Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Pregnancy Book or Ten

I have written about pregnancy books a couple times (here and here too).  Those posts were, of course, written before I was actually pregnant. So, by the time I became pregnant and wanted to get on the knowledge wagon, I forgot the results of all that research.  Easy solution - I went back through my posts.

I had written about serious pregnancy books and "Not So Serious" pregnancy books.  I wanted a serious book.  I knew ZIP about what was in store for me and relying on Jenny McCarthy as my sole provider of information seemed risky (though I've heard that Belly Laughs is a hoot).  I also decided, after reviewing my posts, that I wanted to steer clear of What To Expect When You're Expecting.  While several friends had recommended it as the true bible of pregnancy, others classified it as a fear-inducing encyclopedia.  I wanted to err on the side of a fearless pregnancy.  Lastly, I did a little re-reading of book reviews.  With everything fresh in my mind, I headed to Barnes and Noble to make my big purchase.

I can't tell you what I intended to purchase at Barnes and Noble because I don't remember.  What I do remember is going to the pregnancy section of the store for the first time and (sort of) freaking out.  First, I couldn't find the book I had picked and was too nervous to ask for help.  Maybe I chose the wrong book and the sales clerk was going to judge me..."already a bad mom and the baby isn't even here...tisk tisk."  I quickly gave up my game plan and started randomly looking through the shelves, but there were so many books.  SO MANY BOOKS.  I picked up one and mindlessly flipped through it.  Nope.  I flipped through another.  Nope.  I didn't know why I was rejecting them or what I was looking for.  At some point I decided that I had been there too long, my mission was a bust and I needed to just grab something and leave.  My hands landed on the Mayo Clinic book and I nearly ran to the check out.

GREAT accidental choice on my part.  About half the book is broken up into a month by month discussion of changes to the baby, changes to the mom and specific things that will occur in each month (prenatal tests, etc.).  Monthly breakdowns felt like the perfect amount to consume in a sitting (versus weekly or by trimester).  The other half of the book is dedicated to labor and delivery.  The tone of the book is that perfect mix of straightforward information packaged in some friendly bedside manner.  And, I later learned that my doctor's office carried a copy of the Mayo Clinic book in each examination room.  That says something, right?  Though it also made me a little nervous to imagine a doctor needing it during an examination to answer a couple questions for the patient.

In addition to the Mayo Clinic book, I was also gifted Pregnancy Day by Day.

This is a pretty awesome book.  Each page is a day of pregnancy and each day there is something unique and special to read about.  There are amazing sonogram pictures on each page, so the mom-to-be has a visual of what's happening that day inside her belly.  This was especially nice in the beginning of my pregnancy when my bump hadn't bumped.  Though the cover promotes this book to contain "comprehensive advice", I wouldn't necessarily agree with that characterization.  This is a relatively light read and more about the images and novel tidbits (example - fetal hiccups) than hardcore information.

I was also gifted a bunch of other books: the Dr. Oz book, The Girlfriends Guide, What to Expect (yeah, it found its way to my book shelf), Belly Laughs (still haven't read this one...maybe next time?).  My husband was even gifted a few books including The Caveman's Pregnancy Companion.  Each book contains the same basic information, but differs in the tone (mellow versus alarmist) and the amount of information (a little and a lot).  It ended up being really nice to have a collection because it gave me variety.  Some topics I wanted to know everything about and so I could hit up that chapter in all of the books and learn it from every angle.  Some topics I didn't care as much about, so I could read about it in a less intense book and move on.  

There are a couple morals to this story.  First, you may not want to buy yourself a pregnancy book because it's a staple gift for a first time mom and you're bound to receive a few.  Second, each book provides something different and valuable so there's nothing wrong with having a collection.  Last, at some point I found myself putting the books away and relying solely on my doctor because she knew me, she knew my baby and she knew my pregnancy...unlike the authors of any of the books on my shelf.  More on this last lesson another day.  

What pregnancy books did you use?  How would you rate the books?    



Jennifer Smith said...

Very informative blog & reading pregnancy books or fertility books helps to know about pregnancy more excitingly.

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