Expecting Better- one of the better pregnancy books I’ve read so far

k2-_20e571ad-042c-45a3-9052-cf1761b07113_v1I just finished Expecting Better, by Emily Oster and rather enjoyed it. She’s not a doctor, but an economist and she approaches her research pretty thoroughly and weighs the pros and cons of each situation.

I did learn some new stuff. It reinforced some of my own heavily googled research on certain topics (like a glass of wine) and really drove home the dangers of turkey deli meat, which I had been dabbling in here and there (but no more!)

My doctor had already ok’d a glass or two of wine a week and I ran across this book while looking up articles on the topic for the millionth time. I’m just terribly paranoid and I terribly want to have a glass of wine with my dinner. In the book, she says it is ok to have as much as a small glass of wine every evening as long as you drink it slow and not on an empty stomach. So I now compromise and let myself have a half glass of red wine here and there, only with food. It makes me happy and I don’t feel the need for more.

But she covers much more than that- like the different dangerΒ levels of food on that long no-no list. She says sushi is actually ok if it is a low mercury fish and that if you did actually get sick from it, it wouldn’t hurt the baby at all. However, that the deli meat situation with Listeria would be very very harmful to the baby and is best avoided if possible. I was mildly freaked out to learn listeria could be lurking in any fruits, veggies and meats that had long term refrigeration. I think she said the last big outbreak before turkey was in celery. Good thing I hate raw celery.

She also covers some stuff I wasn’t even aware about, like cervical checks leading up to your due date and whether they are necessary and could actually do harm by introducing bacteria even with the gloves on. Apparently cervical dilation in the weeks leading up to your due date does not give an indication of when you might go into labor. You could walk around partially dilated for weeks. Also she said it hurts. I had no idea I had this uncomfortable vagina poking experience on the horizon. I tried googling it and it sounds like the doc basically sticks a hand in and pokes a finger in your cervix to see how open it is. I just kept thinking- can’t they do this with an internal ultrasound? Do I have options here?

A good read overall. She presents her research and her conclusions, but it’s always best to take in all the info and draw your own conclusions and figure out what makes you feel good about each situation.


9 thoughts on “Expecting Better- one of the better pregnancy books I’ve read so far

  1. Woo hoo! I wish I had heard about this book earlier, as by the time I did I was more than halfway through the pregnancy and I’m not sure it would have done me as much good. Oops. πŸ˜›

    I LOVE the research about the wine! I have let myself have the VERY rare occasional glass of wine. I think I had one late in the 1st tri, one in the 2nd tri, and then one at Thanksgiving and Christmas each. πŸ™‚ Now that I’m as far along as I am, I may be a little more lenient to allow myself one a week. I too have mine with food as I get nervous to do it on an empty-ish stomach. I just love my white wine! πŸ˜€

    • I love white wine too- that’s actually why I chose to go with red wine. I know I won’t accidentally chug it, LOL. My friends keep telling me they are handing me a bottle of Pinot Grigio immediately after birth πŸ˜‰

      • HAHAHA! Yeah I can’t do red. Just can’t. But I don’t chug the white! I actually drink it so slow that it is warm by the time I finish… πŸ˜€ Oh well. I love the taste. Slow sips of a single glass will last me another nine or so weeks. πŸ˜‰

  2. Love it! Im going to get this now. Ive always had strong feelings about the non-nos and yes’s in pregnancy. Sushi was at the top of my lost of things i find rediculous to not have since its so damn good for you.

  3. My mom and my wife roll their eyes at me every time I turn down lunch meat because of listeria, and now I want to buy this book and rub it in their faces!

    • I have to admit, I was an eye roller at first. I was like, turkey?? really?? But I understand the reasoning behind it a bit more now. Listeria is no joke!

  4. Whaaaaaa? A dose of sanity about a glass of wine in pregnancy? I must get this book πŸ™‚ I’m with you, lady – I have an occasional glass of red wine too. My sister jumped down my throat about it last week, and I just shrugged. I have an ounce or two per week; I pointed out that plenty of women in plenty of countries do this and do not give birth to deformed idiot babies. And since she jumped into that shark tank first, I REALLY WANTED TO mention that she had soda throughout her pregnancies and perhaps that had something to do with her kids’ ADD, using the new study about how mice show a preference to sugar over cocaine, underscoring the addictive properties of it? But I restrained myself. I eat very well, I only drink water and tea and decaf coffee and an occasional glass of red wine. I love my gestating fetuses just as much as she loved hers. UGH. The Puritanical crap drives me batshit crazy! πŸ™‚ Thanks for this post, lady! Glad you’re feeling well!

    • I hope this attitude catches on! I feel so conspicuous when I steal sips of my husband’s wine when we are at dinner. Just waiting for someone to give me the stink eye. At least I can enjoy it without regret in my own home πŸ™‚

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