Tag Archives: Pregnancy

My Caesarean edited by Amanda Fields


Title: My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After
Author: Amanda Fields
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Essays, Memoirs, Pregnancy
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Year: 2019


Surprisingly, considering one third of Australians have a caesarean, after being blindsided by mine, I realised I had ZERO CLOSE FRIENDS who’d been through this. In the weeks after my daughter was born, this fact left me feeling surprisingly disconnected from my fellow mums. In a moment when I thought I’d feel even more connected by shared experiences. So I decided to do what I always do… find a book that could help me with this. And this was the perfect book to do that.

Every birth story is different. Including caesareans. Like everything, our stories run the gambit from seriously enjoyable to downright terrifying. My own sits somewhere in the middle, but leaning towards the positives. I love that this collection includes the different emotions and experiences. It’s not trying to paint caesareans in any light other than what they are… a modern medical intervention that has let countless mothers and children live. But one that is contentious and can leave people feeling like they somehow “failed”.

Although many of these stories take place many years ago (quite a few before I was was born), they still have that relatability. Even if the technology and process has continued to drastically alter and evolve, the process is still the same. This gave me so many moments of empathy and points that I could just smile and relate to. For someone that doesn’t have anyone in their personal life that can do this… it was incredibly cathartic. In some instances, this was a laughing moment or a secret smile. In others, I cried a few tears as I finished processing my own birth story.

Even if you haven’t or never will have a caesarean. If you don’t know anyone who has, or are just plain curious. This is well worth a read. It gives insight into the feelings and experiences of women who are unafraid to share their experiences and feelings. The good, the bad, the ugly and the out and out joyful.

<- More essaysMore pregnancy ->

Image source: Goodreads

How to Grow a Baby by Clemmie Hooper

How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out: A guide to pregnancy and birth straight  from the midwife's mouth: Hooper, Clemmie: 9781785040382: Amazon.com: Books

Title: How to Grow a Baby
Author: Clemmie Hooper
Rating Out of 5: 2.5 (Readable, but not worth reading again)
My Bookshelves: Medical, Non-fiction, Pregnancy
Dates read: 17th August – 21st October 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Non-fictional text
Publisher: Vermilion
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: It is around 37.5cm long (from head to toe, but it is curled up inside you).


Everything you wanted to know but were too embarrassed to ask – a guide to pregnancy and birth straight from the midwife’s mouth.

Mum to four and midwife to many, Clemmie Hooper wants to share her knowledge, wisdom and stories about pregnancy and birth. Based around the time of your antenatal appointments, she’ll guide you through each crucial stage of pregnancy as well as fully preparing you for labour, birth and beyond. From how to prevent tearing to what you really need in your hospital bag, Clemmie reveals everything pregnant women need to know with a good dose of humour and wit.


Probably not one of my favourite pregnancy books of late. I think partly that was because this was very UK based, and it was a little more decisive in advice than others. Plus, Up the Duff was amazing, and I don’t think much actually compares to it.

Having said that, I didn’t mind this book. It was interesting and did have some good information. Just not much that is pertinent to me. I mean, I’m Australian, it makes somethings hard to relate to in a UK based book.

Regardless of the fact that I didn’t necessarily love this, it was still worth the read. Still a book that I enjoyed and found some useful information in.

I’ll probably flick through this book another few times our if interests sake. But, not one I feel the need to ever read cover to cover again.

<- More pregnancyMore medical ->

Image source: Amazon

Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke

Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke - Penguin Books Australia

Title: Up the Duff
Author: Kaz Cooke
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Humour, Non-fiction, Pregnancy
Dates read: 5th June – 17th October 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Non-fictional text
Publisher: Viking
Year: 1999
5th sentence, 74th page: According to one American pregnancy book cover, this is when you will wear an Alice band and a hideous lemon doona cover with a Peter Pan collar, and stare out the window holding a cup and saucer like a demented fool.


Kaz Cooke tells you everything you need to know about your pregnancy and birth. No bossy-boots rules, just the best, funniest and most reassuring practical advice, plus lots of cartoons. Up the Duff is backed by heaps of medical and other experts.


The moment I found out I was pregnant I told one of my close girlfriends. She immediately recommended this book. And wow. Am I glad that she did.

This book is realistic and fun. It gives you a whole heap of information without sounding preachy. And it just makes you feel less overwhelmed about the whole first time mother thing. Or at least, that’s what it did for me.

The sass and humour with which this book gives you important information makes some pretty scary topics feel much… less scary. I mean, whole chapters on labour that didn’t make me want to run to the bathroom and throw up. I can’t begin to explain how much better that made me feel.

Any expectant (or wanting to be expectant) mothers really need to invest in this book. Its amazing. It’s informative. And it most definitely made me feel less stressed and scared.

<- More humour booksBabies & Toddlers ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

Expecting Better by Emily Oster

Expecting Better, Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and What  You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster | 9781409177920 | Booktopia

Title: Expecting Better
Author: Emily Oster
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Medical, Non-fiction, Pregnancy
Dates read: 17th August – 25th September 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Non-fictional text, Novel
Publisher: Orion Spring
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: In one study the miscarriage rate was 4.4 percent for women under 20, 6.7 percent for women 20 to 35 and almost 19 percent for women over 35.


Award-winning economist Emily Oster debunks myths about pregnancy to empower women while they’re expecting.

When Oster was expecting her first child, she felt powerless to make the right decisions for her pregnancy, so she drew on her own experience and went in search of the real facts – by using an economist’s tool.

In Expecting Better she overturns standard recommendations for:

  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • sush
  • bed rest
  • miscarriage
  • induction

She also puts into context the blanket guidelines for antenatal testing, weight gain, risks of pregnancy over the age of thirty-five, and nausea, among others.


This was an incredibly unique take and spin on the whole pregnancy thing. Most of the time it out and out disagreed with what we see as the conventional wisdom. And, whilst I may not agree with everything in this, I was most definitely intrigued with the ideas and discussions set forth.

Although I didn’t necessarily agree with everything in this book, I did love how the evidence was presented. That, and the fact that as Oster pointed out, everyone has different cost / benefit analyses and so should be equally educated. It also made me feel better about the little bit of caffeine I consume every week in my one or two coffees… that alone made me incredibly happy.

I also loved that throughout this Oster used numbers to weigh up the evidence. I may not be great at doing statistical analysis, but I am good at understanding it and using this to weigh up my decision making. In fact, there’s been a few more controversial topics / decisions in my pregnancy which have used pretty much the same system.

All in all, I found this to be a very, very worthwhile buy. As I said, there were some things I just didn’t agree with, but as Oster points out, she looked at the numbers and made her decision. I (or her friends) look at them and make another choice. It certainly made me feel a lot more settled and comfortable in my pregnancy decision making.

<- More pregnancy booksMore medical books ->

Image source: Booktopia

Things I Wish I’d Known edited by Victoria Young

Things I Wish I'd Known, Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood by Victoria  Young | 9781785780370 | Booktopia

Title: Things I Wish I’d Known
Author: Victoria Young
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Memoirs, Pregnancy
Dates read: 15th – 28th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Icon
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: And it is that now, I have finally come to love my breasts.


Things I Wish I’d Known sees some of the most brilliant writers reveal the truth of what it’s really like to be a mother.

Look inside many parenting books and what do you see? Advice about how to be a glowing mother-to-be and how to rear pristine, beautifully-behaved children. But the reality is, your pregnancy might be a sweaty, moody rollercoaster; your children and you will almost certainly spend the first few years of their lives covered in food, tears and worse, and you may spend the first few months of motherhood wondering where the heck your old life has vanished to. Not to say that the experience isn’t still magical, of course!

In this no-holds-barred collection of essays, prominent women, including Cathy Kelly, Adele Parks, Kathy Lette and Lucy Porter (and many more) explore the truth about becoming mothers. Packed with searingly honest writing about everything from labour to the Breastapo, twins to single parenthood, weaning to post-birth sex, Things I Wish I’d Known is a reassuring, moving and often hilarious collection that will speak to mothers – and mothers-to-be – everywhere.


I’m obviously feeling a little bit anxious about become a first time mum. I mean, I don’t really know someone who isn’t when they find out that they’re expecting for the first time. Which made this a seriously happy and comforting book to read. Rather than waxing on and off about how amazing motherhood is, this book is far more realistic.

Each chapter of this book is beautifully written. It deals with a multitude of realities and experiences. And, honestly, it just highlights the fact that every single parent, every single child, every single experience is different. Again, something that I found seriously comforting. I mean, it just shows that when all of your experiences are different, none of you is actually doing anything “wrong”.

Not only is this book serious in places and filled with information. It is also filled with humour. And the oddities of parenthood. It doesn’t stay stuck on ideas of what is proper, right or wrong. Rather, it focuses on a reality of… well, real life. Real life isn’t perfect and picturesque, but it is fun and worth doing. Which is the overarching message I got from this book.

I absolutely adored and devoured this book. It helped me feel a little more settled about what is to come, which, when you’re growing a human being, is kind of seriously helpful…

<- Bad GroundBlack Dragon River ->

Image source: Booktopia

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

What to Expect When You're Expecting :HarperCollins Australia

Title: What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Author: Heidi Murkoff
Rating Out of 5: 1 (Couldn’t get past the first page)
My Bookshelves: Non-fiction, Pregnancy
Dates read: 26th July – 21st August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year: 1969
5th sentence, 74th page: This therapy uses physical manipulation of the spine and other joints to enable nerve impulses to move freely through an aligned body, encouraging the body’s natural ability to heal.


Expect the best! A brand-new fifth edition – filled with the most up-to-date, accurate, and relevant information on all things pregnancy. Realistic, supportive, easy to access, and overflowing with practical tips covering everything you’ll need – and want – to know about life’s most amazing journey, from preconception planning to birth, to those first few miraculous weeks with your new baby. It’s all here: the lowdown on lifestyle trends and life in the workplace; the latest in prenatal testing and alternative therapies; the best in birthing options.


I know that this is one of those recommended books for when you’re expecting. And I did read some not positive reviews before buying it. Turns out that I probably should have listened and not bothered.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but i honestly just didn’t find it informative or useful. I’ve got some other pregnancy books on my shelves that I’m finding far more informative. But, I suppose, each to their own.

<- More Non-fictionMore pregnancy ->

Image source: Harper Collins Australia

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine | 9781416524724 |  Booktopia

Title: The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy: Or Everything Your Doctor Won’t Tell You
Author: Vicki Iovine
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Humour, Non-fiction, Pregnancy
Dates read: 17th June – 3rd July 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Pocket Books
Year: 1995
5th sentence, 74th page: Second, save the home births, midwives, and underwater deliveries for second, third, and fourth babies.



Your Girlfriends, of course – at least, the ones who’ve been through the exhilaration and exhaustion, the agony and ecstasy of pregnancy. Four-time delivery room veteran Vicki Iovine, “the Carrie Bradshaw of pregnancy” (Wall Street Journal), talks to you the way only a best friend can – in the book that will go the whole nine months for every mother-to-be. Now, in this newly revised and updated edition, get the lowdown on all those little things that are too strange or embarrassing to ask, practical tips, and hilarious takes on everything pregnant.

What Really Happens to Your Body – from morning sickness and gas to eating everything in sight – and what it’s like to go from being a babe to having one.

The Many Moods of Pregnancy – why you’re so irritable / distracted / tired / light-headed (or at least more than usual).

Plus, the latest scoop on…

Staying Stylish – You may be pregnant, but you can still be the fashionista you’ve always been (or at least you don’t have to look like a walking beach ball) – wearing the hippest designers and proudly showing off your bump.

Pregnancy Is Down to a Science – from in vitro fertilization to a scheduled C-section, the latest technology provides so many options, alternatives, and tests, it can all be downright confusing.

… and much more! For a reassuring voice or just a few good belly laughs, turn to this straight-talking guide on what to really expect when you’re expecting.


So obviously I read this because I’m pregnant and, me being me, I need to know everything I possibly can about what what expect. But, I also didn’t want to read something that was preachy. This book was the perfect fit. It was funny and light in places, serious in others. And, it highlights the fact that we all experience pregnancy differently, there is no right or wrong way and it’s about getting through it sane!!

Unlike some of my other books, this isn’t split into the different times in pregnancy (week, trimester, etc). Instead, it’s split by topics. I particularly liked the section on exercise since I’ve been feeling guilty for not exercising as much as I used to. Iovine helped me to feel so much less guilty about it all.

I love that whilst you get Iovine’s own experiences. You also got those of her friends. She CONSTANTLY points out that everyone has a different experience. I think its something seriously important, and she also points out that you get to be a little selfish and insane at times…

All in all, I loved this book. And will probably refer to it multiple times throughout my pregnancy. It’s that comfort of having a friend say nope, you’re not nuts… but at any time of day or night whenever you need it… and it would be inappropriate to ACTUALLY call your girlfriends.

<- More PregnancyMore Non-fiction ->

Image source: Booktopia