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Friday, March 27, 2009

The Dreaded Pregnancy Books

Yes, you read that correct - dreaded. That's what I said, and that's what I meant. While yes, those books are something I've COVETED for a very very VERY long time, those books are also something I wasn't really sure I wanted to own because really - don't they just list a bunch of things you CAN'T do? And really, who wants to read about stuff you CAN'T do?

Well, apparently *I* do. Because I'm pregnant. Only 7 weeks, (and a veteran infertile so while hopeful, I'm also very aware I have a LONG ways to go before I'm really celebrating), but 7 weeks none-the-less. And as a veteran infertile who'd never ever before seen a POSITIVE pee stick, I felt I EARNED these books. I had a RIGHT to own these books. So I went out and bought a couple.

First and foremost, I bought What to Expect When You're Expecting, because, well, even if I thought it'd be filled with hooey, as I noted above, I EARNED these books, and what book is more deserving of the pregnant MERIT BADGE than this one?

Next, I bought Pregnancy Fitness (by the editors of Fitness Magazine), because, well, I'm a runner. I've been a runner for almost 10 years now, and while I understand there may be adjustments I need to make in my exercise regime now that I'm pregnant, I had a lull awhile back there where I didn't run, and now that I have it back, I'm not willing to give it up (or at least exercise up) full-fledge just yet so this book fit the bill of teaching me what I wanted.

Last, I bought The Runner's World Guide to Running & Pregnancy, because, as I noted above, I'm a runner. Running is what I do, running is what I want to KEEP doing, and if I'm going to be doing it, I want to have the best information possible while I do because while I may be a little selfish, I'm also not stupid.

As for the actual CONTENT of the books, well I may have set What to Expect When You're Expecting to be what it now is (ie. I pre-judged and didn't let that go) but really, the book is TRULY a bunch of hooey. It uses cheesy phrases like "While that may get your heart soaring" (thinking of your baby), it doesn't organize the information very well (organized by pregnancy month rather than facts), and it's really hard to find the ACTUAL information you are looking for in simple terms. Meaning, while the first page of every chapter is actually kinda interesting (it lays out your baby's growth week by week), that's about all that works in this book. The rest of it just drove me crazy. I wanted to learn about eating fish, or about the nutrients I need to get daily and how much of those I need, and instead of breaking it down into a chart or simple sections with clear headers, this book just dumps it all into endless paragraphs that for someone like me (with little patience) is really frustrating. This book gets two thumbs down from me.

Pregnancy Fitness on the other hand was everything I wanted and more. It not only gave me statistics on reduced miscarriages for runners, but it broke the information down into logical sections about food consumption (calories), nutrition, types of things I can and can't eat, and of course, exercise trimester by trimester. While it didn't have ALL the details the "expecting" book had on the baby's development, it did have a ton of information on which foods you should be eating, when, and why (for the baby's development at that stage) - and it laid it out into an easy-to-rip-out chart I could paste on my fridge. It also not only laid out exercises I can and can't do, but it provided me tips for each of the exercises in each stage of pregnancy because exercise SHOULD change in each stage. And it even provided diagrams of OTHER exercises I could do, and how they'd benefit me during each stage, or even during labour. This book is full of EXTREMELY practical information written in a no-nonsense fashion and I absolutely would recommend this book to anyone. Other than the weird cover photo (I just don't see anyone pulling their exercise pants up that high, EVER), this book gets a BLAZING two thumbs up.

Last but not least, The Runner's World Guide to Running & Pregnancy. Unfortunately, this book is taking a lot longer to ship than I wanted, but when I do get it, I think I'll be returning back to All Thumbs to let you know if it was worth the wait.


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2 chiming in:

MrsSpock said...

The What to Expect Book for pregnancy is OK- though I am biased in favor of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth. I will say, that I have the What To Expect the First Year and The Toddler Years, and having a month by month play of what milestones they should/could/and might be having has been great.

nishkanu said...

I read "What to expect" when a friend of mine was expecting many years ago. I hated the preachy, scare-mongering tone of that book. My favorite line: "If you eat a donut, you are STEALING NUTRITION from your baby." My second favorite line: "There are no studies that show that smoking pot during pregnancy has a negative effect on your baby. BUT YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO TAKE THAT CHANCE, WOULD YOU?" The chapter that said "really, birth defects are not very common" and then described them in lavish detail totally traumatized my pregnant friend. I'm glad I can't remember them any more now that I am finally at least temporarily knocked up (cross fingers, pray pray pray).

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