Great Expectations is one of the most favorite pregnancy books of StorkNet's members. Why? It covers nearly everything in a non-judgmental, matter-of-fact tone. If you only want to buy one pregnancy/childbirth book, this is the one!
The book begins with a look at your pregnancy week by week. You learn what to expect with regards to changes in your body, fetal development, and other things that may occur during that week.
The second section of the book is called "Managing Your Pregnancy" and includes:
- In depth discussions of the changes in your body including your organs and even your hair as well as how these changes will affect you. Helpful suggestions are offered for coping with these changes - hence the chapter title, "Managing Your Body."
- "Managing Your Nutrition" lists your vitamin and mineral requirements along with how to meet them each day.
- "Managing Your Weight and Fitness"
- "Managing Your Care" which includes an excellent discussion of the pros and cons of hospital birth, birth center birth, and home birth as well as care provider options. Childbirth classes is also discussed along with genetic testing and prenatal testing and screening.
- "Managing Your Medicine Cabinet" is another important topic for moms-to-be. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are discussed along with vaccines, recreational drugs, caffeine and tobacco.
- "Managing High-Risk Conditions"
- "Managing Other Risks" such as if you become sick with colds and flu and accidents. Cord blood banking is also explained as well as becoming pregnant while using birth control, hot tub usage, and travel tips.
- "Managing Family and Emotional Issues" is a great chapter discussing such things as strange dreams, preparing siblings, handling unsolicited advice, your relationship with your partner, and single moms.
- "Managing Your Finances" which includes information on pregnancy discrimination and other workplace issues.
The third section of the book is "Your Guide to Giving Birth." The others explain, "The more you understand about what your body is doing, the more at ease you will feel about letting go and allowing nature to take control." The sections include lots of great information such as charts (ie Pre-Labor vs. Real Labor Contractions), the stages of labor, coping with pain, your baby after birth, non-hospital birth experiences and special situations such as inductions, c-sections, and vbacs.
Following the section on labor is the fourth area - "You and Your Baby" which discusses what to expect postpartum, a baby care guide, feeding guide and how to's on nearly everything such as diaper changes, soothing a crying baby and illnesses.
The Baby Gear Guide section could be an entire book of its own (which would cut down the size of this 676-page tomb). This part discusses everything from cribs to digital cameras, what's safe, where to buy it and if it's necessary. The authors have also comprised a list of items they believe are essential before baby is born and included the brands they recommend. Very helpful for first-time parents-to-be!
Rounding out the book is an extensive resource guide and pregnancy dictionary.
Great Expectations isn't a book meant to be read from cover to cover at one sitting. Thumb through to pick and choose what you want to know at the time. The week by week portion of the book does an excellent job of referring to other parts of the book for additional information and the index also helps locate things you may be specifically hunting.
StorkNet rates Great Expectations as one of the best, as well as unbiased, pregnancy and childbirth books on the market today.
• Great Expectations at Amazon.com
• Great Expectations at Amazon UK
• Great Expectations at Amazon Canada