I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review on this blog.
If you take one thing away from the internet today about pregnancy, please let it be this book: Pregnancy is a Real Mother by Jeffery L. Zweig, MD. The title had us hooked immediately and the content did not disappoint. We even had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions.
You might be asking yourself, out of all your other choices, why you need this book about pregnancy. Well, I asked the author himself what he thinks sets it apart:
Q: With all of advice and information new moms receive about pregnancy/parenting, what makes your book different?A: I explain in very simple terms the many events that a typical pregnant woman will experience. I make the labor and delivery process very understandable. I back up my information with over 500 actual pictures of patients in pregnancy, labor and delivery. There are over 50 illustrations. No other book on pregnancy has that many pictures or illustrations. The book is also humorous: it’s filled with anecdotes of funny situations that have occurred with patients over the years. Almost every page in the book will make you smile. It is easy reading.
I can attest to all of his claims! First off, Mallory and I instantly found the title humorous. When we received the book, the size of the book seemed daunting, but we both found ourselves reading through it quite quickly because his language is accessible and humorous (it can be used as a reference book, rather than reading straight through though). The book kept us interested even though this isn’t our first rodeo.
There were things in this book that would have helped us understand our own birth experiences better. Because Mallory’s birth experience required a little assistance, she appreciated the illustration of a baby being born with the help of a vacuum extractor. She says, “Wow, I really had no idea what the vacuum looked like, I was just happy to have the help! I’m sorry LO for having to use a toilet bowl plunger on your head.”
For me, I loved the chapter that debunks all the old wives tales about pregnancy and childbirth. This way I can definitively (but politely) shut down all the people with advice for how to go into labor when I go a week over my due date again. I even learned some new crazy theories!
Most importantly, I find this book to be a great and realistic education tool for first-time moms.
Q: What do you wish more women knew before entering the labor and delivery room?A: I wish they would read about childbirth. Often, they do not understand the sequence of events, options for pain relief, preparation for breastfeeding, etc.
Q: Have you seen any new trends related to childbirth?A: More patients are breastfeeding (yeah!) and more family and husbands are involved.
For as natural and organic as many parents want their birth experience to be, I think understanding the medical and technical environment of the labor and delivery room can be very empowering. I’m very happy that Dr. Zweig has created a book that is infused with anecdotes from his personal experience alongside his technical knowledge to make pregnancy and childbirth a little more approachable for new moms.
Q: As an OB-GYN, what is your favorite part about the childbirth process?A: The first few minutes after the parents hold their child! It is priceless!
For the next pregnancy, you better beleive I’ll be flipping through the pages of this book as a refresher!
Jeffrey L. Zweig, M.D., was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Santa Ana, Calif. He serves on the active medical staff at Comanche County Memorial Hospital and Southwestern Medical Center. He is skilled in obstetrics, with experience in ultrasound and high-risk pregnancies, gynecological surgeries, infertility and office gynecology, including treatment of menstrual disorders. He lives with his wife and family in Lawton, Okla. This is his first book.