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The Best Friends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood Paperback – 21 Jan 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st ed. edition (21 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747536481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747536482
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

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

Review

'The funny side of life with a newborn - great therapy on a weepy, sleep deprived day' Pregnancy and Birth Magazine

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Happy Mum on 14 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
This warm, funny, intelligent book, is in my mind the reason that I've survived the first year of motherhood (particulary the first 12 weeks) with my sanity intact! I bought my copy through a tear soaked haze when I really needed words of wisdom and comfort and it came through with flying colours. My husband thought I'd lost the plot when he could see tears and fits of laughter as I sat reading this book. I wish I'd had it in the first weeks of being a new mum. I would recommend this book to all first-time mums. Vicki Iovine's sense of humour and honesty is inspiring and the book is packed full of useful and helpful information.
For me the one quote that changed my life as a new mum and my stress levels was ...don't stand if you can sit, don't sit if you can lay down and don't stay awake when you can sleep.... Or words to that effect. This sounds simple enough but it's very hard to do especially when you feel you have to be a supermum and a superwoman but in this book it's explained in such a way that you don't feel that it will make you less then perfect.
If it's not already obvious I simply adored this book and thoroughly recommend it. I've just purchased the next one in the series and I can't say that about any other baby book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 May 1999
Format: Paperback
I loved Bestfriends Guide to Pregnancy and I love this book. It isn't full of tips on how to change nappies and bath babies. Instead it's all about being a mother - how wonderful and how exhausting and awful it can be too. I found a lot of comfort in this book when I was feeling tired and miserable in the first few weeks of motherhood. It made me realise that I wasn't the only one who found it tough to begin with. It's written in a friendly good humoured style and is very easy to read. An absolute must for all new mums.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
The first two months were turned around for me when I realized that I really wasn't the only first time mother going through THAT! Vicki Iovine shares directly, with feeling and also with insight that encourages you to get on anyway. Meant as a human to human book to help you make sense of all that chaos and prove that you are by no means alone in your experience and certainly not an oddity - I love it!
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Format: Paperback
This book is on our side: at the front is a top ten list of the biggest shocks of childbirth, and number one is: How nobody ever told you how much it REALLY hurts to have a baby. A lighthearted book that nevertheless gets to grips with baby reality, written by a mum, with extra insight from her group of Best Friends. Real comfort and advice, delivered in a humorous, friendly way.

This quote gives a flavour of the whole book:

"There are three types of new nothers.
1. The type who give birth and resume their lives with confidence, clear thinking and enthusiasm.
2. The type who give birth and wish that a fairy godmother would make the baby disappear and restore them to their former life; and
3. The rest of us.
Traditional wisdom (meaning "male") has long held that the first example is "normal" and what all new mothers should aspire to, and the second is classic postnatal depression, which is somewhat naughty and to be overcome or hidden at all cost, and that the third group doesn't exist.
Here's what the Best Friends and I think: the first group of new mother, the kind who breeze effortlessly through the transition from human to mother,are either incredibly lucky or incredibly unobservant. I mean, how can you experience a metamorphosis from personhood to motherhood without some ambivalence, apprehension or anxiety?"
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Feb 2001
Format: Paperback
Having been a new mum it is so easy to take it so seriously that your head aches and you burst into tears every time you fail to grasp something the first time round. This book is the light at the end of the tunnel. It offers some useful advice, like look after yourself first, because it would be a shame to die of exhaustion before your child reaches puberty. Stuff that you really need to be reminded of in those first frantic weeks. It is also funny, which is something else that may seem to have gone by the wayside and needs to be remembered. Life can be fun, babies can be fun! Thoroughly recommended.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
This book has it all - it's witty, funny, helpful and most importantly gives an accurate guide to the first year of Motherhood. It even had me laughing out loud when I was suffering from Post natal depression - My son is now 3 and i still enjoy reading her book! The section on colic is particularly good, as is what to tell all those 'know it alls' who bombard you with advice, or crticism about the way you choose to do things.
This book is for all down to earth, normal mothers out there.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 May 2001
Format: Paperback
Not a childcare manual, but an entertaining read. You don't need to have exactly shared Vicki Iovine's experiences to enjoy her descriptions. Most importantly, she assures you that you are a great mother!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 May 2000
Format: Paperback
There I was, recovering from gastric flu, trying to breast-feed my first baby and feeling thoroughly miserable. This was not how I imagined motherhood to be. In fact, I was so fed up, I'd already left this book unopened for nearly a week. How I wish I'd read it earlier! It really cheered me up and made me laugh out loud. It was informative, honest, practical and funny. They should include this one in the information packs for new mothers.
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