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The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth Paperback – 28 Jun 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; New UK ed edition (28 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858287650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858287652
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 438,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth sets out to offer "the soundest, sanest, wittiest advice you'll ever get" about life as an expectant mum. Covering "the scary parts, the funny parts and your private parts" Australian author Kaz Cooke counts down to motherhood using a week-by-week format, at each stage explaining what's going on to you and baby, exploring common health complaints, suggesting remedies and looking at what will happen at antenatal visits. She also includes a semi-fictitious weekly diary account that provides a friendly and very funny voice to reassure you that you're not alone.

Overall, this format works well, particularly if you're a reader who dips in and out. Not least, it means you can check up on whether you're growing out of your clothes at a normal rate! It's also good to sneak a peak at a couple of weeks in the future and suss out what's in store. Its readable, illustrated layout lends itself to perusal when symptoms are getting you down, not just because it makes you laugh about morning sickness, constant weeing and leaking breasts, but also as it make you realise that actually things could be worse! Having sneaked a peak at week 41 you could be disappointed that the diary birth is eventually by Caesarean. Obviously this prepares you for the worst case scenario but it results in skipping over the protracted labour stages which, for most new mums, makes required reading, not matter how scary they sound.

On the whole this book is funny, frank and perfect to dip in and out of but it's not one you'd really use as a reference guide, particularly if you were genuinely worried about an aspect of your pregnancy. Being the work of one sole author it's obviously a rather subjective view of what is for everyone, a uniquely personal experience. It complements the likes of Miriam Stoppard and Sheila Kitzinger but (despite being much more entertaining) really couldn't begin to replace them. Pregnant women are notorious for reading every book they can get their hands on, and despite The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth presenting itself as a definitive guide, it's not going to change that habit any time soon.--Shona Campbell

Review

The perfect tonic for the terrified first-timer (Independent on Sunday) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
I am 38 weeks pregnant. So far I have bought 3 'pregnancy' books, 2 'baby' books and a number of magazines. This book is the voice of reason amongst the preaching and/or neuroses of all the others. It has all the medical information anyone could want in a pregnancy book, but it also makes you realise how normal all the other little complaints are. The diary section (a couple of pages per week of pregnancy) describes how I have felt physically and emotionally to within a week or two. This not only makes me feel sane, but has given me a way to explain things to my husband and I am sure it has helped him understand better how I feel. We have both read large sections of it just for the pleasure of reading it and find ourselves reading bits aloud to each other - and we are not the sort of couple to read bits of baby books at each other. About the only thing that stops you reading is the pain in your side from laughing so hard. I would recommend it to anyone even considering getting pregnant. The best news now is I have just discovered she's written a 'baby' book as-well, so I'm ordering that before it's out of stock.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MISS RACHEL S WYATT on 26 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has very little in the way of actual information in it. Indeed, most of it is the sort of stuff which I'm sure pregnant women read on Google before deciding to get a suitable pregnancy book. I also find it bossy and biased.

The book claims that it is aimed at a UK audience, yet the character in the diaries leads a lifestyle which is completely unrecognisable to 99% of the UK population. The Kaz character quaffs champagne like water before pregnancy, employs people to move her furniture around her house until it is to her liking, appears to spend the GDP of a small African country on maternity clothes, and assumes that the average British household, with its 2.5 bedrooms and under 1000 sq ft of space (the national average) can actually fit a nursery filled to the brim with expensive baby gear (as opposed to a cot in the spare bedroom, which is what they're probably going to get if they're lucky). Not only that, but there is next to no mention of the NHS and the services they provide... considering that 99% of British women will be using those services, as opposed to the incredibly expensive private healthcare the author espouses, this alienates the audience and is really pretty useless. I'm not interested in reading descriptions of a lifestyle I could never afford and don't particularly aspire to... I just find it alienating and irritating.

Finally, the attitude towards men here is truly offensive. If the character is, indeed, based on a real person, I feel sorry for her partner. He must be constantly being belittled, undermined, and ridiculed by her. Poor guy. I would certainly hope that I treat my own partner with a little more respect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Shaw on 4 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as my husband and I are thinking of trying for a baby soon. Feeling nervous about it, this book answered a lot of my questions. It is written with good humour, and is honest and sometimes quite blunt! It doesn't use much medical jargon (although it often puts them in brackets), and as a result it's easy to read. Like most other reviewers of the book, I would agree that whilst this book is great, you will need a more indepth book as well, such as "Your Pregnancy Bible" by Anne Deans, which is more in depth. With regards to previous reviews saying that the author has an irresponsible attitute toward food, I think it is fairly obvious that she is joking - some of this food related stuff is in the diary sections, and she talks about eating a lot of magnums! I think she's being honest and saying that you might just feel rather hungry during your pregnancy. She also talks about not eating junk food as well, which I think is pretty responsible. All in all, there is a LOT of good information in this book - getting pregnant, nutrients / what not to eat, the size of the foetus / unborn baby each week, pain relief in labour, what to really expect in labour, the birth itself, c-sections, stretch marks, relationships, sex, breastfeeding....and loads more. It's also entertaining, honest, and like having a chat with a pregnant friend!! 5/5!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 April 2005
Format: Paperback
I don't normally post customer reviews but I felt really strongly about this book. Many of the pregnancy books on the market talk about medical or what is best for baby and all of them have their place. What I feel takes this book to another level is the fact that sometimes in pregnancy you don't feel fabulous and this image of gliding through your pregnancy on a pink fluffy cloud feels a million miles away, this is the book that you want to read when you have those moments. When no-one else can understand (it was too long ago for your Mum who sees her pregnancy through rose coloured specs, or your poor partner is fed up with you moaning, or you don't have support from your family) this book becomes your best friend. All the things you are worried about are covered and treated seriously but with a sense of humour that you really appreciate. This book kept me sane during my pregnancy and I have recommended it to every pregnant woman I know since, it was sincere and funny and made me laugh out loud when I didn't think it was possible.
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