What to Expect When You’re Expecting

What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a book by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. I read the forth edition.

It is packed full of information. Hundreds of pages arranged into several columns per page. Chapters take you through each month of the pregnancy, as well as things like diet and exercise, and what to do in special situations such as twins, complications and even loss.

It covers labour, delivery and the first six weeks after giving birth as well, though with increasing references to “you can read more about this in our next book” style advertising.

The chapter on diet is just intimidating. You get the usual list of foods to avoid. It also suggests a pregnancy diet to ensure mum is getting everything she needs, and the list is long: 3 servings of protein, 4 servings of calcium, 3 servings of vitamin C, 3-4 servings of salad, 1-2 servings of fruit, 6 servings of whole grains, 1 serving of iron-rich food, 4 servings of fat, 8 glasses of water and a vitamin pill.

All of that while monitoring your salt intake and avoiding all the food on the banned list. I spend quite a bit of time planning our diet and I have no idea of much of that we are hitting. This was a guilt trip I did not need.

It is targeted almost exclusively at mums. There are occasional references to the other partner, but these are few and far between. There is a chapter for expectant dads, but it contains almost no useful information. It felt like a short Q&A that gives obvious and patronising suggestions: have you considered helping out around the house? Why yes, yes I have, because it isn’t the 50’s anymore.

It is also tediously American. If this the “bestselling pregnancy manual” as the cover claims, you would think they could put out a UK edition. Everything from the language used, to the medical information and drugs referenced, is a bit off for the UK. You would think given how similar our cultures are they you would not get such a wide gap. However, it often felt like it when reading.

I did appreciate it’s tip to skip the chapter on complicated pregnancies. As the book says, I can read that if we run into a complication.

There is loads of information in this book. From that perspective, I am glad I have read it. However, my guess is that there is probably another book out there that gives you the information in a much better way.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 at 10:35 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.