Expecting Better

  • by Emily Oster
  • Narrated by Karen White
  • 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An award-winning social scientist uses the tools of economics to debunk myths about pregnancy and to empower women to make better decisions while they're expecting.
Pregnancy is full of rules. Pregnant women are often treated as if they were children, given long lists of items to avoid - alcohol, caffeine, sushi - without any real explanation from their doctors about why. They hear frightening and contradictory myths from friends and pregnancy books about everything from weight gain to sleeping on your back to bed rest. Economist Emily Oster believes there is a better way. In Expecting Better, she shows that the information given to pregnant women is sometimes wrong and almost always oversimplified, and she debunks a host of standard recommendations on everything from drinking to fetal testing.
When Oster was expecting her first child, she felt powerless to make the right decisions. How doctors think and what patients need are two very different things. So Oster drew on her own experience and went in search of the real facts about pregnancy using an economist’s tools. Economics is not just a study of finance. It’s the science of determining value and making informed decisions. To make a good decision, you need to understand the information available to you and to know what it means to you as an individual.
Take alcohol. We all know that Americans are cautious about drinking during pregnancy. Official recommendations call for abstinence. But Oster argues that the medical research doesn’t support this; the vast majority of studies show no impact from an occasional drink. The few studies that do condemn light drinking are deeply flawed, including one in which the light drinkers were also heavy cocaine users.
Expecting Better overturns standard recommendations for alcohol, caffeine, sushi, bed rest, and induction while putting in context the blanket guidelines for fetal testing, weight gain, risks of pregnancy over the age of 35, nausea, and more. Oster offers the real-world advice one would never get at the doctor’s office. The health of your baby is paramount, and with this practical guide readers can know more and worry less. Having the numbers is a tremendous relief - and so is the occasional glass of wine.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great info, but we need the charts & tables!

Would you consider the audio edition of Expecting Better to be better than the print version?

No. I haven't finished listening, but I'm disappointed by the references to charts and tables that I cannot see. Of course, this is to be expected in an audio book, but the reader doesn't really accommodate for this at all. I've seen other audio books with downloadable references - this book needs that feature!


Any additional comments?

Overall lots of great info! I read some of the excerpts online, but the book is worth reading for the detailed info it provides.

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- C Paige

A (Near)Magical Cure for Morning Sickness

In this wonderful book Dr. Oster provides many benefits. A brisk and enjoyable read. A great guide to the ins-and-outs of getting and (hopefully) staying pregnant. Evidence-based advice on why it is usually fine to continue living normally while pregnant, as well as warnings about the few real no-nos (like smoking and some queso dips). And clever practical advice, like how to find the ingredients for a proven safe and effective morning sickness cure in your local supermarket.
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- Andrew Sacher

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-20-2013
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.