They’re not called the “Mommy Docs” for nothing. The authors of this guide to pregnancy and birth have not only collectively delivered more than 15,000 babies, but they’re also mothers who have each encountered a complication during pregnancy. If Drs. Yvonne Bohn, Allison Hill, and Alane Park look familiar, that’s because they are also the featured physicians on the TV series Deliver Me, currently in its third season on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. Never tiring of the “Big Show,” as they call the delivery process, these OB/GYNs now deliver their published wisdom and experience to women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.
The guide begins with chapters on preparing for pregnancy, including information on choosing a doctor, preconception testing for genetic diseases, and diet and exercise. It continues with chapters that follow the order of pregnancy phases. For each trimester, the authors discuss the development of the baby, changes to the mother, potential complications, and activity adjustments. A chapter dedicated to the birth day explains the stages of labor, options for pain management and delivery, and what’s needed to bring the baby home. It also gives parents a sample birth plan for reference.
Not simply stopping with delivery, the authors dedicate a chapter to the “Fourth Trimester,” or the days, weeks, and months spent adjusting to a newborn, covering such valuable topics as the baby’s sleep cycle and breastfeeding basics. Because most pregnancies progress normally, they relegate chapters on complications in early pregnancy and high-risk pregnancies to the latter part of the book. The final chapters, “Things You Never Expect When You’re Expecting: Coping with Curveballs” and “Frequently Asked Questions and Frequently Repeated Myths,” fill in the gaps, from in-laws and unsolicited advice to sex during pregnancy (yes, unless a doctor advises against it) and stretch marks (no, cocoa butter can’t prevent them).
While the facts are important, it’s the Mommy Docs’ comforting tone that makes this guide both invaluable and appealing. Recognizing that pregnancy is as much about emotional changes as it is about physical changes, they set their guide apart from others by providing heartfelt personal experiences and those of many of their patients. Whether it’s a reader’s first, second, or even third child, there’s good advice for every kind of pregnant mother.