This book reads as easily as a novel--quite a relief after reading the traditional and often humourless parenting guides. The reader of The Best Friends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood
won't emerge with an encyclopaedic knowledge of nappy- changing techniques, but they will
discover how it feels to be changing nappies all night and why on earth any sane person would choose
to do it. This colourfully written and lively book is about being
a mother. "Do you see one single book for us, the mothers?" asks the author. "Not fair counting those books that tell us how to eat well to provide healthy milk for our breastfeeding babies
! I'm talking about a book that deals only with us and the stunning fact that our lives have changed forever with the arrival of motherhood. Don't bother looking any longer (since you are a new mum, you have probably already forgotten what you were looking for anyway)."
Vicki Iovine, who previously authored the hugely successful The Best Friend's Guide to Pregnancy, takes us through the problems, surprises and rewards that being a mother brings, as seen from her refreshingly honest and often hilarious perspective. From the "Top-Ten Biggest Shocks of Childbirth" (How fat your face looks in the delivery room videos and photos) through to the final section of the book, "Top-Ten Things New Mothers Don't Do"(New mothers don't like other people's children, especially around their precious angels), the author talks to you, as a Best Friend, about this most moving, unimaginable, frightening and blissful life experience.
There are some observational gems in here--"I can tell you if a woman has had a baby simply by inspecting her belly button. Go ahead and scoff! I know my navels and I can recognise one that has been stretched nearly flat, or worse, popped inside out, and then relaxed again...". It is this chatty, Best-Friend style that makes the information in the book much more digestible and far less scary than your average "new baby" book--"Projectile vomiting is another terrifying, but not usually dangerous, sick-baby trick. If you haven't seen this before, it will blow your mind". She talks about being in hospital, follows the journey home after delivery, assesses the damage to both your body and your sex life, deals with baby euphoria and blues, going back to work and it even sheds light on why on earth anyone would do all this again!
Witty, human, perceptive and comic, this book is guaranteed to make any new (or not-so- new) mum laugh, relax and reminisce about their own wonderful, special experiences; essential reading for every mother's bookshelf. --Alison Jardine