start by reviewing that all time classic, the original What To Expect When You Are Expecting. This book is now into its 4th edition, and has more than 14 million copies in print. A lot of people call it the pregnancy bible, and it certainly was for me. This thick book was my constant companion through my pregnancy with Stephen. As a first time mum, and having suffered a miscarriage just months before falling pregnant again, pregnancy, especially those early days, were fraught with worry and anxiety and fear. As a book lover and researcher by nature, it was so reassuring to be able to follow my pregnancy along with the book and know what symptoms I should be concerned about, and which ones were perfectly normal.
This book is not a warm and fuzzy, airy fairy guide to pregnancy. It is fact-filled, down-to-earth, and tells you the honest truth about pregnancy. Pregnancy is not all about the “glow”; let’s be honest, there is a lot of not so pleasant stuff and What To Expect does not shy away from any of it. While some of my friends found this book overly clinical and overloaded with information, for someone like me, I found it struck just the right balance. I also liked that certain sections were clearly labelled as “not for everyone” such as the complicated pregnancies, and miscarriage section. This way, the information was there for people (like me) who needed it, and for those lucky enough to not need it, they didn’t need to read it and freak out.
What I loved most about this book was that it really had something for everyone without being condescending. It outlines the various birth options, encourages you to consider what kind of birth you would like, and then plan accordingly. It does not recommend one over the other, or make you feel guilty for considering a hospital birth or guilty for considering a home birth. It simply presents the facts and allows you to decide without feeling pressure one way or the other, unlike a lot of other pregnancy books I have read. The book treated medical interventions (such as amniocentesis, etc) in exactly the same way; it give reasons why to consider them balanced by the risks, with no judgement either way. In this day and age when pregnancy and birth has become extremely polarised between the “natural” and the “medical”, it was nice to find a book that took the middle road.
So overall, I highly recommend What To Expect When You Are Expecting to any pregnant mum-to-be! In the meantime, I will be waiting for the movie to come out.