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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't need a lobotomy to survive pregnancy manauls!, 7 Mar 2003
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This review is from: The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth (Paperback)
Hoorah for Kaz Cooke! Thank you, thank you, thank you for rescuing me from the preachy inanities of the Stoppard ilk of pregnancy manuals. I was beginning to despair of being a first time mum with a brain and a sense of humour - it looked like I was going to need to check all such credentials in at my first ante-natal appointment.

I could have ignored the lack of any narrative flow in the standard pregnancy manuals. However I could not ignore the condescending 1950s style morality implicit throughout them. I was becoming alarmed by the attempts to say, for example, that while breast and bottle feeding are equally valid there are no drawbacks to breast feeding, it works if you only try hard enough, and you are essentially depriving your infant if you use a bottle. Similar moralising undertones for issues of being a working mum (at the end of the day your baby will "survive" if you only spend one hour a day with it you callous poor excuse for a woman), and the use of pain relief during labour (what's the matter with you, grit your teeth, you know that many of the drugs cross the placenta and affect your child don't you?).

Kaz Cooke's fictional diary gives a more realistic and 21st century view of pregnancy and birth than any of these so called "factual" books. It certainly made me feel like I am going to have some real options ahead of me and has given me more confidence to express my opinions than any of the other texts I have read to date. Kaz Cooke genuinely conveys the idea that there is no "right" way to do things, she doesn't just pay lip service to this notion. The friendly and welcoming voice of the narrator is complemented by useful information (checked by obstetricians and midwives) along with a no-nonsense appraisal of the more unpleasant aspects of the process. It has allowed me to worry about being poked and prodded like a farmyard animal. It permits a healthy concern over having ones most sensitive nether regions stretched out of all recognition, or - I can hardly bring myself to write it - torn or cut.

My partner is reading it now and I am confident that this book will allow him to start making sense of the physical and emotional changes I am going through. It has given us a way to both laugh and cry over what is happening to us without any need to adopt the prissy or sanctimonious voices inherent in so much of the literature on this subject.

I would unreservedly recommend this book as the first thing to read before conception or in the early stages of pregnancy.
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