November 19, 2010
Book review – pregnancy “bibles”
On the day we found out we were pregnant, my good friend loaned me her copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”...and a few weeks later, I bought “The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy”. I thought that I’d take a moment to share my impressions of both of my books, and which I would recommend.
I had heard all the standard complaints about What to Expect…, that it was alarmist, old-fashioned, etc…but my experience couldn’t be more different. I really like how it is organized, and the amount and type of information that is presented in the weekly updates. And each month’s section includes several FAQs based on what you may be going through, thinking about, etc. that are extremely helpful, and I think, reassuring. I mean, if you’re looking for a book that tells you it’s okay to drink during pregnancy, this isn’t it, but I think this really is the only book you’d ever need to have a healthy and well-informed pregnancy.
I bought the Mayo Guide based on several reviews on A.mazon, but I haven’t been as impressed with this one. It doesn’t include as much information on a monthly and weekly basis, and all of the FAQs are in a big chunk at the back so it’s hard to find – or even know! – what you’re looking for. The two things that are good (and were the main reasons that I bought the book) are the “when to call” sections (listing individual symptoms and identifying which are normal and which may be a concern) and the in-depth “decision guides” (prenatal testing, choosing an OB, whether to breastfeed, etc.). I haven’t used these sections much (thank goodness on the first count!), but I’m reassured to know that I have that information if I ever need it.
I think the bottom line is that any pregnancy book has to be treated as a guide and not as an absolute, which I think is the most important lesson that any mother or mother-to-be has to learn. There are always going to be suggestions and recommendations, some of which will be appropriate for you and/or your baby, and some that will not!
So with that said, and keeping in mind that I’ve only read up through the first trimester-ish in both books, I would definitely recommend What to Expect…