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StorkNet's Bookshelf
The Pregnancy Journal
A Day-to-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy
by A. Christine Harris, Ph.D.

The Pregnancy JournalStorkNet has always highly recommended The Pregnancy Journal: A Day-to-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy by A. Christine Harris, Ph.D., originally published in 1996. We are delighted by the release of a revised edition (2005).

From the preface:

"Since 1996, the development of new cellular and molecular techniques has led to more information and a better understanding of the prenatal development of human babies and their nutrient needs. This new, revised edition of The Pregnancy Journal incorporates much of that information, as well as the most current nutrient-intake recommendations from the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences . . . Other changes include more information about subsequent pregnancies, the benefits of breastfeeding and breastfeeding preparation, shared sleeping with baby, doula-attended birth, safe transport, placing baby on his or her back to sleep, transitioning from one child to two, and additional space for journaling."

These new additions and recommendations make The Pregnancy Journal a wonderful resource for mothers-to-be whether it's a first or a tenth pregnancy.

The book is a day to day guide through pregnancy divided by trimesters, lunar months, weeks, and days. Each day is noted with the day of pregnancy and the number of days left until mom's due date. Also included for each day is a description of what is occurring in fetal development and what changes mom can expect in her body. Other information scattered throughout the book includes:

  • Food Facts (i.e. "Boiling is not recommended for cooking vegetables, because most of the nutrients are cooked out into the water. If you do prefer boiled vegetables to those steamed or microwaved, boil them with just enough water to prevent burning - about 1/4 cup - or add vegetables to soup.")

  • For Your Information (i.e. "The yolk sac contains fluid, but no actual yolk. It helps form the first blood vessels and plays a role in transferring nutrients to the cells in the embryonic disc that form the baby's tissues.")

  • Did You Know? (i.e. "It generally takes the milk-producing cells of the breasts about two hours to manufacture enough milk for the next feeding. That timing is usually perfect, as the baby can digest one feeding in about 2 hours before waking up hungry again!")

  • Important (i.e. "Be prepared to call your practitioner when signs indicate that you're ready to go to the hospital or birth center or ready to begin the process of home birth. Don't worry about the time of day. People who attend births expect to be called at all hours!")

  • For Your Health (i.e. "Regular moderate exercise and plenty of fruits, vegetables, juices, and fluid in your diet will be your best allies against constipation. Strong black tea is to be avoided during pregnancy because of the constipating effect of tannin.")

  • For Your Comfort (i.e. "Avoid standing in a fixed position, if at all possible. If you do stand, do so briefly. Sit with feet elevated or lie down when you can.")

  • Consider This (i.e. "Besides breastfeeding, can you think of any other activity that burns 500-650 calories per day while you're sitting down, eating, and relaxing!)

  • Parenting Tips including tips for working moms (i.e. "Mothers who work outside the home need to think about how to balance their lives with the addition of the new baby. Planning your professional life around a second child is significantly different from planning for the first because it is infinitely more complicated. There is at least twice as much to do, if not more. Two children with two different personalities and (sometimes) two destinations--school for the older child and day care for the younger--make working a challenge, particularly for single moms and women with little job flexibility.")

Two special favorites include Childbirth Then and Now and Childbirth in Other Cultures. It's fascinating to learn about birthing rituals from the past and from other cultures. For example, from Day 102's Childbirth in Other Cultures, "To the Jarara of South America, childbirth is such a normal event that it traditionally takes place in a location in full view of everyone." Day 146's Childbirth Then and Now relates, "In Europe in the late 1880s, superstition played a role in assisting difficult labor. The ringing of church bells was thought to hasten delivery. A more common belief was that locks and knots in the vicinity of the pregnant woman might help with the birth. According to Pliny, the ancient Romans thought people should not cross their legs or clasp their hands near pregnant women." You will be so captivated with these selections, you'll want to read ahead!

This revised edition includes additional nutrition facts, more opportunities for personalization and journaling, the advantages of using a doula, and takes into account previous pregnancies and breastfeeding. For example, from Day 6, "Breast changes may be difficult to detect if you're still nursing from a previous pregnancy or have just finished." Also, rather than suggesting mom discuss the best method of feeding as in the first version, the revised edition says, "Talk with your practitioner about the best approach to successful breastfeeding"-wonderful improvements indeed!

Parenting tips start in the late second trimester and include simple things such as, "Keep a roll of masking tape handy to mend torn tabs on disposable diapers," as well as parenting your first children while pregnant again. Starting with the 32nd week, wonderful suggestions are included for easing the transition from one child to two.

Having back troubles? Day 116 starts a series of suggestions called, "No more Aching Back." Each tip is especially helpful and can be used through pregnancy.

Not only is The Pregnancy Journal an informative resource, it makes for a special keepsake after baby is born. Mom can record her physical and emotional change along with her special thoughts - something truly special to share with her baby when s/he is grown up. The book makes a wonderful shower gift as well.

A. Christine Harris, Ph.D.About the author: A. Christine Harris has been a professor of psychology and child development for 25 years. She is also the author of BABY'S FIRST YEAR JOURNAL: A DAY-TO-DAY GUIDE TO YOUR BABY'S DEVELOPMENT IN THE FIRST TWELVE MONTHS and THE TODDLER JOURNAL: A WEEK-BY-WEEK GUIDE TO YOUR TODDLER'S DEVELOPMENT FROM AGES 1 TO 3, both available from Chronicle Books.

To Purchase:
   • The Pregnancy Journal at
   • The Pregnancy Journal at Amazon UK
   • The Pregnancy Journal at Amazon Canada


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