An accessible debut guidebook for pregnant women.
There are many how-to books on the market about labor and delivery for expectant mothers, and the topics in this short, breezy work are fairly typical. It provides advice on everything from what to take to the hospital during labor to the pros and cons of epidurals. However, this book stands out due to its encouraging, nonjudgmental tone. Peery says up front that’s she’s no expert, but this fact makes her book all the more appealing. Readers will feel from the get-go that she’s on their side, rooting for them instead of giving them shortsighted advice on the “right” way to give birth. Indeed, she takes a back seat throughout much of the book, proffering short summaries about various facets of the labor and delivery process. Mostly, she quotes other women, who offer stories and advice about their own birth experiences. As a result, the book’s larger message becomes clear: There is no “typical” childbirth experience. Sometimes one woman’s quote will contradict another’s on the very same page. The effect, however, isn’t confusing—it’s illuminating, as it encourages women to be open to anything that might come their way. The book also doesn’t shy away from the unpleasantness of childbirth or its aftermath. However, sometimes readers may wish that Peery were more present in the text. In the opening, for example, she makes a vague reference to her own delivery, saying “Turns out I wasn’t the only one who didn’t experience ‘textbook’ labor.” Unfortunately, readers never get to hear about this in any detail, which might have made readers feel more connected to the material. In the end, however, the book encourages women to express what they’re feeling and what they need when the big day finally comes. Pregnant readers who finish this book will likely feel more knowledgeable and more secure about what’s ahead.
A solid, supportive advice book to help women through the physical and mental work of childbirth.