The Best Pregnancy Book!

The other night I was out for dinner with a few friends, two of whom also happened to be pregnant and of course, as it goes, there was plenty of “what can I/can’t I eat?” talk.

Is the egg on the bibimbap cooked through? No raw fish all round! Are you drinking coffee? Etc. There are about 10 million scraps of conventional wisdom when it comes to what one should/should not consume/do etc. during pregnancy and for a lot of us, it’s stressful. Even if it doesn’t make you anxious, it is at the very least seriously inconvenient to try and accommodate all that. Whew.

But I have a secret weapon that has single handedly reduced my pregnancy anxiety by leaps and bounds. It is an AWESOME BOOK that Achim stumbled upon last year, and I can’t count the times I’ve referenced and recommended it since.

The book is Expecting Better by Emily Oster. Oster is an Associate Professor of Economics at Brown University and mama to a little girl, Penelope – the inspiration behind the book! What she’s given us is an easy to read, but super comprehensive, evidence-based antidote to the hoards of (often frightening!) conventional wisdom. She’s carefully researched each area of pregnancy and created a guide to the actual risks. And man, the actual risks are way more manageable!

I use the book as a reference – I’ve never actually read it cover-to-cover (although that wouldn’t be hard, it’s a comfortable read). I just flip through and read a chapter if I have a particular concern. She explains everything clearly, debunks the myths, cites all her sources and finishes with a nice little summary list of what we should actually be concerned about.

For example – those eggs on the bibimbap. I definitely cooked those suckers dry for my whole first pregnancy. Ugh. But according to Oster, the only thing we’re worried about with raw egg is salmonella, which while unpleasant, actually poses no greater risk to a pregnant woman or her babe then it does to anyone else. Granted, it’s never nice to get sick, especially while pregnant, but given you are taking ordinary precautions, this probably isn’t something to lose sleep over. That’s just one tiny example though – she covers everything – conceiving, food and drink, exercise, weight gain, gardening, drug safety, birth plans etc. It’s all there, and for me, it’s been great. Really helped me to relax.

Plus… this time around, I’m a drinkin’ the coffee (in moderation)! For that, sweet Emily, I’m especially grateful. 🙂

Does the book appeal to you? I think it’s a solid gift for newbie parents!


2 thoughts on “The Best Pregnancy Book!

  1. Johanna

    I read that coffee chapter GLADLY. And then cited it, ad nauseam, whenever someone saw my little white cup and raised their eyebrows. Hurmph.


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