Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What To Expect When You’re Expecting – Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway

this is supposed to be a manual for pregnant women. but having read the book from cover to cover, i came to realize it’s more of a self-help book targeted for pregnant women who have worries and fears about their pregnancy. (i mean who doesn’t, right?) though aiming to comfort mothers, i think the book exaggeratedly soothes the reader into thinking that nothing could possibly go wrong during the 9 months when a woman is pregnant and even up to the first few months after the baby has been delivered.

take for instance the option of which type of milk is best for newborn babies. first, the book gives the utmost praise for breastfeeding. it states how milk coming from a mother has more nutrients than those provided by formula milk. it also cites how breastfeeding is the more beneficial way of giving milk for it is also a natural method of bonding between mother and child.

and just when you’re fully convinced that breastfeeding is best, the book will then take into consideration those who are incapable of breastfeeding or perhaps averse to this method of feeding. a different tune of how formula milk is wonderful for the baby’s growing needs is suddenly heard. in the midst of a few paragraphs, you are given 2 different (perhaps conflicting) advice which are both deemed best for mother and child and that it all really depends on what you want to do or what your situation is.

to confound things even further, a third method is given where a combination of both breastfeeding and formula milk is also shown as the best method, as illogical as that may seem. (mayhap the book assumes the reader’s gullibility and inability to process and analyze information.)

it’s the same all throughout the book especially when it comes to how the pregnant mother is feeling. if she feels a certain way, it’s normal. if she feels the opposite of what was previously discussed, it’s still normal. it enumerates all the possibilities that she may feel, and guess what: they’re all normal! as a clincher, there’s always this fail-safe plan: if the pregnant mother is still worried about what she’s feeling, she can always consult her doctor.

which made me wonder if this is what women really want – to be comforted no matter what the situation is. but wouldn’t it be better to be informed about the hard facts and the raw truth uncomforting though they may sometimes be so we can better prepare for the future cause let’s face it, things don’t always turn out the way we want them to be. in fact, from my experience (though i most likely will not become pregnant), rarely do things turn out the way you expect them.

but then what do i know? this book is written by 3 mothers who have gone through the experience of being pregnant and would like to share their counsel to fellow mothers. who am i to question the guidance provided by the authors especially when you take into consideration their undisputed authority as mothers? perhaps i should browse thru the book again when i myself am a mother ……

rating: 2 of 5 stars * *
informative and confusing at the same time.


rob said...

>which made me wonder if this is what women really want – to be comforted no matter what the situation is.

Yes that is a correct observation.

Roehl, why did you read this book, are you going to be a father? hehehe

Dr. Spock's books are the authoritative ones on the subject. But I guess it wouldn't harm to read this one with an open mind.

roehl said...

>why did you read this book

i was impressed by the book's performance in the usatoday top 150 bestseller list. counting its previous editions -- it's now on its 3rd edition -- the book has already spent over 600 weeks on the list and it doesnt seem to be losing steam.

who's dr. spock? a star trek character?

rmacapobre said...

spock was lt. commander, ambassador, maybe even a doctor but i doubt if he is an MD. maybe a doctor in vulcan philosophy.

rob said...

It's Dr. Benjamin Spock who was the author of numerous child care books. No relation to the Vulcan Mr. Spock of Star Trek.