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1 Beaverton Child Care and Parenting- Pregnancy and Birth
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Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-And What You Really Need to Know

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Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-And What You Really Need to Know Cover

ISBN13: 9781594204753
ISBN10: 1594204756
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An award-winning economist disproves standard recommendations for pregnant women in favor of a more informed and relaxed approach.

Pregnancy — unquestionably one of the most profound, meaningful experiences of adulthood — can reduce otherwise intelligent women to, well, babies. We're told to avoid cold cuts, sushi, alcohol, and coffee, but aren't told why these are forbidden. Rules for prenatal testing are hard and fast — and unexplained. Are these recommendations even correct? Are all of them right for every mom-to-be? In Expecting Better, award-winning economist Emily Oster proves that pregnancy rules are often misguided and sometimes flat-out wrong.

A mom-to-be herself, Oster debunks the myths of pregnancy using her particular mode of critical thinking: economics, the study of how we get what we want. Oster knows that the value of anything — a home, an amniocentesis — is in the eyes of the informed beholder, and like any complicated endeavor, pregnancy is not a one-size-fits-all affair. And yet medicine often treats it as such. Are doctors working from bad data? Are well-meaning friends and family perpetuating false myths and raising unfounded concerns? Oster's answer is yes, and often.

Pregnant women face an endless stream of decisions, from the casual (Can I eat this?) to the frightening (Is it worth risking a miscarriage to test for genetic defects?). Expecting Better presents the hard facts and real-world advice you'll never get at the doctors office or in the existing literature. Oster's revelatory work identifies everything from the real effects of caffeine and tobacco to the surprising dangers of gardening.

Any expectant mother knows that the health of her baby is paramount, but she will be less anxious and better able to enjoy a healthy pregnancy if she is informed... and can have the occasional glass of wine.

Numbers are not subject to someone else's interpretation — math doesn't lie. Expectant economist Emily Oster set out to inform parents-to-be about the truth of pregnancy using the most up-to-date data so that they can make the best decisions for their pregnancies. The results she found were often very surprising…

  • It's fine to have the occasional glass of wine — even one every day — in the second and third trimesters.
  • There is nothing to fear from sushi, but do stay away from raw milk cheese.
  • Sardines and herring are the fish of choice to give your child those few extra IQ points.
  • There is no evidence that bed rest is helpful in preventing or treating any complications of pregnancy.
  • Many unnecessary labor inductions could be avoided by simply staying hydrated.
  • Epidurals are great for pain relief and fine for your baby, but they do carry some risks for mom.
  • Limiting women to ice chips during labor is an antiquated practice; you should at least be able to sneak in some Gatorade.
  • You shouldn't worry about dyeing your hair or cleaning the cats litter box, but gardening while pregnant can actually be risky.
  • Hot tubs, hot baths, hot yoga: avoid (at least during the first trimester).
  • You should be more worried about gaining too little weight during pregnancy than gaining too much.
  • Most exercise during pregnancy is fine (no rock climbing!), but there isn't much evidence that it has benefits. Except for exercising your pelvic floor with Kegels: that you should be doing.
  • Your eggs do not have a 35-year-old sell-by date: plenty of women get pregnant after 35 and there is no sudden drop in fertility on your birthday.
  • Miscarriage risks from tests like the CVS and Amniocentesis are far lower than cited by most doctors.
  • Pregnancy nausea may be unpleasant, but its a good sign: women who are sick are less likely to miscarry.

Review:

“This is a fascinating — and reassuring — look at the most important numbers of your pregnancy. It will make parents-to-be rethink much of the conventional wisdom: think bed rest is a good idea? Think again. This may be the most important book about pregnancy you read.” Steven D. Levitt, New York Times bestselling co-author of Freakonomics

Review:

"Expecting Better gives moms-to-be a big helping of peace of mind! Oster debunks many tired old myths and shines a light on issues that really matter." Harvey, Karp, MD, bestselling author of The Happiest Baby Guide to Sleep and The Happiest Baby on the Block

Review:

"It took someone as smart as Emily Oster to make it all this simple. She cuts through the thicket of anxiety and received wisdom, and gives us the facts. Expecting Better is both enlightening and calming. It almost makes me want to get pregnant." Pamela Druckerman, New York Times bestselling author of Bringing Up Bébé and Bébé Day by Day

Review:

"Expecting Better is a fascinating and reassuring tour of pregnancy and childbirth, with data leading the way at every juncture. From start to finish, Oster easily leads us through the key findings of the extant pregnancy-related research. My only regret is that my wife and I had three children without the benefit of this insightful approach." Charles Wheelan, New York Times bestselling author of Naked Statistics

Review:

"The only antidote to pregnancy anxiety is facts, and Emily Oster has them in spades. Disarmingly personal and easy to read, this book is guaranteed to cut your freaking out in half. Pregnancy studies has a new heroine. Every pregnant woman will cheer this book — and want to take Oster out for a shot of espresso." Rachel Simmons, New York Times bestselling author of Curse of the Good Girl

Synopsis:

An award-winning social scientist uses the tools of economics to debunk myths about pregnancy and to empower women to make better decisions while they’re expecting.

Pregnancy is full of rules. Pregnant women are often treated as if they were children, given long lists of items to avoid — alcohol, caffeine, sushi — without any real explanation from their doctors about why. They hear frightening and contradictory myths about everything from weight gain to sleeping on your back to bed rest from friends and pregnancy books. Award-winning economist Emily Oster believes there is a better way. In Expecting Better, Oster shows that the information given to pregnant women is sometimes wrong and almost always oversimplified, and she debunks a host of standard recommendations on everything from drinking to fetal testing.

When Oster was expecting her first child, she felt powerless to make the right decisions for her pregnancy. How doctors think and what patients need are two very different things. So Oster drew on her own experience and went in search of the real facts about pregnancy using an economist’s tools. Economics is not just a study of finance. It’s the science of determining value and making informed decisions. To make a good decision, you need to understand the information available to you and to know what it means to you as an individual.

Take alcohol. We all know that Americans are cautious about drinking during pregnancy. Official recommendations call for abstinence. But Oster argues that the medical research doesn’t support this; the vast majority of studies show no impact from an occasional drink. The few studies that do condemn light drinking are deeply flawed, including one in which the light drinkers were also heavy cocaine users.

Expecting Better overturns standard recommendations for alcohol, caffeine, sushi, bed rest, and induction while putting in context the blanket guidelines for fetal testing, weight gain, risks of pregnancy over the age of thirty-five, and nausea, among others.

Oster offers the real-world advice one would never get at the doctor’s office. Knowing that the health of your baby is paramount, readers can know more and worry less. Having the numbers is a tremendous relief — and so is the occasional glass of wine.

This groundbreaking guidebook is as fascinating as it is practical.

About the Author

Emily Oster is an associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She was a speaker at the 2007 TED conference and her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Esquire. Oster is married to economist Jesse Shapiro and is the also the daughter of two economists. She has one child, Penelope.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

mybodymyself, September 2, 2013 (view all comments by mybodymyself)
Back with even more observations of the book and its author Ms Oster. I totally forgot mentioned about postpartum aka fourth trimester, not labor and delivery. At least as I know of from my previous learning and researching regarding all of this. Have found that I have a love and hate relationship with both the book and her. I for one really prefer both Jennifer Margulis, Sarah J Buckley, their books Business of Baby, Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. Over her, Annie Murphy Paul, Randi Hutter Epstein, their books Origins, Get Me Out. At the same time heres some authors Jennifer Block, Tina Cassidy, Martha Brockenbrough, their books Pushed, Birth, It Could Happen to You!. In which I have a love and hate relationship with them and their books. This also applies all other mainstream authors and their books that are out there. I really prefer alternative ones more then anything else or at least mixed of both alternative and mainstream ones.

Think thats it for now.

Thank you, again, in advance.

Jessica
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
mybodymyself, August 30, 2013 (view all comments by mybodymyself)
Heres another article (Pregnant, and Disputing the Doctor: After having a child, Emily Oster wrote “Expecting Better,” a book that challenges the conventional wisdom on pregnancy) that I have found awhile back. I mean the day it came it out. I'm currently in the midst of reading this particular book. Its not like what the reviewer thinks it is. Well, at least not in the intro and 1st part of it, but the rest of it. But at the same time I have found that it was lacking certain areas. Like beyond basic conception, elective c-sections, freestanding birth centers, parenting, and maybe others. In which I highly the other book that I'm in the midst of reading Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us, Christine Gross-Loh. Again, this is like a book that I have read earlier this summer, The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line, Jennifer Margulis. At the same time have mentioned as well. In which both of these books and their authors like another book that I have read Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity, Emily Matchar. Have also mentioned this book.

Think thats it for now.

Thank you, again, in advance.

Jessica A Bruno
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594204753
Subtitle:
Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-And What You Really Need to Know
Author:
Oster, Emily
Publisher:
Penguin Press HC, The
Subject:
Business - General
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20130820
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Business » General
Business » Management
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Pregnancy and Birth
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-And What You Really Need to Know New Hardcover
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Product details 336 pages Penguin Press HC, The - English 9781594204753 Reviews:
"Review" by , “This is a fascinating — and reassuring — look at the most important numbers of your pregnancy. It will make parents-to-be rethink much of the conventional wisdom: think bed rest is a good idea? Think again. This may be the most important book about pregnancy you read.”
"Review" by , "Expecting Better gives moms-to-be a big helping of peace of mind! Oster debunks many tired old myths and shines a light on issues that really matter." Harvey, Karp, MD, bestselling author of The Happiest Baby Guide to Sleep and The Happiest Baby on the Block
"Review" by , "It took someone as smart as Emily Oster to make it all this simple. She cuts through the thicket of anxiety and received wisdom, and gives us the facts. Expecting Better is both enlightening and calming. It almost makes me want to get pregnant." Pamela Druckerman, New York Times bestselling author of Bringing Up Bébé and Bébé Day by Day
"Review" by , "Expecting Better is a fascinating and reassuring tour of pregnancy and childbirth, with data leading the way at every juncture. From start to finish, Oster easily leads us through the key findings of the extant pregnancy-related research. My only regret is that my wife and I had three children without the benefit of this insightful approach."
"Review" by , "The only antidote to pregnancy anxiety is facts, and Emily Oster has them in spades. Disarmingly personal and easy to read, this book is guaranteed to cut your freaking out in half. Pregnancy studies has a new heroine. Every pregnant woman will cheer this book — and want to take Oster out for a shot of espresso."
"Synopsis" by , An award-winning social scientist uses the tools of economics to debunk myths about pregnancy and to empower women to make better decisions while they’re expecting.

Pregnancy is full of rules. Pregnant women are often treated as if they were children, given long lists of items to avoid — alcohol, caffeine, sushi — without any real explanation from their doctors about why. They hear frightening and contradictory myths about everything from weight gain to sleeping on your back to bed rest from friends and pregnancy books. Award-winning economist Emily Oster believes there is a better way. In Expecting Better, Oster shows that the information given to pregnant women is sometimes wrong and almost always oversimplified, and she debunks a host of standard recommendations on everything from drinking to fetal testing.

When Oster was expecting her first child, she felt powerless to make the right decisions for her pregnancy. How doctors think and what patients need are two very different things. So Oster drew on her own experience and went in search of the real facts about pregnancy using an economist’s tools. Economics is not just a study of finance. It’s the science of determining value and making informed decisions. To make a good decision, you need to understand the information available to you and to know what it means to you as an individual.

Take alcohol. We all know that Americans are cautious about drinking during pregnancy. Official recommendations call for abstinence. But Oster argues that the medical research doesn’t support this; the vast majority of studies show no impact from an occasional drink. The few studies that do condemn light drinking are deeply flawed, including one in which the light drinkers were also heavy cocaine users.

Expecting Better overturns standard recommendations for alcohol, caffeine, sushi, bed rest, and induction while putting in context the blanket guidelines for fetal testing, weight gain, risks of pregnancy over the age of thirty-five, and nausea, among others.

Oster offers the real-world advice one would never get at the doctor’s office. Knowing that the health of your baby is paramount, readers can know more and worry less. Having the numbers is a tremendous relief — and so is the occasional glass of wine.

This groundbreaking guidebook is as fascinating as it is practical.

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