There are many people who recommend the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. I’d even bought a copy for a friend many year’s ago, at a time when it was the only relevant book I knew. So now at 15 weeks pregnant, it was time I gave this book known by some as “the Pregnancy Bible” a read for the first time.
The What to Expect book was first published in 1984, written in response to the author’s attempts to find good pregnancy advice in one book source. The book has been updated and is now on it’s 5th edition published in 2016. The first few editions showed a pregnant mom to be in a rocking chair and more recent editions show a pregnant mom to be standing tall. Each edition has more information and in some cases new sections are added.
The books, despite selling more than 19 million copies, has been widely criticized for instilling fear. I found the book recommending women give up smoking and all exposure to second hand smoke, yet I was stunned that it surmised that in theory on occasion a glass of wine might not hurt the baby. The earlier editions of the book stressed a stricter Pregnancy Diet than the latter ones, yet even early editions allowed that having a cheat item, i.e. a candy bar now and then was acceptable.
The book had lots of information on some topics including full chapters on birth whether vaginally or via Cesarean, and to my surprise and delight on the first few weeks after birth and breastfeeding.
The book tried to be informative by having a section for the father to be as well. I did appreciate seeing the information in there, and yet, it was a skimpy chapter and its placement near the back of the book, both things that made it seem like the information was less important than some of the other advice.
In addition to being a best selling book of many editions, the book was made into a comedy movie of the same title, with some of the information of the book worked into the script.
The book has also inspired a What to Expect application that I have had on my phone since discovering I was pregnancy, a great source of quick information that I’ve referred to often.
Overall the book had lots of good information, though I would have appreciated a more balanced overall amount on the topics.
Rating – Three and a half baby booties out of five