Of course, since I am pregnant again, I am allowed to read the long list of pregnancy books I didn’t get around to the first three times. Yes, I could read them while not actually gestating, but I feel that is odd. If birth were my business, say if I were a doula or childbirth educator, it wouldn’t be weird at all. But I’m not. I’m just a frequently pregnant woman.
So, I have seen the book The Girlfriend’s Guide To Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine several times in all three of my previous pregnancies. I’ve just never actually gotten around to reading it. It seems like a good idea. Tell women all those crazy things about pregnancy that no one but a friend would tell you. (Your feet get bigger after each birth. Don’t get a perm because there is no telling what your pregnant hair will do! You look like the pregnancy models around 5 or 6 months, by the end you look much, much bigger in all the wrong places. – Speaking of which, you ever notice how everyone expects a pregnant woman to look 5 months pregnant her entire pregnancy? Anything beyond that and you start getting the “You look like you are going to bust” comments. You’d think these people had never seen a pregnant woman.) So, great premise. But it went wrong somewhere.
First, the author is very, very biased against any form of “natural” birth. She takes a completely mocking tone toward those who might even consider it. And of course, all of her “real life” examples are women who failed miserably at any birth they wanted, unless of course it was of the “go get your pitocin and epidural and let the professionals take care of the rest” variety. I mean, really, if you don’t want to try naturally, fine. But don’t act like it is the unachievable goal that only idiots attempt.
Second, the author is very into idolizing doctors. I really hate to tell her, but all doctors are not good doctors. Yes, there are some awesome doctors. But you can’t just blindly trust someone because they have MD behind their name.
Third, this book sets women up to fear childbirth. Even though the author covers the “fears” of pregnancy, she really offers no real help. Instead, she breeds more fear. She just keeps pounding it into your head that childbirth is unbearable. You can’t make it through without the epidural. Just give up. What kind of place is that to place an expecting moms?
Fourth, this book is full of flat out misinformation. She claims a first time mother can never make a fully informed decision about how she wants he labor and delivery to go because she has no idea what to expect. Apparently, she doesn’t gain my more information as the mother of four. Despite what she says in the book, squats will help you during labor and delivery. Despite what she says, many women choose natural childbirth and succeed. Despite what she says, natural childbirth will not leave you “passed out” with every capillary in your face broken. Despite what she says in her book, many studies show that it is safer for the majority of women to stay away from hospitals and doctors during childbirth. Despite what she says, childbirth educators are not all unmarried women with no children. Despite what she says, you can go to the hospital too early in labor.
Overall, stay far away from this book. If you really need to see the lunacy for yourself, check it out from the library or borrow one from a friend. You can only borrow mine if you promise NOT to listen to her at all!