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Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  2,067 ratings  ·  263 reviews
This new Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy provides you with practical information and reassurance on pregnancy and childbirth. Compiled by Mayo Clinic experts in obstetrics, it offers a clear, thorough and reliable reference for this exciting and sometimes unpredictable journey. This comprehensive book includes: A month-by-month look at mom and baby, In-depth "Decision Guides ...more
Paperback, 614 pages
Published April 13th 2004 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Community Reviews

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I haven't read this one cover to cover, but I'm including it here anyway because it is by far my favorite pregnancy book. Most of them try to hold your hand, but then end up making you feel guilty that you're going to ruin your child's life if you don't do things exactly the way they describe in the book.

This one, however, is so clinic that there are no value judgments whatsoever. They explain that there are many different ways for pregnancies to progress and explain the different ways medical p
The very savvy marketing people make sure to note conspicuously on the cover that this book was written by doctors who are also parents. And you know what? That's a pretty useful thing to know. I'm not one of those people who believe that "one mom's simple trick to losing a belly" is automatically a smart diet plan or that a schoolteacher is likely to invent a cold prevention drug that the pharmaceutical companies couldn't. I prefer to leave my medicine to people who have actually been trained a ...more
Very informative and straightforward, particularly for someone like me who has no interest in giving birth anywhere other than a hospital. If you're interested in an alternative birthing arrangement, you won't find much information on that here, but that's probably not surprising, given who puts the book out. Other common pregnancy decisions (amnio or not? pain meds during labor or not? breast or bottle?) are described with a nonjudgmental rundown of the pros and cons of both sides.

Other than th
I chose this book as my "pregnancy reference guide" in lieu of "What to Expect..." due to its negative reviews. Fortunately, this book has the goods to back it up. Authoritative, objective, and grounded, this book omits the gushy "mommy" tones that I find in most pregnancy books and leave only the facts, including lots of statistics and outside additional sources to consider. This book also includes a lot of information on pre-pregnancy, labor, and post-pregnancy, which is nice. The middle of th ...more
By far the best pregnancy book out there. Much better than the most popular pregnancy book, which I borrowed and read a couple of years ago (you know which one I mean). First thing, this is a resource with academic credentials written by 2 OBs and 1 CNM and endorsed by the Mayo Clinic, v. the "mom" credentials of the other book where the author has no academic credentials. The differences go on from there.

Each month is broken out by explaining what is happening to baby and what's happening to m
Ravioli Rachel
You know what this means!!!

Physical copy would probably be a bit easier to navigate and flip around to different sections then the e-book was...
Jun 08, 2011 Rosy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
I eschewed the standard What to Expect When You Are Expecting because I am the type of person who thinks the worst case scenario will always happen to her, and after a few pages of What to Expect I knew reading it would turn me into a nutcase. The Mayo Clinic Guide is a straightforward, nonjudgmental, scientific reference book for pregnancy. There are no ponies and unicorns, no references to miraculous angels from heaven, no judgment on the normally controversial stuff like nursing versus formul ...more
More of a reference book than a cover-to-cover book. I was still in the market for a month-by-month book when I initially grabbed this. It's fine for that, if brief. The real value is in the "decision guides," alphabetical symptom index, and complications discussions.

Which raises an interesting question for me. Every time I opened this book to look up heartburn or carpel tunnel or whatever, I always snagged on the word "healthy" in the title. It's just such a meaningless word in this context. Pa
This book is a lifesaver, and is the only pregnancy book I consult regularly. My husband also finds it helpful. It gives you just enough info that you feel informed, but not so much that you feel like you're always on the verge of miscarriage. It has a few charts to consult if you're experiencing certain side effects (nausea, bleeding, dizziness, etc. and then in the third trimester section, cramping, etc.); the charts are possibly the most helpful thing in the book because they have rows for va ...more
Disclaimer: I didn't read this from cover to cover, but did read most of the salient chapters and sections.

The book is kind of an infodump. It's good if you like that, or if you're stranded on an island with no internet and no doctors. But if you're stranded on an island and pregnant, then you probably have bigger worries than what pregnancy books are worth reading.

Parts that I found helpful:

- Breakdown of what the mom should expect each couple of weeks.
- The fetus's growth and development broke
This may be my new go-to pregnancy guide, and I wish this was considered the "Pregnancy Bible" rather than the horrific "What to Expect While You're Expecting." Well organized, honest and straightforward without being condescending & fear-mongering, and encourages mothers-to-be to be active, informed participants in their prenatal care rather than patronizingly stating that you should "just so whatever the good doctor says..." This book is an incredibly helpful, informative pregnancy resourc ...more
Has been a great companion during my wife's pregnancy. Comes from a very traditional medical perspective, both a plus and a minus for couples looking at both traditional and non-tradition methods of medical care. From my understanding, much better than "What to Expect While Your Expecting" if you really want to understand the development of your baby and its effect on the mother.
When you are pregnant, you want to know two things:

What's going on with the baby?
What's happening to me?

This is a no-nonsense week-to-week guide to those two things. It leaves out all the sanctimonious bullshit contained in "What to expect..." because seriously, who needs that?
I've heard that the "What to Expect" series is patronizing and fear-inducing, so I got this book instead. No complaints - straight forward, reasonable, clear.
Erika RS
Of the pregnancy books I've read, this is most comparable to Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth. I'm not sure which I like better. The Mayo Clinic guide contains more details about pregnancy, including more information about the development of the fetus itself and useful information on gentle exercises to perform during pregnancy.

However, it is missing the key things I appreciated from the Our Bodies, Ourselves book: the sense of educating the reader about the various options available t
Chock full of information that's pretty much unbiased and very straightforward, and covers everything from nutrition to mental preparedness to complications. Definitely recommended for anyone who's expecting.

Update: Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that there's one glaring omission from this book (and pretty much every other major pregnancy book on the market) - stillbirth. Despite occurring in almost 1% of pregnancies and affecting 70-80 families *every day* in the US (that's 10 times as m
Lisette G.
Aug 30, 2008 Lisette G. rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mommies-to-be with complicated pregnancies
Recommended to Lisette G. by:
This book should be retitled: "Mayo Clinic Guide to Everything That Could Go Wrong in an Unhealthy Pregnancy and Complicated Delivery."

My first issue with this book is that I thought it would focus on pregnancy, given its title - but pregnancy only takes up like, 1/3 of its pages. The rest goes on about birth and what happens afterwards.

But my main issue is that it especially likes to go into all the complications that could happen to you and all of the medical interventions that you'll have to
This is exactly what it says: a guide. Though, the part about it being a guide to a "healthy" pregnancy is a little presumptuous- I don't think reading it has made my pregnancy any healthier / I don't think this book should only be meant for healthy pregnancies... but what do I know. :)
Being a hypochondriac, I like how the book is factual but leaves all the freak-out 'what if' questions to your doctor. For example, there is a chart of common symptoms to reference, and it tells you how soon you s
As a science junkie who looks at medical imagery all day long, this book is a perfect companion to pregnancy. I initially picked up "What to Expect When You're Expecting" upon seeing the double lines, but I quickly found that its advice was a little dumbed-down and outdated for my taste. The Mayo Clinic's book instead is much more, well, medical, and explains the ups and downs of pregnancy as a science. That is, instead of just listing things you can do to ease morning sickness, it explains diff ...more
We've been working our way through this one since July. Reasonably non-alarmist and excellent for my inner scientist--it's not as touchy-feely as a lot of the pregnancy books out there, but provides a lot of solid information. Easily arranged for browsing and/or quick reference, along with an extensive index.

There is a bunch of information (crammed into a lengthy section) on Things That Can Go Wrong, but (a) it's all pushed into one section you can easily skip over if you want, and (b) even the
Aug 22, 2008 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pregnant or working-on-pregnant folk
We keep this on the kitchen table, using it as a reference as my gut slowly expands. It's clear, easy to search, non-alarmist and thorough. Yes, it presumes you are working with an OB/GYN and birthing in a hospital. But it acknowledges midwifery and birth center options in a balanced manner. No home births discussed, except as emergencies. Before all my fellow pregnant ladies get their knickers in a twist about that, please refer to the title: THE MAYO CLINIC Guide. Ergo, they have a vested inte ...more
Ginny Pennekamp
This was a pretty straightforward and easy to read book, generally upbeat and positive, and about 2/3rds of it was just a reference book for anything you might want to know or any symptom you might have.

The pregnancy part was informative and dry. There wasn't too much info per section, but they didn't waste time on things you didn't need to know either.

I found the small section on taking home your newborn and what happens after to be the best part of the book. Nothing I'd read yet had really add
This is the best and most comprehensive pregnancy I've read. I'd say this is the only pregnancy book you'd ever have to purchase and you'd be set. The first third of the book goes into your Pregnancy Week-by-Week, telling you how your baby is developing and what the average woman might be experiencing during those weeks. The second third of the book details the different decisions you might have to make during labor and delivery. It gives you options without telling you right or wrong, or being ...more
Great weekly and monthly details for what the heck is going on - more involved with those details than any other books I've looked at. Pregnancy problems are housed in their own little section for me to read when I feel brave (rather than having them pop up and surprise me when I just want to know whether the kid has fingerprints yet).
Elizabeth Abney
Non-alarmist and focusing on commonsense good-health measures (get plenty of rest, eat lots of grains and fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly). The mom and baby week-by-week section isn’t as thorough as I would have liked, but the reference sections with everything from decision making guides, to how pre-existing conditions can affect pregnancy, to common complications with labor and delivery, through postpartum care is a wealth of good information. I am sure that I will be flipping th ...more
Nnenna Nkouka
This book was useful in providing me with facts with every week of my pregnancy, explanation of the various tests and medications. I recommend this book to any expecting mamma and/or couple. This fact based and comprehensive from thinking of having a child to delivery of the baby and life after post-partum.
A very no-nonsense guide to pregnancy with very few "judgements". Just the facts and only the facts. It only gets 4 stars because at times it assumes that the reader is female ("your womb", "when you feel this", etc.). It's not too bad about it but in this age dads are fairly like to be reading too.
This is an excellent resource for first-time mothers. While much of the information is indeed available online, it's a great reference for someone who wants to have everything in one place and at hand. I especially appreciated the sections at the end of each monthly chapter pertaining to issues and complications of pregnancy; it was nice to have a clear-cut table that showed when it was OK to wait to contact your OBGYN and when it was important to get immediate assistance. That was reassuring a ...more
A necessity for any pregnant woman. Great resource and covers everything you might want to know. Explains week by week baby development and symptoms mom can expect, describes what to expect at birth: labor and delivery, a chapter on problems with labor, c-sections, pain relief options during childbirth, issues for mom after the birth, breast feeding, newborn care, and even a chapter on how to manage as parents that I am having my husband read. That's not even an exhaustive list of everything tha ...more
Apr 17, 2014 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
This was the most truly neutral pregnancy guide book that I read. I know that doesn't sound like a strong compliment, but it's really hard to make something unbiased yet readable. FYI, the Mayo Clinic also has tons of this information (maybe all of it?) freely accessible on their website!
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