The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy Review
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For most women, the moments after those lines first appear on the little white stick, screaming out “You’re pregnant!” are filled with a mix of thoughts and emotions. There’s plenty of excitement mixed with plenty of anxiety—not to mention the sudden urge to race right out and start shopping for tiny baby clothes. And, hovering around in the background, there’s the nagging question: Now what?

You’ll soon discover that pregnancy comes with a lot of rules. Any pregnant woman finds that out on her first prenatal appointment. As you sit down with your doctor (or, in my case, a prenatal instructor) to talk about the coming months, you’re handed piles and piles of paperwork and instructions, explaining what to do and what not to do. Some activities are okay; others are strictly forbidden. Some foods are highly recommended; others are taken off the menu until the little one arrives (and, just for the record, these will be the things that you’ll most likely crave for the next nine months). Your doctor will tell you all kinds of things about the ins and outs of pregnancy—but she won’t tell you what it’s like to be pregnant.

That’s where Vicki Iovine comes in. The writer, lawyer, former Playboy model, and estranged wife of record producer Jimmy Iovine is also a mother of four—and, in her must-read book, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy, she and her team of helpful and supportive girlfriends explain what it’s really like to be pregnant.

Originally published in 1995—and updated in 2007—The Girlfriends’ Guide tells it like it is, providing eye-opening information about pregnancy, along with plenty of tips and tricks for surviving the process. Unlike many other pregnancy books, this isn’t a rule book. It doesn’t make demands, telling you that there’s just one right way to do things during your pregnancy and beyond. It doesn’t rehash everything your doctor’s already told you (or add to the rules that your doctor gave you, thereby making pregnancy an absolutely terrifying experience). In fact, it intentionally tries not to scare you. Instead, it’s friendly and honest—like a laid-back gab session with your best girl friends, who are more than happy to open up about their own (sometimes awkward and embarrassing) experiences with everything from morning sickness to maternity clothes to post-partum anxieties. Sure, some of the revelations contained within the book’s pages may make you just slightly nervous (like the detailed description of hemorrhoids or the discussions about what pregnancy does to your body), but the information is definitely valuable—and it’s almost always presented in a way that will make you laugh in spite of that feeling of horror.

Pregnancy comes with enough rules and regulations—and your doctor will be sure to give you the full run-down. For the topics that she doesn’t cover, though, there’s The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy. I recommend picking up a copy before you’re pregnant—like I did—just to help you prepare for what’s in store, so you’ll know what to expect. It’s sure to make you feel both informed and a little more comfortable with the whole process. If you ask me, it’s the only pregnancy book that an expectant mom (or any woman who’s thinking about getting pregnant) really needs.

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