During five years of infertility and longing to become a
parent, I must have read every book out there even remotely
related to pregnancy, childbirth, conception, etc. I guess I
figured, maybe by osmosis, that my stubborn body would take
the words I read to heart. Something worked – finally – and
just maybe it was all those books.
What I do know is that this book, Dr. Guttmacher’s
Pregnancy, Birth and Family Planning, is everything I ever
read on this subject, compiled in one sturdy guide. I only
wish I had had it years ago – reading one book instead of
ten would have taken a lot less time!
The original version of this book, which was written by the
esteemed pioneer Alan F. Guttmacher, M.D., has now been
updated by a nurse practitioner and two physicians to
include everything from the latest technological
advancements to new birthing options.
"No woman is completely free unless she is wholly capable of
controlling her fertility..." Guttmacher is quoted in the
introduction of the book. He seems to firmly stand behind
that statement, as he did everything in his power to help
women become empowers, knowledgeable and capable when
writing this book.
The book starts with an overview chapter on reproduction
titled "You Were a Long Shot," which speaks volumes on just
how complicated conception can be. Next, chapter Two covers
becoming pregnant in detailed description. From there, a
chapter titled "Are You Pregnant?" covers early signs of
pregnancy to the first doctor’s exam. Other chapters cover
the duration of the pregnancy, the growth of the fetus, the
importance of pre-pregnancy health, care during pregnancy,
early fetal testing, pregnancy nutrition, common discomfort,
complications, infertility, miscarriage, premature births,
labor and delivery, difficult labor, labor support, medical
interventions, multiple births, the newborn, after
childbirth, breast-feeding, family planning and abortion.
This book is thorough in its medical detail, but written for
every woman in an easy-to-understand, concise manner. For
instance, a person new to the world of reproduction can
learn what the word "trophoblast" means (pre-placental
tissue), at what time in pregnancy each of the anatomical
systems develop in the embryo, all about how chemicals and
medications affect a growing fetus, routine tests in
prenatal care, the pros and cons of several birthing
situations, genetic abnormalities, assisted reproductive
technologies (ART), and the impact of diseases and surgery
The sheer scope and magnitude of the information contained
in this book prevents me from sharing everything within its
pages – there is just too much for one review!
If you want to become pregnant, or if your are newly
pregnant, this is the one book to grab– instead of a handful
of others. And even if you are lost in the land of
infertility, this book is sure to help you as well, since
the first step to winning a battle is to "know thine enemy!"
Good Luck and Happy Pregnancy!
||Karen Pruitt Fowler/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book
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