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What to Expect When You're Expecting - Arlene Eisenberg

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Genre: Health / Family / Lifestyle / Author: Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, Sandee E. Hathaway / Edition: New Ed / Mass Market Paperback / 480 Pages / Book is published 1993-03-25 by Simon & Schuster Ltd

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    11 Reviews
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      16.11.2010 11:52
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      A book that in my opinion is the best book out there.

      When I found out I was pregnant I was overwhelmed at how many books were out there offering advice to pregnant women and I had no idea where to start until we looked in a book shop and found this one. Hubby had wanted a book that dealt with everything step by step and this book offered that along with questions that most first time/expectant parents ask themselves.

      I managed to obtain my book from readitswapit.com so there was no high price tag attached but it generally retails at around £14.99 brand new.

      The version I am reviewing is the third edition.

      The book is broken down into Parts and then Chapters and it really is ideal for those that don't enjoy reading like my husband.

      Part 1 - In the Beginning

      This part of the book discusses how to diagnose if you are pregnant and the various tests that can be taken. The symptoms that could indicate you are pregnant and definate signs that you are pregnant. This part of the book also advises you on when you should make your appointment with your doctor and to estimate your due date.

      It will also cover your medical history and what the doctor will want to know to decide whether you will be consultant led or midwife led. This part has various sub sections such as pregnancy in older women, obesitiy, rh incompatibility, testing for Downs syndromw, IVF and all the the diagnostic tests that may need to take place and which tests you personally want to opt for.

      The book discusses what you may be concerned about throughout your pregnancy such as alcohol, smooking, caffeine and what you can and can't eat. It also has a chapter which aims to help you eat healthy in the forthcoming 9 months.

      Part 2 - From Conception to Delivery

      This section is great it takes you through your monthly stages guiding you through what you can expect including pregnant workers rights, how you may be feeling and what is going on inside. It gives you guidelines as to how many visits you may need to have.

      This section takes you through each month with a image of what is going on outside and how your appearance will change over the forthcoming months and any possible symptoms you may suffer from as each month progresses.

      There is a section on Childbirth education and it promotes how important it is to participate and gain help and knowledge about what type of delivery you would prefer.

      As you near the end of this part of the book it moves onto Labour and Delivery and the different ways in which the baby could be presented, it also discusses what a mucus plug is and the bloody show and how to see if you are in false labour or real labour.

      The book guides you through the various stages of child birth including the different positions and pain relief options before moving onto pushing and delivery. Once delivery has taken place the book continues to advise on the delivery of the placenta.

      The book seems to cover all aspects of childbirth and various deliveries that could take place so it is really good to be aware of what could be going on.

      Part 3 - Postpartum the First Week

      This is the part of the book that is ideal for when the baby has just arrived, it discusses how you may be feeling and what you may be concerned about and help with breastfeeding. What I find ideal about this section is that it covers areas and questions that you may not think to ask whilst in hospital so its good to have this book as a back up reference.

      There is also a chapter especially for expectant fathers and my husband found this section particuarly helpful in trying to understand what was going on with me and how to deal with my changing mood swings and me in labour.

      The book also has an area for things that go wrong, Part 4- Of Special Concern this pat of the book covers if you get sick, have a chronic condition, if you are having a high risk pregnancy, when there is a pregnancy complication.

      In my opinion this book definately is one of the best out there and each month I sat and read about the stage I was at and with Alex being my first child it offered me a lot of reassurance, especially when one day I woke up with painful hands I was able to look it up in the book and realise it was down to severe swelling. It also made me aware of what things would need to be checked out with a doctor or midwife rather than taking it as a normal when pregnant.
      During my 8th month of pregnancy I really suffered from swollen feet and ankles an it was a cause for concern and after reading the book I got looked out and the medical team were so concerned that they opted to get me fully checked out for pre-eclampsia and also DVT.

      In terms of my partner using the book I would definately say I was the one that got more from it but all the same he did enjoy knowing what stage our baby was at and the miracle of how it all comes together.

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        30.08.2010 15:40
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        Knowledge, power and guilt. Worriers should buy something less doom-laden.

        The market for books about pregnancy is a fairly captive one; pregnant women in general want to know as much about what's happening inside them as possible. There's a vast amount of literature about pregnancy, and one of the most famous books is this one, What To Expect When You're Expecting.

        Is the reputation justified?

        It's certainly comprehensive. It's reassuringly massive, a giant heavy paperback that's very uncomfortable to rest on your belly as time goes on. It's divided into chapters, with one for each month of pregnancy, one for Daddy to read, one for what happens post-partum and even one for planning the next baby. So it covers all the things you need.

        I didn't like the book. There, I said it. I felt it was incredibly dry reading, no humour to be seen, and while I wasn't expecting a laugh a minute I also didn't like being bored by my own pregnancy. As well as that, it was very much weighted towards the American market and lots of the advice wasn't relevant. Thirdly, the emphasis on healthy eating infuriated me. I wasn't eating eleven Mars Bars a day, but being told to think, Is this the best bite I could give my baby? before eating anything just made me angry. And lastly, I thought it was unnecessarily alarmist. For a first time mum, everything is new and scary, and the weird abdominal rumblings could mean disaster. This book tells you all the things that could be going wrong without the reassurance of other books that these emergency dire case scenarios only occur in one in a thousand cases and what you probably have is trapped wind.

        If you're a worrying type, my advice is not to buy this book. The knowledge it gives is wonderful - but not worth the stress and the guilt of having to wonder if the McDonalds meal you were craving has caused your baby to grow toenails instead of eyebrows.

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        30.08.2009 12:55
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        It really is a pregnancy bible

        What to Expect when you're expecting is what I would refer to as a pregnancy bible that every pregnant woman should have. I bought the third edition of the book when I was having my first baby in 2004 and after reading various other books this was by far the best. I kept refering to it throughout my whole pregnancy and I have since had two more children and would still read the book if there was anything I needed to know.

        It is a book written by mothers for mothers and it answers any question you need to know. The first four chapters take you through the beginning of your pregnancy.
        Chapter 1:Are you Pregnant?
        Finding out you're pregnant,possible symtoms,doing the test and telling your doctor.
        Chapter 2:Now that you're pregnant
        Your family history,general questions on what to do now and tests you may have.
        Chapter 3:Throughout your pregnancy.
        This is a general section on things like smoking and drinking, things you are and aren't supposed to do.
        Chapter 4:The pregnancy diet.
        This is a useful chapter telling you about all the different food groups and how to eat healthily throughout your pregnancy.

        Although these chapters are very intersting it is part two I think is the best. This is a month by month breakdown of pregnancy from conception to delivery. It tells you what you can expect on that month's visit to the midwife,the emotions you may be feeling and a look at how the baby is growing inside you. There is then a what you may be concerned about section which answers questions that you may want answered. This nine month breakdown is just invaluable to look out and it is great being one more month pregnant and seeing what you can expect.

        Part 3 of the book looks at actually giving birth to your baby which prepares you as much as a book possibly can (I don't think you really know what to expect till you experience it for yourself) It also covers the first six weeks after birth,with advice for yourself and the baby.

        Part 4 is Of Special concern,such as if you experience complications or get sick. Part 5 is preparing for the next baby.

        I cannot emphasise enough how good this book is, it may not be full of lots of nice pictures of babies but it is the only book you will ever need. A month by month account that answers every question you could have......buy it and it will be the only one you buy.

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          22.04.2009 11:26
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          Good book to tell you what you need to know.

          I bought this book after seeing it in the film knocked up. I had just found out I was pregnant and this book did contain loads of helpful information on diet in the early stages. I was really excited about reading my pregnancy book and it did contain all the facts you need but it lacked any excitement. I missed all the nice pictures and little facts about my developing baby.

          However if I had concerns I did go to this book first but I found I used the internet to get my excitement fix.

          The book is thick, many pages and when I was looking at it in the bookshop I liked the fact that there was so much to read and find out about, all in all there are just under 600 pages and I bought it from Waterstones for £14.99 as I couldn't wait to get it however if you don't minding waiting a few days for delivery amazon sell it for £11.19.

          The book is very good for giving you information and even contains a section on how to deliver a baby in an emergency. That page was immediately folded down, just to be on the safe side. Of course it wasn't needed but at least the information was close by.

          If you are looking for a facts only book with nutritional advice and even some healthy recipes then this is the book for you, there is a section which gives advice for post natal and your new baby as well.

          I am glad I bought this book as I did rely on it.

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            28.09.2006 10:14
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            Excellent pregnancy and birth companion!

            “What to expect….” is a pregnancy classic... according to the back of the book, it's the world's best-selling pregnancy manual. It’s hard to conceive (aagh! bad pun alert!) of any pregnancy-related issue or question which isn’t covered somewhere in its 593 pages. The book is the work of Heidi E Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee E Hathaway, who – as you might surmise from their names – are American; however, it has been fully amended for a UK audience. A gentleman called Dr Richard Aubry has acted as medical consultant and also provided a foreword for the book. No – make that two forewords. (“A Word from the Doctor” and, wait for it…. “Another Word From the Doctor”.)

            “What to Expect…” has been around, in one form or another, since 1984 – I remember it from my first pregnancy in (ssh!) 1991 – but the new edition has been thoroughly updated. The bulk of the book ("Nine Months and Counting") is divided into a month-by-month account of what you're likely to experience in pregnancy... how the baby's developing, what's happening to your body, what kind of checks and tests you are likely to be offered, etc etc. As well as the physical effects of pregnancy, the authors don't overlook the emotional side, which is sensitively covered. Within these nine chapters - which cover 231 pages in total! - most of the questions, worries and concerns which you might have are thoroughly covered.

            There are also separate chapters on finding out you're pregnant and common early concerns; diet during pregnancy (this is rather a hobby-horse for the authors, who have written a "companion" book called "Eating Well When You're Expecting") and other lifestyle factors; screening and diagnostic tests; coping with acute or chronic medical conditions during pregnancy, and pregnancy complications. A long and detailed section covers labour and delivery, and there's also thorough information on the first six weeks post-partum. There's also a separate chapter addressing the concerns of fathers (funnily enough, it starts off with a discussion of sex in pregnancy.... I wonder why??) although many men will find useful information throughout the book. Finally, there's a section on "Preparing for the Next Baby". Probably not an issue in my case, being positively geriatric already, though you never know.

            "What to Expect...." has an excellent and thorough index which quickly points you towards the sections which will - hopefully - set all those little panics at rest. There's also a section at the back to fill in your "Pregnancy Notes" month by month, should you be so inclined.

            ~What's good about it?~

            "What to Expect..." is an astoundingly comprehensive and informative guide which provides down-to-earth, easy to understand yet detailed advice on practically everything pregnancy- and birth-related which you could possibly dream of. It's reassuring and authoritative without talking down to the reader, who - it seems to assume - is already motivated to do the best she possibly can. I'd go so far as to say that in my pregnancy so far (26 weeks and counting) I have found this book to be indispensable.

            ~What's not so good?~

            Not much, really. Although there are a few lighter moments, the tone is generally quite serious - if you want a chattier, more informal read with cartoons etc I would recommend something like Kaz Cooke's "The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth". Apart from a few diagrams, there's not much in the way of pictures, either - this is not the book to provide amazing, detailed pictures of unborn babies. Despite having been thoroughly edited for a UK market, the American-ness does creep through occasionally... but only occasionally.

            The only significant reservation I would have about the book is that it is quite medicalised with little attention paid to alternative therapies, etc. (For a more natural approach, I recommend Zita West's "Natural Pregnancy".)

            For sheer accessibility and volume of relevant information, though, "What to Expect...." is hard to beat.

            Cover price £14.99 - available from Amazon for £9.89 new or from Amazon Marketplace sellers from £6.39.

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              31.03.2005 10:11
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              Pregnancy is a time of great happiness for most people, but can also be a time of worry and stress. There are so many new things happening to your body, that it can be quite unnerving, and lots of first time mums need a bit of reassurance that what they are going though is normal, and how to make the best of it. It’s a captive market as far as the book trade is concerned and there are plenty of books to help you through your pregnancy, from funny anecdotal accounts to more serious tomes. What to Expect When you are Expecting is one of the serious ones: it looks like a manual rather than a light bedtime read: it’s full of factual information and practical advice and is at the textbook end of this particular market.

              The book is divided by chapters on each month of pregnancy, and what you can expect from it. There are additional chapters on diet and pregnancy, what to do if you get sick, when something goes wrong, labour and delivery, and the first week postpartum - important, and often forgotten in some pregnancy books which seem to end with the birth as if you should now require no further information - and a chapter which you should read in advance, as you are unlikely to have time to read it the first week you are home! The next few weeks postpartum are covered in another following chapter - how to ease yourself back into sex, and how to get your figure back... There is also a chapter for dads to read, and even one on preparing for the next baby...!

              This means you can dip in and out of the book as your pregnancy progresses and easily find what you are looking for simply by heading to the appropriate chapter, although I also found the index invaluable: it’s very extensive, and you can look up almost any peculiar symptom you may be experiencing and find information about it.
              There are also clear diagrams – what you may look like as the months progress (a cross section showing your baby month by month), good positions for sleeping, for labour, how your baby may be lying in the womb, and so on, which are all clear and informative. Although I read each of the nine chapters as each of the nine months of my pregnancy progressed, I found the book far more useful as an authoritative resource to dip in and out of at times of worry, or as new symptoms or possibilities cropped up. Often I would look something up only to have the question I had in my mind answered within seconds, and confidently, without feeling that I needed to consult anyone or anything else about it. I can’t recall any occasion where I didn’t find a satisfactory answer to the question I had, which meant less sleepless nights all round.

              The emphasis is very much on your health and on giving clear medical and nutritional information, which makes the book a bit dry to read at one sitting. But it does mean if you have a particular worry or question, you are more likely to find the answer within these pages than within a more light-hearted book. Although there are brief sections on how to deal with emotional problems, the book is very much focused on your physical health and I wouldn’t recommend it if you wanted something which would discuss how you might feel at any great length. Sure, you will find practical advice on how to deal with constipation – but you won’t find much warmth or sympathy or any humour about the situation, which you might well find in other books like The Best Friends Guide to Pregnancy. On the other hand, if you have a serious worry and want some reassurance, this book is more likely to help you out than the afore mentioned one, as there’s literally nothing it doesn’t cover with regard to pregnancy symptoms or questions about labour and birth.

              I found two main drawbacks with this book for my personal use: firstly it is very much weighted to the American market, and some of the information was therefore not as relevant to me as it could have been. Secondly, the emphasis on eating correctly during pregnancy is really over-the-top. The authors have also written books on nutrition, so it’s obvious this is one of their specialist subjects. Much as I believe its important to eat well and healthily during pregnancy, I found their eating plans restrictive and unworkable and they did little for me except make me feel guilty about not managing to eat my 43 daily portions of spinach or whatever it was they recommend. I think its fair enough to point out that baby will not thrive as well on junk food as on green vegetables, but that it’s important to eat from all the basic food groups, but that’s surely common sense in everyday (as well as pregnant) life. Most pregnant women do their best to look after the child inside them, and when struggling with nausea and sickness for weeks on end, the slightly patronising attitude of the book only made me feel worse for not managing to keep anything useful down.

              That aside this book was a godsend to me during my pregnancy and reassured me that a whole host of things I was experiencing were normal, as well as giving me clear medical information to explain WHY I was experiencing them. The chapters on labour and delivery helped me feel more aware of any complications that could arise, and being armed with that knowledge gave me confidence.

              Recommended!

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                18.08.2004 23:36
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                Pregnancy can be a bit of a confusing time. I'm now languishing at home at the end of my first pregnancy waiting for the stork to drop the little bundle of joy through the letterbox, if only! When we first found out I was pregnant we were pretty clueless. I mean we knew the basics ie baby starts of small and gets progressively bigger, several minor and not so minor complaints attached to pregnancy, labour is not the most pleasant of experiences. But it was the details we wanted to swot up on. So I brought 'what to expect when you?re expecting' This is a fantastically informative book. The book is divided into different stages from finding out you?re pregnant, pregnancy diet, each month of pregnancy, labour and delivery, the first postpartum week and the first six weeks, experiences of fathers, sickness during pregnancy, chronic conditions during pregnancy, what happens when things go wrong during pregnancy, and a chapter on planning the next baby. Each month has information at the beginning about what is happening with the baby and roughly what you'll be looking like. We found this bit fascinating as it's hard to imagine there?s a real baby inside you at the beginning. It has a section on what you may be feeling physically and emotionally. I found this really as it reassured me that a lot of things like heartburn and light headedness were normal at certain stages. These are general lists and the authors do point out that everyone?s different. I wasn't so keen on the what you can expect at this month?s check up also at the beginning of each month chapter, the authors are American and I found what was written wildly different to my experiences with the nhs. Each chapter covers concerns roughly relating to that stage of pregnancy ie miscarriage in the first month, carrying twins in the third month, holidays abroad in the fifth month, labour symptoms in the ninth month. All the way through the book th
                e authors deal with different fears ie not being ready for parenting, getting an older child ready for the new baby, unwanted advice. The labour and delivery section is very helpful with a step by step run through of everything that happens, different interventions and people?s fears. The postpartum section deals with recovering physically from the birth, depression, breastfeeding and bonding. I've not really looked to much into the other chapters. Although when I had a bad cold a couple of weeks ago the section on being sick during pregnancy was very helpful as I had this strange idea that the baby might also get a cold. I also found the section on pre-eclampsia as I almost diagnosed myself with that a month or so ago and the information in the book told me I was being daft. So all in all it's a useful well organised book that I think I've read to death!

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                  03.08.2001 05:39
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                  I considered this book my bible throughout my pregnancy. I loved it! It is so easy to read. There is a chapter devoted to each stage of your pregnancy. Whenever I had a question about my changing body or the baby's changes I would turn to the appropriate chapter. Not only does the book explain what the mother may experience throughout this exciting time, but it explains through both words and pictures what the baby looks like during each stage. I like that it is very user friendly and not written like a text book. Because it was so easy to reference, I probably picked up this book almost daily to seek answers to what I was feeling or to anticipate occurences in my next stage of pregnancy. This book is a MUST HAVE for expectant moms!It exciting to read about the changes going on in your own body helps put expectant moms at ease during a very nervous time in their lives.

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                    23.08.2000 05:51
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                    I agree that 'What to Expect when you're Expecting' is invaluable for the first time mother. I doubted it would get another airing for my second baby (due in December) but I was wrong! The book is so thorough I can rest assured that whatever I pick it up for, the book will cover. For instance, I took Nurofen for a chronic toothache early on in this pregnancy and then worried like crazy until I'd looked it up in this book. I doubt any other book has as much information packed into it as this one. Each pregnancy is different, for me two pregnancies could not be more different, which is why the book is just as good the second time around. I've barely touched other books I own on pregnancy and birth. The layout is completely user-friendly and the index is very helpful if you don't want to read month by month but simply want to look up minor complications or specific issues. Some think you shouldn't read too much...if you only want to buy one pregnancy book - buy this one! It's a real comfort to pick up each month and see that what you are feeling is what the book is describing.

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                    22.08.2000 06:21
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                    An Australian friend lent me this book when I first found out I was pregnant and still in Indonesia with little access to good antenatal information, it was a godsend! My pregnancy wasn't planned and apart from knowing it lasted about 9 months and you got fatter I knew nothing about pregnancy or birth! I found this book so helpful. It explains everything month by month, how your body changes, how baby changes, how you might be feeling, what questions you might be asking yourself and lots of information on nutrition. It clearly explains all about labour, birth and birth choices and seemed to have much more information in it than other pregnancy books I've seen since, especially dealing with things that can go wrong in pregnancy and what to do about it, a subject which many books and magazines seem to avoid. I would definitely recommend this book to first time mothers as a basic guide to what happens in pregnancy, it really did help me to know what to expect.

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                    20.08.2000 20:45
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                    A great book especially for every normal first time neurotic mother who worries about every twinge, stretch mark, and milestone. What is normal? When should this happen? When should I see the doctor and most importantly what should I expect? These are just a few of the questions every mother asks and what to expect answers. As for fathers it can be a very daunting time when they can feel left out, this book will help them to understand what is going on with their partners bodies. The best way to read it is month by month as you get there, reading ahead is not recommended in the book and I would agree with this. There are sections at the back of the book that deal with many of the problems can can occur at any stage of the pregnancy. If you are using it for a first time pregnancy and even subsequent ones you can unneccesarily worry yourself. It is well written and easy for anyone to understand and the terms are explained well. The back is well indexed and the front is devided into short chapters with subheadings that make it easy to find what you want. A definite companion for the pregnant couple.

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                • Product Details

                  This pregnancy guide answers the concerns of mothers and fathers-to-be, from the planning stage through postpartum. Complete with information on choosing a care-giver, antenatal diagnosis, exercize, childbirth options, second pregnancies, twins, making love during pregnancy, having a caesarian, practical tips on coping with common and not-so-common pregnancy symptoms, step-by-step guides through labour and delivery, postpartum care and breastfeeding. The month-by-month format makes it easy to use and it has a special section specifically for fathers-to-be, along with the best-odds pregnancy and nursing diets.