What to Expect When You’re Expecting

“Maybe you know the story (I tell it a lot) of how What to Expect When You’re Expecting was born. Or, really, how it was conceived, because that’s exactly how it happened. I conceived a baby, and then I conceived a book. And let’s just say, I didn’t expect either.

So, first, the baby. It was an “oops” pregnancy-as in, Erik and I got married and just 3 months later, oops . . . I was pregnant. Pregnant and completely clueless. Clueless about how I’d gotten pregnant (beyond the basic biology—I had that down, but I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to conceive) and clueless about what to do now that I was.

I searched in books (the only way we could back in the days before search engines) for answers to my questions, reassurance from my worries, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, a voice to talk me down and cheer me on through the exciting but bewildering pregnancy journey Erik and I were headed on. I read and I read, but I couldn’t find what both of us desperately needed to know: what to expect when you’re expecting.

So, I wrote a book—delivering the proposal for What to Expect When You’re Expecting just two hours before I went into labor with the baby who inspired it all, Emma. And the rest would be history, except that history doesn’t get rewritten (or at least, it shouldn’t), and pregnancy books do (or should, and often). After all, while some things about pregnancy never change (it’s still 9 months long, give or take, and you still get bloated, queasy, and constipated), many others do change. A lot.

With those changes in mind—and with the incredible insight and suggestions I receive online and in person from moms and dads around the world, hands down my most valuable resource—I’ve delivered again … for the fifth time.

What’s new in this fifth edition? Plenty, from cover to cover (including the covers—more about that later). You’ll find new “For Fathers” boxes integrated throughout the book that speak to dads’ unique concerns as partners in pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting (and also speak to partners who are other mothers, not fathers).

All the medical bases are completely covered and completely updated, of course: The latest on prenatal screening and diagnosis, the safety of medications during pregnancy (including antidepressants), cord blood banking options, complementary and alternative therapies, and a brand new section on postpartum birth control arc here.

Lifestyle trends get their due, too: from gender reveals to push presents, from ovcrcaffeinating at the coffee bar or sipping an occasional glass of wine or puffing on an e-ciga-rette or nibbling on a weed edible, to the wisdom of oversharing on social media, and much more. Pregnancy eating is on the expanded menu, including raw and Paleo diets, juicing, grass-fed, organic, and health foods (and supposed super foods), GMOs—even why eating peanuts and other nuts can actually help baby-to-be avoid allergies. The greening of pregnancy is covered, as well, including how to avoid BPA and phthalates.

There’s skin care, hair care, cosmetics and cosmetic procedures, and spa treatment guidelines for the expectant set. There’s simply a boatload of information for everyone who’s expecting: expanded advice on multiple pregnancy, back-to-back pregnancy (including breastfeeding while you’re expecting). IVF pregnancy, pregnancy after weight loss surgery. More birthing options, too: water and home births, delayed cord blood clamping, VBAC, and gentle cesareans, laboring down, and pushing positions.

And remember the covers I was telling you about? Well, there you’ll find a couple of special surprises: On the front, Emma, the baby who started it all, pregnant with her first baby (and our first grandchild), Lennox. Atfd on the back, who else? Lennox.

Just another couple of things I didn’t expect when I was expecting— and way more than I ever could have expected… or dreamed possible.

May all your greatest expectations come true!”

What to Expect When You’re Expecting  by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon pdf