Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Review: The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy

The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy
I received a copy of The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy by Erika Lenkert which I offered to review.

In a word: Refreshing.

In a sentence: A colorful, fun, magazine-style book for the pregnant woman and her partner.

Erika Lenkert is a writer who decided to write the pregnancy book that she wanted to read while she was pregnant. The book focuses almost exclusively on the mom and her experience (and not on the baby & its development). It's refreshing in that it's really easy reading, broken up into small chunks; no topic goes on for too long. The design of the book is colorful and appealing, with nice (not cutesy) illustrations and typography (though the font they chose for the book is way-too-small for my eyes, which made me wonder if they were trying to say I'm too old to be reading it). Once I put on my reading glasses, I was drawn into the book and found myself turning the pages eagerly, waiting for the surprise on the next page. In addition to her own experience, Erika had 111 moms fill out a survey and she includes their feedback throughout the book. An OB-GYN reviewed the medical information.

Things I liked (in addition to those already mentioned):

  • Nice sections for the dad-t0-be, including tips on understanding his partner.

  • No avoided topics - sex during pregnancy, hemmorhoids, moodiness - it's all there.

  • Survey results like, "Top 10 Cravings" and "Creepiest Moments".

  • Recipes - e.g., Avocado Cream Pie & Tortilla Soup.

  • Tips about maternity clothes, including the fact that you're likely to be wearing them well after the birth.

  • Links & recommendations for sites, shops & books.

Things I didn't like:

  • Statements like, "It feels like an instant Charlie horse and fortunately goes away rather quickly." (about leg cramps). This seemed to be too much of a generalization based on her own experience. I had terrible-horrible leg cramps in my calf, in the front and the side of my lower leg. I had them going up my entire leg. Sometimes they lasted 10 minutes and longer & were intensely painful. Sometimes I had them in both legs simultaneously. (There were not many of these, just the ones there were really annoyed me. Another example is "Shopping is depressing". I loved buying maternity clothes...)

  • Use of terms like "Leaky Faucet" for urinary leaking and "Scary-olas" for the changes in the areolas. Personally, I prefer grown-up talk...

  • Erika claims to minimize the list of things you need for a new baby and some people might actually want to buy all the things on her list, but trust me, nothing happens if you don't have a changing table, a rocking chair and a bottle sterilizer (to mention just a few). After her introduction, I was disappointed not to find a "bare minimum" list. (I also never used a nasal aspirator and have no clue why you'd need 2.)
Overall, I'd say it's light reading, interesting and informative, with a lively, modern design. The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy is a book a pregnant woman would enjoy having even if she already has a stack of pregnancy books, because it really is different.


Anonymous said...

Should you find yourself with not enough room on your bookshelf, you know I'm just a few blocks away and wouldn't mind storing it for you. :)

AwkwardMoments said...

Oh cool - thanks for the review!

Bea said...

Glad you said that about the change table, rocking chair, bottle steriliser, nasal aspirator...


Anonymous said...

Hey Rachel:

Thank you for the wonderful review of my book! I'm glad you enjoyed the book, appreciate the constructive criticism, and am sorry to hear about your prolonged leg cramps!