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, 4th Edition. The ad links above and below take you to Amazon, in case you wanted to purchase any of these books for yourself.
I’ve previously done a review on another of Heidi’s books – What to Expect Before You are Expecting (you can find that review here if you are interested). Since I found so much beneficial information from that book, I had to follow up and read this one when our first pregnancy was confirmed! And just like with the other book, I read this a second time through during my current pregnancy as well. Even though pregnancy this time around is a little more of a “been there, done that” scenario, I’m always wanting to be over-informed on things rather than allow myself to forget something critical which could impact the health of my baby. This book starts out much like her Before You are Expecting book, with a brief overview of things to prep for if you haven’t yet conceived. But it’s most definitely not as exhaustive as the book designed exclusively for preconception prep. So if you are looking for preconception preparation, you should read her other book. However, this one really gets into the meat of pregnancy and what to expect! (As the clever name implies).
And even though the name can be cliché, it really is truly nice to know that what you may or may not be experiencing is completely normal. I found pregnancy to be a time of so many changes – both expected and unexpected. And it’s beyond reassuring to know that it can be completely normal – even when it’s unexpected for you. And since every pregnancy is different (I’m really learning that the second time around!), it’s nice to know that things you experience in your second pregnancy – which may not have happened in your first – are completely normal as well.
Books such as these can cut down on a lot of anxiety and unnecessary trips to the OBGYN. A few dollars investment which can save you time, money and give you peace of mind. More than worth it in my opinion!
In this book you’ll get overviews and information on:
- Testing for pregnancy
- Making sure you have found a good provider to care for you
- What you should find out about your medical history moving forward
- All the genetic tests available and which are best for your situation
- Dos and don’ts while pregnant
- Food safety when pregnant
- What to expect month to month as you go through your pregnancy
Essentially – everything you had questions about or didn’t even think to ask about when pregnant. This book provided me with so many answers to questions that I didn’t even know that I had, and for that I have to give it a glowing recommendation.
I also preferred both times to read this book a little at a time. The first few chapters I flew through, but once she started to go chapter by chapter relating to each month of pregnancy, I would wait to read that chapter until I was physically there in my pregnancy. That way everything that would be relevant for my current month would be top of mind and I’d be able to address anything that needed to be addressed in a timely manner. I didn’t want to read the whole thing through immediately only to forget something vital after pregnancy brain kicked in a few months down the road.
However, once I reached the section on the ninth month, I did speed read through the next few chapters on labor and delivery – that wasn’t something I wanted to wait too long to prep myself for!
Finally, Murkoff ends the book with a brief overview of the post-partum period and breastfeeding. I felt it was nice to have that continuation since delivery is really only the beginning of a new journey. And having a new baby in your life can be joyous, yet unsettling. There are so many appointments leading up to the birth, you can almost feel a little abandoned once the baby has finally arrived. These chapters can help you cross that next threshold a bit more comfortably.
There are also bonus chapters for dads and other special circumstances which you can read to supplement if you need to (such as what to do for acute or chronic illnesses when pregnant, pregnancy complications, how to deal with pregnancy loss, etc.). Again, because I’m a nerd, I read the whole book through – even the chapters that didn’t relate to my situation. I do this partly out of curiosity and partly because I like to be as informed as possible, even if I might not need to know everything I am learning.
I found this book to be so comprehensive in its content that I didn’t feel the need to read any other books on the pregnancy process. I was reassured, prepared, and confident in what I learned – which after all is what a good book should do for you on this topic! So, do I recommend this book? 100%! If pregnancy is in your future, make sure you add this to your reading list, or like me, read it as your pregnancy happens to you!
If you’d like to purchase this book, you can follow my affiliate link to find it on Amazon: What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. I know it will answer your pregnancy questions, and congratulations if you are already on your way!
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.