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Customer Reviews for

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Average Rating 3.5
( 383 )
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(161)

4 Star

(90)

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(47)

2 Star

(30)

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(55)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

I love this book!

I ordered two different books on pregnancy after finding out I am expecting my first baby. I have never been pregnant before and this book gives me all the information I need. My husband and I have been reading it every week for more than 5 months now. I never even refe...
I ordered two different books on pregnancy after finding out I am expecting my first baby. I have never been pregnant before and this book gives me all the information I need. My husband and I have been reading it every week for more than 5 months now. I never even refer to the other book I ordered any more. It answers all my questions and is a great resource, especially for first time moms!

posted by FirstTimeMommy on November 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

43 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

Alarmist & Unrealistic

After reading this book, I have no idea why it comes so highly recommended by so many people. Huge portions of the book dwell on possible complications and frightening scenarios without stressing that, though possible, most of these scenarios happen in a small majority...
After reading this book, I have no idea why it comes so highly recommended by so many people. Huge portions of the book dwell on possible complications and frightening scenarios without stressing that, though possible, most of these scenarios happen in a small majority of cases. I found the book to be remarkably condescending particularly with its repeated warnings to lay off alcohol and drugs; I'm not disputing the importance of avoiding each, I'm saying that it's really not necessary to repeat the warnings so often at the expense of not offering other suggestions on health and well being. In addition, the book gave the impression that for the duration of pregnancy you more or less cease to be an individual and instead are charged with the lone task of incubating your baby. Most women I know, myself included, took the job seriously but didn't feel that they needed to sacrifice most aspects of themselves in the process. I also thought many of the book's suggestions were highly unrealistic. For example, one segment suggested that if you're a caffeine junkie or looking for a subsitute for something like a drink after work to try and subsitute something healthy for you and the baby. Their suggestion? Scrubbing some vegetables. Yeah. Because scrubbing vegetables comes even close to something you do to pamper yourself. All told, I just didn't feel that the book was that positive or did much to address positive solutions to questions.

posted by 1167309 on July 27, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Alarmist & Unrealistic

    After reading this book, I have no idea why it comes so highly recommended by so many people. Huge portions of the book dwell on possible complications and frightening scenarios without stressing that, though possible, most of these scenarios happen in a small majority of cases. I found the book to be remarkably condescending particularly with its repeated warnings to lay off alcohol and drugs; I'm not disputing the importance of avoiding each, I'm saying that it's really not necessary to repeat the warnings so often at the expense of not offering other suggestions on health and well being. In addition, the book gave the impression that for the duration of pregnancy you more or less cease to be an individual and instead are charged with the lone task of incubating your baby. Most women I know, myself included, took the job seriously but didn't feel that they needed to sacrifice most aspects of themselves in the process. I also thought many of the book's suggestions were highly unrealistic. For example, one segment suggested that if you're a caffeine junkie or looking for a subsitute for something like a drink after work to try and subsitute something healthy for you and the baby. Their suggestion? Scrubbing some vegetables. Yeah. Because scrubbing vegetables comes even close to something you do to pamper yourself. All told, I just didn't feel that the book was that positive or did much to address positive solutions to questions.

    43 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2007

    Who wants to be stressed and terrified their whole pregnancy?

    Seriously, MUCH better books out there. This was a scary ride! I threw it out when I was about halfway through it. Pregnancy is not a condition or illness which is what this books make you feel like it is. Not impressed. And what is up with it making it sound like your giving birth in 1900? Need to get up to speed with womens rights and all information.

    23 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    Terrifying!

    As a first time pregnant mother, this book has made me afraid of being pregnant! Every terrible thing that could possibly happen to your unborn child is clearly laid out in this book. I finally had to quit reading it and just put it away. I agree it is important to be informed, but books like this just scare any new mother and take the fun out of being pregnant!

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2004

    Mother-hating sentiments get in the way

    The mother-hating message that oozes through this text nullifies whatever decent information you could get from it. Yes, the book breaks down 'what to expect' month by month. But a lot of good pregnancy books do the same. The other portion of the text is medical advice, most of which is in the vein on what you, The Evil Mother, can do to avoid all the selfish habits you have and stupid things you might do. Fantastic advice on pregnancy, such as going on a Nazi diet plan (you know, when you're vomiting your brains out and your gut is slowly quiting on you) with enforced meal times ('never, never skip a meal' - you might kill your fetus. Huh? About 50% of women spend 3-4 months or longer chucking up at least one meal a day.) and a required ton of vegetables, preferably raw (yeah, that will go down well). In the chapters on labor, the patronizing tone becomes something out of a 1950's manual: try timidly asking your doctor if you can avoid being shaved or having an enema during labor, with the understanding that he has the final say (really? I thought it was a woman's choice what treatment she had). The same holds true with having an IV, an episiotomy, a drink of water (contrary to what most people are told, the chances of aspirating and then dying under general anesthesia is about the same as winning Powerball), even touching your baby's head during crowning ('If your practioner approves'). How about this gem - advice to the labor coach that if the expectant mother requests pain medication, relay the information to the nurse, but ask her to wait a while to see if Mom changes her mind. By the time a woman requests pain meds, she's likely to have been in agony for some time. That appears not to be a factor. When the physician approves of pain medication (pain medication being necessarily good, because hospitals back the use of them), the Evil Mother must allow herself the pain relief while remembering 'the innocent bystander', the baby she is imposing her selfish need for pain relief on. Seriously, the biggest qualms I have with this book is that it is misleading about a woman's rights to treatment and bodily integrity during pregnancy. For instance, the book advises '...you can't always make the decision over whether or not you should have an IV.' Um, yes you can. You simply say, 'I refuse to have an IV and accept responsibility for that decision.' Eisenberg, Murkoff and Hathaway are apparently so desperate to get official approval from physicians and hospitals that they are making up their own laws! Other books have the same information, but without the condescending, mother-hating (even woman-hating) attitudes.

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    Terrible book

    This book is terrible. As if in pregnancy, you're not emotional enough. The second I opened the book and began reading, the whole book is about everything that can POSSIBLY go wrong in pregnancy. Forgive me, but I like to think optimistically, and this book has no optimism whatsoever. If you like the idea of reading about your child possibly dying in utero in millions of different ways, then by all means, but I would never suggest this as a pregnancy read. NOT AT ALL! Just a forwarning.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    Be Careful.....

    Be careful before you buy this book. It will scare the pants off of you if you are a first time pregnant mom. You will feel as if you are doing nothing right and everything you do is hurting the baby. There are many other books out there that are more informative and helpful. Even my doctor told me not to read this one.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2007

    the worst pregnancy/childbirth book out there

    This book is a frightening look at what is one of the most normal and intimate of human experiences. The tone is often condescending and the information basic, at best. It approaches pregnancy and childbirth as 'medical conditions', as if women are incapable of making sense of a pregnancy on their own. I have 3 children- with birth experiences in a hospital setting and at home and CANNOT RECOMMEND this book to anyone, in particular those who view pregnancy as a normal condition.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2009

    I love this book!

    I ordered two different books on pregnancy after finding out I am expecting my first baby. I have never been pregnant before and this book gives me all the information I need. My husband and I have been reading it every week for more than 5 months now. I never even refer to the other book I ordered any more. It answers all my questions and is a great resource, especially for first time moms!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2004

    Take worry and stress to the next level...Buy this book.

    They should rename this book 'What Could Possibly Go Wrong When You're Expecting.' This book is written in an alarmist fashion ... the last thing you need when you're pregnant. They tell you what awful things could be signaled by certain symptoms; often your chances of getting said awful thing is low, but they don't tell you any percentages. They'd rather freak you out...even if chances are, your symptoms are normal. I don't know why this book is so popular. Every page is a downer...Just look at the woman on the cover illustration. Does she look happy? No. Probably because the book in her hand is this one, she just read it, and it's freaked her out! I picked up a week-by-week book at K-Mart (see below,) and it is wonderful. I threw this book away...I didn't even want to give it to someone else. Reading this book, you wouldn't imagine, but some women actually find pregnancy the best experience of their lifetime. Get the advice of your doctor when something goes wrong or if you're worried. Don't buy this book. Enjoy your pregnancy.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2011

    waste of money

    overall, I found that this book was fearmongering.....it made pregnancy and childbirth sound like something horrid.....there are 100s of better childbirth/pregnancy books to choose from!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2004

    Not For First Time Moms-To-Be

    Being a first time mother-to-be, I read this book almost cover to cover. After reading this book, I was completely paranoid and frightened of everything I did and ate. Pregnancy became a frightenning experience instead of a joyous one. I called my obgyn every single time I found out information that didn't coincide with hers. Each and every time I read about a symptom, I began to feel it and called my doctor right away. I ended up telling my husband to hide the book somewhere I would not be able to find it, so that I would enjoy the rest of my pregnancy. Although this book may be informative on some topics, I would not recommend it for first time moms.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

    First time moms; IGNORE THIS BOOK

    I was a pregnant rookie and this book filled my head with dread. It should be retitled "You Can's Do Anything When You're Pregnant", meaning if you do anything but excersize and eat right then you are doomed to harm your unborn fetus in unimaginable ways. Instead, listen to your own better judgement. You're baby will be fine (even if you do eat fast food and yes, dare I say it, smoke cigarettes).

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Expect good things!

    This is probably the most comphrensive pregnancy guide I've ever read. It's got everything!! Which, might, be a problem as pregnancy tends to turn on the worry mechanism in your brain! Regardless, this is a great book, big and heavy, with most anything a pregnant woman needs to know.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2005

    Beware!

    This book has an overly medical approach to pregnancy. It will leave you paranoid and will hinder you in decision making. This tells you everything that can go wrong and treats invasive interventions as routine. I would not waste my time and money on it, if I were you.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK

    It is loaded with bad information which is sure to make an expectant mother more nervous than she already is, much more than she ever should be. There are much better books available that have better information, presented in a much less threatening and intimidating way. Try the book by Simkin and Klauss, Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn. It's so much better and you won't regret it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2008

    Not the best one out there.

    While this book has a lot of info in it, it also has a lot of TMI. Chances are you will never need to know most of the stuff in this book and it will just scare the bejeezes out of you with the long lists of all things that could possibly go wrong not to mention the part at the end with the so called 'ideal' diet. It never had any information on some of the stuff I wanted to know more about, and just made me more paranoid.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    Not the best book that you can get

    This book was disappointing to read. It did not provide adequate information as to what is going on for fetus growth and development during each week. It discusses in detail that drugs, alcohol, and smoking are dangerous, and this is covered over and over in the book (not necessary).

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2012

    This book is very good. It is well written with many answers to

    This book is very good. It is well written with many answers to the questions I have had. Many times its put my mind at ease because what I was experiencing is considered normal. It gives good advice on what to eat, how to exercise, and what not to do. Unlike many, I don't feel that it was offensive or alarming. If the subject had nothing to do with me or what I was going through, I skipped it. And most of the issues this book deals with are everyday issues, such as fatigue. I am a first time mother, and I really liked this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome book but not the ONLY book

    This is a great book. Obviously. And you will hear that from every pregnant person you know, and every person who has ever been. It's informative and comforting. But keep in mind that it's not the ONLY accurate, informative book ever written on pregnancies. I almost prefer "Your Pregnancy, week by week". It answer all the same questions and gives you more week by week guidance, including an actual size estimator for each week of your baby's development (until closer to birth of course) which I really enjoy. Plus it's written by a mother who is also a doctor. I like that aspect too. But in What To Expect its easier to skip around to parts applicable to only you thanks to the Q&A format. I'd buy it again.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2005

    Many better books to choose from

    This book offers the most very basic information only. The childbirth section provides more instruction on how to be a patient of the OB, hospital, nurse, etc. than on how to cope with labor and everything it entails. Wow -- talk about teaching a woman how to be a lemming!!!! Do yourself a favor and buy a more comprehensive book that explores OPTIONS instead of telling you how to be the perfect lemming. Of the 20+ books I have read on pregnancy, this was the very worst one, and yet you hear about it all the time! A first-time mom especially deserves to read a more comprehensive book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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