- Why Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong - and What You Really Need to Know
- Narrated by: Karen White
- Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 08-20-13
- Language: English
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Regular price: $23.07
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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By C Paige on 08-21-13
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.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By J. Schmitz on 06-22-14
Pregnant? Read this and move on...
Would you listen to Expecting Better again? Why?
Yes, I would. Basically, I find most studies and "facts" about what you should and shouldn't do during pregnancy to leave me with more questions and doubt about their validity than I had before. To put it bluntly: most of it seems like a crock of crap, which is why this book is great. Emily Oster, writer and professor at the University of Chicago, breaks down what makes a study worth looking into and what makes it not worth getting yourself worked up over. The bottom line of the book is just listen to your body, listen to your healthcare professional, and then make the best decisions for you and your baby. There are too many variables out there to quantify and qualify everything it is said you should and shouldn't do, which has always been my thought all along. A lot of studies and books out there merely look at correlations (and not in very large or long term sample groups) and not causality before they put their stamp of approval on something. Then there is the whole cultural and lawsuit bias which swings things too. Bottom line: If you feel you've become a worrying pregnant nut job, read this book and relax. Unless you are an obese crack addict, jumping on trampolines with chainsaws and playing "Edward 40 Hands," you don't really need to change your lifestyle too much.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful