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YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy [Hardcover]

Michael F. Roizen , Mehmet Oz
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 2009

Can I get a cavity filled while pregnant? Will avoiding spicy foods make my kid a picky eater? Can I really increase my baby's IQ while she's in utero?

Whether you're pregnant for the first time, are trying to start your family, or already have enough children to start your own basketball team, you're bound to have questions about what it means to be pregnant -- and how you can increase your odds of having a healthy and happy pregnancy. But no matter how much you've read, watched, studied, or talked about this amazing biological journey, you have never read anything like this.

In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz act as mythbusters for the hundreds of questions surrounding pregnancy in the same scientific, informative, and entertaining ways that have made them America's Doctors. In these pages, you'll learn everything you need to know about the miracles of fetal development, your health throughout the pregnancy, and providing the best possible environment for your growing child.

Pregnancy is a complicated balancing act, but it doesn't have to be frightening. The doctors will help you de-stress as they describe accurately and rationally what happens during a thrilling nine months of life. While every pregnant body is different, odds are you'll experience some of the cravings, crying, and discomfort that almost all women go through. Your best tactic? Learn why these things are happening -- and what you should do about them. YOU: Having a Baby will teach you everything you need to know about what to eat (should I be eating for two?), how much to exercise, and what guilty pleasures will actually make pregnancy easier on you (and the loved ones who get to be around you for the whole thing). Each phase of pregnancy has different challenges, but the right information will prepare you for what's ahead. The interactive week-by-week calendar inside provides an even more detailed guideline for how and what you should feel through every step of the process.

Exciting, cutting-edge scientific research in the fi eld of epigenetics has changed the way the medical profession looks at pregnancy, and now it can change your perspective, too. Epigenetics explores what makes us develop in certain ways -- why some people thrive at math while others are prone to chronic diseases. It turns out that there are easy things you can do that will not just help your baby's development in utero but will actually improve his or her chances of living a healthy, fulfi lling adult life.

Filled with recipes for nutritious, satisfying snacks and meals even Pop can cook (yes, he can!), safe exercises for staying fit, and tons of YOU tips that will help you stay comfortable, YOU: Having a Baby is the ultimate guidebook for what to do from the moment of conception to the weeks after your child has arrived home. From morning sickness and food cravings to choosing a doctor and changing a diaper, YOU: Having a Baby will give you the real scoop about what's in store for you during this amazing time in your life.

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About the Author

Michael F. Roizen, MD, is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and cofounder and originator of the popular website. He is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic and chief Medical Consultant to the Dr. Oz show. He currently lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Mehmet C. Oz, MD, is also a New York Times #1 bestselling author and multiple Emmy Award-winning host of The Dr. Oz Show. He is professor and vice chairman of surgery at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University and the director of the Heart Institute. He currently lives in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



Hey, You! Having a Baby?

Stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon, and your body rockets into sensory overload. Your eyes widen, your jaw drops, and your neurons spit out more adjectives than a novice novelist. Majestic, awe inspiring, glorious, astonishing, so my€‘oh-my beautiful that you want to fall to your knees and bow to the deity that created this masterpiece.

Then you freak out.

That, in essence, is pregnancy: On one hand, it's the most breathtaking thing you've ever experienced. On the other, it's a looooong way to the bottom of the canyon, just as it is a looooong way from conception to birth -- so you can't help but have some anxiety about taking a wrong step along the way. There's no doubt that pregnancy evokes a similar diversity of emotional and physiological responses as do such natural wonders: laughing, crying, screaming, dry mouth, dry skin, dry heaves (and that's just the first day). What we're here to do is help you manage both extremes of the emotional spectrum, so you can appreciate such a miraculous process and conquer the anxiety and tension through a very powerful weapon: knowledge.

Whether this is your first pregnancy or your fourth, or you're trying so hard that you're spending more time on your bed than a throw pillow, you probably think you know a thing or two about being pregnant. Either you've gone through it before or you've had friends, sisters, and sixteen trillion baby bloggers to give you the inside-the-womb scoop.

However, we'd ask that you hold on one diaper-changing minute. We're here to bust myths, challenge your brain, and prepare your body for the greatest journey that any human can ever take -- from the moment two cells become one to the second that your little squirt makes its first appearance outside the comforting shell of your belly.

To whet your appetite, we'd bet a case of Gerber bananas that you didn't know things like:

• The whole notion of nature versus nurture is as wrong as a three-legged crib. That's because a cutting-edge field called epigenetics has shown us that you have control over how the genes of your baby will express themselves.
• What happens during these 280 days on the inside actually teaches your child about how his body should act on the outside. He's actually forecasting his future -- and that teaches him how healthy or unhealthy he will be years down the road.
• While most people assume that a mom's biological cocoon supports the child unconditionally, the truth is that your body is actually engaged in a very delicate dance to balance the often competing needs of mom and child.
• There's a biological reason why your areolas are dark, why your feet swell, and why one minute you gag at the thought of eating a cracker and the next minute you can't wait to get your hands on a salsa-smothered cantaloupe.

The good news is that we're here to help by teaching you crazy-cool things about your body and giving you the tools to maximize your experience and get the result you want: a healthy and happy baby.

Now, if you're like most women, we're guessing that you've already spent a lot of time thinking about what's in store. You've probably spent all-nighters scouring pregnancy websites and parked yourself in cushy bookstore chairs with thigh-high stacks of mom-to-be manuals. Maybe you haven't been this nervous since your sixth-grade oral report on rain forests, or maybe you haven't been this obsessed with something since McDreamy made his prime-time debut a few years back. You're probably poring over baby names, wondering why you crave pretzels dipped in marinara sauce, and debating about whether the nursery walls should have the hue of sunshine, cotton candy, or pomegranate juice.

Nope, there's nothing quite like this internal conflict that is pregnancy. One moment, you're thrilled, elated, and impatient for your baby's first smile, babble, and soothe-your-soul hug. The next, you feel anxious about a million unknowns -- about what's going on inside your belly, about whether your little one is growing properly, about how you're going to function on zippo sleep. Since this happens to just about everyone, it must, in fact, be strangely ideal. The truth is that vigilance has great benefits. You're supposed to pay close attention. Our goal is to ensure that you focus on the right clues.

As you struggle to maintain your equilibrium, we want you to relax and take time to enjoy the beauty of the process. The most important thing to keep in mind is that most pregnancies turn out absolutely fine. Absolutely fine. Women's bodies are designed to carry children safely and efficiently. That doesn't mean everything will be smooth sailing on this journey, but it does mean that the odds are greatly in your favor. If you can learn how to maximize your chances that nature runs the course it's supposed to, you will increase those odds even further. This book will help show you how.

Introducing Your New Dance Partner

So let's start by rethinking our perception about conception (and beyond). Back in sex-ed class, most of us were taught a pretty simple recipe for how pregnancy works:

1 egg, mature
100 million sperm, very, very excited
Preheat oven. Mix ingredients romantically. Cook bun for forty weeks.
Sprinkle with love and serve to the world.

The bun-in-the-oven image has served us well over the years, underscoring the belief that mom is protector and baby is protected, that mom is cook and baby is concoction, that mom is in control and baby is not. But there's a fundamental problem with this analogy when it comes to the true biology of pregnancy (besides the fact that nobody bakes buns anymore): Baby has a heck of a lot more say about the whole process than a cinnamon raisin roll does.

In fact, pregnancy is more like dancing than cooking. You and your baby have a dynamic, choreographed relationship -- one in which you lead and the baby follows. Your subtle movements and directions help show your baby how to grow and develop. After all, it takes two to tango, or in pregnancy terms, it's uter-us, not uter-I.

But your baby isn't always the most cooperative partner. Sometimes he'll want to take the lead, sometimes he'll send you signals about which way he wants you to move, sometimes he'll improvise, sometimes he'll do flips, and sometimes he'll step on your feet and get everything all tangled up. Part of the reason he'll act this way is that your body has a certain amount of biological ambivalence about this little cellular critter; after all, only half his genes are yours. Your relationship with him isn't exactly hostile, but it's not always warm and fuzzy either. Even at this young age, he's going to try to assert himself, and your body may try to resist. There are evolutionary reasons for this, which we'll discuss in the pages to come, but you can also think of these initial rebellious acts as practice for the years ahead.

Pregnancy can be as elegant as a waltz, as high-energy as a salsa, and as scattered as a twist (with a whole lot of shouting). Our main goal in YOU: Having a Baby is to teach you about this ingenious biological dance -- a dance in which you have the ability and the artistry to guide your baby not only to a healthy delivery, but to a lifetime of good health as well.

What's in It for YOU

While many pregnancy books tell you what to do, we aim to add a deeper level of meaning in true YOU style and explain why. After all, when you truly understand the why, the what is much easier to adopt. Instead of giving you a week-by-week or hiccup-by-hiccup guide to pregnancy, we're going to take a more holistic approach, focusing on how your mental and physical health affect your baby, and how -- at the same time -- pregnancy affects your mind and body. Of course, we'll provide plenty of our signature YOU Tips and YOU Tools to help you make the best choices for a safe and healthy pregnancy, but we're going to take you there a little bit differently than other pregnancy guides may. Here's what you can expect from us:

We want you to understand at the base level how epigenetics works and why it's important. Starting with the moment you go from making love to making a baby, we're going to explain how you can influence your child's development through this field -- perhaps the most important developed in the last decade. Many of us believe that the genetics of our children are predetermined the moment that the sperm radar locks on its desired egg. But the truth is that research from various sources is suggesting that during pregnancy, you may actually be able to turn your future baby's genes on and off. Epigenetics is not just how the musical notes of our genes are played but also how loud the volume is turned up. Since the acoustics in the womb and the real world might be different, we want these as aligned as possible. And that's where all the magic takes place, no matter where you are in pregnancy or in parenthood. You have the ability to control genes anytime.

You're also going to learn quite a bit about the key player that mediates between you and your baby, transmitting all the signals that create those epigenetic changes. That player, which gets about as much attention as a dollar bill on a blackjack table, is the placenta. This beautifully functioning organ is the place where mom and child interact, where nutrients are exchanged, and where growth and development patterns are determined.

After explaining the workings of the placenta, we'll focus more closely on nutrition (both yours and baby's), explaining how too much, too little, or the wrong nutrients all play roles in the health of both you and your child. Here you'll discove... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book. Jan. 5 2010
By jvb
I bought this book for my daughter who is expecting her first baby. There are so many pregnancy books out there but this one really stood out. Very informative and an interesting read. She really enjoyed it and read it all in one sitting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read, up to date, medically sound Feb. 19 2011
By C
this book is great, when pregnant with first, I bought EVERY book, now I wish this one had been available. If I could go back, would only buy this one. it has easy to follow lists, includes medically sound info from pre-pregnancy prep to post-partum. comparing to "expecting series" found much easier to read. i found "expecting" to have info all over and a general theme of "you should but don't worry if you did or didn't" found expecting condecending whereas the "You" book just tells you, doesn't lecture and doesn't sugar-coat. realistic. I love that you can easily find a one page list summarizing vitamins, and a one page list summarizing diet, rather than super confusing expecting pages. great focus on epigentetics.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  77 reviews
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars least favorite pregnancy book May 5 2011
By Kjoy - Published on
I hate to leave a negative review of anything Dr. Oz does, but this book was a huge disappointment. I have an arsenal of pregnancy, baby and child-related books and was so excited for this new one that I pre-ordered it and checked the mailbox daily. The book is not what you would expect if you're used to reading the "What to Expect" series. It actually reads like a middle school health text book with endless, useless illustrations that are just not of value for even the most moderately educated woman. If you have a pretty good awareness of your body, health and your reproductive system, this book is pretty dumbed-down...kind of a "Pregnancy for Dummmies." There was hardly any information that actually answered my "run for the bookshelf" questions like the What to Expect books. I rarely want to return a book, but this one is truly useless to me.

If you want a complete pregnancy book, I would highly recommend the What to Expect When You're Expecting, but even more so, the Dr. Sears "Pregnancy Book", which surprised me by becoming my favorite. I love the Dr. Sears books, but am not a huge fan of co-sleeping and attachment parenting...just returned their "Baby Sleep Book"...but their Pregnancy Book is really comprehensive, especially for all those neurotic questions we come up with as pregnant mothers! I also LOVE the Dr. Sears "Breastfeeding Book" and "The Nursing Mother's Companion". Once baby arrives, I cannot recommend highly enough "The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems" by Tracey Hogg. By far, the most helpful, wonderful, effective book for all things infant ever created!!! This book was/is my Baby Bible! Kind, loving methods to solve every baby question/problem from eating to sleeping to breaking bad habits - amazing!!!
39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay -- But Disorganized and Not What I Expected Jan. 1 2010
By Jenny Loving - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book based on a recommendation in a magazine. The excerpt provided there talked about epigenetics. I was very intrigued and expected there to be a wealth of information on this topic -- there was just a very short section :( The rest of the information is quite good, and I picked up several valuable pointers (despite the fact that I've read about a gazillion books on pregnancy before). However, I agree with reviewers that said this book is not essential if you have others laying around the house already. The epigenetics section certainly isn't enough to set it apart like I hoped it would.

I also found the book to be very disorganized (jumping from what to eat while you're pregnant, to what to buy for your newborn, to how to choose an OB, to what to do if you are having trouble getting pregnant, and back to what to do while you're pregnant, and so on). I found myself wondering who in the world organized the content for the book, because it didn't make sense to me!

All in all, I was very disappointed by this title, which I have for the Kindle. As a note, the Kindle version's formatting is VERY off and many sentences are completely missing and certain tables completely unreadable.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My wife and I loved it... Dec 19 2009
By G. Griffith - Published on
My wife is 8 months pregnant so we both read this. Was really accessible and for me really refreshing. Avoided a lot of the alarmism that other books in this genre fall into. We're big fans of the entire You series.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another fantastic conrtibution to our health Dec 19 2009
By Janey Jones - Published on
I always love reading the YOU books, and this latest contribution is no exception. The authors craft an upbeat, accessible, fun guide for women going through the awe-inspiring, but also sometimes scary process of bringing new life into our world. They highlight how detrimental stress (both physical and emotional) can be to the newborn and proceed to explain all the aspects of pregnancy so elegantly that I felt immediately relaxed. The good doctors teamed up with a well recognized OB-GYN from the Cleveland Clinic and several other experienced moms (including Mrs Oz!) to explain practical aspects of fertility and the early weeks after conception.

I believe their most valuable contribution is a comprehensive review of the fascinating process of epigenetics. This is how humans were able to adapt to rapid changes in their environment like a famine or ice age. This same process will change how our children use their genes if the mother does not take charge of her own health so the fetus can predict their future environment correctly. They make a reasonable argument that this is the single biggest advance in medicine in the past decade.

Most importantly, "YOU: having a baby" correctly argues that 50% of women do not know that they are pregnant when they first conceive, so all pre-menapausal women should follow the nutrition plan that they outline. I am getting copies for all my friends for the holidays.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best pregnancy book I found- Very positive but truthful. March 26 2012
By Darlyn - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Dr. Oz after reading this book. It is a great resource for your pregnancy and beyond. I found myself using it long after my son was born as a reference. I love the way it is layed out, it is not in chronilogical order like most pregnancy books, it is written more like a book you can actually read. It is very truthful but not scary. I found "What to Expect" books to be very scary and not at all uplifting and very negative. I want the facts but I don't want to be terrified my entire pregnancy! This was the best book I found out of several pregnancy books I was given or purchased. I would definately recommend this and also the follow up from Dr. Oz : YOU Raising a Child.
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