What To Expect – Is It All That Grand?

THE GOOD:

The best just got better.
Expect the best! A brand-new fourth edition—filled with the most up-to-date, accurate, and relevant information on all things pregnancy. Realistic, supportive, easy to access, and overflowing with practical tips, covering everything you’ll need—and want—to know about life’s most amazing journey, from preconception planning to birth to those first miraculous weeks with a new baby. It’s all here: the lowdown on lifestyle trends and life in the workplace; the latest in prenatal testing and alternative therapies; the best in birthing options.

**

I love this book. It’s so easy to read and so informative. It’s set up is similar to a magazine.. It’s just really easy to read. A lot of the book is in a Q&A format which is nice and straight forward. It covers pretty much everything. I even bought a copy for my best friend for Christmas and she loves it too! It has a lot of interesting facts and really puts you at ease. It covers everything from before you even think about getting pregnant to way past giving birth. Great read!

**

The iconic pregnancy book. Glad that I received this as a gift!

**

I bought this book as soon as I found out I was pregnant. Thus far, I’ve read through the chapter on the 3rd month of pregnancy and everything is great. It’s well written, funny, and I’m learning from it. I don’t plan on finishing yet, mainly becasue I want to read trimester by trimester, but I have learned from it. There’s plenty of information on what to expect with your body changes, the baby’s growth, “side effects” advice on how to deal with morning sickness, and more! If I have any friends get pregnant in the future, I am going to advise they read this.

**

A MUST have: If you are looking for a thorough pregnancy book, this has to be it. When I got it from my doctor (he gives one out to each new, expectant mom) I was suprised at how big it was. Wow! A lot of reading material. However, this one covers just about everything you want to know about pregnacny and then some. There was also some stuff in here that I particularily didn’t want to know!! However, it’s a good, solid read and one of the best. A classic.

**

My youngest daughter is expecting her first baby in May 2010. She had a lot of questions and some worries too. This book has eased her mind and has helped her to understand all the changes happening to her during the time when she needs the information the most. Excellent resource for anyone having a baby – either their first or their fourth. I would recommend it to everyone having a baby.

THE BAD:

As a first time pregnant mother, this book has made me afraid of being pregnant! Every terrible thing that could possibly happen to your unborn child is clearly laid out in this book. I finally had to quit reading it and just put it away. I agree it is important to be informed, but books like this just scare any new mother and take the fun out of being pregnant!

**

This book does a good job of answering those weird questions all pregnant moms have, but leans towards the paranoid. If you want a painful, medicalized pregnancy & birth, this is the book for you!

**

Everything in this book is worst case scenarios. If you want to avoid going crazy during your pregnancy, stay away from this book. Every possible problem is shed in the most disconcerting way, leading you to believe the worst in most situations.

**

This book was disappointing to read. It did not provide adequate information as to what is going on for fetus growth and development during each week. It discusses in detail that drugs, alcohol, and smoking are dangerous, and this is covered over and over in the book (not necessary).

**

While this book has a lot of info in it, it also has a lot of TMI. Chances are you will never need to know most of the stuff in this book and it will just scare the bejeezes out of you with the long lists of all things that could possibly go wrong not to mention the part at the end with the so called ‘ideal’ diet. It never had any information on some of the stuff I wanted to know more about, and just made me more paranoid.

**

This book is terrible. As if in pregnancy, you’re not emotional enough. The second I opened the book and began reading, the whole book is about everything that can POSSIBLY go wrong in pregnancy. Forgive me, but I like to think optimistically, and this book has no optimism whatsoever. If you like the idea of reading about your child possibly dying in utero in millions of different ways, then by all means, but I would never suggest this as a pregnancy read. NOT AT ALL! Just a forwarning.

*********************

I didn’t get this book when I was pregnant with my daughter.  The only one I actual read my entire pregnancy was Your Pregnancy and Birth by the ACOG.  My midwife hands it out to every patient and I thought I knew all there was to know by reading this book (HA).

When I started working more in birth and all that, I finally decided to read this book that so many women love and so many more hate.  I have never found someone that is in the middle about this book.  It is all just uber love or intense hate.

I read the third edition first, and just got angry, and then the fourth edition came out and I ordered it.

This book was worse than every previous edition that had been published.

It has been updated with the latest ‘medical’ studies, and had tons more of the really dumb questions that are just common sense if you know anything about your own body.

I hate when books and people talk down to pregnant women and new mothers like they are just patients or pieces of paper that need someone to hold their hand and rescue them from the horrible pain and body wrecking that is pregnancy and childbirth.  And I especially hate how women don’t see they are treated that way, and think this is all just normal and the doctor or midwife just “cares about me.”

Now, the book does have one perk.  Yes, in my mind, there is only one.

I love how the book is set up.  In month to month format (although I do love the week by week ones better just because they have more specific information and great pictures of the baby at different stages), which helps to be able to find answers for the specific time you are at in your pregnancy.  You don’t have to search through the book to find an answer, which saves time and a lot of stress.

However, this book is so chalk full of everything that can go wrong, it can get so overwhelming and scary very fast, especially when a woman is as hormonal as a pregnant woman.  Every little thing is a worry, and unless they truly trust the process and understand it, it can become very overwhelming, especially with all the information in this book.

This book truly shows women they need to be the perfect patient.  Not only does it never say she should advocate for herself and truly ask questions about her care, every third sentence in this book says, “call your practitioner”.  Now, I think that if there is serious worry and you aren’t okay with reading a book or asking others for answers, a practitioner is the good place to go to.  Especially if that is the first pregnancy for you.

A lot is going on in your body and it isn’t easy to grow another human being, but there is a time when there is truly a reason to call, and then you are just being overly worried and stressed about something that isn’t a problem.

And their labor and delivery section is seriously lacking, which makes me really sad.  So many women are scared of the process and the lack of information just makes it more sad that it isn’t being discussed in the most bought pregnancy book.

And, just because I have had a cesarean and didn’t bond with my daughter at all, I really hate how she says that bonding happens no matter when you see your baby or how you deliver.  She is giving advice to all these pregnant women that this will happen, and what happens when it doesn’t?  She has no information in the book about when bonding doesn’t happen or when PPD or depression happens because there is no bond to a newborn that cries and you are ‘supposed’ to take care of.

This book is so medicalized, and needs to just come off the market.  Pregnant women are kept in a cycle of innocent trust with their practitioner because this book tells them they are supposed to trust them completely.  They are the ones with the degree after all.

If you are given this book, give it back or throw it away.  It will cause you nothing but grief.

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5 Responses

  1. I wonder if receptionist at OBGYN’s offices start off the conversation with…

    “Did you read that in What to Expect?”….

    This book would be absolutely perfect if it had all the same signs, symptoms, worries, etc, but written by a midwife that trusts our bodies. That would rock.

  2. PPD also occurs if you bond TOO much with your child & feel unable to leave them – that brought on feelings of resentment & anger towards everyone who could leave their house without a child.

  3. I have to say I do like these books. True, some women ask the most absurd questions, but for someone who doesn’t know a thing about pregnancy it’s a good read. You have to keep in mind that women have the right to chose a medical birth and that the book shouldn’t be thrown out just because it’s not what you would agree with. Not all women get the support of doulas, midwives, and other pro-natural birth women, and it is a good thing to put their trust in medical professionals rather than be scared to death out of seeing one and being alone. Every pregnancy book on the market is written from someone’s point of view and they are all going to be different. People are just going to have to pick and choose what works for them. Just because I choose the things I do does not mean I was fooled into trusting a medical professional. It’s a educated decision, that was not made on a whim or by a book.

    • I do believe that every woman, baring some medical complication can naturally birth their child. Do I think they should? It isn’t my call to make. A woman should birth her baby how she feels most comfortable.

      However, I do completely support women in their choices if they are truly informed choices. If women know the risks and benefits and make the decision themselves. They don’t just go off what their practitioner says, they are an active part of their care and come to the decision after truly learning.

      I do believe women should completely trust their providers. If there isn’t trust, you shouldn’t be seeing them.

      I’m sorry if you think I am judging you, but this is just my take on the book. I would rather women read uplifting pregnancy books that answer questions in a manner when they can trust their bodies and then go in if there is still questions. Pregnancy is a scary time for first time moms and for other women that have different things happen in different pregnancies, but having someone tell you, “Just go see your doctor” for every little question makes it so they don’t trust their own bodies.

      I’m sorry if it didn’t come across that way, but I really don’t like how this book comes across except for the layout, but that’s my choice. I caution women not to read it and recommend other books along the same lines, but it is their choice to make if they decide to read it or not.

  4. I agree that those books are horrible.

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