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Book Review: Pregnancy Day by Day

Here is the second of a few reviews I’ll be doing on some daddy/pregnancy books. I’m in the middle of a couple of other books, but as we’ll likely finish (or stop reading) this one pretty soon, I thought I would post about it now.

This book review is on Pregnancy Day by Day by Paula Amato, MD (ed) and Maggie Blott, MB (ed).

This book is a day-by-day countdown of pregnancy, devoting one page per day that includes text and images that mostly correspond to the baby’s current development and/or suggestions about pregnancy stage-appropriate nutrition or exercise. Each day’s page starts with “You are __ weeks and __ days,” followed by “___ days to go…” It sure is great to watching those numbers change over time! There is a small photo, usually a 2D or 3D ultrasound image or real photo of a gestationally-similar fetus on each page with a couple sentences about “your baby today,” which say something about what organs/tissues, reflexes, etc. are developing during that week of gestation. The bulk of each day’s page is devoted to a few paragraphs and inset boxes about various issues – the book covers just about every topic at some point or another that it would be impossible to list everything.

Every week there is a drawing of a semi-translucent abdomen showing the relative size of the growing fetus and the rest of the abdominal organs (wow, they sure do get squished towards the end!) along with average lengths and weights for the gestational age. There is the occasional interspersed 2-pagers on a specific topic such as how the placenta works, diagnostic and screening tests, exercises, the 20-week anatomy ultrasound, and planning for the birth. There are also separate, short chapters in the back of the book devoted to labor and birth, the first two weeks after the birth, and possible concerns or complications during pregnancy.

What I really like about this book is that it provided something very short for Molly and I to read together every night before bed while we were doing our checkoff sheet. Sometimes it was uncanny how well the book’s daily topic would actually coincide with our pregnancy. For example, just by chance we got to the 20-week ultrasound page spread the night before we were scheduled to have ours. Even on a smaller scale, maybe Molly was talking about how bad her heartburn had gotten, and sure enough that night’s page had a listing of heartburn relief options. Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with how well the information correlated with the stage of pregnancy. For me at least, never did I read something and think wow, I wish I had gotten to that page (time) ago, which must say something good about it.

We did notice that the average weights listed on each weekly drawing were quite off (much smaller) than what our babies have been measuring (as well as much smaller than any other reference chart found on the internet) so I’m not sure if the book is just wrong or what. But otherwise, I don’t have many complaints about the book. We haven’t gotten to the end yet (obviously) so I can’t comment on the accuracy or helpfulness of the birth information, but I’m thinking we should probably skip ahead to the labor and delivery section pretty soon here…

In summary, I would definitely suggest this book to anyone who thinks they would like to read a very small amount each day about what may be happening that week during the pregnancy. A huge overarching theme is simply staying healthy, through diet and exercise during pregnancy, and I think those little reminders could be helpful for anyone (even the non-pregnant support person!).

This is the second book in my Daddy Book Reviews. Future books to be reviewed include:

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