Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy

Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy

4.8 9
by Jena Pincott

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Brain Candy for expectant parents!

Pregnancy is an adventure.

Lots of books tell you the basics—“the baby is the size of [insert fruit here].” But pregnant science writer Jena Pincott began to wonder just how a baby might tinker with her body—and vice versa—and chased down answers to the questions she wouldn’t ask


Brain Candy for expectant parents!

Pregnancy is an adventure.

Lots of books tell you the basics—“the baby is the size of [insert fruit here].” But pregnant science writer Jena Pincott began to wonder just how a baby might tinker with her body—and vice versa—and chased down answers to the questions she wouldn’t ask her doctor, such as:

• Does stress sharpen your baby’s mind—or dull it?

• Can you predict your baby’s temperament?

• Why are babies born in the darker months of the year more likely to grow up to be novelty-loving risk takers?

• Are bossy, dominant women more likely to have boys?

• How can the cells left behind by your baby affect you years later?

This is a different kind of pregnancy book—thoughtful, fun, and filled with information you won’t find anywhere else.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Science writer Pincott (Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?) began her research when she was pregnant; her daughter was born during the writing process, and she describes the work as "curiosity -driven," urging readers to flip to the pages that interest them most. As Pincott negotiates her pregnancy, she explores a wide array of subjects expectant parents will find utterly captivating, drawing from studies in evolutionary psychology, biology, social science, neuroscience, reproductive genetics, endocrinology, and largely from research in the field of epigenetics, the influence of environment on the behavior of genes. She examines each phase of her own pregnancy, addressing odor and taste aversions (the "gag list"), vivid dreams, how diet affects a gene's behavior, and a wealth of other subjects. She delves into how dads react to pregnancy (many put on weight) and makes the remarkable observation that what grandma ate when pregnant way back when may influence the baby's future health ("I'm eating for two generations," she quips). While readers will be entertained and fascinated by this text from start to finish, the concluding chapter, "Lessons from the Lab," offers expectant mothers a valuable summary of practical research-based tips (moderate stress experienced by mom may actually be good for the fetus; eating a chocolate bar a day may improve baby's temperament). Pincott writes with humor and vibrancy, bringing science to life. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“Do Chocolate Lovers have Sweeter Babies is utterly fascinating … and a great read.”
—Christiane Northrup, M.D., ob/gyn physician and author of the New York Times bestsellers: Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause

“Having delivered many babies in Africa and raised one of my own, I was thrilled to find plenty of old-fashioned common sense suffusing Pincott’s survey of cutting-edge research. Casual, but never careless, her light style is a fine complement to her balanced, informed scholarship. Covering everything from martinis to Mozart, Pincott’s book is full of useful thinking that will inform and comfort expectant mothers (and fathers) everywhere.”
—Cacilda Jethá, M.D., co-author (with Christopher Ryan) of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

"In Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?, Jena Pincott takes us on a fascinating tour through the science of pregnancy. She answers questions, shares stories, and passes on insights gleaned from her exhaustive research. Reading it is like having a friend—an extraordinarily wise, funny, and well-informed friend—walk you through the nine months before birth. Pincott tells you everything you wanted to know about pregnancy but were afraid to ask."
—Annie Murphy Paul, author of Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives

"Delightful! This book is destined to become everywoman's —and man's —secret guide to pregnancy. A must read."
—Louann Brizendine, M.D. neuropsychiatrist author of The Female Brain and The Male Brain

Kirkus Reviews

Popular-science writer Pincott (Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?, 2008, etc.) provides a lively, accessible romp through the science of pregnancy.

Known for her previous research on love and sexual attraction, the author makes a natural transition in her latest. Delving into the science of pregnancy, parenthood and fetal development, she presents her findings with wit, personal anecdotes and playful humor. Eschewing predictable "avoid the shellfish" advice, Pincott provides a science-based trivia collection, drawing from studies in evolutionary psychology, biology, neuroscience, social science, epigenetics and more. She explores topics such as how a woman's activities might influence her unborn baby's personality, how pregnancy and motherhood can change the behavior of mothersandfathers, what factors might influence a baby's gender and why the first hour after a baby's birth means so much for mother-newborn bonding. Inspired by questions from her own first pregnancy, the author also digs up the answers to common inquiries such as "what does baby's birth season predict?"; "what can Mozart really do?"; and "will what we eat now influence baby's tastes later?" Despite the bombardment of information, Pincott presents her research as fun things to contemplate rather than additional things to worry about, so nervous expectant parents can thoroughly enjoy the book.

A fascinating supplement to the typical maternity guide.

Product Details

Free Press
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Meet the Author

Jena Pincott has a background in biology and was a production assistant on science documentaries for PBS. She is a former senior editor at Random House, and is the author of Success: Advice for Achieving Your Goals from Remarkably Accomplished People and Healing: Advice for Recovering Your Strength and Spirit from the World's Most Famous Survivors. Jena lives in New York City and plays the clarinet. She travels as much as she possibly can, usually with her husband, Peter, and writes science fiction under a pen name.

Jena’s previous book, Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?, is about the science of love and attraction. The book received a “starred review” in Publishers Weekly and generated widespread media attention, including appearances by the author on ABC’s Good Morning America, Fox News, CBS’ The Early Show, NPR, and coverage in Glamour, Redbook, Newsweek, the New York Post, the New York Daily News, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press.

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Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book during my second and third trimesters. Not your ordinary baby book. It really helped me understand silly things that I'd been wondering, and explained some things going on between my husband and I. It even helped me make some profound decisions for when my baby was born. I really feel this book was very helpful and I would recommend it to all my pregnant friends. Plus, it's just a load of fun to read. My husband really enjoyed hearing some of the stories, and I have a beautiful baby boy and no stretch marks (becasue one of her articles talks about the type of cream to use and why) :-D It reads like articles in a magazine. Completely different questions with a story and scientific facts intermingled in each story. It's one of the few books I couldn't put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly a great book for those who want to know why, how, and "what if's" of a pregnancy. I've told so many friends about this book. Even my husband read it cover to cover!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It appealed to the geek in me that wanted to know specifically how my actions during pregnancy affect my unborn baby - if at all. The author cites specific studies that were done, but warns when to not take things too literally because results from a large population set cannot necessarily be applied to the individual. I think that is one component that is missing from most articles/books about pregnancy. The author writes the book throughout her own pregnancy, so it takes on a narrative feel despite all of statistical information that is embedded within. And believe me, I hate statistics - but I loved how they were explained in this book. This is a great read during pregnancy, and often amusing at times which keeps it light. I highly recommend it to anyone who is expecting (male or female) that wants to know the "why" behind old wives tales and instructions from our doctors, as well as some questions you never even thought to ask.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Real science but fun and witty, not at all dry. Recommend for every woman who is pregnant or expecting to expect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Insightful, informative and amusing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always get a sample before making a purchase. By page 55 i was rolling with laughter! Not only is this book funny but has facts and studies that explain old wives tales and how we as women arent crazy when we think, "have i lost my mind?!" Worth your tennbuvks for sure!
SophiaMom More than 1 year ago
This is not your mother's pregnancy book. Unusual, addictive, entertaining and all based on new findings in science. The author was pregnant when she wrote it. So much better and funnier than What To Expect. I read it at the end of my pregnancy and wish I had it sooner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it's fun reading WHY your baby/body is the way it is, instead of the typical what to expect facts!