- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Barricade Books (Oct. 6 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1569802904
- ISBN-13: 978-1569802908
- Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 2.3 x 22.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 499 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #814,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Your Plus-Size Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide for the Full-Figured Expectant Mom Paperback – Sep 1 2005
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"Chock full of great information on nutrition, fitness, clothing, etc. for moms-to-be who aren't a size 0!" -- Fitfor2.Com, December 2005 newsletter Book of the Month
"Groundbreaking book first to offer encouragement, information, and resources to plus-size moms. Written in a friendly and supportive tone" -- ParentBooks.com
"Offers advice, information and support for plus-size moms-to-be." -- ePregnancy Magazine, September, 2005
From the Author
Brette Sember is a plus-size mom of two and this is the book she wishes she had had when she was pregnant.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
A lot of this book is fluff. I agree with a previous reviewer that said you could get all this info easily online doing a search - and for free.
The book was terribly negative all the way through.
The section on increased risks with overweight moms was unhelpful and scary - no serious discussion is given to any of the risks - just little snippets of general information. Since these *are* real risks, it would be nice to have a better idea of what they involve.
Then the authors STRONGLY encourage all plus sized moms to get an epidural. Now, the epidural can be a great tool for a mom who wants it, but the author here makes it sound like no plus sized mom can manage unmedicated childbirth and that's not true. [Then, just to make it scary, there is a highly questionable section on how being overweight makes it hard to get a good epidural.]
The section on vaginal birth was in the same vein - very negative and totally unhelpful [nothing constructive was covered at all].
The book is extremely Pro-Cesarean. The definite majority of overweight women can and DO deliver vaginally, but you will never know that reading this book. This section is so pro-Cesarean that she basically encourages moms to ASK for an elective Cesarean [she says "More and more women are requesting elective Cesareans"] rather than even attempt a vaginal birth.
The chapter on breastfeeding is just terrible. It makes it sound like large moms CAN'T breastfeed. It is extremely biased and discouraging. In addition, the author includes quotes from many, many plus sized moms throughout the book and ALL the quotes in the breastfeeding section are very negative - not one positive quote at all! [Many plus sized moms, including myself, have a very positive experience with nursing].
I sure wish that more helpful, less negative, and more complete information had been shared. We really need a good plus size pregnancy book, but this isn't it.
It seems like it's mostly re-assuring you that "big is beautiful" and retelling horror stories of being discriminated against because of size, with very little actual information. There are descriptions of medical tests, but this is mostly a self-esteem book, not a very helpful guide for pregnancy.
I found some of the information to be helpful - the biggest help to me (as there wasn't really any 'new' information presented) was the resources for maternity clothing for plus size women.
Also helpful was discussion about the supplies you might encounter while in the hospital - how to get a gown that fits, the importance of the correct size blood pressure cuff, abdominal support garments for after a cesarean, tips in dealing with hospital staff, etc.
The things I found least helpful:
* Anecdotes by plus sized moms tend to run on the negative side. "I was afraid this bad thing would happen, but I got through it." "She blamed it on my weight, but I pretended not to hear." The negative stories FAR outweighed (haha, punny) the positive ones and after reading them I would feel discouraged, not supported.
* The medical advice, I have to say, is frighteningly lacking. The bulk of this book is spent telling large moms why they shouldn't feel bad about their weight. There are some truisms but they are lost in the patronizing tone. I felt like I was constantly being reassured that I am not 'less than' because I'm fat. No duh!!!!
* Worst of all... I collected a few tidbits from the book that were absolutely enraging to read as a pregnant woman, and as a doula.
-- More time was spent telling me how much more likely I am to have a cesarean than to tell me how I can best avoid one.
-- Continuous monitoring assures the mother and doctor that all is well. This is not common practice, at least not where I live. Intermittent monitoring in women who are not ill, or on medication that indicates continuous monitoring, is the protocol. Studies have shown that continuous monitoring lead to more cesareans, and NO improvement in outcomes. This means that more women have cesareans for no good reason when continuous monitoring is used. Continuous monitoring also severely limits the mobility of the laboring mother, restricting her largely to bed - therefore making her more likely to have a cesarean for failure to progress. No wonder they spend so much time talking about how likely large moms are to have cesarean births!
-- This is a direct quote from the opening paragraph on cesareans: "If your doctor says the best way to get there (birth) is to have a c-section, then do it happily. No, it's not fun, but it's not unbearable either. It's something you can definitely get through if it means a healthy baby." Every time I read this I wonder if I am reading a book out of the 1950's. Do it happily? Are they serious?
-- They quote (as of 2005) the national cesarean rate to be at 25% and it was much higher in 2005 - closer to 30%.
-- VBAC is discouraged out of hand. The first few paragraphs discussing VBAC report it as more dangerous than repeat cesarean section. Where did they get this data?
-- Balanced information about epidural anesthesia is not offered; it is simply promotional material. After all of the information about the wonders of epidural are presented, they state that 'some' women want to experience unmedicated birth and that it 'is possible!' How encouraging, how empowering! Not.
-- Call me biased but doulas are a common part of the pregnancy and birth experience. Most books that have been written in the last probably 10 years include at least a mention. This book uses comments from a doula but never covers how a doula could be useful to a plus sized mother giving birth, or how postpartum doulas might be useful after a cesarean birth, etc.
-- No discussion at all about water birth, home birth or birthing with midwives.
I did not find this book to be balanced in its presentation of different things like cesareans, medical pain relief, unmedicated birth, or breastfeeding. It was a lot of risks and scary language, and then "but you can try!" sort of tone, when it wasn't "submit to the doctor, they are looking out for you!"
As a large mom, and a pregnant mother, and a birth professional, I just found the overall tone of this book to be condesending and patronizing. I am disappointed because I had high hopes, a book like this is desperately needed.