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My Pregnancy was a book I won in a competition recently. In my last pregnancy I borrowed a book form the library but this new glossy hardback book is a winner of a book about pregnancy and one I would definitely recommend.
The book is divided into several sections from getting ready for pregnancy to my new baby and me. This division is very logical and each section is very well laid out.
The book is edited by several authors the lead author is Dr Virginia Beckett who is an obstetrician and gynaecologist here in the UK. The editors have either a medical, midwifery or a dietician background. The inclusion of a yoga teacher was a bit of a surprise to me but actually seems to complement some of the medical knowledge very well. The thing they also have in common is that they all are mothers so the medical experience they call on in the book is also balanced by their personal experiences as mothers and patients.
The first section was not actually one we needed to read as I was already pregnant when I got this book but the section on conception and preparing as a couple for a child is very well written with lots of sensible advice and raises the importance of several aspects such as diet exercise for both parties in a non judgemental way. Also included in this section is how conception happens on a microscopic level. In this section there are elements about infertility and IVF conception to which again is well handled with sensitivity.
The section on ante natal care is very well tailored focusing on the ante natal care here in the UK. It covers sections from when you will first see the midwife to what happens at scans. I personally found the information about the 20 week scan a useful read before our recent scan as it allowed me to understand more what they were looking for and some questions to ask on the day. Briefly covered here is where to give birth and it talks you through the options such as home births and hospital. It clearly talks about the pros and cons of each choice and is balanced with a nice section form the authors about where they gave birth and why. I found this quite interesting to read about and their rational for their decisions.
The next section is very traditional in pregnancy books and talks you through a week by week guide as to what happen at each point in the pregnancy. In each two page spread there are photos about of the foetus at this stage and relevant facts about the baby and what you may feel like and what is happening to your body. I found these bits to be highly informative but written with out jargon and being patronising to a lay person and I look forward to reading each new section each week as my pregnancy progresses.
Following on there is section on preparing for motherhood which covers topics such as breast feeding and bottle feeding, what the baby needs which is useful as this is full of practical information rather than all the advertising that new mums are bombarded with. There are sections and topics even on cots, pushchairs and slings all of which I remember from first time round were a mind field. Rather than focusing on which model is best they focus on the pros and cons of each kind to help you weigh up which may suit your needs.
The next stage and vital to any good pregnancy book is that about labour taking you from the signs of labour to what can happen if the baby is over due. The differences in the various positions that baby can be in is very useful and clearly explained. The section I wished I had been able to read last time is what happens if induction fails as this was something I didn't realised could happen so when it happened to me I was totally unprepared. Where as the simple explanations in this book I am sure I would have remembered and been better able to make informed decisions. In this section the yoga teacher talks about relaxation in a clear way. Again there are useful snippets in what worked for the authors and why they did and didn't choose certain pain relief all of which I think helps make the book a nice balanced read to help people make informed choices. As I am having a planned Cesarean section this time round I have found it helpful to read this section to help me make the decision I did and it allowed me to talk with my consultant when I meet him this week in an informed way.
The last section on the baby is again well written and something I wished I had last time as it clearly talks through some of the first mile stones of new parenthood such as how to hold dress and bathe baby all of which were totally new to me and I personally liked the simplistic way in which this section is written.
Overall I think this is an excellent pregnancy book and it covers well the topics that most mums want to know. I think it is perhaps better suited to first time mums but I have found it a great refresher to read given there will be a four year gap between our two children. The authors clearly have an extensive medical background that shows through in the detail knowledge contained in the book. However rather than being overly medical and impersonal the introduction of boxes and snippets about how they found things at various stages makes the book be more human and readable in my opinion. It is definitely a book I would recommend to people both planning on pregnancy or who are pregnant. At around £18-20 it is a great text book that can be referred to multiple times and has been so far by both myself and my husband.