Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Pregnancy Bible: What To Expect When You're Expecting

First written in the 1980s, What to Expect When You're Expecting has become one of the Bible texts of the pregnancy world.Heidi Murkoff,Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway offer practical and real world advice for the parent-to-be. The authors all have different qualifications for writing the book, but they are all familiar with the world of pregnancy and are equipped to handle questions.

At the beginning of the book, the authors go over what they consider to be the important issues when you first find out that you are pregnant. They talk about how you find out and how you tell other people. They offer good tips for letting others know about your pregnancy. The book covers pregnancy month-by-month after that.

The information about each month begins with an illustration of an emerging fetus. They offer anatomical advice about how the fetus is growing and where it is in development at this point. They also let the future mom know what she should expect as far as how she is feeling. She will get an idea for the normal symptoms during this point in the pregnancy. The authors then tell the moms what to expect when they visit the doctor at this point in the pregnant. They explain everything that will be happening.

The next portion of each chapter talks about the development of the pregnancy and other basic issues, such as diet, exercise, and sleep. The authors explain what a mom should do about certain problems and when she should be concerned.

The bulk of the chapters, however, are questions from moms everywhere. These questions are what makes the book worthwhile. They are real-life questions about dealing with future grandparents who are driving the mom nuts, finding out the sex of the baby, getting prenatal tests, getting the nursery ready and much more. The authors really cover everything related to a pregnancy, and they do it in an amusing way. They are often funny in their retorts to questions about how others are acting. They work to reassure mom that whatever she is feeling or going through probably is normal and that she should not worry. At the same time, they offer practical solutions for problems, such as how to find proper professional attire.

The last portion of the book has chapters on topics of major importance. One of those chapters is on a diet, the Best-Odds Diet, for pregnant women. The diet has easy-to-follow instructions about how to eat and how much to eat as well as some recipes for moms to try out. There is a chapter on the actual birth as well. The authors go over the various options, such as narcotic pain medicine and Cesarean-sections. They talk about the pros and cons of each form of medicine and birth and give the basic run-down of what Mom can expect.

One of the most helpful chapters is on the first six weeks at home with baby. Any new mom knows that those weeks are rough, to say the least. Those weeks seem to go by in a blur. Mom finds that her estrogen levels plummet, which causes her to be incredibly emotional. Dad has no clue what he is doing and is really scared. And baby is wondering how he started out in such a warm, cozy place and ended up in the harsh world. The chapter on the first six weeks helps with all of those problems. It goes over common baby conditions, emotions, and behaviors and works to guide parents through the trauma of those first scary weeks at home with the new baby.

This book was the first one I bought when I found out that I was pregnant, and I am glad that I did. I now have What to Expect in the First Year and soon will be purchasing What to Expect During the Toddler Years. These books are wonderful additions to any expecting parent library.

I found that anytime I had a question about my pregnancy, I could turn to What to Expect and find an answer. Instead of medical jargon or fluff answers, the authors offer real-life, easy-to-understand answers to the toughest and most sensitive questions about pregnancy in this book.

By Julia Mercer

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