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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 1 November 2008
This pregnancy book is thorough and so easy to understand, it puts others down. (I've read many.) What I liked most was that it wasn't as judgemental as others I've read and really took a more laid back approach. Pregancy is anxiety-inducing enough already! So, if you want a good book on pregnancy, get this one. Another one I liked which is more laid back and funnier is You Know You're Pregnant When. Reflections on the Longest Nine Months of My Life. Both together is a good week's read.
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on 20 June 2008
This book is fantastic. It is aimed at both parents and guides you through the entire process of having a baby from before conception right through all the stages of pregnancy and finally after the baby is born. This book explains the biological stuff, the legal stuff and goes into depth about what feelings the expectant mother and father will be experiencing. There is a lot of information in this book, and not all of it will be relevant to everyone, for example, it explains a wide variety of complications that may occur, infertility treatments and miscarriages, and also the different types of birth you might have. I highly recommend this inciteful book to anyone trying to get pregnant, or who already is pregnant, and to some extent those who have recently given birth. Quality book, and a true baby bible!!
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on 1 November 2010
I bought this book when I discovered I was pregnant, and although there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it, I don't think I would buy it again.

Good things: It's a Dorling-Kindersley book so is beautifully designed and illustrated and its best sections are the ones which take advantage of this e.g. the sections on how to bathe a baby and how to change a nappy. There isn't an agenda to the book and if feels balanced and trustworthy. I heard Miriam Stoppard described as the 'Delia Smith of childbirth' somewhere, which is an apt way of conveying the style. It's generally better I would say on the medical side of pregnancy than other aspects.

On the other hand, I found the book felt quite superficial. It spent a lot of time telling you common-sense advice (do you really need half a page telling you that some people like to follow family or cultural traditions when selecting names?). But then it completely missed out major topics like SPD (which affects 25% of pregnant women!), gestational diabetes, options for the third stage of labour, co-sleeping or selecting childcare for when you return to work. I'd have expected as well to see something about foetal positioning, if only to say that it's not worth trying to do anything about if that's the author's opinion. Lots of other important topics are very much skimmed too. For example, the advice on the daunting task of choosing a pram/pushchair amounts to 'make sure the handles are a comfortable height' and 'make sure it has good brakes' and there's no advice about different types of slings, and the advice on getting people to help after the birth unequivocally recommends having parents in law stay in your house, without any suggestion that there might be downsides or alternatives to this like having them stay in a hotel or B&B.

Personally, I also didn't really get on well with the organisation of the book. It's not a book that you'd read cover to cover, but it was often hard to find specific things you are looking for - things are often hidden in the case studies where you might not find them and somehow the overall ordering didn't feel very logical to me. I was trying to find the section on when to call the hospital when you have signs of labour and the information is very buried! Sometimes useful information also isn't laid out as clearly as it might be e.g. with the hospital bag list.

I haven't looked at the alternative books enough to recommend one. Instead, if I were choosing a book again, I'd probably consider buying a book specifically about childbirth and a book specifically about postnatal care, and then just using on the free NHS book you are given at your booking appointment which covers the essentials that you'd expect to find in a pregnancy book, together with the internet if you're interested in specific topics.
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I bought this book as a second hand version. Even for the full price though I would say this is a bargain. It covers so much from trying for a baby to actually having the baby. It's educational without being too over the top and you and your partner could read it. Too many books of these types are patronising and you can almost hear the narrator put on that silly baby voice. This book is perfect for anyone who just wants the facts without endless silly frills!
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on 6 October 2015
This is a great book and a must have when you are pregnant. it gives you step by step information on what to expect on a weekly basis and how your baby is developing on a step to step basis. its got absolutely everything in it. do not rely on the internet as it can be quite scary and dangerous to rely on some websites that are uploaded by non medical professionals.
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on 13 June 2016
A lot of the text / information available in the book can be found on the internet but I really like the pictures in this book. The book itself is a comfortable size to read with a cup of tea one hand and the book in your lap/other hand (important to me). This book should be accessible to most and isn't as condescending as some other books I have come across. The book being DK meant more to me than it being by Dr Miriam Stoppard but I appreciate that she is to many a household name and that can make a difference. Overall I would recommend this book as it covers many of the areas perspective parents will be curious about.
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on 3 March 2015
Hugely disappointed that this version doesn't have the diary where, on the left, you see what should be happening and you can write on the right hand side, which was the whole point of my buying this book as it had been so useful when I was expecting and I wanted my daughter to enjoy this facility.
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on 18 November 2015
This really is the complete guide and I'm so pleased I bought it. It really has been my go to book so far in my pregnancy and there's also a very good section for the dads so even my husband has found it useful. The book is well laid out, easy to read and visual. I also feel it gives you impartial advice so you can make your own mind up about how you want to manage things from your labour to what pram to buy. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is trying to conceive or is pregnant. It's probably been the best purchase of my pregnancy so far!
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on 23 June 2013
I really liked having this for back up for all the questions you want to ask at 2am. As a first time mum it was the safety net I think we all benefit from in the very early days. Lots of sensible advice in there and practical pictures for when you're so tired you've forgotten how to read.
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on 26 July 2016
If you slept through biology in school and haven't absorbed a thing about pregnancy or parenting since then you might find this useful. I personally found it rather basic and obvious. A lot of opinions are presented as fact and there is a very establishmenty bias to the whole thing. And there are some weirdly sexist parts to it. I think there are better books out there.
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