Top positive review
4 of 4 people found this helpful
Even "thinking" parents need reassurance sometimes
on July 12, 2004
We are halfway through our first pregnancy. Four months ago, we bought this book, along with Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (Simkin) and Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week book (Curtis). Of the three, we like Simkin's book best, and Curtis's book the least. The What to Expect book, while not as informative as the Simkin's book, is in our opinion very good.
Many of the things the other reviewers said about this book are true: the authors' diet suggestions border on the fanatical (it seems as if they are writing for obese parents-to-be), and the tone of the book is definitely patronizing. The amount of knowledge about the biological aspects of pregnancy is also minimal---the book is very light on technical terms and diagrams.
However, if you click on the image of the book at the top of the screen, you will notice a sentence that highlights the strongest point of the book: "...reassuringly answers the concerns of mothers- and father-to-be." We couldn't agree more.
Several times throughout the pregnancy, my wife has had various symptoms that, while quite normal, were alarming for a first-time pregnant couple. Neither of the other two books said very much about these symptoms, but the What to Expect book reassuringly and accurately helped us evaluate whether the symptoms were anything to worry about. Examples are: Is extreme fatigue a sign of danger? Are nosebleeds anything to worry about? What about abdominal cramps during the second trimester? In most cases, the What to Expect was the best book of the three, allowing us to quickly find these concerns in the index, and read about them at length.
Most importantly, the What to Expect book described the symptoms in sufficient detail to allow us to distinguish them from the truly serious.
In short: there are many problems with this book. The month-by-month organization is not very useful, and there just isn't very much information about the biological aspects of pregnancy (Simkin's books provide that information very well). Sometimes, though, some of us just need to put that little bit of worry in our heads to rest. And this book helped us do just that.
On a side note, I noticed that many reviewers accused this book of being alarmist. I found that the Curtis book was much more alarmist than the What to Expect book. Curtis's book might as well be named "What Could Be Wrong with Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week." The What to Expect book at least groups the most fear-inspiring stuff towards the end, in a separate chapter.