What to Expect When You're Expecting [Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel] on Murkoff is the author of the What to Expect series of pregnancy and parenting books. What to Expect When You're Expecting is a perennial New York Times by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book—the most iconic. first pregnancy as being the motivation for developing What to Expect When You're Expecting. Murkoff collaborated with her.
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What to Expect When You're Expecting is a perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today's 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. It's read. What to Expect When You're Expecting 5th Edition by Heidi E. Murkoff, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. What to Expect When You're Expecting book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Incorporating everything that's new in preg .
And when you are really in it, you are in denial about what is actually going on.
Pro tip: The baby is not only going to come out, it's going to stay out. So you sign up for an eight-week childbirth class, think about switching to decaf, feel guilty that you didn't switch to decaf, watch that Ricki Lake movie , develop philosophies about mom things, make your husband watch that Ricki Lake movie, quietly judge your friends' philosophies about mom things, download a class pass for prenatal yoga, go to yoga twice, and read and re-read a book that purports to tell you "what to expect" -- all in order to focus your crazy-person energy on But now that I've had the baby, and another one after that, the book that seemed perfectly normal, even essential, just four years ago, feels harsh, punitive, almost like parody today.
Take Chapter 2, "Now That You're Pregnant," the first real chapter of the book after the introductory throat-clearing. It begins with a list of upbeat and celebratory questions, designed to highlight the miracle of that tiny person in your belly. Does advanced paternal age pose risks to the baby? Now that I'm pregnant again, I can't shake the fear that I won't be so lucky this time.
As a newly pregnant woman who has likely not even seen her doctor yet, the most important thing to remember at this point is: Don't panic! This is merely the first section of the only book that your mother ever passed down to you. There are so many more pages. Plus, panicking puts your fetus at risk. Also putting your fetus at risk and mentioned in the first few pages are previous abortions, Rh incompatibility, Provera, spermicides, chlamydia, living at a high altitude, and herpes.
None of these apply to you? The first edition of What To Expect came in at pages.
Today, even as the suggested weight gain for pregnant woman continues to shrink, What To Expect just keeps on growing. Now pages in its fourth edition, the so-called pregnancy bible keeps finding new ways to capitalize on the perfectly reasonable Level 10 neurosis that comes with being a pregnant person -- specifically, by scaring the shit out of us.
Just, like, in general.
I won't give it away. Speaking of vaginas -- keep yours away from cellphones, sugar substitutes, the family cat, microwaves, tap water, city air, excessive noise, and cocaine.
The questions are incessantly negative, in the voice of an unbearably whiny caricature of a pregnant woman. The answers are deceptively milquetoast in their language, but almost always include some sort of mean-girl slight, slowly chipping away at your instincts and confidence.
Q: I hardly recognize my breasts anymore -- they're so huge! Will they stay that way, and will they sag after I give birth?
A: Get used to the chesty look now; although it may not always be in fashion, it's one of the hallmarks of pregnancy. The just-us-girls approach can at times be comforting Did I ever tell you about the time my mucous plug came out?
Oh, your mucous plug hasn't come out yet? I'm sure it will. But for a tiny fraction of women, a dysfunctional mucous plug latch means you have three days to live.
I grant you, this kind of comprehensive infodump might not be for everyone. I can see that more neurotic and insecure person could feel overwhelmed and even anxious; for me, it was just OK. I like knowing things on the one hand, and on the other, the pregnancy was a wonderful broadening and deepening of our family life and not something akin to the revo For obvious reasons, I am not going to rate this book.
I like knowing things on the one hand, and on the other, the pregnancy was a wonderful broadening and deepening of our family life and not something akin to the revolution that necessitates reorganisation of a whole life.
One look at the "currently reading" shelf is enough. Month 1: Apparently something's cooking. A baby bun. And I thought it inconceivable.
Month 2: First sonogram. Oh my, a pollywog on a balloon.
Month 3: The Mothers know. It's official. Month 4: Seedling took a shortcut to Heaven skipping the Earth altogether. View all 93 comments. Nov 18, Ellen rated it it was ok. If you have to read one book on pregnancy, do yourself a favor and pick a different one than What to Expect. If you have lots of time on your hands and want to read several books, go ahead and read this one too.
The general tone of this book is alarmist and condescending. Unless, of course, you planned the conception perfectly Why, you and your partner didn't even take Tylenol while trying to get pregnant! I'm not quite sure how to explain how this book makes me feel other than this analogy - it felt like going to your doctor to ask for the morning-after-pill to only receive a lecture on the dangers of multiple sex partners from the old-school nurse.
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While sitting on a cold exam table in a paper gown. While nursing a hangover and trying not to throw up. Anyway, I do give the book two stars because the section "When to Call The Doctor" is a pretty useful and easy to find reference when something freaky is happening and you have lost all common sense and are panicky and don't know what to do. Similarly, the What To Expect The First Year book has useful references for when you don't know what to do with your out-of-sorts infant.
I kinda feel bad slamming this book so hard when the First Year book was my bible whenever my son was sick. Surely though, other books must have this handy reference too? View all 6 comments. Mar 07, Liz rated it did not like it Recommends it for: How do I give this zero stars? Rather than explaining normal, healthy pregnancy in a positive and reassuring manner, it talks down to women and convin How do I give this zero stars? Rather than explaining normal, healthy pregnancy in a positive and reassuring manner, it talks down to women and convinces them that every new sensation or pregnancy symptom they feel is cause for alarm or a sign that their body or their baby may be defective.
To me, this is just one more way doctors make money off of unnecessary office visits and routine interventions. View 2 comments. Jan 24, Anne rated it did not like it Shelves: I got about halfway through with this back in when I was preggo with my 1st , before I chucked it. I'm getting pissed off just thinking about it right now.
There I was, a brand-new mother-to-be, and this ridiculous book had me convinced that every time I farted there was something wrong with me!
All About the New Edition of 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'
And believe me, I farted quite a bit. Trust me, if you want to be a nervous wreck, run out and download this book. Otherwise, relax. Babies are hearty little suckers. Just because you take Tylenol for h I got about halfway through with this back in when I was preggo with my 1st , before I chucked it. Just because you take Tylenol for headaches, drink a cup of coffee, or opt to eat the entire chocolate cake instead of veggies, does not mean that your kid will be born with hideous birth defects.
Here's my advice, after having four healthy kids: Don't drink a bottle of wine for breakfast, and stay away from crack. Sep 20, Kevin Simons rated it did not like it. It is unfortunate that sometimes no one tells us we are bad at something, and then we bumble on through life thinking we are good at it. That's what's happened to Heidi Murkoff, who is a terrible writer laboring under the delusion that she is a good writer and comedic to boot. This book has somehow managed to attain status as some kind of pregnancy bible, but in reality it is an unbearable slog through every worst case scenario any expectant parents could ever hope to avoid.
The author looks dow It is unfortunate that sometimes no one tells us we are bad at something, and then we bumble on through life thinking we are good at it. The author looks down on her thick-headed audience, constantly stooping to explain for us morons something that was already spelled out for children in the previous sentence.
Worse, she breaks up the "flow" hah! Start slowly no marathons the first week! The whole goddam book is like that, with pointless "jokey" asides stuffing the pages until the book tries to commit suicide by bloat. Such a thing is possible, by the way. Somehow this incompetent writer has made a cottage industry of this; I hear "What to Expect the First Year" is far worse, if one can imagine such a painful fate.
Are you planning to have children? Are you and your spouse pregnant now? Find a doctor you trust in your neighborhood. Talk to your parents, siblings, and friends who have children, especially those who've had kids recently.
Ask about Braxton-Hicks contractions so you don't wind up in the emergency room thinking you're having your baby at seven months when you first feel some contractions. Skim a pregnancy guide; you can't learn everything, you won't remember everything, and there's no point learning about every single terrible thing that might go wrong one out of a million times.
Throw this rotten piece of trash as far away from yourself as you possibly can. Good luck. View all 3 comments. Jun 21, HeavyReader rated it did not like it Recommends it for: NO ONE! Avoid this book at all costs! It infantilizes pregnant women and tells them to just go along with whatever the doctor says they should do.
I also remember it being very hetero-normative. The only thing What to Expect When You're Expecting is good for is starting a fire to keep the expectant mother warm. Sep 27, Jessica rated it did not like it Recommends it for: This is probably not the worst pregnancy book in the universe, but it is the worst one I've ever read.
Unfortunately it's also the most popular, no doubt due to its admittedly catchy title and unavoidable ubiquity.
What To Expect When You're Expecting (New 5th Edition)(Completely Revised and Updated)
I'm sure that many, many women, like me, zipped off to the library and grabbed this first thing after their positive pregnancy test. I had zero ambivalence about being pregnant, but I imagine that for other thinking women less sure they want a baby, this book could do a lot to make the This is probably not the worst pregnancy book in the universe, but it is the worst one I've ever read.
I had zero ambivalence about being pregnant, but I imagine that for other thinking women less sure they want a baby, this book could do a lot to make them decide that in fact they might not. A lot of people have complained about its alarmist tone and cataloguing of things that can go wrong, but I don't particularly remember that; what I hated was its insultingly cutesy-but-hideously-uncute, grating, idiotic style.
The entire book is written in peppy, spunky awful-puns-that-aren't-even-really-puns and moronic-jokes-that-aren't-actually-jokes. These aren't real examples, because I don't have the book, but seriously the whole thing is like, "Being pregnant is a gas! And you'll have gas the whole time your little bun is in the oven Speaking of buns, you may want to indulge your cravings for sticky buns, but be careful or your buns will get fat and no one wants that!
I hate this book because it makes pregnancy seem stupid, and seems to imply that being pregnant is going to make you stupid. If this is something you're already kind of worried about, What to Expect can be a highly distressing read.
I found its tone so nauseating and awful that it made me slightly less excited about being pregnant for awhile. It really made the whole thing seem like a lame project for stupid, infantilized women, and something I didn't want to be a part of at all despite really wanting a baby.
To be fair, I have a hard time with a lot of accepted pregnancy book conventions, beyond just this book. Use of the word "baby" with no article rankles me, and referring to a six-week-old embryo as a baby or, infinitely worse, just as "baby" completely skeezes me out. A lot of this is due to a lifetime of programming and conviction about reproductive rights, but it's also because I'm aware that there are high rates of miscarriage in the first trimester.
Of course it's a personal choice when you decide to think of your fetus as having personhood, but it seems irresponsible to me the way all these books start personifying and burbling on about an adorable bundle of joy so early on in the process But of course, that's just me. I'm not made of stone and I was incredibly emotional and excited about being pregnant, but I found the discourse of these books really alienating, and this one was the worst.
A lot of people seem to love it, but if you're like me you'd do better off with something else. Honestly, I didn't ever find a pregnancy book I loved childbirth yes; pregnancy, no and wound up getting most of my intel from the BabyCenter website, which isn't perfect but is decent and has an infinitely more tolerable tone.
Dec 01, Lain rated it liked it.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I picked up nearly every book on the bookstore shelves having to do with pregnancy and childbirth. I wanted comfort, a friend in the form of a book, a companion to hold my hand and let me know everything was going to be okay.
This book was not that friend. Instead, everytime I read this book, I found myself getting more and more agitated. It exposed me to almost TOO much information, verging on the point of overload. You know how medical students become c When I was pregnant with my first child, I picked up nearly every book on the bookstore shelves having to do with pregnancy and childbirth.
You know how medical students become convinced they have every wacky and rare disease they learn about in med school? That's how I felt when I read this book. After each chapter, I became convinced my child had Downs Syndrome, that I had placenta previa, that I was suffering from gestational diabetes, etc. Now that I have three children, I feel like I'm in the position to make a recommendation -- get this book if you must, but don't read it cover to cover.
Use it as a resource if one of the other books you read I suggest "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books" by Ann Douglas leaves you wanting more information. By the way, I didn't follow the "Best Odds Diet" and my kids still turned out fine.
Sep 02, Jen rated it did not like it Shelves: It felt to me like this book is out to scare moms-to-be. Instead of celebrating how normal many of our pregnancy changes are, this book makes you question any weight gain hello, we're growing babies here!
They weigh alot! I don't think ladies need that. Check out any of the other fine pregnancy and labor books out there by Sears, Gaskin, Kitzinger, Simkin, England and others. Jun 13, Jennifer Spinola rated it it was ok.
Preachy, harping, self-righteous. I hated this book. Every other page has some guilt-tripping admonishment not to eat white flour "Push the bread basket away at a restaurant if the bread isn't whole wheat," it said once, and oh, count the calories in the butter you do spread on your whole wheat bread.
And avoid white sugar like the plauge - in favor of "juice-sweetened" cookies or desserts, which the authors seem to think is the ticket to health in every occasion. News flash: As a hypoglycemic, I'll get just as nauseated if I eat grapes or a candy bar on an empty stomach. Give me a break. I'm as healthy as they come. I make my own whole wheat bread and yogurt and eat very little sugar, but to tell a hungry pregnant woman to "push the bread basket away" at a restaurant just because the bread isn't whole-wheat?
Even licensed nutritionists will tell you that the overall fiber count in a meal is what is important - not necessarily the fiber count in a particular food. And I don't need to hear about it every other page, ad infinitum. I started to think that if I heard the term "juice-sweetened cookie" one more time, I'd throw the book out the window.
The rest of the book is spread thickly with admonishments not to gain too much weight, not to eat dessert except "fresh fruit," and on and on and on. One "question" which was probably self-written and planted in order for the author to do more harping said, "I've gained 13 pounds in my first trimester. What can I do now? You've done what you've done, and it can't be fixed now.
What a ridiculous answer! Is the author a doctor who knows this particular patient and is licensed to dispense medical advice to her and all other readers? Of course not! A suitable and appropriate answer would have been something along these lines: AND my doc says I'm totally healthy!
About Heidi Murkoff
Before my pregnancy I was very underweight, barely 95 or 96 pounds, and my metabolism has always been through the roof. Getting myself up to pounds - on, yes, a very healthy diet - was a wonderful victory, and I'm not sorry in the least. Oh, and the "raid your husband's closet" clothing advice didn't help much, either. Maybe that's because the author thinks we're all whales who eat too much and can't fit into anything else? If you want a book that talks about real issues and gets off a soapbox for five minutes, this is not the one.
By the way, here's a shocking revelation - I occasionally eat dessert and white bread, and I don't count the calories in my butter. View 1 comment. Jul 08, Erin rated it it was amazing. This book has a mixed reaction from moms--some feel that it can be too strict at times in terms of diet and exercise.
However, I really enjoyed the book and took the pregnancy diet tips as tips, not ultimatiums. As a first-time mom, this book had helpful question and answer sections for each month that encouraged me. What to Expect answers questions such as what to watch out for when you are pregnant, tips for downloading a layette set and how to help you and your husband bond with the newborn.
In a This book has a mixed reaction from moms--some feel that it can be too strict at times in terms of diet and exercise. In a way, it's like your mom, doctor and pastor are answering all of your questions without the phone call!
Great read. I highly recommend What to Expect the First Year after this. It starts right at month one of the newborn, which is the most nerve-wracking month of their life! I probably used this book every day for the first 2 months! Dec 21, Tara rated it really liked it. How can you complain about too much information? This book was great, practical and reassuring.
The index had most every topic I could think of.But in my opinion, there are many, many books out there that educate and prepare women to understand, deal with and manage their pregnancies and births as partners with their health care providers , not as quiet, non-questioning, passive patients. But for a tiny fraction of women, a dysfunctional mucous plug latch means you have three days to live. In Heidi and her husband Erik joined forces with the USO in Special Delivery, a program that celebrates and supports expectant military moms serving far from family and friends.