Part of my goal with the Balancing Life as a Mom blog is to help you vet out products that are heavily advertised to moms. As any mom knows, advertisers are constantly appealing to our innate desire to take the best possible care of our children – regardless of the cost. I myself had limited exposure to younger children when I was growing up, so I really had no idea what was truly necessary and what wasn’t. (Fun fact – the first diaper I’d ever changed in my entire life was for my son! Talk about starting out with ZERO knowledge base.)
Regardless, given my obsession with being organized and wanting to minimize the clutter in my life, I made a pact with myself from the beginning that I wasn’t going to let all that marketing get to me, and that I wasn’t going to be buying my child every new thing out there just because I thought it would be good for them. If you think about it, children have been raised for thousands of years without owning all the latest and greatest gadgets, and I would say that the majority of people have turned out just fine.
So my ruthless obsession with minimizing the clutter was turned onto all things baby. However, I have learned that babies and children do come with stuff – and lots of it. Some of it is absolutely necessary, some is just nice to have, and some is really overkill. So I want to share what I’ve learned with you in the hopes that you can keep more of your hard earned dollars to spend on what you really should be spending it on. This way you can avoid buying every must-have object that you come across (you know those ones that you regret spending money on later when it just collects dust after a few weeks or months of use).
In this category of blog posts you’ll find products that I’ve personally tried and deemed generally worthy of your time and money. Just like all parenting tips, not every recommendation will be worthwhile for every person, so be sure to read the full review before committing to a purchase to be sure that the product is right for you and your needs. But I hope to give you a great overview of my opinion of the product, and what I found most helpful or unhelpful. And if you like these reviews and would like to check out more of them, feel free to click on the Reviews & Recommendations link in the Categories sidebar on the right side of your screen (found on the bottom for mobile users). This will bring you to all the reviews I’ve done so far, and you can sort through by title to see what interests you most.
**Please note, this review refers to the Kindle version of the book.
I’ve previously reviewed two other books by Heidi Murkoff related to pregnancy (so you can tell I’m a fan of the information she provides!). In keeping with the series, here’s my review of her Eating Well When You’re Expecting book, which she dubs as “The Complete Pregnancy Eating Plan”.
Now if you have read either What to Expect Before You’re Expecting or What to Expect When You’re Expecting, you did get some pregnancy food and nutrition advice in those books. So why the extra book, and is it really necessary? Well, my answer for that is it depends.
There are five main reasons I would add this book to my pregnancy or pre-pregnancy reading list:
#1: If you really don’t have a nutritionally sound diet and need all the help and education you can get in order to optimally nourish your baby while pregnant.
Just think about it. Once you are pregnant, there really isn’t a whole lot you can do to control how your baby develops – other than what you put into your body for the next 9 months. So many of the other things are out of our control as far as genetic development and plain old luck goes. But what you eat, what you put on your skin, and what you expose your body to can have an impact on the health of your baby. And why go through all the bother of conception and pregnancy just to have a baby that isn’t as healthy as possible? So make sure you can influence what you can, by eating as best as possible until your baby is born.
Another bonus of eating well when pregnant (one that I really appreciated and benefited from as a formally overweight person!): since during pregnancy you’ll be gaining 25+ lbs., once baby comes you’ll probably want to take those pounds back off. And weight gained on high quality, nutritious foods is generally easier and faster to shed than weight gained on unhealthy junk calories. So not only will that good diet be benefiting your baby, but it will benefit you as well. And, if you can get the rest of your family (spouse and other kids) to eat that same healthy food, you’ll be benefiting everyone in the family! It’s a win for all.
#2: If you are an over-preparer like me and just want to be extra safe you are eating as perfectly as you can, even though you have a pretty good diet to start with.
I’m a firm believer that you can never have too much knowledge. The more you know (on any subject you are interested in or need to know about) the better decisions you can make. And because of those better decisions, you’ll generally be happier and have a better life. So even if you have a stellar diet already, there’s always something you can learn which will benefit you.
My rule of thumb is if I can even learn one new thing from a book, blog post, or conversation with someone who knows more than me, then the cost or time I invested was well worth it. Even one tip that’s implemented well can improve or dramatically change your life for the better!
#3: If you are struggling with food aversions or nausea and need help finding nutritionally sound and appetizing alternatives that you can keep down.
In my opinion, this is one of the most useful sections of this book. I didn’t have too many food issues with my first pregnancy, so the content wasn’t as helpful then. But in my second pregnancy, I had many more food issues. I had no appetite for much of anything during the first trimester and again in the last two months before delivery. Knowing what types of foods I could substitute from my normal diet to still get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients I needed was handy when I couldn’t find anything that looked appetizing. And not having to think much about the foods (when all foods already didn’t appeal to me) made the choices easier too. I found that the quicker I could make a decision about what to eat, and the less time I spent thinking about or focused on food, the easier it was to eat in general.
#4: If you are suffering from a lot of pregnancy “complications” (such as constipation, gassiness, heartburn, fatigue, dizziness, cramps, swelling, etc.).
Diet can play a huge role in making these symptoms better or worse. Diet changes alone may not completely eliminate these issues (pregnancy is not easy no matter what!), but having the proper food and drink intake, and knowing which foods may trigger or help decrease these symptoms can be super helpful. Again, diet is one of the most natural ways to help with these complications. And when pregnant, I’m of the opinion that it’s best to keep as many medications out of your body as possible – even medications that are deemed safe when pregnant.
#5: If you like cooking via recipes and want some new, pregnancy safe options to add to your eating routine.
The first half of the book is information, the section half is all recipes. And it includes a great variety of recipe choices! Not only are there options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but you’ll find drinks, snacks, and substitutions for various types of diets or food restrictions are offered as well (think vegetarian, diabetic, etc.). So if you like to cook, or would like to get started learning how to cook, these are some great recipes to get you started in a healthy, pregnancy safe way.
If any of those 5 reasons above apply to your pregnancy or pre-pregnancy situation, then I would absolutely recommend this book. If not, feel free to skip this one as long as you are comfortable on the basics of a healthy diet, food substitutions/alternatives, and have read some basic information already on the do’s and don’ts of safe pregnancy eating.
If you’d like to purchase this book, you can follow my affiliate link to find it on Amazon: What to Expect: Eating Well When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. I know it will answer your pregnancy diet questions, and give you some new tasty recipes as well!
All the best,
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with these products and I am recommending them because they are helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.