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Pregnancy Calendar

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Week 15

Your Baby:

  • Is as big as a…wait for it…beefsteak tomato! Doesn’t that sound deliciously substantial? Am resisting urge to go pinch some produce as I type this.
  • Has started “breathing” amniotic fluid in through its nose and respiratory tract, giving those lungs some very early practice for the real thing. (Late in the third trimester, you can actually watch the fetal breathing on an ultrasound, and lo, it is very cool.)
  • Can sense light and pressure from outside of the womb, so if you want to get a jump start on annoying the crap out of your kid, shine a flashlight on your stomach or chase it around with the doppler wand every night. Or gently caress your belly while singing lullabies in a variety of foreign language and mediating on the Zen-ness of it all. You know, whatever your personal parenting style goes for.


  • May be experiencing some of the weirder symptoms of pregnancy, many of which can start early in the second trimester. Including! For example!
  • Sinus congestion! Runny nose! Stuffed-up nose! So much freaking mucus, and not in the places where you would ASSUME mucus would be involved. It’s called rhinitis of pregnancy and once again, they just blame it on “hormones.” Get yourself a humidifier or vaporizer, inhale steam in a fogged-up bathroom or try those saline nasal drops. Ask your doctor before taking any decongestant or medicated nasal spray.
  • Bleeding gums! A side effect of all that extra blood you’ve got coursing through your system. (Nosebleeds are common too.)
  • Skin pigmentation! The linea nigra, or that darkish line that runs down the center of your belly, sometimes shows up as soon as you start showing, sometimes much later. Moles, freckles and birthmarks can spread and/or darken. You might notice some melasma, or “mask of pregnancy” across your face, particularly if you spend a lot of time in the sun or have a naturally olive or darker complexion. A lot — but not all — of these changes will fade after you give birth. When in doubt, slather up on the sunscreen to increase your odds that they’ll be temporary.
  • Forgetfulness! Pregnancy brain! Gestational amnesia! Whatever you want to call it, you probably know what I’m talking about. In the past week alone, I’ve 1) run a load of laundry without any detergent, 2) made coffee without a filter, 3) tossed a Ziploc of frozen chicken to defrost in the sink but forgot to actually seal the bag, and 4) stared at my husband for three full minutes while trying to remember his name.

A few weeks ago, Your Intrepid Gestator was interviewed by The Washington Times for an article about the latest edition of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Once considered the grandmommy of all pregnancy books, the What to Expect… series has fallen a little out of favor, what with that impossible-to-obey diet section, the seemingly endless pages of worst-case scenarios that could be lurking beneath your normal-seeming symptoms, and what’s with the frumpy rocking-chair mom on the cover?

You can read the article here (I show up to crash the joint on page 2). It’s actually really interesting, because the author is keenly aware of these criticisms, and has sought to correct most of them in the newest version. Even the cover got a makeover! She gets to wear JEANS! And STAND UP! Ship your women back to the fundamentalist compounds — the pregnant women are getting all kinds of uppity.

Oh, I kid. What to Expect… was the first pregnancy book I ever bought — right when we agreed to toss the birth control pills but long before we conceived. Once I finally (FIN.UH.LEE.) got pregnant, however, I hightailed it back to the bookstore in search of an alternative guide, because my nerves couldn’t take any more. And this really wasn’t the book’s fault — in the pursuit of being the definitive, comprehensive guide to pregnancy, What to Expect... simply became TOO comprehensive. They couldn’t talk about X and Y without talking about Z, but unfortunately for us all, Z was the 1-in-32893803495702454 case of a spontaneous outbreak of the ebola virus in a perfectly healthy pregnancy, or something.

Basically, it was Google, and a thousand paranoid ill-advised searches for “weird rash 6 weeks pregnant missed miscarriage omg flesh eating disease,” all printed out and numbered by chapter for your convenience.

Here on Alpha Mom, the book sits at the top of the Product Ratings page for garnering the most reviews of anything we list. Lots of love, and lots of hate. Lots of accusations of being “old-fashioned” and “one big guilt trip.”

And in fact, the Internet seems to be a driving force behind the book’s update. Women are turning to other women. We don’t WANT to know everything that can go wrong, even though we might THINK we do. We want to be told that everything is okay, that X, Y and Z are ALL normal and harmless, and that we’re going to laugh at how neurotic we were about this someday when our baby is up at 2 am for the 132nd night in a row. We want reassurance that you don’t have to do pregnancy perfectly to have a perfectly healthy baby, because none of us are perfect.

And so the What to Expect… books are getting back in touch with the thing that made them so popular to begin with: they were written by a MOM and not a doctor. No perfect pregnancy diet, no dire consequences lurking behind every bag of Oreos. It really sounds like the book has been completely overhauled to reflect the modern pregnancy, which is most definitely NOT spent contemplating your bump in a rocking chair for nine months.

*clap clap clap clap!*

I use a lot of pregnancy books as reference for this column, but none for my own pregnancy-related questions. I generally turn to blogs or my friends or my friends’ blogs for those. I liked The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy but found it sort of dated (STIRRUP PANTS!!) and fluffy, I still use the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy but it’s kind of dry and missing the inherent humor and weirdness that comes with pregnancy, and I could never bring myself to open Pregnancy Sucks or similar books after battling with infertility. I’m a sucker for anything in the week-by-week format (no kidding!) but wish they included more first-person anecdotes to follow along with.

What about you guys? What books did you love? Or hate? Do you even bother with the books anymore, or do you go online instead?

Oh Yeah, THIS: I really wish I could remember where I put my keys. Also that glass of water I swear I just poured for myself. And wait, why did I walk down to the basement again?

New This Time Around: Oh God, I seem to have developed my very first skin tag. I read about these last time but never got them. I now have one in my armpit and ew. EW.


If you’re considering an online baby registry, we recommend our affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites onto to your baby registry.

Amazon Baby Registry 2

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering ...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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About the Author

Our Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty, was written by Amy Corbett Storch while she was pregnant with her second son, Ezra.

Amy, also known as Amalah, writes the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back here at Alpha Mom. You can follow her daily mothering adventures at her own site, Amalah.

About the Illustrations

The Zero to Forty illustrations were created by the artist Brenda Ponnay, aka Secret Agent Josephine. Brenda is very talented and these images are copyright-protected. You should hire her if you want your own unique ones.

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  • Julie

    April 30, 2008 at 10:42 am

    My favorite book when I was pregnant with my first son was “Pregnancy Journal: A Day to Day Guide to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy” by A. Christine Harris. It was very positive throughout and exciting to learn when my baby had eyelashes, or fingernails. I’m 35 weeks pregnant with my second, and have only looked at the book once this time around! Also, I agree with the What to Expect comments – I always made my husband read that book and he could only tell me the good things.

  • Tiffany

    April 30, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Ahh.. bleeding gums. I have those, check! I think that’s more gross than the skin tags (which I also have, check again!). I brush my teeth for about 10 minutes every morning until my toothbrush finally comes back blood free. It’s disgusting and I hate it (but fun to freak out my husband in the mornings when he’s being a jerk).

  • joysdair

    April 30, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I’m not sure if it is available in the US (I’m in the UK), but The Rough Guide to Pregnancy & Birth by Kaz Cooke is hilarious. It includes a week by week diary with an informative summary thing and kooky cartoons (always a plus). Definitely no scary stories, though you’d probably want the Mayo Clinic or something similar to back it up for serious reading. You’ve gotta love a book that describes the linea nigra as a line to the map of Tassie.

  • Karen Lee

    April 30, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    I have no books. I can’t see the point when all the information I need (and more! Much more!) is available right here on the tubes.
    My very favoritest week by week guide is… um… this one. Seriously. But that doesn’t help you, does it?
    So far things have been all quiet on the first trimester front, so there’s not too much I need to do at the moment… but that doesn’t stop me from reading online pregnancy resources pretty much non-stop.

  • Amy Corbett Storch

    April 30, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Skin tags will FALL OFF if you mess with them enough? Oh happy-yet-totally-gross day. Now all I need to do is figure out an inconspicuous way to poke the hell out of my armpit. Hmm.

  • psumommy

    April 30, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I’m loving The Pregnancy Book by Martha Sears (and 50 bajillion other people) this time around. I used Pregnancy Week By Week with my other 3 and loved it. And like every other mom out there ever, I bought What To Expect the second I got that pink line with my first and proceeded to HATE HATE HATE it. I was pretty even-keeled about the whole pregnancy thing, but I would be in a panic for days every time I’d read that book.
    As for skin tags- I had 2 or 3 with my first and ewwww, I can’t *stand* skin tags. What is it about them that’s so gross, I don’t know, but YUCK. I did find, however, that if you mess with them (a lot and constantly, I am really weird) they will fall off. All on their own, it’s so weird! (Ewww!)

  • Karen S

    April 30, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I had an armpit skin tag (and no pregnancy to blame). After a few months I accidentally-on-purpose shaved it off. It barely hurt and that was the end of that.
    I read something once about doctors taking them off with threads, or something. Personally, I’d always go with the razor…

  • Emily

    April 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I don’t know what a skin tag is and I’m too afraid to google it. (my eyesssss!) little help here?

  • jodie

    May 1, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    With my first child, I loved the books by Ann Douglas – “The Mother of All Pregnancy Books” and then “The Mother of All Baby Books.” She has a nice style of writing, used lots of quotes from “real” mom’s experiences, and her advice and attidude were very common-sense based. She didn’t go out of her way to scare her readers, but did tell you what risks to avoid.
    Mostly, I like your Zero to Forty column and I’m not even pregnant (yet).

  • Wallydraigle

    May 1, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy.
    My sister had it back when she first got pregnant. I was 20 and nowhere near pregnant, but I still read it and loved it. And then I bought it for myself first thing I found out I was pregnant. It’s even funnier now because I know what she’s talking about. Sometimes I laugh until I cry. My video-game crazy husband even read the whole thing.

  • Amy Corbett Storch

    May 1, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    I keep HOPING my razor will take care of it, but so far, no luck. Damn safety razors, I guess.
    Good call, Emily, on the Not Googling. (I googled just to confirm that yes, it was a skin tag and WHOO BOY DO I REGRET THAT.) It’s kind of exactly what it sounds like — a longish flatish bit of skin growing outward. I thought mine was a raised mole at first but it’s flatter and longer than that. I doubt ANYONE could spot it, even if they were staring really hard at my armpit for some reason, but I DO NOT LIKE IT. ‘TIS EW.

  • ImpostorMom

    May 1, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I actually really enjoyed Pregnancy Sucks. It took me a good long while to get pregnant but I found the title to be sort of funny and I liked how it was organized. Plus my husband ACTUALLY read Pregnancy Sucks for Men so that was an up as well. I liked the Girlfriend’s Guide and generally used What to Expect as a reference. Other than that it was chat boards all the way.

  • Heather Flett

    May 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I discovered the Pregnancy Countdown Book a little late, but loved it! I used Your Pregnancy Week by Week the first time around and couldn’t be bothered second time around. I enjoyed the Babycenter emails too (am I allowed to say that?).

  • cnanavati

    May 3, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I like the Girlfriends guide except any time the author talks about weight gain and going back to a size 8 or whatever. As a size 22/24 when I got pregnant, I just roll my eyes at her “OMG I’M SO FAT AT 150 LBS!!!!” mentality.
    I’m keeping the Pregnancy Week by Week in teh bathroom to conveintly reference on my 243387 trips to the bathroom each day.
    I also like pregnancy sucks, but that’s because while I’m SO grateful to be pregnant again and to have a little one who is staying and growing this time, I’ve had the worst morning sickness EVER and am often miserable.
    I also like Your Plus Sized Pregnancy for those of us who started this journey a bit heavier than the rest of you.

  • Mrs Burton 01

    May 6, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Hi There! I am currently 24 weeks with my first child and have found the best pregnancy read to be Kaz Cookes “Bun In the Oven: The Real Guide to Pregnancy”. It gives you plenty of information, but also looks at the funny things that happen to you along the way while you’re cooking.
    This book very quickly replaced “What to Expect” (because I found that way too scary), but I still refer to “What to Expect” as a back up when I want to know something specific.
    As a side note, I’m actually in Sydney Australia, and Kaz Cookes book is called “Up The Duff” here!

  • kathrynaz

    May 7, 2008 at 3:23 am

    The problem with the pregnancy books lies in the fact that there are certain weeks where there pretty much isn’t anything interesting happening… so they somehow feel the need to go THERE (there meaning the scary bad place of “just so you know that even though you seem to be doing fine, everything could very well not be so fine.”) I tortured myself with Your Pregnancy Week by Week and What to Expect… for Pregnancy #1. This pregnancy, Ive been remarkably book (and google) free and doing much better for it!

  • heels

    May 7, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    I detested everything abut What to Expect. I felt the exact opposite about the Sears’ books, and actually found them to be terrifically calming, especially the Birth Book.

  • Katie

    May 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I’m not pregnant–but my friend was and she loved Frankly Pregnant by Stacy Quarty. I also read it and thought it was hilarious!

  • Karen Lee

    May 22, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    I just read The Girlfriend’s Guide and was woefully disappointed.
    There were many questions that she just sort of… asks… and says, “Gee, I don’t know! I guess someone could ask a doctor and find out!” I was left thinking, “Well, aren’t YOU writing a BOOK on this?? Why don’t you go ask a doctor?”
    And the whole thing where she said pregnancy is really 10 months and then every time she said “9 months” she’d put “(10 months)” next to it… that thing got really annoying. 40 weeks! A month is about 4.3 weeks! That’s 9 months, plus a little! Not 10. And if you take out the 2 weeks where you’re not actually pregnant, it’s just 9 months.
    And she seemed really shallow… and not in a good, cute way at all. Just… shallow.
    But the worst part was how utterly dismissive she was of women who want natural childbirth and breastfeeding. Ok, I get it, she needed the epidural – she seems pretty defensive about it, though, and tries to make women who make different choices into granola-amazon irrational types with “something to prove”.
    Now I’m reading Our Bodies Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth and it is sooooooooo much better.

  • Paranoid

    August 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I actually really loved What to Expect. I liked that it was comprehensive, and I didn’t find it at all alarmist. In fact, I wish they’d been more explicit/detailed about things like ectopics and missed abortion, because maybe then those things wouldn’t have been so shocking when they happened to me.
    I also had The Girlfriend’s Guide, but like the previous poster, I found the author’s obsession with her weight off-putting.

  • Frema

    August 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I agree with Paranoid Mama – I really liked What to Expect. I loved the Q&A format, and I thought the author was always very reassuring. While a lot of complications were mentioned, it was with a “But this is rare, and you are probably fine” attitude, which I appreciated. And …The First Year had a wonderful breastfeeding section. It had great practical tips without hitting you over the head with philosophy.
    I’ve read the third and fourth editions of the pregnancy books and don’t understand why this series has gotten such a bad rap. At least, those specific editions.

  • Jennie

    August 28, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    I’m in the camp of those who found What to Expect alarmist and off-putting … I bought it when I was pregnant with my first 8 years ago. I was a ball of nerves, plus the writing is irritatingly pun-infested. I find it difficult to get past the terrible writing.
    This time around, I was given a copy of What to Expect by my OB, and I tried to get my significant other to read the husband portion of the book, and he hated how ridiculous the writing was, too. So I bought him The Expectant Father by Armin Brott, and we both really love it (I like knowing what they’re going through, too!).
    I’ve never really found a book I LOVED on pregnancy … either they’re too staid or too fluffy. I get several week by week e-mails though that are pretty fun and informative.

  • ElenaK

    October 8, 2008 at 11:50 am

    O’k.First book I bought was “A talking pregnancy” by Olga Budina(russian actrees).I was dreaming about buying it first during my long battle with infertility.I love this book.Unfortunatly,this book was written in Russian,so most of you can not read it.But if you have any chance-ask your Russian friend(if you have any) to translate it for you.
    Now on my bed table are a lot of books:Mayo’s Guide,Week by week Pragnancy Guide,Inna Mays Guide to childbirth(i’m saving it for later).
    I think you can’t stop only on one book.It’s better to have couple on hands and explore the web-so you can build “whole picture”

  • ali

    December 28, 2008 at 6:58 am

    I don’t have any skin tags and never have, but I read somewhere once that if you tie a thread really tight quite close to the skin the tag before you go to sleep it will drop off by the time you wake up. Like I said I’ve never had any so i can’ say for sure if it works but I’m sure I heard it somewhere as well as reading it.

  • Leigh from 123 blog

    March 9, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I love What to Expect. When I have weird things happen (and these are IVF babies so it’s been a LONG road) I can quickly look it up and see that it’s normal or not (so far all normal)

  • Jo

    May 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I’m 15 weeks along, and have been subscribed to the daily emails since the beginning. LOVE THEM.
    As far as other resources…well, Amalah, you’re it! Heh. No, really, my mom had 5 of us so she kind of knows what’s up. I rely a lot on her wisdom. And shoulder. Which I cry on. When I drive 15 minutes out of the way because I can’t remember where I was going.

  • Vicky

    June 4, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    From The Hips. Great book with little information bubbles from real Moms and Dads. Hate the medical books filled with transparent shrimp like babies. Gross. My baby is a perfectly formed and opaque (just really really small right now at 15 weeks).

  • Ash

    September 17, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I have Pregnancy Sucks and I love it. I’m glad I’m pregnant and I planned on this pregnancy, but let’s face it–it can pretty much suck. I’m grateful, but that doesn’t mean I have to love the act of puking everyday for 2 months. I’m grateful, but that doesn’t mean I have to love not being my normal, happy go lucky self lately. And I also don’t love heartburn, gas, not being able to stomach the foods I once loved, etc. All I can say is, I cannot wait til this baby is born–25, 26 weeks from now!

  • Emilyjappe

    October 19, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I was also one of those who, once my husbnad and I found out, to Barnes and Nobles we went! We picked up what to expect, I like honesty and funny comparisons, like for instance, comparig the baby to a beefsteak tomato lol! I absolutely love this blog but I have to say I’m surprised I haven’t seen it on any other comments…my all time favorite pregnancy book so far is Jennifer mccarthy’s “Belly Laughs”! It is by far totally and grossely honest, talking about all the stuff no one when their pregnant wants to talk about, and she does! She points out things that with other books I have read I would have never related it to pregnancy and it was always funny. Wonderful wonderful book. I highly suggest it. 🙂

  • Amy23

    December 31, 2009 at 8:22 am

    So Yesterday at my third appointment I found out I have O- blood. So what does that mean? A shot at 28 weeks and one after the baby is born, to not allow my body to develop something that may see my next pregnancy as a disease and attack it. Plain and simple right. Not according to the (not my normal) nurse that said if you don’t get this shot your blodd will attack and kill your baby. Good thing I am still halfway rational and waited to talk to my (Amazing, awesome)doctor that explained it corectly and put me at ease. Fun!

  • Becca

    January 10, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    For me, I bought the WTE book as soon as I found out I was pregnant. However, I find it, and even the website a little bit lecture-y. It’s a wonderful guide, if you take it as just that. I pretty much only read the week-by-week part, and will come to your site. I love having a real person talk about their pregnancy. Mainly because you know all too well that while pregnancy is pretty amazing, it can also be less than amazing at times. And I love that perspective, it’s something I haven’t found any where else. Plus, you’re well-informed, and really funny, so that totally helps too.

  • Ainnir

    February 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I liked the What to Expect books, though one read through is like enough. But I did a few things: I read it for comprehensive information, took it with a grain of salt, I recognized the difference between common and unlikely, and I didn’t seek it for humor. I’ve read the Girlfriends Guide to Toddlers book and I’m sure I’d enjoy her pregnancy book. And I enjoy this blog too. I’m 15 weeks into my third pregnancy, and this is a good mix of refresher info and humor.

  • Jen

    March 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    1) My boss, who referred me to this blog (and lent me all of her maternity clothes – yes, I have the best boss ever), also lent me “The Expectant Father,” which my husband and I both have really enjoyed so far. I agree with the above comment – it’s really nice to have a reminder to think about what he’s going through every now and then.
    2) Thank you thank you thank you for writing about the congestion. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before??
    3) Skin tags? Really?

  • Sarah

    May 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    FAN -FLOGGING(in xchange for another “F” word) -TASTIC! I felt SO guilty hating books like “what to expect” and have yet to feel all…mushy (?) about my baby. I wrote the book on sarcasm so your weekly trips are right up my alley! Don’t get me wrong, totally pumped for baby…but I prefer your honest approach. And thanks for turning the weekly produce lesson into a bit of hilarity. You’re my kind of momma…and I’m closing my ‘BUMP’ account as well as all the others! 

  • Kat S,

    June 14, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I live in the US but ordered a version of Kaz Cookes “Up the Duff” on ebay. It is just what you asked for (and has been recommended above). It is in week-by-week layout, humorous, and also has a first person “diary” account. This is my second time around and I glance at my well-worn “What to Expect” but I am re-reading “Up the Duff” word for word again. A lot of the humor and wording is Australia lingo that is sometimes lost on me, but for the most part it is easily translated automatically in an American brain, even a pregnant American brain. 

  • Brittney

    June 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I like the book What to Expect When You’re Expected. It’s kind of a farse, but still fun and informative nonetheless. It’s told from the point of view of the fetus-which has some HILARIOUS thought provoking anecdotes. It also pokes fun at the old wives tales, that we’ve all no doubt heard at the check out line far more times than we can count.

  • Ambs

    August 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Oh baby brain. From putting clean dishes away in the refrigerator to telling my mom happy birthday on her anniversary… I have it. Real bad. It’s real!

  • Steve

    September 26, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    132th should be 132nd

    • Isabel Kallman

      Isabel Kallman

      September 27, 2013 at 3:09 am

      Good catch, Eagle-eye-Steve. Thank you, we fixed it. 🙂

  • Miranda Carey

    October 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    My favorite pregnancy book has to be Belly Laughs: The Naked  Truth on Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy. It’s not week by week or month by month but it does talk honestly about all those pregnancy symptoms that the vast majority of us will go through at some point and does so with a sense of humor behind it. I could totally relate to about 98% of it and was laughing the entire time I was reading it too. 

  • millers

    January 3, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I would really love for my normal brain to return.  I am feeling pretty “blonde” these days.  For example, yesterday I referred to Gelato as “Gel-a-toe”.  My sister got a good laugh.  About as good as I did when you couldn’t remember your husband’s name, because I have SO been there!  I haven’t been reading anything BUT this blog throughout my whole pregnancy.  I will highly recommend it to anyone!

  • Stacey

    January 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    My favorite book thus far is The Panic Free Pregnancy. It made me feel more at ease and relaxed about the choices we have to make while pregnant (i.e. diet and exercise, traveling, etc) by presenting facts and studies to back them up. I’m the kind of person that not only wants to know what I am and am not supposed to do, but why as well. Why can’t I do this? Why should I do that? “Because so and so said so” just doesn’t cut it for me! Granted, I take all of what the book says with a grain of salt and I still listen to what my gut tells me about my choices but stress can be worse than anything during pregnancy and this book helped relieve at least that!

  • Claire

    February 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I love Ina May Gaskin.  She’s a super hippie from the 60s and 70s and is known as “the mother of authentic midwifery.”  Her books have a lot of other people’s experiences in them, which I really loved.  They also hold the theme that child birth is completely natural, not scary, not a medical condition, etc. etc. which I really liked as well.  

  • Sarah

    June 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I just started Bringing up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Duckerman. So far so good. It’s pretty funny in some parts. I mainly bought it to read on how to not raise picky eaters.

  • Melinda

    July 9, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Am I the only person who DESPISED Girlfriend’s Guide? I guess a well-to do woman with a formerly “flat” stomach complaining about how HIDEOUS and FAT (gasp!) you’re getting and how your nasty man-child husband thinks you look DISGUSTING means something different when you’re already fat.

    Seriously, if my child’s father ever acted how she describes her husband, I would have left a long time ago.

    Anyway, I have every book. Mayo Clinic, What to Expect, Pregnancy Bible, etc

    The only book I like and care to read is The Happiest Baby on the Block.

    It’s your only must-have. It is too new motherhood what Harry Wong’s books are to becoming a teacher.

  • Elizabeth

    September 1, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Just last week I finished reading “Dad’s Expecting, Too!” by Harlan Cohen. It’s written from the male perspective, but it is very informative and has humor and personal anecdotes (from men and women) on almost every page. I checked it out for my husband to peruse, but once I opened it I finished the 500-page thing in less than 2 weeks!
    This is my first pregnancy…and I love hearing that “pregnant brain” is nothing to be ashamed of! My hubby is bewildered by it!

  • Kate

    September 13, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Oh I despised Up the duff by Kaz Cooke!! Im Australian and that is the book most recommended to me but after reading it I was consumed by thoughts it was normal to be miserable for 9 months, get terribly fat, be constantly uncomfortable and really just wish the whole thing away. Sure, pregnancy can suck, but I needed more of a positive spin on things, especially when it felt like my morning sickness would never end! Birthing from within is next on my list.

  • Haley

    October 4, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Soooo can I just say how crazy it is that during this week I am reading your joke about the ebola virus and we ACTUALLY have an outbreak of ebola officially confirmed in the U.S.
    Kind of unnerving :/

    • Isabel Kallman

      Isabel Kallman

      October 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      The weird thing is that this post was written 5 years ago.

  • Jamie

    January 26, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    So I know this post is several years old, but I’m going to throw my two cents in anyway. During my first pregnancy, a friend bought me every book on the market, and I read approximately 2 chapters total. I get the Baby Center weekly emails and click on over to your site for some entertaining commiseration. (Oh, also this is my second time through, and I’ve always had lots of skin tags, and regardless of what the doctor tells you, the lasering and pulling and playing with them until they fall off does not work…especially for the one on my eyelid. Skin tags are the bane of my existence, and pregnancy has made them 3,000 times worse. Blah.)

  • Emy

    March 12, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    I hate what to expect! I read it after a miscarriage and it made me put off trying to concieve again because I was sure I was an unfit mother!
    I read expecting better by economist Emily Oster and it made me feel a whole lot better.

  • Miranda

    April 21, 2015 at 8:53 am

    I read the week by week info in What to Expect but tried my hardest to stay away from the sections about possible complications and what to expect when things dont go as planned. That part scared me every time I got anywhere near it. I loved the book Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy. It had all the info I really wanted (the stuff about what’s normal and to be expected at any given point in pregnancy) without the scary stuff and written with a sense of humor.

  • Alishia

    March 3, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Yes yes yes on the stuffy nose!!!!! I’ve never had allergies rarely get sick but about a week ago bam! Nose blowing snuffling sniffling all the dang time!!! This is my 3rd baby 4th pregnancy and by this point I don’t really read the books anymore but I love your blog! You put it in real person terms plus you help me laugh at the non funess pregnancy can at times be