Expecting Better and millions of other books are available for site Kindle. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: 2nd Edition: Fully Revised. Emily Oster is a professor of economics at Brown University and the author of Cribsheet:A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed. Online PDF Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--And What You Really Need to Know, Read PDF Expecting Better: Why the. Emily Oster writes Expecting Better, a rational pregnancy book that Better - Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong" as PDF.

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    Expecting Better Pdf

    Title: [PDF] Download Expecting Better Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--and What You Really, Author: anyldsgs, Name. PDF-DOWNLOAD Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--And What You Really Need to Know Popular Collection by Emily Oster. Better đ đ đ. HOW TO FIGHT THE. PREGNANCY ESTABLISHMENT. WITH FACTS But what I didn't expect at all is how much I would put the.

    Share via Email A pregnant woman with her hands on her belly. But that is a quibble. There's a quote from Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics : "This may be the most important book about pregnancy you read. I have never seen the numbers crunched so satisfyingly, the findings delivered so neutrally, with only the barest whiff of "well, would you look at that? I appear to be right again" to the tone. If you do something that kills one of these cells such as heavy drinking or some kind of really bad prescription drug use , another cell can replace it and do exactly the same thing. The resulting baby is unaffected. However, if you kill too many of these cells, the embryo will fail to develop and you will wind up not pregnant at all. Oster articulates well the antiscience science of it: "One phrase I kept coming across was 'no amount of alcohol has been proven safe' … this seemed to me to have two problems.

    The critical thing is to hit the day of ovulation or the day before. Your earlier cycles may be longer and may not lead to ovulation.

    But it has no long-term effects on fertility. Women going off the pill were less likely to get pregnant in the first 3 months, but just as likely within a year. Duration of pill usage has no effect on fertility or time to return to normal cycles. Women who used IUDs took a month longer to get pregnant than women who stopped using the pill but otherwise were the same. Detecting Ovulation Temperature Charting In the first half of your period cycle, your temperature will be low, usually below 98 degrees F.

    Check your temperature when you wake up, before you get out of bed and move around. Travel, jetlag, and fevers can affect this. So odds are decent. Cervical Mucus Right before you ovulate, your cervical mucus will be stretchy like egg whites better for sperm to swim through. The day when it transitions to this form is a good day to try conceiving. To do this, reach into your vagina and run your finger around the cervix. The benefit of this method is you can detect the day of ovulation in your current cycle, vs temperature charting which detects changes only after.

    Some women combine this and temperature charting. Ovulation Detection Sticks These pee sticks detect luteinizing hormone, which peaks the day before ovulation. Chapter 3: The Two-Week Wait After you ovulate and try to conceive, it takes about 2 weeks to see if you have your period.

    What do you do in this time — namely, can you drink alcohol or caffeine, and eat deli meats? Kill too many cells and the embryo will fail to develop. But the false positive rate is very low.

    Normally this ends in what appears to be a heavy period. Fun fact: hCG used to be detected by injecting urine into infantile mice or rabbits that were then dissected. If the urine contained hCG, the animals would ovulate. Some organizations now collect urine from pregnant women to extract hCG for fertility treatment.

    Remember that weeks in pregnancy are counted from the time of your last period. So 5 weeks in is 1 week past your missed period. In perhaps the most controversial part of Expecting Better, Oster argues that caffeine and alcohol, in moderation, show no evidence of being harmful to the child. To cut to the chase: Pregnant women can drink alcohol 1 drink a day in the second and third trimesters, and 0.

    Smoking is never OK. Poor Studies and Why Myths Exist A common problem in pregnancy studies is insufficient controls for confounding factors. Picture a study where you divide the population of mothers into abstainers and drinkers, then study their kids.

    If you picture the type of woman who has 0 drinks a week vs 2 drinks a week vs 10, you can already imagine differences in education, wealth, and location.

    What does this say about miscarriage rate? The results of these poor studies are further warped by popular media, and before you know it myths start perpetuating. The gold standard study is the randomized controlled trial, where people are randomized into a control group and a treatment group. Another reason cautionary guidelines exist is that doctors fear a slippery slope — if they tell someone that one drink a day is ok, then they might creep up to drinks per day.

    Oster finds this understandable but also patronizing. Alcohol The common conception is that no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Oster argues a more nuanced approach.

    The main concern is fetal alcohol disorder, which manifests in cognitive symptoms like developmental delays and learning difficulties. Binge drinking more than 5 drinks at a time is clearly bad. This is broadly confirmed by the literature. Your body is capable of processing a regular amount of alcohol per hour, and below a certain amount, the fetus may be unaffected.

    Biologically, the body metabolizes alcohol into acetaldehyde, and then into acetate. Oster argues the acetaldehyde is the toxin that impacts development. It also seems that alcohol itself causes oxidative stress, neuronal structural defects, and alterations in gene expression. Either way, the more alcohol and byproducts you have floating around, the more the fetus is damaged.

    The arguments in favor of light drinking not being a big deal: Generally studies show no impact of drinking up to 1 drink per day on preterm birth, child IQ, test scores, behavior problems. In fact, many studies find women who drink moderately have kids with higher IQ scores, but this is likely not causal and may instead correlate with education or social factors.

    See 2 questions about Expecting Better…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Aug 26, Jaclyn Day rated it it was amazing. There is so much hubbub about this book right now. I was really interested to read it and before I started it, I read a few news articles and some of the dozens of 1-star reviews on site. It turns out people are really upset with Oster primarily for the chapter on drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

    There are other reasons people are poo-pooing the book too—like the fact that she hardly interviewed any medical professionals about the topics she covered and instead relied almost entirely on her There is so much hubbub about this book right now. There are other reasons people are poo-pooing the book too—like the fact that she hardly interviewed any medical professionals about the topics she covered and instead relied almost entirely on her reading and interpretation of medical studies conducted over the past century or so.

    This article , for example, takes issue with the fact that Oster who holds a PhD in Economics is reaching beyond her professional realm and looking to interpret highly complex medical studies.

    Well, I read the book. And you know what? Let me pump the brakes for a second here, though. Overall, I want to state how refreshing it was to read a book about pregnancy that examined all facets from natural childbirth to epidurals to deli meats to inductions without coming from a place of obvious bias.

    I found that unlike the Daily Beast article I cited above, I thought Oster wrote the book from a mostly detached, facts-based place. She establishes herself as someone who likes to have as many facts as possible at her disposal before making a decision and nothing in the book convinced me otherwise.

    The research and studies she used to draw conclusions are cited incessantly throughout and she is careful to note when there is not enough research to draw any meaningful conclusion. Is she irresponsible? Making bad recommendations? Endangering women or fetuses? They crowdsource medical questions on Babycenter. They take childbirth classes their provider may or may not be aware of them taking.

    They write birth plans based on templates they saw on Pinterest and they may or may not discuss them with their provider before heading to the hospital or birth center. If Oster is irresponsible, then so is every mom blogger who has ever spoken with confidence to thousands millions? You get my point. Since everyone from hospitals to a large number of medical doctors treat pregnancy as a medical condition, are we surprised that pregnant women often look to independent research?

    Most people diagnosed with any sort of medical condition will do some amount of research on their own. Depending on your point of view, this may seem to be a good thing or not. Here are some things from the book I found really interesting or eye-opening or funny: Oster found that the amount of weight you gain while pregnant is less important than the weight you are when you become pregnant in terms of being overweight or obese.

    At a weight gain of 40 pounds, these figures are 7 percent and 11 percent. Yes, there is an increase in very large babies, but there is a decrease in very small ones. But because a very small baby is worse in terms of complications, is this maybe actually better?

    In order to really make the right recommendation [for weight gain], we need to think about what recommendation does the best job limiting the actual complications.

    And in this particular case, that might well be an argument for increasing the recommended weight gain, at least by a few pounds. It captures the same number of truly problematic situations but is much better at not identifying cases where there is nothing wrong. It leads to fewer inductions and fewer C-sections. I sat through two non-stress tests in which Isobel fell asleep and they had me drinking this nasty sugary concoction to try and get her to move around.

    Oster looked at a study of full-term women that recorded whether they had gone into labor 3 days later. Her findings are that cups of coffee per day are okay. View all 12 comments. Aug 28, Alexis rated it it was ok Shelves: After 2 moderately complicated pregnancies and multiple thrown pregnancy books, I wanted to like this. I was attracted to the concept of applying decision-making principles to pregnancy. It's a great concept, and not enough pregnancy literature emphasizes the risk-and-tradeoff model or if it does, presents inaccurate risks.

    The book has already gotten a backlash for daring to suggest that the zero-tolerance approach to alcohol in pregnancy is not backed by evidence, prompting 1-star site rev After 2 moderately complicated pregnancies and multiple thrown pregnancy books, I wanted to like this. The book has already gotten a backlash for daring to suggest that the zero-tolerance approach to alcohol in pregnancy is not backed by evidence, prompting 1-star site reviews accusing the author of not caring about FASD.

    This particular criticism is, in my opinion, overblown. Unfortunately, the book itself doesn't measure up to the concept. A full treatment of the problem would be a weighty tome, more akin to Henci Goer's Obstetric Myths and Research Realities only less biased and more up to date.

    To her credit, Oster doesn't even pretend to have attempted that. The book is structured as a journey through pregnancy, using Oster's own pregnancy low risk, with an unmedicated vaginal delivery as a base narrative. This makes the book easy to follow, but also has its pitfalls. Given that a large number of women will have a relatively low risk pregnancy and delivery, this isn't entirely invalid. Many of the things she covers--especially in early pregnancy--are common to all the true risks of cat litter and tuna, and the probabilities used in prenatal screening, have widespread relevance.

    However, it also means she completely ignores almost anything outside of her experience. Rightly, she decided that most of the complications of pregnancy are between you and your doctor, although she provides some bullet points, but this also means that C sections get no discussion at all. Strangely, VBACs do, and her discussion is surprisingly skewed.

    She leans towards VBACs being "too risky" while not mentioning the most frequently discussed concern, uterine rupture, and doesn't mention the downsides of planned repeats at all.

    At times it comes off as actually slapdash. There's a short discussion of non-stress testing in the section about later pregnancy, and the potential value for delivery, but never mentions the possibility that a biophysical profile will be done. There's no discussion of the actual risks involved of routine induction at 40 vs 41 vs 42 weeks, which is a fairly common topic of discussion and a natural fit for the chapter.

    Her treatment of home birth is sure to rise some hackles. Nor is it helped by a throwaway comment about higher home birth rates and lower infant mortality rates in Europe--although on the next page she discusses the difference between perinatal and neonatal mortality. Wherefore art thou, editor?

    The section on drug classifications is helpful but not entirely so--the potential benefits of Category D medications aren't really mentioned. It's a short, breezy read and provides some interesting food for thought, particularly with the early pregnancy risks, but is of limited practical use.

    View all 3 comments. Apr 07, Deana rated it really liked it Shelves: After becoming pregnant, I quickly learned that there are two types of pregnant women ok, there are a lot more than this, but keep reading.

    It turns out, I am the second type, which causes many of my friends and coworkers to be absolutely horrified at some of my behaviors most of which involve ingesting things. Thankfully, After becoming pregnant, I quickly learned that there are two types of pregnant women ok, there are a lot more than this, but keep reading. Thankfully, my husband and I are on the same page. As an example, a few months ago much earlier in my pregnancy, I went to lunch with some ladies from work, and I ordered a roast beef sandwich.

    One lady gasps in horror and says "You aren't actually going to eat that, are you?! She says "Aren't you worried about listeria? From the deli meat and cheese? Yes, it would suck to get it honestly, it would suck even if I weren't pregnant, but no one ever seems to worry about it then.

    And it's very risky during pregnancy, because it can cause miscarriages even when the mother shows no symptoms. But the last two US listeria outbreaks were in Ice cream bluebell and caramel apples source: But you don't hear anyone freaking out if I want to eat some ice cream or apples or melon, do you?

    The way I figure it, I take much more of a risk driving to work every day on I than I do by eating a roast beef sandwich. So yeah. When people started telling me all the things I cannot do or eat!

    Says who? What are the reasons for this? If you are like me and ask these kinds of questions, this book is definitely for you. Oster explains the reasons for all of the "no-no" things during pregnancy, as well as looking into their validity based on scientific studies. And she provides all of the references, so you can go look up the papers yourself if you want to draw your own conclusions which I did in a few cases. She also looks into pre-pregnancy things timing conception, trying for a specific gender, etc , non no-no pregnancy things like genetic testing and medications for non-pregnancy related illness and labor things pros and cons of things like VBAC, epidurals and episiotomies.

    While she says she tries to be neutral and just provide the facts so the reader can make their own decisions, I don't think she does a great job at this I mean, she does provide the facts, but she also tells us exactly what she decided to do based on these facts. In most cases I came to the same conclusion, but there were a few things which of course I don't remember off-hand where I made a different decision.

    And that's ok. Anyway, I thought this book was excellent. It answered a lot of questions both directly and indirectly through the resources I had at the beginning of this pregnancy journey, and made me feel a lot more comfortable with the decisions I am making. Highly recommended. View 2 comments. Oct 02, Kathryn Lucas rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: I'm now on my second reading of this book.

    It's so jam-packed with enlightening facts and information that every expecting couple should know, that I felt I should read it again, just so I can retain it all a bit better. First, let me address the alcohol issue, since there's been a lot of backlash against this book online and on talk radio for suggesting that drinking a bit of alcohol during pregnancy is okay.

    It is my opinion that the anti-FASD Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder crusaders out there in comments sections of articles discussing this book have not read the book, nor have they read the studies Oster cites in her discussion of the topic. Oster does NOT say that heavy or binge drinking during pregnancy is okay. Those same studies, however, demonstrate pretty clearly that light drinking up to 2 drinks PER WEEK -- not in the same day -- in the first trimester; up to 4 drinks PER WEEK -- again, not in the same day --in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters has no effect on either fetal development or on intelligence of the child, even up to age There's a world of difference between light drinking as defined here and heavy or binge drinking, and the most strident of Oster's critics seem not to grasp that difference.

    Oster presents the studies, the hard, scientific data, that backs up what she is saying. This is not her opinion; it's scientific evidence. Intelligent pregnant women can take that information and process it themselves; some women may decide that they'd rather not drink any alcohol during their pregnancy, while others may decide that an occasional drink with dinner is fine.

    The point is that women who choose the second option should feel vindicated by the fact that all medical evidence points to their choice being safe for their babies. The alcohol discussion, however, is just one part of one chapter of the book.

    The rest of the book looks at everything you could possibly be concerned about with a pregnancy. Is deli meat okay? Possibly not.

    Expecting Better

    What about sushi? Hot yoga? Depends on how hot it is. Cleaning the cat litter box? Not fine.

    All of the restrictions that pregnant women are told they must adhere to, Oster evaluates by going to the original scientific studies. Some restrictions are shown to be silly when viewed in light of the actual evidence. Others are affirmed, and you are given the precise reasons why the restriction exists. But you don't have to take Oster's word for it: In addition, she combines information into very helpful graphs that express in one picture a wealth of knowledge.

    One example is a graph of where different types of fish fall on the scale of mercury content bad for Baby's IQ versus Omega-3 content good for baby's IQ.

    If you want to know the facts behind the recommendations your doctor has given you, this is the book for you. You'll have the actual data from the original studies, along with Oster's explanation of the statistics you need to know to make the best decisions for you personally.

    I strongly recommend this book. View 1 comment. Sep 17, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing Shelves: As heard on Planet Money. The New York Times appears to also have a review , but they seem to have completely missed the point. I'm only partway through this book, but I cannot contain my exuberance.

    This is finally the book that I had just assumed other pregnancy books would be, but was sadly disappointed to discover they were not. For a given risk factor such as caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco , she lays out the studies that have been done, highlights the strengths and weaknesses of ea As heard on Planet Money. For a given risk factor such as caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco , she lays out the studies that have been done, highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each study, shows what they found, and then leaves the reader, now armed with data, to decide her own appropriate course of action.

    For example, caffeine. There are a number of studies linking caffeine to miscarriages, which have led different doctors to give their different recommendations: The problem with most of these studies is that it turns out that nausea is actually a sign of a healthy pregnancy, and the more nauseous you feel, the less likely you are to miscarry.

    Of course, if you're feeling nauseous, you want to drink coffee less than you otherwise might. So any study comparing coffee-drinking to non-coffee-drinking women might not be studying the effects of caffeine, they might actually be studying the effects of nausea. Fortunately, there was one study in Denmark that paradise of public health data that issued free instant coffee to a large cohort of coffee-drinking pregnant women, and instructed them to replace the coffee they would normally drink with the free instant coffee, which was either caffeinated or decaffeinated.

    The women assigned the caffeinated coffee consumed on average mg more caffeine per day than the women assigned the decaffeinated coffee, but when the researchers looked at birth weight, length at birth, gestational age at birth, or head circumference, they found zero zero difference between the two groups of babies. It's pretty clear that caffeine has zero impact on the outcomes measured.

    Now, of course coffee has a lot more in it than just caffeine I could have sworn I had a molecule of the day post on cafestol and kahweol, but I can't find it now , so after reading that study, you might still decide that for your own pregnancy, you might prefer to err on the side of caution and cut down on coffee anyway, and that's fine. But perhaps you might think twice before hassling someone else for the choice she's made for herself. Like Emily Oster , I find this kind of information a lot more useful for decision-making than simple rules like "only one cup of coffee per day".

    Would you want to do this? Someone certainly could make a case for doing so. However, this change is really, really small. For me, it wasn't worth it. Aug 20, Amanda rated it it was amazing. A little background: I'm 29 weeks pregnant for the fourth time, so I probably have more interest in pregnancy than your average Joe. When economist Emily Oster decided to have a baby, she wanted to make informed decisions and assumed the medical community would offer her the statistic-based information she is used to finding.

    Instead, she received a lot of "probably fine" and "low-risk" vagueness. Since her and her husband's profession is to find and analyze research, she started reading studie A little background: Since her and her husband's profession is to find and analyze research, she started reading studies about pregnancy and drawing conclusions. The result is an easy-to-read story of her own pregnancy experience, the choices she made, and the research she found.

    Her object is to give readers the information to make their own informed decisions, taking into account what the research means and then to factor in their own "pluses and minuses" - the personal needs and preferences that influence any decision.

    There are a few cases where she drew conclusions eg, there is no evidence that routine episiotomy is helpful and is often harmful instead, so you should skip it but she always offers the research if you want to make a different decision. I honestly loved this, more than I thought I would. It's incredibly complete - I thought it was mostly about the conflicting advice given All alcohol is bad! Drinking in moderation is not a problem! Your doctor may not offer you all the prenatal testing options depending on risk factors, but Oster breaks down all the available knowledge to help you decide what to request.

    She also evaluates conflicting studies based on the quality of the research, which is something laymen are not always skilled at and she has a PhD in. I would highly recommend this book to pregnant women or those considering it there's a pre-conception section. If statistics offer you any comfort you'll enjoy the table detailing how likely you are to go into labor every week and your baby's chance of survival if you do.

    And if scare tactics and the routine treating of pregnant women like children annoys you, you'll be glad to have all the pertinent research to make your own decisions. I also think it's a good read for people interested in research and its interpretation. My only regret is that I bought a kindle book instead of a hard copy - I think I'll refer to it and wish I could loan it out.

    Jun 08, Margaret rated it really liked it Shelves: I picked this one up after reading several reviews describe it as 'if you read a single book about pregnancy, this is the one you should read. I swear, it never occurred to me that the vast majority of pregnancy books would cite no sources whatsoever.

    I don't care if you're a doctor. Lots of people call themselves doctors and I'm not going to take their advice. On top of that, the books often say things like "Ask your doctor.

    So that I can then talk to my doctor in an informed way. Don't just tell me to talk to my doctor. Why bother reading a book then??? Anyway, Expecting Better is written by an economist. Seem odd? But she was similarly frustrated by the lack of evidence given in pregnancy advice books, or even by her doctors. So she decided to research all the main questions so she could make informed decisions. In each chapter she presents multiple case studies and weighs all the different decisions new parents can make.

    Her premise is that parents need to make informed decisions. She doesn't tell you whether you should or shouldn't get on epidural, or drink coffee, etc, but rather what research shows so parents can make their own decision.

    She argues that there's no 'right' or 'wrong' answer, only informed decisions. Thus, based on her research, she decided against an epidural. Based on the same research, I'm going with an epidural.

    Neither of us are wrong in our decisions; we're making the choices that are best for us after researching the effects of that choice. I wish everyone did this with everything--waited to make an opinion about something until they'd researched multiple scenarios.

    Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong - and What You Really Need to Know

    So far, this is the only pregnancy book I've read worth reading. She didn't research all my questions about pregnancy, but thankfully I have access to medical research journals through the university I teach at, so I'm conducting my own research! View all 8 comments. Jun 23, Alex rated it liked it. As a physician, I was curious about this book, after a few of my friends read it during their pregnancy.

    Best Summary: Expecting Better - Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong | Allen Cheng

    First of all, I found much of the data that she presented was quite interesting, and I learned some of the more specific aspects of prenatal care. However, more importantly, her tone smacks of privilege, and she falls prey to many of the biases she criticizes doctors and ACOG for. She skews how she discusses the research based on whether or not she agrees with it.

    She appears to be critical o As a physician, I was curious about this book, after a few of my friends read it during their pregnancy.

    She appears to be critical of physicians not knowing the exact data of the hundreds of articles she presents, without taking into consideration how little time we have to keep up with medical literature. Most importantly, she seems to universalize her experiences and those of other upper middle class friends to the entire US. She projects her own belief that everyone should have access to minutia to make their own medical decisions, regardless of their ability to comprehend this level of detail.

    I am glad I read this book for the information it had, but I'm glad I'm familiar with being able to detect cognitive biases and see through them for the actual data. But she's not writing a peer-reviewed article, she's writing a book for lay people. I just hope no one out there relies on this book more than they do their physician.

    Nov 28, Rachel rated it it was amazing Shelves: Loved it! If you are the type of person that likes data and statistics, and wants to know WHY all these conflicting "rules" about pregnancy exist, this book is for you. I wish I had read it at the beginning of my pregnancy rather than in month 9 -- but it wasn't out yet! Oster's big idea is that women should be trusted with specific, accurate data so they can make their own decisions based on the risks vs.

    For example, perhaps you have seen all the lists of foods you're supposed to avoi Loved it! For example, perhaps you have seen all the lists of foods you're supposed to avoid while pregnant.

    None of these lists agree, nor do they identify which foods are more risky than others. Oster dives deep into the existing studies that have been done, examines different foods and identifies exactly which foods have risks of causing which illness, and which are more likely to cause an illness than others. You might wonder: Why take any risks at all when it comes to your baby? Well, when you are 8 months pregnant, your feet and hands are swollen or any number of other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms , you can barely muster enough energy to get up and down from the couch, and you're ravenous for a sandwich, it may be helpful to know that your risk of getting sick from eating deli meat is actually REALLY low overall, but slightly higher for turkey than for other meats.

    At least, it was clear for me - another woman may decide that no risk is worth the reward, and that's fine too.

    It makes total sense - it's likely not that caffeine causes miscarriage, but that hormones cause both a lack of desire to drink caffeine due to nausea and successful pregnancy. And it's difficult to prove otherwise. And then there's alcohol. If you're like me and you enjoy knocking back a few or at least you did, pre-pregnancy , you'll read this section with great interest.

    Oster's "study of studies" points to a green light for up to one drink a day in late pregnancy. Now, I didn't drink that much, but in month 9 when trying to make it through another work week, it was such a relaxing treat to have a guilt-free half-glass of wine once in a while.

    Again, for some moms, they may not enjoy drinking that much and so the reward isn't worth the perceived risk. For me, having a drink here and there helped me carry my baby to nearly 42 weeks with a positive, relaxed attitude. The only section I wasn't totally on board with was the one about exercise. Oster seems to conclude that it makes no difference if you exercise while pregnant or not, though she grudgingly acknowledges that yoga has been proven to be helpful.

    Perhaps there's just a lack of data here, but I wish she'd been more positive about the effects of exercise in general and yoga in particular. I personally found that exercise, especially yoga, clearly gave me more energy, reduced leg cramps, improved my strength and balance as my body changed drastically, and improved my mood, with effects only becoming more noticeable as the pregnancy wore on.

    I'm sorry that women might get the impression from this book that exercise during pregnancy is unnecessary or unhelpful. Again though, the main point is that women should have the information and be trusted to make their own decisions, with guidance from their doctor.

    The prevailing attitude that women should blindly follow vague recommendations to avoid everything from soft cheese to lukewarm hot tubs is supremely unhelpful and condescending. Some have argued that Oster is an economist, not a doctor, and has no business writing a book about pregnancy. I would counter that no one in the medical profession in the U. Until they do, I'm sticking with Oster!

    Aug 22, Tina rated it did not like it. I like statistics. I read research articles for enjoyment - yeah I'm strange. So I thought this would be a really good pregnancy book. I was wrong. The author says she wrote it to help thinking women make their own informed choices but instead she is just telling them what to choose.

    Both in her tone and by the studies she chooses to highlight or ignore. Skip this book - If you want to make your own informed choices - do the research yourself.

    If you want someone to tell you what to do based on I like statistics. Sep 28, Jennifer rated it did not like it. I had high hopes for this read but all is does is ask unanswered questions. If you want to know absolutely that a glass or 2 of wine won't hurt your baby, don't expect your doctor to tell you that they tested this on pregnant women, just don't drink it. May 25, Gianna rated it did not like it.

    I'm astounded that an economist who is not a maternal-newborn health care professional decided that being pregnant, reading an obstetrics textbook and reviewing some studies makes her qualified to decide she can tell women to ignore reputable health organizations' guidelines.

    For instance, the researchers, physicians, midwives, and other health care professionals are reviewing the SAME research information as Emily Oster is, and have concluded that there is not enough quality or conclusive evide I'm astounded that an economist who is not a maternal-newborn health care professional decided that being pregnant, reading an obstetrics textbook and reviewing some studies makes her qualified to decide she can tell women to ignore reputable health organizations' guidelines.

    For instance, the researchers, physicians, midwives, and other health care professionals are reviewing the SAME research information as Emily Oster is, and have concluded that there is not enough quality or conclusive evidence to say that drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy is safe.

    I'm not saying that new research doesn't come out, guidelines aren't reevaluated and recommendations don't change, but I am saying that a non-medical professional like Emily Oster is NOT qualified to speak with such authority on these issues. This puts women and newborns at serious risk. For instance, the risks and inconvenience of avoiding deli meat and alcohol are tiny compared to the consequences if one contracts listeria during pregnancy or if it turns out that low dose alcohol does cause FASD or other health problems for newborns.

    The major health organizations like the World Health Organization and the American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that there is not enough quality research to ensure that drinking of any amount during pregnancy is safe, so why would we question that until the research is clearer? It is better to be safe than sorry.

    Sep 06, Maryann J-D rated it it was amazing. Excellent book. I've been half-consuming all sorts of pregnancy books lately, and this was the most satisfying. I previously read Origins, which had somewhat of a similar premise, but instead of calming me down with information, it just threw a bunch of studies at me and had me convinced that, when we do get pregnant, I need to just cloister myself until the child is born.

    And even then?! In contrast, Emily Oster lays out all the data, with some handy visual aids like the mercury to omega-3s f Excellent book. In contrast, Emily Oster lays out all the data, with some handy visual aids like the mercury to omega-3s fish chart , and gives you most of the info, with the express purpose of letting YOU decide what's best for you.

    I can't recommend this book enough. Definitely cuts through all the confusion and puts the woman back in control of her own fertility. Jan 19, Chris rated it it was ok. This book really seems to have polarized a lot of people. Topics like kids seem to do this. First off, I'm certainly not the target audience for this book. I'm a single guy with no kids in his mid thirties. I doubt I'll ever have kids. But I do love reading about pop science, and normally books of this genre are right in my wheelhouse.

    They usually come in one of three flavors, a scientist or pop-science writer explaining some topic in an accessible manor, a crackpot author explaining their theor This book really seems to have polarized a lot of people.

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