Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The next birth-related book I'll be reading

In my constant search to find a replacement to the "What to Expect" product line, I want to check out this recent release. On the one hand, it's written by an obstetrician and its ghost writer edited the Parents magazine website. On the other, Michel Odent blurbs the book.

Is anyone out there a fan of What to Expect When You're Expecting? Two women handed down their dog-eared copies to me when I became pregnant. I thought it was all there was. Thankfully, my sister-in-law gave me her Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way book and Penny Simkin's Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn (check out how the cover mimics What to Expect, hoping to "trick" women into buying the better book!). My path to doulahood had begun.

Incidentally, another woman gave me a subscription to Parents magazine. It probably took me five or six issues to realize how upset it made me each month. All the "Health and Safety" updates were just more ways in which I could inadvertently be screwing up my kid. And each month they featured a family whose pregnancy or child was facing some rare and tragic disease. No matter that they ended on an up-beat note. Did I need to know about other ways in which my child could die or disintegrate?

As a result of my experiences with Parents magazine, I have worked hard to keep doulicia mother-friendly. Yes, there are weird and rare ways in which pregnancies can end, births can go awry and children can die. Do we need to be reminded of that? Dealing with the routine and normal challenges of pregnancy, birth and parenting are fodder enough.


Blogger Mrs. Coulter said...

A friend gave me her copy of What to Expect, with the warning to totally ignore the diet. I did find it useful enough to invest in the First Year and Toddler Years books, though they are certainly not the only books I rely on (I've gotten a lot of mileage out of Dr. Sears' Baby Book). The book that I liked the best for pregnancy, honestly, was Vicki Iovine's Girlfriend's Guide, which talked frankly and honestly about some of things I was too embarrassed to talk to *anyone* about, like constipation and hemorrhoids. It's not so medical, but it helped to keep me from freaking out at every turn (particularly when I ended up being on bed rest for seven weeks due to preterm contractions).

Another friend of mine is now pregnant with her first and I've lent her several of my books, including the Girlfriend's Guide. The same friend who gave me WtE also gave me another book (title escapes me and I'm visiting my parents so I don't have it handy) that was written by an obstetrician and was NOTHING but a list of what could go wrong, month by month. Awful! That one I did not pass on.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I *devoured* WTEWYE during my first pregnancy. But by the second baby I had come to see that there were many serious issues minimized or not covered in it, and that there are approaches other than "doctor knows best," which is of course WTEWYE's default.

I think the thing that most annoyed me about WTEWYE though is that advice is given but rarely *explained*. You're just supposed to take their word for it that it's the right the thing to do I guess.

Anyway, now I recommend Sheila Kitzinger's The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth. Still not as radical as I'd like, but does the basics pretty darn well.

I'll have to check out this new one -- I love, love, love Michel Odent so hopefully that is a good sign. Christiane Northrup, who I also like a lot, also recommends it.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

What to Expect was my bible during my first pregnancy. I'm still mad at that book for not discussing birthing alternatives. I ignored the book completely for babies 2 and 3.

The First Year book was a total waste of money. Not one of the questions in the book matched the questions I had. And their milestones had me ranging from elation to despair based on what my perfectly normal child did or didn't do that month. NOT helpful.

8:25 AM  

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