Book: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

The book: What to Expect When You’re Expecting, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

The edition: new and revised (4th) edition, Italian version by Sonia Sferzi, 575 pages

About the book: a step-by-step (or week-by-week) guide to pregnancy

My experience with the book & my thoughts: to start with, I need to say that I am not pregnant, so my evaluation of this book may be a little biased. I wanted to know more about pregnancy, and after a long search this was the only book I found that explained things throughly, didn’t make fun of them, and most of all didn’t treat the reader like a woman with attention-deficits who needs lots of pictures and bullet-lists and asides to go through a book.
I found it to be informative and encouraging, if nor exhaustive. I’d have appreciated more information on pre-natal exams, but I’ve seen that other people would have appreciated less information on some aspects, and I do see that, to a pregnant woman, some parts can be unnecessarily scary. I appreciated less the “All About” section at the end of each month-related chapter, because some of that information was not necessarily related to the month it was put in.

What I liked: detailed information.

What I didn’t like: I know it is a guide and that in all guidebooks there may be repetitions, because some readers may only go through a few sections; still those repetitions had me roll my eyes every time (OK, I know that smoke and alcohol are bad for the baby! Again? I know already!).

Language & translation: the major problem I had with this book, was never knowing how much had only been translated (i.e. still described the situation in the USA) and how much had been localized (and described what I may encounter in Italy).

In the author’s own words: nothing to report, really.

Links to better understand this book: oww, I don’t think you need them, it’s a guide! 🙂

Random thought: wow, there’s a whole series of WTE books!

Read this if: it is a good guide, but I am glad I read it before ever getting pregnant, because I don’t think I would have made it through during pregnancy, it’s quite the tome!

Counts as: One Two Theme Challenge – Pregnancy book #4

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Book: Natural Solutions to Infertility

The book: Natural Solutions to Infertility, by Marilyn Glenville

The edition: Portuguese translation by Ana Maciel, as published by Estrela Polar, 250 pages

About this book: a self-help book describing a approach through diet to infertility problems.

My experience with the book & my thoughts: I need to say something very personal up front: I am not experiencing fertility problems, my husband and I are not trying to conceive at the moment (although open to the possibility). I picked up this book as a mistake: I was looking for a good book about pregnancy (to be prepared when time comes) and couldn’t find one (I wanted one to read like a book, not one written in bullet lists and short boxes, and apparently the latter is the only kind of pregnancy book around — as if pregnant women could not deal with longer attention spans!); and from the Portuguese title and cover blurbs, this book seemed more of a general approach about pregnancy, not about a specific method.
So, I may have been biased. But I didn’t like this book at all. Basically, it proposes to consider nutrition (and a healthy lifestyle) as a major thing to consider while trying to conceive — I cannot agree more, but it’s mostly good sense, right? How many times do you need to tell a woman that they shouldn’t drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs before and during pregnancy? (I can count at least four chapters for each of these things.) Are there really still women out there, in first world countries, who do not know?
And while it’s important to have the right nutrients in your body, it’s not something to learn through a self-help book. If you want to try this method, you need to go to a nutritionist and ask him/her. (Not to mention the fact that the author excludes most things from your diet and then gives you plenty of supplements — and the little nutrition that I studied followed a completely different trend, avoiding supplements whenever you could get nutrients through natural food…)

What I liked: full, comprehensive sections about fertility awareness methods, nutrients that you need to take before and during a pregnancy (either through food or supplements), and assisted reproductive technologies.

What I didn’t like: it reads like one of those magazine ads about miracle diets or magic oils. The book is interspersed with recommendations to go through the author’s “4 months pre-conception plan” (as in: if you have tried to conceive but haven’t succeeded yet, stop trying and go through the plan before trying again; or: stop smoking, then go through the 4 months plan; etc.), and with case studies. These got particularly on my nerves: there were these boxes in every chapter, telling about case studies that were in no way related to the subject of that chapter, and mostly going like: “Jane and John were in their 30s, they had been trying to conceive for three years with no success; then they came to see me and followed the plan. Now they have a healthy child”.
Oh, and after all that, the plan itself gets a full seven pages. Seven! Out of 250! (Which may be a good thing, because such a plan needs personalized medical control, in my opinion.)

Language & translation: very precise, without being too technical.

Random thought: no way I’m going to quit all sugars and fat!

Read this if: if you want to understand exactly how your body works, some sections may be of help, and you can just skim the rest of the book. Also, if you have been trying to conceive for some time with no results, and medical examinations give no clear answer, you may want to know about this method, just in case.

Counts as: One, Two, Theme! Challenge – Pregnancy (#1)

This review is part of the
Loving the Reviews Challenge Extravaganza
at Sniffly Kitty’s Mostly Books blog