Three years ago, when economist Emily Oster found out she was pregnant, she admits she found herself "drowning in frequently alarmist pregnancy advice." The books, she said, didn't always agree with her doctor; her doctor didn't always agree with the official recommendations made; and the Internet never agreed with anyone. Oster says, "I definitely got the impression there was a lot to worry about, but no one seemed to be able to agree on exactly what those worries should include." So, the mom-to-be set out to do her own research — and to tackle the pregnancy topics that she needed answers to. Her book, Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-and What You Really Need to Know, answers all that (and more!).
Oster told CNN she realized that medical recommendations come from studies and the she could use her training (in both economics and statistics) to evaluate the findings and get to the bottom on the pregnancy "rules" without the conflicting advice from doctors, the Internet and books. She set out to inform herself, as well as other parents-to-be, about the truth on pregnancy by using the most up-to-date and current data so that women could make the most informed decisions about their bodies.
Looking back, Oster, says, the research was often exactly what she expected while other times, it was totally different. "The key to good decision‑making," Oster writes, "is taking information, the data, and combining it with your own estimates of pluses and minuses." Here are some of the most popular myths she tackles head-on in her book:
- Is Caffeine off limits?
- Should the type of prenatal testing you undergo differ if you are under or over age 35?
- Will sex help jump-start labor?
- Will an epidural lengthen your labor?
- Are unpasteurized soft cheeses off limits for moms-to-be?
There are more than 177 user reviews for the book on Amazon.com with over 72 five-star reviews and 85 one-star reviews for the read. Seems the audience is split on Oster's take.
Here's where to buy the book:
So, what do you think: will you read this book?