Wednesday, 30 September 2009

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazell


Simon & Schuster
Suddenly, everyone’s pregnant
You’d think it was infectious, wouldn’t you? The baby virus. So here’s ‘the world’s bestselling pregnancy manual’, as it says on the cover.
Wasn’t there some controversy?
Heidi Murkoff isn’t a doctor, and there was criticism about her writing on illness, and especially on diet, in pregnancy. And people said the early editions made labour and motherhood sound like hell.
Accurate, then?
Ah, now - their advice is actually down-to-earth and sensible. In this fourth edition - the best one to get - Murkoff and Mazell talk about everything you can possibly imagine wanting to know. Get a highlighter and sticky bookmarks, mark questions you want to ask your doctor, and bring the book with you.
OK, let’s see, what do they say about… smoking?
They advise not to smoke when pregnant, and not to hang around smokers. They also recommend not drinking alcohol - certainly not drinking a lot. And they have good words on cocaine, marijuana, heroin. Things people might be afraid to ask a doctor.
Oh dear, scolding?
There is a certain tut-tuttiness, but generally they lay out the book month-by-month, and offer sound sense. For instance, they talk about work and pregnancy - when you should tell your boss and colleagues, what kind of work you shouldn’t do when you’re pregnant, even whether you should play Mozart to your bumpy tummy.
Eh? Take it easy
Last thing you should do is take it too easy - they advocate keeping fit. By the way, there’s a good section on how to get pregnant (get that filthy look off your face; it’s about diet, ovulation and so on). And they have a bunch more books on toddlers, nannies, pregnancy diet and pre-pregnancy planning.
So I should buy it?
Woolly little booties, a baby sling and this book. I’m off to Mothercare.
The What to Expect page - helpful pregnancy, baby and pre-conception advice

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