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What to Expect Before You're Expecting [Paperback]

Heidi Murkoff , Sharon Mazel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 15 2009 WHAT TO EXPECT
Announcing the prequel. From Heidi Murkoff, author of America's bestselling pregnancy and parenting books, comes the must-have guide every expectant couple needs before they even conceive—the first step in What to Expect: What to Expect Before You're Expecting.

An estimated 11 million couples in the U.S. are currently trying to conceive, and medical groups now recommend that all hopeful parents plan for baby-making at least three months before they begin trying. And who better to guide wanna-be moms and dads step-by-step through the preconception (and conception) process than Heidi Murkoff?

It's all here. Everything couples need to know before sperm and egg meet up. Packed with the same kind of reassuring, empathetic, and practical information and advice and tips that readers have come to expect from What to Expect, only sooner. Which baby-friendly foods to order up (say yes to yams) and which fertility-busters to avoid (see you later, saturated fat); lifestyle adjustments that you'll want to make (cut back on cocktails and caffeine) and those you can probably skip (that switch to boxers). How to pinpoint ovulation, time lovemaking, keep on-demand sex sexy, and separate conception fact (it takes the average couple up to 12 months to make a baby) from myth (position matters). Plus, when to seek help and the latest on fertility treatments—from Clomid and IVF to surrogacy and more. Complete with a fill-in fertility journal to keep track of the babymaking adventure and special tips throughout for hopeful dads. Next step? What to Expect When You’re Expecting, of course.

Frequently Bought Together

What to Expect Before You're Expecting + What to Expect When You're Expecting: 4th Edition + What to Expect: Eating Well When You're Expecting: The All-New Guide
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.15

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Product Description


'Books that changed My Life' by Mariella Frostrup. "This was my best friend during my pregnancy. It described all the physical and emotional changes I went through as though the authors were mind-readers. Although there are hundreds of pregnancy books, none had quite the same voice of reason."' Reader's Digest November issue

From the Back Cover

Expecting to Expect? Plan Ahead.

Everything you need to know before you’re expecting to help you prepare for the healthiest possible pregnancy and the healthiest possible baby. Filled with practical tips, empathetic advice, and savvy strategies all designed to help you get that baby of your dreams on board faster. How to get your bodies into tip-top baby-making shape. Which foods feed fertility. Which lifestyle habits to quit and which to cultivate. How to have sex for conception success (from timing to positions to logistics). And when to seek fertility help. There’s even a fertility planner to help you keep track of your conception adventure.

Answers to all your baby-making questions:
  • How can I tell when I’m ovulating if my cycles aren’t regular?
  • Should we be having sex everyday? Every other day? Three times a day?
  • I’ve heard certain sex positions can help you conceive—true?
  • I’m overweight—does that affect my chances of getting pregnant?
  • Can certain foods help you get pregnant?
  • I’m 37. Does that mean I’ll have a harder time getting pregnant?
  • How long should we keep trying to conceive before we get some help?

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just OK Feb. 22 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was the first of many pregnancy books i have read before even expecting! I wanted to get as much info as I could about "what to expect" before Trying to conceive. I thought it was just ok, I learned a few things about nutrition and ovulation predicting, but most information was common sense or general knowledge. Although it was easy to read, it lacked depth and medical knowledge, leaving it somewhat superficial. I also thought that the writing was immature and annoying at times. I can enjoy humor, but i wanted well sound medical information, not a Cosmo-like version of what to expect. After reading many other books, I would not recommend this one because there are too many books out there that provide much more information than this one. Unless you have the funds to go through tons of book and have spare time, I wouldn't recommend this book. The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy would be a much more well rounded choice, that informs you medically without assuming you lack th intelligence to comprehend pregnancy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What to Expect Before Your Expecting Feb. 2 2014
By Lindsay
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Awesome book for women who are planning on having a family. Good Prenatal care is a must and for those that are planning a family especially first timers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book- very helpful! Feb. 26 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was very helpful in that it taught me about prepping my body to conceive and carry a baby/babies. I became motivated to check up on my weight and eating habits. It also helped me to understand my cycle and recognize when I'd be ovulating.

Parts 1 and 2- "Getting ready to make a baby" and "Making a baby"- were most helpful to me; and although I did not require the
last section, "Bumps on the road to baby", I'm sure many women (and men) will benefit from this section.

Overall, it's an informative and helpful book that I would recommend to anyone who is dedicated and committed to preparing themselves for a healthy and timely pregnancy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book! July 27 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a great book! There are so many things that I wasn't aware of. It's a perfect book for couples that would like to have a baby.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  183 reviews
134 of 134 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good info but . . . Oct. 18 2010
By sss147 - Published on Amazon.com
There is some great information in this book. It's an excellent starting point if you want to get a jump on reading up about pre-conception health. It's also a good conversation starter with your partner (it's great for both parents to spend some time reading the book, both the "mom" and "dad" sections). The info on trouble trying to conceive was particularly helpful. However, after hearing all the hype about the "What To Expect" series, I expected it to be a better written book.

The book had some continuity problems. It looked like paragraphs and maybe even chapters had been copied and pasted straight out of the other books without checking for continuity. Acronyms would be used over and over and over again and never defined. Meanwhile, the acronym "STD" shows up for the hundredth time around page 200 and is defined. Pretty sure we all know what STDs are, and if we don't, we googled it 150 pages ago. But thanks.

Sometimes things would be mentioned in passing, never to be brought up again. "Get your blood tested for your Rh factor, and if you are positive, make sure your partner isn't." WHAT?! This sounds really serious. What does this mean? Yeah, the book totally leaves you hanging. Google it. Again, I expect that if the book is going to bring it up, explain to me why this is so important.

Some chapters left me with more question than answers. For example, it encouraged readers to drink lots of milk. Ok great, but more adult women are lactose intolerant than not. Since the book advised moms-to-be to limit soy, what alternatives should we seek for upping calcium intake? The author really didn't have a lot of suggestions. And speaking of soy, the author was very vague. Basically, "don't eat a lot of it." Well, what's "a lot?" If I use it on my cereal and cooking as my constant substitute for milk, is that "a lot?" I know what to do to get my calcium, but I expected the book to cover it, given the detail it went into in other areas.

Finally, the writing style was obnoxious at times. It was like sitting next to your cheesy inappropriate uncle at dinner and listening to him laugh at his own lame jokes and say "teehee GET IT? SEE WHAT I DID THERE! THAT'S A PUN!" Yeah, we got it, thanks. Not that funny. Luckily the author had the tact to drop the act in the chapters about challenges to TTC.

Again, overall, great info in this book, and it is worth the read despite my criticisms of the writing style. Hopefully when the next edition comes out, they will have cleared up some of these issues.
113 of 126 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If I wanted to read a Cosmo article... June 24 2009
By Mari - Published on Amazon.com
Okay, I will give the author this, there is some valuable information to be had here. The problem is that she uses language that you would find in a magazine like Vogue or Cosmo. You know those quick reads on how to make a man happy in bed, how to dress your body type etc.

Quite frankly, that kind of vocabulary and manner of speaking is plain annoying! For example, at one she is giving men advice on how to keep the romance alive while trying to conceive. Great idea! However, she uses this phrase, "Woo her while you do her."

Ick! And it just keeps going on and on and on. Every other word is from the pages of a fashion rag. I got so annoyed I couldn't even read a chapter. Sure, I want some humor and warmth when I am reading a non-fiction book, but this was taking bad jokes and regurgitating them on every other page. If you like to read Cosmo and Vogue then you will probably have no problem with this. But the rest of use want a little more hard-headed and to-the-point advice.
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not too much info for a 200 page book! Feb. 8 2010
By michelle - Published on Amazon.com
I flew through this book in 2 nights, yawning. Maybe this is just because I have researched TTC online, but I really didn't learn much from this book. I like how the questions are asked point blank , but then the answers will usually ramble on and on for paragraphs, most of which have very little to do with the actual question. It got downright annoying at times. I also expected a more informative diet plan and food breakdown, but (shock!!) I suppose I would have to buy the "What to eat while you are expecting" book from this author.
Most of the topics I wanted more details on (depression meds, bariatric surgery, ect) were answered with basically a "Yes, No, Well you should ask your personal doctor about that" theme. Gee, thanks.
Overall, I think the amount of useful information from this book (after eliminating the sidetracked rambling and stupid jokes) could have been condensed to a pamphlet.

UPDATE: Depression Meds: This book states INCORRECTLY on page 9 that Wellbutrin is proven safe for pregnancy. This is absolutely NOT TRUE! It is classified as a type C drug. It has been tested on animals and has shown some defects in the offspring of rabbits and mice. No adequete human studies have been done on pregnant women or newborns who have been exposed to this drug. Shame on the author and editor of this book. Get your facts straight, Ms, Murkoff!!!!
57 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Resource, If You Don't Care About the Magic May 25 2009
By J. Stoner - Published on Amazon.com
WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE YOU'RE EXPECTING is just like the other books in the expecting "series:" Jam packed with information in a good format. There are sections for both the "Mother to Be" and the "Father to Be," but neither are exclusive and should be read by both parties; in fact, there is more for men in this book than What to Expect When You're Expecting: 4th Edition. You probably already know what to expect given the monumental success of the previous Expecting books, and this book is no exception. Sections of the book include: Nutrition, Basic Anatomy, Ovulation, Timing of Intimacy, Miscarriage and Infertility, Medications, and tons of other little questions.

This book is excellent, but the next few comments should not be taken as criticisms but rather just information.

The difference with this installment is that there is more humor woven into the text than the previous books, which helps lighten the load; however, the humor at points is too much of a good thing, and the writing can seem juvenile and uses a lot of immature phrases (i.e. Aunt Flo), which I feel undermines the writing slightly.

One other thing is the book takes some of the magic away, providing step by step instructions, hundreds of pages of what to do better. I can totally appreciate how this book may help people who have struggled with conception, and I feel this book will be revered in that case. However, for everyone else be prepared to have the magic of conception possibly ruined as baby making becomes a job, you are forced to follow a specific calendar, and monitoring your diet. I know that at least a handful of people have successfully conceived and delivered healthy babies prior to this book being published, but this book could be the saving grace for any couple that is struggling to conceive. It reminds me of the movie Knocked Up when the characters are discussing how in the world people had babies before baby books were published.

Overall, WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE YOU ARE EXPECTING is a great resource, and should be read in smaller doses because it is so information and fact heavy; however, the humor (which at some points is rather juvenile) effectively lightens the load.

Good reading,

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Oct. 2 2009
By Jennifer Johnston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I began reading this book as soon as I received it. This book has been full of facts I wasn't aware of. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about trying to have a baby.
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