The trio of board-certified doctors behind Discovery Health’s Deliver Me, which is moving to Oprah’s OWN network this May, celebrate Mother’s Day with the release of their comprehensive and engaging The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. Leading readers from the first neo-natal stirrings through the postpartum process, Yvonne Bohn, Allison Hill and Alane Park pull from their professional knowledge—as well as what they’ve picked up along the way as mothers themselves. They told us what makes their guide different from other pregnancy books, what motherhood has taught them about doctoring and the best things a woman can do to prepare for pregnancy.
Check out our Mother's Day roundup of kids books.
What do you think most sets your book apart from other guides?
Yvonne Bohn: Our book is written by doctors who actually practice obstetrics. In addition, we are also moms so we have been through pregnancy and motherhood, too. Our book is written in a friendly style. The information has been researched to include only medically accurate information. We have also included a myth and facts section that helps debunk all the crazy information that is circulating either via wives’ tales or on the Internet. There is a chapter with our most frequently asked questions from our patients and the appropriate answers. Finally, it has real-life stories written by ourselves and our patients with different obstetric problems and outcomes. These stories are very personal and touching, which makes it a great read, too.
Was it difficult to determine which topics to include?
YB: We feel that we were able to include all of the information that we needed to. We approached pregnancy from preconception, through the trimesters and then included a postpartum section for the first three months.
Do you think being a mom has made you a better doctor?
Alane Park: Definitely. There is just no substitute for actually experiencing pregnancy and all its symptoms yourself to really understand a pregnant woman. We understand what it feels like to have morning sickness, to wonder if your baby is healthy and to struggle with breastfeeding. And being a doctor has made positive impacts on our roles as moms.
What do you think gave you the better insight for the book—experience as a doctor or a mom?
AP: Both. We wanted our book to feel as if you were talking to your best girlfriend, who just happens to be an Ob/Gyn. We wanted to inform and educate pregnant moms but also make moms feel reassured and comforted. And because the three of us had encountered personal struggles during our own pregnancies, we wanted women who may run into unexpected complications during their pregnancies to know and feel that with the right prenatal care and the right team of doctors, you too, will be OK.
Did you turn to books during your pregnancies?
AP: No, the hard scientific facts and information has been ingrained in us through many years of schooling and training. But all the nuances related to pregnancy and birth, I have to say, I've learned from my patients and their personal experiences. Our patients have been the greatest teachers.
What do you believe is the single most important thing a woman can do to have a great pregnancy and childbirth experience?
Allison Hill: Education. When women have knowledge that is accurate and insightful, they are empowered. Whether it is understanding what vitamins are needed, or how much to exercise, or how to design a birth plan.
What do you believe is the biggest misconception women have regarding pregnancy?
AH: That they can control everything. While healthy diets and habits are important, some things about pregnancy are out of their control. You often cannot control whether you have a miscarriage, whether you have a vaginal birth or Cesarean, or whether you deliver early.
What is the most important thing a partner can do to support the pregnant woman in their life?
AH: Be consistent with support and love, no matter what symptoms or moods may arise. Many women cannot control if they feel nauseous, tired, heavy, or scared. But having a partner who goes out of his way to make dinner, help around the house, or just give a massage can make all the difference to her.