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Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: Exploring the Surprising Science of Pregnancy
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Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: Exploring the Surprising Science of Pregnancy

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  442 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Brain Candy for expectant parents!

Pregnancy is an adventure.

Lots of books tell you the basics—“the baby is the size of [insert fruit here].” But pregnant science writer Jena Pincott began to wonder just how a baby might tinker with her body—and vice versa—and chased down answers to the questions she wouldn’t ask her doctor, such as:

• Does stress sharpen your baby’s mind
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published (first published October 11th 2011)
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A look at various scientific studies surrounding the physical, physiological, and hormonal circumstances of pregnancy. I really wanted to like this book, but in the end, I kept wishing it was written by Mary Roach (writer of Bonk, Packing for Mars etc). Pincott provides lots of studies, but no skepticism about any of them, most of which had only 20 participants, which is far too small a sample to make any sweeping claims. Way too much weight is given to evolutionary psychology studies that sound ...more
So once you're over reading "What to Expect" and similar titles that overload you with jargon and compares your baby's development to various fruits, any pregnant woman will be grateful for this read. Thoughtful, engrossing, and from a mother's point-of-view (a mother whose point-of-view happens to be synthesized from a host of recent/vetted scientific studies), this is a collection of answers to all the questions you've been asking, and some that you haven't thought to ask but are really compel ...more
This book was strongest when describing biology and weakest when it attempted to report evolutionary psychology as 'fact'. Trying to come at pregnancy issues from a scientific perspective is fantastic, but really really annoying when hotly debated theories are discussed as truths.
This book is a must read for anyone who believes in 'the god gene' or 'the gay gene' but probably not for anthropologists who dislike evolutionary psychology.
A book full of fascinating findings from recent scientific research, all in the context of the author's own pregnancy. The title drew me in, but it's actually much more substantial, delving into biology, epigenentics, psychology, and other areas of science. What did I learn? Pregnancy is weird.
This is by far my favorite pregnancy book so far and maybe even one of my all-time favorite science books. I loved the way in which Pincott wove her own personal stories with studies centered around a particular question. The style was always engaging, using language that explained the research without going over the reader’s head. The range of questions had a nice scope and I enjoyed learning more on the work being done to understand diet, genetics, and breast milk. I plan on picking up a copy ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: Mandy
Shelves: favorites
Sometimes there's a book that melds what you want to read with how you want to read about it. This is one of those, for me. I LOVE learning about pregnancy and what my body is going through. Not only do I get to learn about that in Jena Pincott's book, I also get to learn why, evolutionarily, we developed that way. It's a win-win. The book follows questions from if morning sickness (aka all-day-all-the-time sickness) is useful all the way to does the mood moms are in when they breastfeed affect ...more
This book was fabulous. It delved into the science of pregnancy (everything from morning sickness to colic) in terms that were easy to understand and enjoyable. I have a science background (my bachelor's was in Physiology and Developmental Biology with a lot of emphasis and fetal development and reproduction) and while there were some terms that I was familiar with, a lot of the science the author produced was new to me. She obviously did her research and did it well. Jena Pincott knows her stuf ...more
Meticulously researched, this book is a lot of fun. Written in an engaging, conversational style, it nevertheless packs a scientific punch. Pincott manages to disseminate information in a way that's accessible to those of us who don't have PhDs, or even more than a passing interest in science. But she's at her absolute best when she shares personal anecdotes about her pregnancy, her childbirth experience, and the first few months at home with her new baby. I would have happily read another book ...more
Anja Manning
This book was great.
I could read a book that wasn't "Your pregnancy..." or "Your baby...", but even a scientific text - and yet I could obsess even more about our little bundle to come.

The book was easy to read, in short chapters; it was entertaining and very educational.

I highly recommend it.
Best pregnancy book I've read.

During the early stages of my first pregnancy, I found myself famished for information. The 'What to expect' type books provided me with the dry superficial answers (yeah yeah, hormones, increased blood circulation, I get it), and even worse, I was occasionally shocked at the astounding amount of ignorance, wives tales and misinformation out there in the form of online forums and blogs (which I have since banned myself from out of frustration). I wanted more!
Valerie Butera
Read a million books about parenting and babies and what to do with one (I sure as hell didn't know) while I was pregnant - I only enjoyed 2 - and this was my very favorite. A compilation of many studies on babies and what's going on while they're in the womb (primarily) with a little about about what happens right after they arrive. It's truly a fun and informative read for expectant moms.
Dana Resch Lopez
Informative, written in a way that helps you wrap your mind around some of the crazier parts of being pregnant. I'd say a MUST READ for anyone who's a parent or about to become a parent, or really anyone who's interested in the science of being pregnant...there's just too much good stuff to take away and think about.
I don't know. The author has some pretty weak scientific credentials, and then after I read more of her work and she talked about the studies she used to draw her conclusions, the less I trusted her analysis of the studies. Plus, some of what she says about gender, fat people, etc... was kind of offensive.
May 25, 2014 Melissa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
I read this during my fifth pregnancy and I thought it was fascinating! The how and why of what's going on is far more interesting and motivating than a list of do's and don'ts during pregnancy. I wanted to exercise and eat better because I gained a deeper understanding of what's going on inside. I learned more about the long list of benefits for taking care of our emotional and physical health during pregnancy. It was just an extra bonus that reading this helped me feel less guilt for my dark c ...more
Catherine Gillespie
You can find out why, and lots of other completely fascinating scientific trivia about pregnancy in Jena Pincott’s entertaining book Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy.

Overall, I found the book quite interesting. I decided early on not to let myself freak out over the implications of epigenetics (the way environmental factors can influence genes) because you could easily get hung up on how many of which vitamin to eat, the pros and cons of soy, and that
It's "Freakanomics" for the pregnant set- super fun sciency tidbits to think about but not take 100% seriously.
Kayt Sukel
Fantastic and so much fun--the perfet remedy for those boring (and somewhat scary) What to Expect books.
quick question: how is it that every other book i've reviewed lately does not have a cover image scan? it's kind of weird. like somehow i fell down the rabbit hole into a world of books so forgotten that no one has even scanned in their covers.

it doesn't make sense because this book is pretty good! it's ALMOST gift book-adjacent. a few years ago i read this goofy book (totally gift book-adjacent) called why do men have nipples?. i kind of expected this book to be like that, only less general int
I am a sucker for facts. In this book, we delve into the nitty gritty of a pregnancy. It's not so much a "how to" book or even a book about pregnancy stories. What it really is is a review of what the scientific community has learned so far about what happens to mothers and babies during and after a pregnancy. It's divided into very bite-size sections, so for those of us with pregnancy-brain, it's great for some before-bed or waiting-room reading.

The parts most interesting to me? The section abo
The reaction I had to this book was, "oh, that's interesting."

Two facts, however, were fascinating to me-

1. Some of the baby's cells sneak across the placenta and embed themselves in my body. This is why when I was pregnant with Lillian, I got weird plaques on the the skin of my upper torso- IT WAS LILLIAN'S SKIN SLOUGH. Some of these sneakers are stem cells, so they stick around and BECOME PART OF ME, making liver or thyroid or whatever kind of cells they turn into. Thus, I am still carrying a
A really fun read about all the things that would (and did) cross a pregnant woman's mind. The author wrote the book so that it would follow the progression of her own pregnancy. She regurgitates data on who has the worst morning sickness during her own first weeks of pregnancy (people who have diets primarily of fish). She researches the effects of music (whether reading along or headphones on the tummy) at 16 weeks. She spent an awful lot of time talking about her husband, and husbands in gene ...more
Loving this book so far. It appeals to the geek in me, focusing on the scientific evidence of old wives tales as well as new research. Written in question/answer format and turning her questions inward to her own pregnancy, her writing style keeps me interested. The author is very level headed about all of the research, acknowledging that one study alone isn't evidence enough and that even multiple studies showing the same results are best applied to broad populations, rather than individual sit ...more
This was SO fascinating--somebody was quoted as calling it "brain candy" for expecting parents, and I agree! It explains the exact science behind so many pregnancy things I've experienced, heard of, and wondered about, including clearing up several wives tales. I really enjoyed it, but watch out for the section on sex during pregnancy, she gets a bit descriptive for my taste.
Literary Mama
It's a thought as tempting as chocolate itself: devouring that entire box of Ferrero Rocher in your second trimester not only helps you de-stress but sweetens your baby's temperament too. Could it be true? To find out, you'll have to read Jena Pincott's new book, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? And after you savor the chapter on chocolate, you'll discover the science behind morning sickness, mamas boys, daddy genes -- and every other question you might have about pregnancy.

Read Literary
This book is not a guide on how your pregnancy progress month to month. Instead from my point of view, its an entertaining book that tells you, what most woman want to hear. Seriously. it claims to be scientific but to me is just pure entertainment. I had fun reading it. Would recommend it.
Part science study, part ode to her child that she gave birth to while writing this book (although what kind of name is Una?), there were some really fascinating studies and information presented here. For example, most women begin labor at night, which may have evolutionary reasons (back in hunter/gatherer times, night would be when everyone was back from hunting/gathering, and thus could assist the laboring woman) and the number one pregnancy craving for women is nachos. Sometimes Pincott got ...more
Full of interesting tidbits about pregnancy and fetal development, and well-structured chronologically, in nicely bite-sized chapters. Probably a 3-star read for most people, but a 4-star read for a pregnant lady like me -- I loved learning how a mom's behavior and consumption during pregnancy could affect her child.

I think Pincott did a good job of sharing ideas and possibilities while not getting too carried away with conclusions based on small studies. I kept wanting to flag sections and sha
This book was very interesting. I picked it up from the library as soon as I found out I was pregnant. Some of the studies were so interesting. I especially found the effects of over or underrating on a third generation as interesting. However, I don't know how much take away advice I got from this book. I did start taking DHA supplements, and will definately try to spend the first hour with the baby skin-to-skin. It's also good to know that mild to moderate stress is good for the baby, because ...more
while i am not planning on getting pregnant again, i still love to learn about it. This was a wonderful book with enough science to interest even a non-pregnant person. at the same time it contains enough advice and scientific "helpfulness" to make any mother-to-be horribly paranoid and anxiety-ridden. So I suppose in that sense it is a successful pregnancy books.
I liked how the author sprinkled in bits about her own pregnancy, giving a more relevant feel to all the dry studies. I am amazed she
This book is not supposed to replace scholarly scientific research if read with that in mind, you'll enjoy it. Everyone is so serious about pregnancy and the like, but sometimes you just want to giggle a little. This book does that. A nice break from the" how to' books this plays around with the ' why' and sparks the imagination with not so common thoughts on the subject. Let's not make this book more than what it is a very superficial, braising the surface, literature review. If you want more y ...more
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