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Congratulations You’re Pregnant Book Review
photo credit: Angie from LoveUloveyourbody
I was given the opportunity to review Congratulations You’re Pregnant! by Angie Walker y Fenyw. I was all for it, as I am almost in my 30th week of pregnancy with my 2nd baby. With my first pregnancy, I had lots of time to read baby and pregnancy books, but this time around has been much different.
I hadn’t start reading anything until 28 weeks in, which happens to be this book I am reviewing now. It is an e-book which is perfect for me because I can read it on my computer when my toddler naps. This book is geared toward those who are pregnant for the first time, but I do believe it is great for any moms-to-be.
With this review, I am going to be talking about some of my opposing opinions and which topics I believe are most important and those that I feel should have been talked about more. With all of the baby and pregnancy books I have read, articles I have read, and from personal experiences, I do think this book is great overall!
The topics of this book range from early signs of pregnancy to a healthy pregnancy diet and signs of labor.
A Healthy Pregnancy Diet
I would say a major portion of this book is all about a healthy pregnancy diet which includes vitamins, which foods to eat and avoid and the importance of various food groups and getting the right amount of nutrients. I do agree that a healthy pregnancy diet is so so important! I really love that Angie points out that pregnancy is not about “eating for two” which is a term many people hear.
As my doctor has told me, instead of eating for two, you should be “eating healthier for two” and I completely agree with that statement. I think many women are unaware of the “eating for two” myth. From what I have read elsewhere, you only need about 300 extra calories a day, which is really only equivalent to a few healthy snacks or a small extra meal during the day.
With my first pregnancy, I gained 20 pounds, which is 5 pounds under the suggested amount. Both my doctor and I were happy about this because the weight came off rather quickly after I delivered. This time around, I have only gained 10 pounds so far. Since I had gained some weight before getting pregnant this time around, my doctor wants to see my gain only 15-20 pounds, which is definitely do-able for me. I strongly attribute my minimal weight gain to a healthy diet, not overeating and overindulging and my lack of food cravings (yay!).
Angie also talks about some vitamins that are essential during pregnancy. One that I personally feel was left out and is extremely important is taking DHA. Both of my doctors from both of my pregnancies suggested this at the very first appointment and it is something I have taken while pregnant and breastfeeding. If you want to learn more about why I feel DHA is so important during pregnancy, please check out my post on Omega-3s During Pregnancy.
Preparing Food Safely
Angie talks about the importance of safe food preparation and I completely agree with this! I thought this was something all first time moms were made aware of by their doctors, but I hate to admit that I have seen some pregnant ladies eating raw or under-cooked eggs, meats and deli meat.
I so badly wanted to warn them, but as a mom, I know how annoying it is to be told by a stranger that you are doing something wrong. I just remind myself that it is their decision and either their doctor didn’t warn them of the health risks involved or they simply do not care to follow those guidelines. I won’t judge though, because every mom has a right to do things the way she feels is best for herself and baby.
Which Foods To Avoid
I was so happy to see this chapter because it is important for all moms to know, especially first time moms! From soft/unpasteurized cheeses to what fish to eat, these are extremely important points. For me personally, I am extra careful when it comes to eating the right things while pregnant.
I always get my meat cooked well done, I avoid cheese unless I am 100% positive it is pasteurized (it says on the label) and I do not even eat tuna occasionally because I feel it is best to just avoid any fish that is high in mercury. This is my personal preference and my second pregnancy has not made me any less strict about that.
This is a topic that many first time moms have questions about. Actually, even second time moms do too! I felt great throughout my entire first pregnancy aside from normal pregnancy symptoms and discomforts, but this time around I was nauseous pretty much around the clock for the first 3 months and my fatigue has lasted the entire way through.
Every pregnancy is different so when I experienced this feeling of being sick, I did a lot of research online since I was inexperienced with this. I am all about natural remedies, so I did anything from eating ginger chews and drinking ginger tea to using essential oils to promote overall health and support my digestive system.
Although most doctors and books give the ok to certain over the counter medications, I personally avoid them at all costs! As I am writing this I am actually getting over bad cold, which is no fun while pregnant. Believe it or not, I haven’t taken any over the counter medications for this cold because it is not worth the risk and I would hate knowing they are getting passed through my baby as well.
Pregnancy Weight Gain
I guess this is something I talked about too soon, but there is an entire chapter on this topic in the book. I do agree with everything discussed. Exercise is important and a great way to maintain a healthy weight. I do have to say though, do not feel guilty if you are not exercising. I didn’t exercise during either of my pregnancies.
If you have the energy and motivation, then go for it! Your body and baby will thank you! With my first pregnancy, I hadn’t been working out regularly and I took the advice of my doctor to not start any new workouts that I wasn’t doing already. With my second, I was actually working out a lot but feeling sick for 3 months made me take a longer break from working out than I intended to take. I do a lot of walking and some kettle bell exercises, but nothing I would consider a regular workout.
The Early Days Of Pregnancy
One thing that was touched upon in this book is when to reveal to others that you are pregnant. I know this is a topic that many moms talk about and there is a lot of conflicting opinions out there. I say, it is all up to you and what you are comfortable with! Just be aware of the risks you are taking if you tell others too soon. With my first pregnancy, I told my family and close friends right after I saw that positive pregnancy test at 6 weeks and I made it public after my ultrasound at 8.5 weeks.
I was so excited and in the middle of planning my wedding which was only 2 months away at the time! I felt it was necessary to let everyone know since I had wedding dress fittings and all kinds of wedding events leading up to the big day and I didn’t want a pregnancy secret to ruin anybody’s fun! With this pregnancy, I waited until my first ultrasound at 8 weeks to tell my family and close friends. I made it public at 12 weeks because I felt the risk of having a miscarriage was low. In the meantime, I had attended a bachelorrette party in Vegas where I kept my pregnancy a secret the entire time! It is do-able, but tough! Do what you feel is best 🙂
0-8 Weeks Pregnant
There is a lot going on during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. A lot of women do not even realize what is going on because most women do not even know they are pregnant until the 5th week or later. One thing I find that many non-mothers (I hate that word, but you know what I mean) have trouble understanding when you tell them how many weeks or months along you are is that technically the first 2 weeks you were not pregnant.
I have a cousin who is convinced I conceived in her house because the dates of my pregnancy included those 2 extra weeks. Your due date is calculated by using the date of your last period, so when you are 2 weeks pregnant, that is around the time you actually conceived. For those who have irregular periods, this may be a little more challenging. I actually have irregular periods due to a condition called PCOS. With my first pregnancy, I was used to my 42ish day cycles, so I hadn’t noticed I missed my period, since usually I wouldn’t have gotten it for a couple more weeks.
It was the weird feeling in my stomach for several days that made me decide to take a pregnancy test at 6 weeks. With my second pregnancy, my husband and I were actively trying for baby #2 for a few months, so I felt certain about my ovulation date. I waited 2 weeks after then to take a test, even though this was early for me to miss my period. To my surprise, my ovulation date was off. So although I thought I discovered my pregnancy pretty much right away, it was also about 6 weeks in when I found out. This was a nice surprise at my first ultrasound when my due date was sooner than I had expected 🙂
9-12 Weeks Pregnant
There is also a lot going on with your growing baby between 9-12 weeks of pregnancy. All of the internal organs are forming and your baby is growing rapidly in size. This is why many women feel sick during this time.
13-16 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby’s genitals are forming and although this isn’t mentioned in the book, you can sometimes find out the sex of your baby this early! With my first, I found out at 13 weeks that he was a boy! And he continued to be a boy at every ultrasound and at birth haha! This time around I did some extra genetic testing that I didn’t do last time, so this included a nuchal translucency ultrasound at 12 weeks to check for certain birth defects/abnormalities.
My doctor warned me I may find out the sex at this ultrasound. Although they didn’t give me a 100% answer, the tech guessed it was a girl! 2 weeks later I went in for another ultrasound where it was confirmed it’s a girl! Many people prefer to wait until the anatomy scan around 20 weeks to find out the sex of their baby, and that is completely ok too! It is a personally choice and I am someone who is a big planner and just couldn’t wait to find out!
15-20 Weeks Pregnant
With different things happening each week, this is a time when a lot of women start noticing their belly changing and growing. With my first pregnancy, I literally starting showing at 8 weeks! This time, I didn’t really pop until I was around 4 months pregnant. Some old wives tales may say this is a sign of a girl or boy, but realistically, everybody and every pregnancy is different. My son also sat higher up than my daughter who has been lying low my entire pregnancy.
21-24 Weeks Pregnant
The development of stretch marks is discussed in this chapter and this is something a lot of first time moms ask me about. In reality, there is no magical cure or cream for stretch marks because it is all based on genetics. With my first, I had no stretch marks at all until one day I woke up at 38 weeks pregnant and my belly was covered! It literally happened overnight. I thought I got lucky there for a minute, but I was wrong. Luckily I was able to get rid of them in the months after I delivered.
25-32 Weeks Pregnant
All of the body systems are forming and will continue to mature throughout the rest of pregnancy. This is also a time when swelling might begin. For me, I think I didn’t start swelling until 36 weeks with my first pregnancy, but this time it began at 26 weeks!
33-36 Weeks Pregnant
This is a time when many moms may experience Braxton Hicks contractions. I think elaborating on what exactly Braxton Hicks are would be helpful to first time moms. This chapter was sufficient for me though because I started getting Braxton Hicks at 32 weeks during my first pregnancy. This time around, I haven’t noticed any yet, but we will see when I reach the 33rd week.
This is also a time when many parents-to-be begin to prepare for their little one’s arrival. I am getting nervous about this stage because I am only a few weeks behind and I am not quite prepared as I was last time. I have my in-laws on call for when I go into labor so they can watch my son. I told them to be ready starting in February (which is when I will be 36 weeks), but preterm labor can and does happen sometimes. I also need to start preparing the nursery, finish buying everything and soon enough I will be packing my hospital bag and installing the infant car seat.
37-40 Weeks Pregnant
This is what the book considers full term. Others say 36 weeks or even 39 weeks is full term. I like going with 36 just to be safe and extra prepared. Most women deliver anywhere between 38-42 weeks. I was 5 days late with my first, so I was induced. This time around I will not go passed 41 weeks pregnant. Both my doctor and I feel it is safest to induce at 41 weeks instead of waiting until 42+ weeks. This is a personal choice though.
40 Weeks Plus
Angie talks about a membrane sweep (I had one at 39 weeks during my first pregnancy) but I think she can elaborate more on what exactly it is and entails. My membrane sweep gave me contractions for a couple hours but then they stopped. My pregnancy continued for about 2 more weeks.
Signs Of Labor
Angie discusses the signs of labor and the stages of labor. She describes contractions like strong period cramps, but I know that everyone is different. The best way I can describe contractions from my experience is an intense charley horse in your uterus that takes your breath away. I remember feeling the climax of the contractions and clenching my hands around the bed so tightly and not being able to focus on breathing from being in so much pain. Each contraction felt like it was minutes long and I felt like I could barely catch my breath before I got another one. Again, everyone is different and every labor is different. Some women are blessed with a painless and easy labor and I say lucky them 🙂
The book touches on a lot of subjects like dilation, pushing and tearing. I had a second degree perineal tear (ouch) which required stitches and the recovery process was much harder than my labor itself. It took the full 6 weeks for me to heal and even then the area was tender for a few months. And if you didn’t know already, you also have to deliver your placenta. Some say this is like labor all over again, but for me I didn’t even notice the delivery of my placenta and it came out right after my baby. Maybe I was so mesmerized by those first few moments with my son to even notice.
Bonding And Parenting
Angie recommends skin to skin contact and I do too! Both my husband and I held our son on our chests as often as we could during our hospital stay. I will never forget that moment when my son was delivered and immediately placed on my chest. It is a wonderful bonding experience and makes the baby feel “at home” like in the womb.
The book also points out that being a new parent can put a strain on a parent’s relationship and cause some stress. Besides feeling tired and everything being a blur for the first few weeks, I felt like my husband and I had a more meaningful marriage after our son was born.
Overall, this book has some great information and touches on a lot of topics regarding pregnancy, diet, labor and parenting. It definitely covers all the basics for a first time mom who doesn’t know where to begin. Also, the book isn’t too long or overwhelming like some other pregnancy books.