Expecting Better

expecting BetterIf you or someone in your family is preparing to have a baby, then it’s very likely you’re doing a lot of reading about that very special event.  There are so many books out there on the topic…some humorous, some read like textbooks, and some a little in between.

I recently finished reading the book Expecting Better by Emily Oster.  It’s not your normal pregnancy book.  It’s written by an economist, for one.  Oster takes the reader on her personal journey from before conception all the way through birth, and throughout her book she covers many of the questions expecting mothers may have.

Questions like:

  • Why is deli meat suddenly on the Do Not Eat list, when prior to pregnancy I could snack on it all I liked?
  • What’s the deal with caffeine?  Some doctors say none during pregnancy, some say 200 mg, some say 300…why the differences?
  • What’s the difference in a prenatal screening, amniocentesis, and CVS testing?  And just how accurate are they at finding something wrong with the baby early?

Not only does Oster address these questions (and more), but she delves into study after study to dig down to the numbers of what the answers mean.  She helps make sense of some of the numbers you may find online or that your doctor may tell you.  And sometimes, she provides more accurate numbers.  While numbers by themselves aren’t perfect, they can lend a lot of comfort to expectant mothers. 

If books by economists aren’t your speed, here are some other possibilities to get you reading:

The Baby Owner’s Manual by Louis Borgenicht and Joe Borgenicht
Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy
Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Paula Amato
The Baby Names Almanac 2014