Top critical review
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Bitesize chunks but some inaccuracies
on 5 June 2010
Having harassed my husband with information weekly ("did you know that this week the baby will start doing x, y, z"), when I saw a book that promised to give me an update every single day, I was sold!
It has been really nice to sit down and read this together every day, and because it is in such small chunks, just a page a day, I think you are far more likely to read this all the way through than you would a book with a more conventional format- thrilled as my husband is about the baby I think this day-by-day set up is the only way I could have got him to read about the pregnancy.
However, naturally because of this layout, not all the information under a specific day will be applicable to you, eg there are bits on twins scattered through the book, they have put info on sun care under 14 weeks of pregnancy if I recall rightly, which of course, will not coincide with summer for many women at this stage of pregnancy etc etc...obviously you just ignore the bits that don't apply, but on a couple of occasions this has meant that there hasn't been much under that specific day that was relevant to us.
My main bug-bear is that the book has some inaccuracies, and even contradicts itself a few times- for example, on the 7th day after birth they talk about the heel prick test, and say that it has to be done between days 5 and 7....this isn't true! I'm a midwife, and it is done between days 5 and 8! Not a massive thing, but if a couple had their home visit for this test put off until day 8 it could cause them some worry thinking it would be too late. Also on one page it mentions that a "show", the mucous plug coming away, is a sure sign of imminent labour- but then 4 pages later in their "ask a midwife" section, she advises that a show can occur up to 6 weeks before labour begins. I am 14 weeks and according to them, my baby can't hear anything yet, (although numerous other sources say that the fetus can hear at this stage), but they then later say that from 9 weeks onwards the fetus will jump at loud sounds in the uterus. They say that from around 26 weeks some fetus' will start practising opening their eyes- actually new research has shown some babies doing this as early as 18 weeks on scans. This book put tends to put the development a little bit behind what other sources suggest, I suppose they are erring on the side of caution, but when you are a parent-to-be longing to hear your baby is getting really big or doing loads of stuff, it can be a bit frustrating.
Another minor niggle is how "sure of itself" this book is- "you WILL be visited by a midwife on this day", "you WILL be feeling better now"...umm, well no, actually, as a midwife who does home visits, you may not necessarily receive a visit on the days they state categorically that you will, and no, I don't feel a whole lot better now I'm past 12 weeks, actually I feel worse, don't rub it in!
Overall though, it's pretty detailed, interesting, and easy to read, and I think you're more likely to actually read this book from cover to cover than some others because of the day by day layout, so you'll get value for money- just don't take it as complete gospel.
Incidentally, since this book covers from day "one" of the pregnancy, ie before you have actually conceived, it may also be of interest to couples trying to conceive.