There are a lot of pregnancy books out there. When I was pregnant the first time I remember scouring the bookstore looking for every single pregnancy book I could find. With my next pregnancy, when I found out I was having twins, I was back at the bookstore buying up every single pregnancy and baby book they had on twins. I guess you could say I’m a pregnancy book junkie.
So when Mother Talk asked me to review another pregnancy book I agreed. Even though I’m not pregnant. And don’t plan to ever be pregnant again. But this isn’t just any pregnancy book. This is The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book by Marjorie Greenfield, M.D. I wish this book was around when I was pregnant. And working.
This book touches on the things you would expect from a pregnancy book. Things like how to choose a doctor, how the baby grows, medical tests, your growing body (and the aches and pains that come with it) and labor. But it also goes on to talk about the other topics that matter to a working woman; when to tell your boss, labor laws, the Family Medical Leave Act, handling stress and fatigue and more.
Marjorie Greenfield doesn’t start the book at conception. She begins much, much earlier than that. The first chapter includes a 25 question quiz to determine if you are ready for the changes that will happen once you get pregnant and have a child. She makes you think about everything from what’s the right age, your relationship, your job, your family…everything that will be effected by this new little life.
Then she continues on to talk about getting healthy before you get pregnant. It’s best to be as healthy as you can be before you get pregnant so you have a safe pregnancy for both you and your baby. Ms. Greenfield makes you stop and think about your weight and diet and exercise plus the medications and other things you put in to your body. And it’s not just about the moms-to-be. The dads-to-be need to be healthy as well.
Many women are waiting until later in life to get pregnant. Some woman want to get through college and set in their career before they start thinking about expanding their family. However, when you get to your late thirties or early forties it becomes more difficult to get pregnant and the chances for some birth defects increase. But Ms. Greenfield has you covered. There is an entire chapter on fertility treatments and how to get through all the tests and shots while working.
Chapter 23 is dedicated solely to maternity leave. I really like this chapter. A lot of women don’t give their maternity leave a lot of thought until they are already out. Long before you leave work to give birth you need to think about your time off. How much time will you take? How can you negotiate with your boss? Will you work until you go in to labor or take some time off before the baby is due? If you are pregnant with twins or have complications you may be on bedrest or need to cut back on your hours. Who will cover for you? How and when will you train them? There are a ton of questions you need to ask yourself before you start pushing your baby out.
Chapter 36 talks about reentering the workforce. Again there are a lot of things you need to consider. How will you transition back in after being home with your baby? Who will care for your baby while you are at work? How will you feel leaving your baby in somebody else’s care?
Are you planning to breastfeed, but worried about how you will do it while working. Chapter 38 has all the answers on breastfeeding at work. Where will you pump? When will you pump? How will you store you milk. This chapter will help you figure out a way to keep breastfeeding even after you’ve returned to the job.
One of the things I really love about this book is the comments from real moms. Each chapter has some insight from moms who have been there. And chapter 39 is filled with these comments. It’s all about moms who have been there giving advice on everything from emotions to childcare to relationships and your personal needs. My favorite advice comes from Vivian V, an oncologist, who says, “Somtimes you just have to F–k.” Ain’t that the truth.
If you are a pregnant working mom or thinking about getting pregnant, I highly recommend this book. You will find a lot of great advice you won’t find in other pregnancy books. Advice just for you and your needs as a working mom.