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What to Expect when you're Expecting?

(29 Posts)
weeblueberry Fri 19-Oct-12 11:24:22

I always assumed this is the book I would buy but, having looked at the first chapter on Amazon is it very Americanised? Ideally I'd like something that gives information on how the British health care service works too since I think they do it slightly differently in the states?


TwitchyTail Sun 18-Nov-12 23:40:22

There is definitely a UK version that is up to date with current practice (and infinitely better than the US version).

See if your local library has it - if you go on their website, their will often be at least one copy per district, so you can order it to your local library for free. That's what I did. It was an interesting read and had lots of useful information but I'm not sure I'd have spent money on it, as you can get most information online now. I agree it has a slightly negative/overly-cautious tone (I completely ignored the diet chapter - who can fit in that many portions of protein a day, and more to the point, who cares??)

Splinters Sun 18-Nov-12 19:12:29

Yes to Sheila Kitzinger! I really recommend going to the library first and trying out a couple of preg books before you buy anything -- I've had several that looked good to start with but really hacked me off after a week or so, so I was delighted just to be able to take them back. SK in fact the only one that hasn't gone back in disgrace.

Quodlibet Sun 18-Nov-12 19:08:20

I find the tone of 'What to expect' really annoying - it's written in a really magazine style so uses loads of cringey cliches (worst example: bullet point list for men of how to adapt your sex life - every single point had a driving metaphor in it eg 'put her in the driving seat'. Do they think men need car analogies to help them understand sex?)

The information is pretty decent but I just keep thinking 'Christ if they cut out all the cutesy faff ('this week your baby's heart starts beating - and soon it'll have your heart all a flutter!') then it would be half the weight and wouldn't make my arms hurt when I am reading it in bed.

n0ne Sun 18-Nov-12 13:11:44

I've got the 4th edition WTE... published 2009 from Amazon (UK site) and it's def been Anglicised - you can tell. I'm finding it very useful and not judgemental or patronising at all.

Badgerina Fri 19-Oct-12 22:13:42

I hated it. I got Sheila Kitzinger's book this time around and it is much more sensible, informative and practical.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Fri 19-Oct-12 21:13:51

I detested WTE, to the extent that I recycled it rather than charity shopped it.

It was incredibly worthy. All very hysterical, especially about diet (as others have said). The tone is sort of 'well, of course you can choose to cross the road, but you might get knocked down. Is it any hardship really to stay on this side for 9 months if you love your baby'.

I had a Lesley Regan one which was ok.

Dandelion75 Fri 19-Oct-12 20:40:30

I bought What to Expect a few weeks ago and DP and I have been finding it really useful. I've heard people say how americanised it is before, but I think that's the case with some of the older editions as I haven't really noticed it. My copy is 4th edition from 2009 bought fromAmazon. I've just checked and has no references to taking your own dessert to a restaurant or banking your blood smile

It's a good book for reference as has a really detailed index, so if you suddenly find yourself with a new issue (bleeding gums is my latest!) you can easily look it up.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 19-Oct-12 20:16:17

If you are thinking of Bfing, did you know that the what to expect series is on the Kellymom books to avoid list? Having said that I haven't really got any suggests as we just had the Nhs one and signed up for the nct emails. Congratulations on your pg too smile

AllPastYears Fri 19-Oct-12 20:11:36

I hated What To Expect When You're Expecting. Maybe they've updated it since my copy (about 15 years ago) - if not, give it a wide berth!

It tells you to bank your blood in case you need a blood transfusion (the staff at my hospital would have rolled on the floor laughing at that one).

Dietary advice is bizarre - e.g. if your friends are going to a fast food restaurant and you want to go too, just eat a salad and take your own dessert. Take your own dessert??? And eat just a salad? I'd have been faint with hunger! But it does say that you can have the odd treat, like a piece of pie or slice of cake once a month. shock

phoenixrose314 Fri 19-Oct-12 19:41:39

Don't order from Amazon, go to your nearest Waterstones/Smiths and pick up a copy, that's what I did and my copy was Anglicised and I have read it thoroughly and found it very, very useful. Yes, it does present a list of what can go wrong, but it doesn't tell you that these things WILL happen, and it's reassuring to know that there is a reason for what is happening to you and gives advice on how best to cope with everything. It is also reassuringly honest about how you will feel emotionally (everything isn't always amazing and exciting), how it affects your relationship, work, and your life in the future. I also love how it goes month by month so you don't get overwhelmed (I only read each month as I go into it - don't want to overload my poor brain!)

I can honestly say I have used this book much, much more than The Pregnancy Bible or My Pregnancy Week By Week. It is reassuring, honest, friendly, and gives superb advice during a very difficult time - could not recommend it enough.

Paradisefound Fri 19-Oct-12 18:25:49

Pregnancy Bible is great.

kellestar Fri 19-Oct-12 16:58:35

I picked up what to expect... pregnancy, first year and toddler years second hand. They were a good source, if americanised, I liked the format of month by month and the asking questions and response. Yes it has little about the UK system, but as the UK system can also differ by hospital then it's hard to find any accurate book. I am expecting DC2 and still finding it a good reference book.

I have a handful of books. Pregnancy Week by Week was good for DH who likes to visualise things with facts. I also got passed on the first time parent book, which was quite direct about labour for the first timer.

I recommend popping along to your local library, I found a huge range of books and flicked through what was interesting, borrowed some, the ones I liked I picked up at NCT sales [there are always tons there] really cheap.

I hated one book and passed it on to a friend [no pictures, but lots of medical terms that overwhelmed me] she loved it as it was just what she wanted. However, I can not remember the name of it.

18wksplus Fri 19-Oct-12 15:59:54

If the website's anything to go by I'd personally avoid it: the website is full of good information but expressed in a very cheesy/American/annoying way...

And 'slightly differently' is an understatement (as I'm slowly and painfully finding out...)!

PeshwariNaan Fri 19-Oct-12 13:33:05

I thought What to Expect would be horrible but I was given a copy and actually really, really have used it. It's got a great section for partners to read and the information is thorough and very medical. It's not cutesy or patronising, and it's a big fat book with lots and lots of info for each stage. (I'm American and have the English version and have only noticed a few Americanisms in it, FWIW.)

I also liked Pregnancy Week by Week a lot - amazing full colour photos - but I think What to Expect has even more detail.

On the other hand, I thought the Best Friends' Guide was absolute, patronising, insulting rubbish! She gives extremely suspect 'medical advice' and you, the pregnant person, are called 'fat' all the way through. I don't find that cute or funny, personally. Additionally, there's aren't any photos, just a bunch of warnings about why you shouldn't wear leggings because you are so 'fat'. hmm

sayanything Fri 19-Oct-12 13:32:07

I hated it, I thought it read like a list of things that could go wrong.

milkyjo Fri 19-Oct-12 13:14:33

The Dept of Health one they used to give out at midwife appointments is good for a quick reference on the way NHS works. You can view it or print it off (would take a lot of ink and paper) online on the DOH website. You could have a look at this as well as investing in a more indepth book.

SchrodingersMew Fri 19-Oct-12 13:13:20

I had the MN books and loved them! smile

stickylittlefingers Fri 19-Oct-12 13:09:41

btw I liked the it so much I had the first 12 months and the 1-3 one too!

stickylittlefingers Fri 19-Oct-12 13:09:01

I had the WTEWYE too, and it was anglicised - and I really liked the way it said you can try this, or this, or this, see what you like (especially with the whole sleep issue) rather than insisting it knew best. I also wasn't living in the UK at the time. I liked the lay out too. Would recommend (though of course, go with what you like ;-))

mummy2benji Fri 19-Oct-12 13:08:31

I had What to Expect When You're Expecting and found it easy to read and helpful, and the management doesn't differ to the treatments offered here in the UK (I'm a GP so can verify that). It covers everything you need to know with chapters for your partner and in-depth chapters covering each step of your pregnancy. I recommend it!

AlisonDB Fri 19-Oct-12 13:02:20

My friend bought me " best friends guide to pregnancy"

It's covers UK & US, (neither of which is of any use to me as we live in The Netherlands)
But it was a good read and have lots of useful information.

weeblueberry Fri 19-Oct-12 12:01:32

Thanks guys. I might pop into Waterstones and have a flick through to see what it says. But I'm liking the look of the ones people have linked/mentioned too. Particularly the Pregnancy Bible book.

I'm not planning on buying any books til I've had my three month scan so it's a couple of weeks off yet but I'd like to be prepared when I do. smile

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 19-Oct-12 11:45:20

also like that what to expect gives much more sensible advice about exercise. First time round I got the impression from the british books that you were only supposed to do the odd aquanatal or antenatal yoga class.. I gave up everything else as didn't find any sensible advice about normal exercise.. and ended up with a back to back baby and a pelvis that woudln't open up!

steppemum Fri 19-Oct-12 11:38:54

I am pretty sure my version was an anglisiced one (can't actually remember) I found it useful as was overseas and long way form midwife/advice. I take all baby books with a pinch of salt though, and don't assume they are gospel

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 19-Oct-12 11:33:53

like fish I liked the pregnancy bible she linked first time round. its not too much to take in for a first time mum and has nice pics about how the baby and your body are developing

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