REVIEW: What to Expect When You’re Expecting – The Book!

When the lovely people at www.whattoexpect.co.uk found out that I am pregnant again, they sent me a bundle of goodies to review. The famous book by Heidi Murkoff; the film, featuring among many others Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Rock; and the exercise DVD. Lucky me!

WTE

I admit, the exercise DVD is still in it’s wrapper..! Morning/afternoon/evening sickness has meant exercise has been the last thing on my mind, way behind eating everything in sight! I am hoping however, that the sickness stage passes soon. Very soon! So I will be able to do at least a little exercise!

But the book, I am reading now… I didn’t read any pregnancy books during my last pregnancy, I relied mainly on the internet and apps on my phone. But I’ve heard really good things about this book so I was very keen get my hands on it and jumped at the chance to review it!

It starts with a section on trying to conceive, then moves on to early pregnancy signs, testing and then moves on to the actual pregnancy. Some parts weren’t relevant to me, it talks about choosing the type of doctor/gynaecologist which if you’re in the UK and using the NHS, you wouldn’t necessarily need to know. But the info is all there if you do.

There is an interesting section on how external factors might affect your pregnancy. Some you think about – caffeine, alcohol and smoking. Others that you might not have considered – household cleaners, lead and cat poo!

One section that I haven’t read and to be honest, I don’t intend to, is on complications and things that can go wrong during pregnancy. This is a subject that in my eyes, mums-to-be don’t need to read. We already have enough worries during this time and I don’t think we need to unduly concern ourselves with anything more. Perhaps if later on, I do develop a complication, I will revisit this section in the book to read up about it. Until then, I’ll skip it!

‘Nine Months of Eating Well’ is a great chapter on your diet and how it affects you and your unborn baby, basically don’t forget that baby is eating what you’re eating! So mine is enjoying lots of meat and burgers..! It also reminds you what not to eat – runny eggs, undercooked meats, unpasteurized dairy products etc.

Then on to the best bit, in my opinion, the month by month guide to what’s going on inside and outside your tummy! I have just been reading up about this month…I’m now at week 15 and the book tells me my baby is about the size of a navel orange, he or she can already breathe, swallow and even suck a thumb! I’ve also been reading up on pregnancy symptoms including nasal stuffiness (check!); breathlessness (check!) and anaemia (check!). There are even a couple of suggestions on how to avoid unwanted belly touching! I think I must have a “Don’t you DARE touch my belly!” face as I have thankfully, not had to deal with this!

Another good part, having been there and done it once before, is the ‘Postpartum: The First Week chapter’.  It covers both physical and emotional symptoms that you might have in the week or so following the birth. Things like afterpains which are contraction pains caused by your uterus shrinking back and feeling overwhelmed at your new role as a mummy. The section covers everything and will help you understand that these symptoms are completely normal and hopefully help you relax into motherhood.

All in all, I like the book and would recommend it to other mums-to-be, especially first timers who genuinely don’t know what to expect. Just don’t get caught up on the scary stuff (or just do as I do and don’t read those bits!) and remember every mum and every pregnancy is different. Try to enjoy it, creating a brand new little person in your tummy is an amazing (if a little uncomfortable) experience and totally worth it!

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