The Stress-Free Pregnancy Guide: A Doctor Tells You What to Really Expect


While there is perhaps no happier time in a woman’s life than the first few months of her pregnancy, it can also be stressful. Expectant mothers naturally worry about everything. Are the symptoms they are experiencing normal? Are they eating right? And most important, is their baby all right?

The Stress-Free Pregnancy Guide dispels myths and puts mothers’ endless worries to rest with a healthy dose of reassuring and reader-friendly advice based on renowned obstetrician Carol ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $1.99   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

*~*~ Brand New, Mint Condition. Never Previously Owned.*~*~ Ships Immediately *~*~ Hassle-Free Refunds If you Aren't Fully Satisfied ~*~*

Ships from: Deer Park, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:


Condition: New

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
2009 Softcover New

Ships from: Portland, OR

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
0814480551 Brand New. Exact book as advertised. Delivery in 4-14 business days (not calendar days). We are not able to expedite delivery.

Ships from: Romulus, MI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
2008 Paperback New Book New and in stock. 9/1/2008. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you ... will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Morden, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
The Stress-Free Pregnancy Guide: A Doctor Tells You What to Really Expect

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99 price
(Save 33%)$15.00 List Price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.


While there is perhaps no happier time in a woman’s life than the first few months of her pregnancy, it can also be stressful. Expectant mothers naturally worry about everything. Are the symptoms they are experiencing normal? Are they eating right? And most important, is their baby all right?

The Stress-Free Pregnancy Guide dispels myths and puts mothers’ endless worries to rest with a healthy dose of reassuring and reader-friendly advice based on renowned obstetrician Carol Livoti’s 30 years of experience in private practice. Expectant moms will discover exactly why their bodies are experiencing certain changes, what else to expect, and how to recognize any rare but real problems should they occur. From before conception through the postpartum period, the authors lead women through every step of their pregnancy with sound, practical medical advice. Filled with useful sidebars that help separate fact from fiction, and delightful anecdotes from Dr. Livoti’s own practice, The Stress-Free Pregnancy Guide shows women that the most exciting time in their lives should not be fraught with unnecessary worry.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814480557
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 9/3/2008
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Livoti, M.D., OB/GYN (New York, NY) is a graduate of New York Medical College and Cornell University. She is board certified and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Livoti began her private practice in 1976, and is on the editorial advisory board of Shape Magazine.

Elizabeth Topp (New York, NY) is an expert on sex education in the New York area and is currently making a documentary about female sexuality.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


Before Conception

These last fifty years mark the first time in human history that sexually active women have been able to choose whether or not to have a baby. In the past, women’s options were celibacy or motherhood. Of course, it’s liberating and exciting to be able to control our own reproduction, but these benefits come with responsibility: If it’s possible to plan a pregnancy, it’s worth trying to do so.

Even Unplanned Pregnancies Deserve Some Planning

More than 30 percent of babies born in this country are the result of unplanned pregnancies. Because no contraceptive device is 100 percent effective, there are a few things you should think about if you’re a heterosexually active female, regardless of whether you’re trying to get pregnant at this very moment.

First Step: Don’t Panic!

If you are a perfectly healthy, addiction- and medication-free woman under the age of forty, and you do nothing at all about your prenatal health—and by nothing I mean you never see a physician, get tested for anything, or alter your diet or lifestyle—your chances of having a healthy baby at term are still over 90 percent. However, modern medicine has quite a lot to offer the pregnant woman in terms of her well-being and that of her child. To make informed decisions for your baby and yourself, you should know and understand the standard obstetrical process. I’m not saying that you must follow every suggestion offered by prenatal experts to have a healthy and happy pregnancy, but don’t just guess at which guidelines to bend or rules to break. Therefore, if the condom breaks and you are at a place in your life where you would at least consider having a baby, think about cutting back on booze before you get your next period—embryos don’t seem to handle their liquor well. It’s also a good idea to take a multivitamin every day, especially one containing folic acid, which is known to prevent certain birth defects and is relatively easy to incorporate into your life. Smoking isn’t good for anybody, mother or child, so consider dropping that out of your regimen. Talk to your doctor about any medications you might be taking. Some relatively common drugs, like the acne treatment Accutane, unnecessarily raise the risk of birth defects.

The point is that even an unplanned pregnancy should not be a completely haphazard affair. The minute you begin to suspect that you could be pregnant, start avoiding behaviors that could be harmful to the embryo.

Planned Pregnancies

Planning to have a child is a deeply personal process that often combines careful planning with soul-searching. For me, deciding to have a baby was at least in part the result of a strong desire to make myself a better person—someone less egocentric.

Not long before we decided to have children, my husband and I went to a dinner party. Our hosts, a professional couple, announced early in the meal that they were voluntarily childless. They were professors, and perhaps they fancied that they had intellectualized themselves out of a biological imperative. Yet during the course of dinner, the wife showed off her husband’s PhD dissertation like a grandma with baby pictures, and the two of them cooed at their pet bird the whole night. Watching this couple dote on their academic accomplishments and their pets left me with a strong urge to have a baby immediately.

There’s arguably a standard progression to the human experience, and those who disagree probably aren’t reading this book. Having a baby should be an expansive experience in more ways than one. Instead of thinking about yourself all the time, you are supposed to think about someone else. If you believe that life is a continuous process of learning, expanding, knowing, loving, and maturing until the day you die, then having a child is one of the best ways to make yourself into a better person. Other good reasons to have a baby are that you want to give life to the world, you have a strong desire to love unconditionally, you have an interest in watching another person grow and mature under your thoughtful guidance, and you have an undeniable urge to carry your genetic dynasty forward.

There are some not-so-good reasons to have a baby, too. From the baby’s side of things, it is nice to be planned and wanted, but just being planned doesn’t necessarily make for a better situation. For example, it’s not so nice to be wanted as an accessory or as a cure for a shaky marriage. It’s also disheartening to see parents of girls try again and again, just hoping for a boy (or vice versa). It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: All babies are human beings, and the birth of a child—boy or girl—will change your life indelibly and forever.

It’s sad when babies are born for the wrong reasons. Teen mothers have achieved notoriety, perhaps unjustly, for saying, “I wanted someone to love me unconditionally.” However, it is a rude awakening for all parents to learn that babies cannot love you right out of the womb. Instead, they need constant supervision—they need to be nurtured and kept warm and dry. For months, even years, those adorable little eyes will communicate a pretty constant message: “Feed me, love me, hold me, take care of me.” And while they will certainly cling to you, they’re mostly holding onto what is familiar to them. Becoming a good parent means being excited about your role as a giver rather than a receiver of love.

The good news is that it’s a thrill when a four-year-old picks a flower and presents it to you. Or when she goes out to the local drugstore on Mother’s Day and comes back with a five-dollar bottle of perfume. These are moments you don’t forget, largely because you’ve been waiting for them for so long.

The logistics of getting pregnant may not be so important. Women who face their forties without a partner in sight get inseminated. Lesbian couples buy sperm, have a few romantic interludes with a turkey baster, and head into parenting as partners. Women whose marriages are on the rocks accidentally (or not so accidentally) get pregnant all the time. Regardless of how you get there, with the right attitude any pregnancy can have a magnificent outcome.

Of course, when you first decide, with your partner or on your own, that you want to get pregnant, it is the obstetrician’s hope that you will then and there make an appointment for a preconception consultation. The advantage to this approach is that once you are pregnant you don’t have any catching up to do. You won’t have to hear your doctor say, “Wait a minute, let’s think about this medication you’re on. You may have to see a geneticist.” Or “Let’s look at that X-ray you had last week.” The best conception plan starts with just having a plan, although this seldom happens in the real world.

Preexisting Health Conditions

At your preconception consultation, your obstetrician should investigate your underlying health. The vast majority of women who want to get pregnant have very little to talk about. However, if you suffer from any autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma or you have a significant, chronic medical problem such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, or bipolar disorder, you need to address these issues with your physician. If you’ve had any significant surgery or if you were born with a birth defect yourself, especially of your reproductive or urinary tract, your obstetrician must have all of that information. She, possibly in concert with specialists, will try to proactively address how your particular medical situation will affect your pregnancy. There are so many different situations with infinite solutions that we will not attempt to address them all here—especially because less than 1 percent of pregnant women will have to deal with these problems.

Generally, if you are not perfectly healthy when you want to conceive, there are three things to consider:

1. How will your health problems impact the pregnancy? Will becoming pregnant threaten your health? Will your condition hurt the baby?

2. Could the treatment for your illness—medication, radiation, and so forth—affect the pregnancy? Could you switch to a safer therapy or suspend treatment for a year? Are there procedures that you can postpone?

3. Is your condition a genetic problem?

When the obstetrician is uncertain how your medical history might affect your pregnancy, your best resource is a geneticist. A geneticist is a doctor who specializes in counseling, diagnosing, and treating genetic problems. Geneticists rely on a huge body of information that includes every recorded case of illness or problems due to medication in pregnancy. They can recommend specific tests, crunch the numbers, and give you odds. Geneticists also investigate the weaknesses of your particular ethnic background. For example, certain Jewish communities are statistically more likely to suffer cases of Tay-Sachs disease, whereas sickle-cell anemia disproportionately hits African Americans.

Things to Avoid

Of course, when you are pregnant it is ideal to maintain perfect health and steer clear of all medication. In particular, you should strive to avoid:

• Radiation

• Drugs

• Infection


Actively dividing cells, such as those of an embryo, are most sensitive to radiation, which can dislodge part of a new cell, mutating or killing it. This is why we use radiation to treat cancer (characterized by rapid cell division) and why radiation is so bad for an early pregnancy. Every cell is extra important in a first-trimester fetus—a whole baby is going to grow out of that handful of cells. Radiation at this stage could damage a toenail cell or a brain cell, you never know. Either way, avoiding radiation during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, is the only way to dodge the risk. The less you get, the less likely it is to damage something important.

Luckily, exposure to radiation is easy to prevent because you know where it is and can therefore make an effort to avoid it. Even in an emergency room, if you inform the hospital staff that you might be pregnant, they will find an alternative way to treat you.

For example, it may be that as few as 0.5 percent of head injuries in the emergency room turn out to include a skull fracture. The overwhelming majority of the time, a bump on the head is effectively treated with ice and Tylenol. But it’s less likely to result in a lawsuit for the doctor to perform two hundred X-rays to detect the one person who has a significant injury. In fact, most of the X-rays you receive in emergent care are defensive, meaning that the doctors are defending themselves against litigation, as opposed to protecting you against harm. However, if you are pregnant, the physician might take the time to follow a less aggressive course of action, saying instead, “I don’t think you have a skull fracture, but if you have trouble staying awake, if you get confused, if headaches persist for forty-eight hours or you have any symptoms whatsoever, come back and we’ll give you an X-ray.” That would save 199 people from unnecessary exposure to radiation, but it requires a brave doctor, a responsible patient, and a less costly legal system.

All X-ray technicians, radiologists, and emergency room personnel are supposed to ask whether you could be pregnant. But many women, especially when they’re under the stress of an injury, quickly say, “Of course not!” Take a minute to think about it—you could be pregnant if you’ve had sex one time between your last period and now, even if you used a condom, the pill, and an intrauterine device (IUD).

The dangers of exposure to radiation during pregnancy start when the egg is fertilized, not beforehand. If you had a mammogram two years ago or a chest X-ray two weeks before you conceived, there’s no reason to be concerned about your pregnancy. An egg still within the ovary is dormant (that is, not dividing) and so is relatively resistant to radiation. The amount of radiation that would be required to affect a dormant egg is a lot higher (such as the radiation level used to treat cancer) than that used to take a standard X-ray, for example.

Unfortunately, radiation is all around us; however, it’s not something to go nuts over. Years ago, there was a big panic about computer monitors and pregnancy. Computer screens, like televisions, emit rays, but you tend to sit a lot closer to your computer than to your TV. Radiation from these screens becomes almost undetectable from more than three feet away, effectively nullifying the risk with televisions. Even so, there is still no evidence that computer use negatively affects fetuses.

Seek easy opportunities to avoid being exposed to radiation. For example, don’t stand near the microwave while you’re waiting for your popcorn. There’s no need to rip your microwave out of the wall and toss it out the window because you’re pregnant; just be a little more cautious.

Radiation is a legitimate, if hypothetical, concern when it comes to air travel. Some studies suggest that women should consider staying on the ground as much as possible during the early stages of pregnancy, though no specific guidelines or risks have been established. A general rule is that the longer the flight and the higher you go, the more radiation there is. A pregnant woman should avoid flights whose route is over the North Pole, where radiation levels are highest. U.S. government health agencies believe that the radiation risk from social traveling, meaning once or twice in the first trimester, is trivial. If you are planning on flying more than that, discuss it with your obstetrician. She might suggest moving a trip to the second trimester when the fetus is fully formed and less susceptible to environmental injury. Flying twice a week or more during the first trimester is considered too much radiation for a young fetus—if you are a flight attendant, consider a desk job for the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Introduction vii

CHAPTER 1 Before Conception 1

CHAPTER 2 Conception 16

CHAPTER 3 First Trimester: Normal 41

CHAPTER 4 First Trimester: Abnormal 57

CHAPTER 5 Second Trimester: Normal 73

CHAPTER 6 Second Trimester: Abnormal 97

CHAPTER 7 Third Trimester: Normal 116

CHAPTER 8 Third Trimester: Abnormal 142

CHAPTER 9 Labor: Normal 164

CHAPTER 10 Labor: Abnormal 198

CHAPTER 11 Delivery 220

CHAPTER 12 Postpartum 239

CHAPTER 13 Myths of Obstetrics 264

Conclusion 277

Index 281

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 7, 2010

    great book for first-time moms

    I was very apprehensive about pregnancy and especially the labor process and the post-partum period. I'm a first-time mom, and wanted a source that was both knowledgeable and willing to go into the most minute details of the process. Dr. Livoti's book not only managed to satisfy both my requests, but it is also written with great compassion and gentle humor. I was reassured by the details provided in the book, and managed to have a relatively easy and simple vaginal delivery at the local hospital (of course, the hospital staff played the larger role in this, but I credit the book for helping me not panic through the pain and fear of the unknown). I like the book so much that I gifted my two pregnant friends with copies, and made my long-suffering husband listen to the final chapters, so he could also be prepared. I wish Dr. Livoti had written a child rearing book after this, as I'm having trouble finding an equally useful book for baby's first years (the American Pediatric Association one is not sufficiently detailed for my tastes). Needless to say, I highly recommend this book for anybody interested in the pregnancy and labor & delivery processes!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)