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The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  8,864 ratings  ·  1,181 reviews
Your doctor gives you medical advice.
Your mother buys you baby clothes.
But who can give you the real skinny when you're pregnant?

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 lovine talks to you the way that only a best friend can-in the bo
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Atria Books (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  8,864 ratings  ·  1,181 reviews

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Jun 07, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Princesses and total idiots.
I loathe, loathe, loathe this book. I have no idea why books about pregnancy fall into either of two categories: A) motherly reassurance which makes all kinds of conservative assumptions about your life and circumstances and B) chatty, conspiratorial crap that does the same but in an even meaner more degrading manner. To whit, Ms. Iovine sees it as her duty to warn your husband (assuming you have one) that diamonds are the very best way to reward you for pushing that baby out. Her tips about bir ...more
Jan 10, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book gets one star for humor. Other than that, this book is really degrading to women who strive to have a natural childbirth. The author tries to relate to all moms but it's kind of hard to relate to her when she starts whining about her nanny not showing up one day (she's a stay at home mom).

Overall this book just rubbed me the wrong way.
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who think that doctors are god
Recommended to Dianne by: sadly, my primary care physician
Or, as my husband aptly dubbed it, "The Girlfriends' Guide to Being a Self-Indulgent Twit."

Let me start by saying that there are a couple of good things about this one.

First, it is full of the kind of anecdotes about what pregnancy is like - swollen boobs, swollen feet, hemorrhoids, how to buy maternity clothes, when to expect morning sickness to end - that previous generations got from their mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, and childhood friends. In a world where many of us live hundreds
Oriyah Nitkin
I consider this book to be extremely dangerous, and here's why.

Of course, it's always fun to read something lighthearted and entertaining, especially when you're suffering from morning sickness that extends to the afternoon, evening, night, and back again. Making light of your situation might ease the pressure for a bit. But this book's humor draws from its cynicism. And cynicism is dangerous when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth.

So many of my friends that I've spoken to have had what, after
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Hilarious! When you feel like crap and you're fed up with reading the "serious" books that have you out of your mind with worry because you feel like you have every pregnancy ailment/nightmare under the sun this book helps put things in perspective and gives you a few laughs during what could be a very hellish time in your life. ...more
Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who are scheduling their c-sections 6 months in advance
I'd heard nothing but wonderful things about this book, and since I'd been disappointed with several other "traditional," medically-focused pregnancy books out there, I thought I'd give this one a try.

One thing is for sure -- the book is hilarious. Laugh-out-loud funny! That's its biggest advantage.

It's not a medical book, and doesn't pretend to be. Vicki Iovine pulls no punches, which is part of the book's humor, but also what I found very off-putting about the book.

Iovine is just as opinionate
Apr 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this book at all. Well, to be fair, I am sure there were a few little sections that were readable....but for the most part, the author was totally unrelatable to me (not that I have to be BFF’s with all of the author’s that I read – but with a book about motherhood and pregnancy, you want to feel some connection with the author). I was hoping GF’s Guide was going to be a hipper and more personal version of What to Expect When You Are Expecting. Vicki Iovine came across as very shal ...more
Anna (Bananas)
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
"Many things in live exact a toll, but they are such great experiences that we are willing to pay the price."

Ah, the moral of the story.

Well, baby, you better be @$&*%ing awesome after all the mess this book and many others tell me I'll endure. xoxoxo
Aug 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, ha-ha-ha
Vicki Iovine rather revels in her status as a princess type, with the money, the manicures, the jewelry, etc., but even if you can't quite relate, this book is a refreshing change from the bulk of pregnancy advice books that tend to the natural-granola-woo-woo-power of womanhood vibe (and don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of getting all woo-woo with your pregnancy and baby). It's funny, and it speaks to you if you're the kind of person who, while cooing over your new baby in the hospital, mig ...more
Sara Hemenway
Jul 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by so many women, but I can't for the life of me understand why. I found it to be much too snarky and whiny and it spent much too much time drumming into you how crazy you are to ruin your body with pregnancy and how uncomfortable and horrible it is. It gets one star because parts of it were funny.

Also, if you are planning on having a natural childbirth, definitely skip it. She talks constantly about how great epidurals are and if you don't want one, you are nuts.
Apr 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I am pregnant. Due date: July 23rd. Little girl. I feel fine. Sure, I'm excited, whatever. Please don’t touch my belly. That pretty much answers pretty much every question that I have to answer 35 times a day.

So I have two main concerns about giving birth. Both involve my butt. You’d think that the actual birth canal would be a scarier thing to me, but I figure it was built for that stuff, so it’ll probably work ok.

Fear #1 Hemorrhoids. I love that the author just lays it all out. Other bo
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is pregnant and has a sense of humor
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
Best pregnancy book EVER! I started reading "What to Expect When You are Expecting", and that book scared the crap out of me! Ever time I turned around I had some new symptom of something potentially dangerous. So, I did what any other crazy prgnant lady would do...I threw it in the trash. Hormones...what can I say. Anyway, someone gave me "The Girlfriends Guide...". I laughed so hard I peed my pants! Ok. I probably would have peed my pants anyway...but still. It was the best thing that could ha ...more
Jun 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is hilarious. It's different from the rest of the pregnancy books I've read because it isn't just a lot of facts but speaks in a way women think, especially pregnant women. I sat in my room reading it, laughing out loud, by myself, and then also groaning out loud when I read some of the things the author is very frank about but that I don't want to be true. At least I'll know what's actually going to happen to my body! I would highly recommend it to anyone pregnant. There's even a sect ...more
This was probably one of the best books to read right away. What to Expect scared me and bored me, at the same time. While this book uses the term "girlfriend" excessively, and though I hate the term, it's worth reading. There are quite a few things in here that aren't mentioned in other pregnancy books, and some of them are gross enough that I'm secretly hoping they just won't happen to me. If (when) they do, at least I'll know that it's normal. I'm not sure I like that the author encourages pr ...more
Heather Clark
May 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone even THINKING about a baby!
Shelves: pregnancy
This was honestly the BEST pregnancy book I've read. I've done the "what to expect when you're expecting" week by week review - and that's great, but I can get that information on the internet. This one was an honest to goodness conversation with a girlfriend on what it is *really* like. I loved it, I'll buy it so I have it when I do get pregnant. ...more
I loved the idea of a book written from the experienced point of view of "girlfriends." For those of us not surrounded by friends who are also mothers, someone has to fill us in on all the little details of pregnancy. Vicki Iovine writes well and sprinkles in a good dose of humor, which is always appreciated when you're pregnant. However, I disagreed with so many of her opinions that I had a difficult time really liking the book.

1. Exercise: while she doesn't outright say you shouldn't exercise
May 05, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I wasn't going to read this book, but then it was VERY enthusiastically recommended to me by my dentist. And then my hygienist wrote a little note about how funny I would find the book, and included it in the bag with my free toothbrush and toothpaste. It was about the cutest thing ever. SO.

Good things about this book: it acknowledges that pregnancy is more than a medical event but also an entire emotional/mental/social experience. It also acknowledges that a lot of pregnancy information is more
L.E. Fidler
Feb 27, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
this woman was so NOT my girlfriend

spoiler alert: do not read ahead if you don't want to know what happens.

a baby comes out.

this book offered such helpful hints as: bring several pairs of throwaway socks because you'll probably bleed all over the ones you wear during labor and you'll want clean pairs. so i diligently procured several pairs of those white athletic socks, fully prepared to do my maternal duty of hemorrhaging all over my footsies. didn't happen. in fact, i couldn't tell you if i ha
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is by far the most annoying pregnancy book I have read this far. It does provide the normal information about conception, pregnancy and delivery, but it's very one sided. I live a very natural, organic life and should just stick to the natural pregnancy books. But because I excessively buy books, I find them for $0.50 and think why not. In one chapter, the author is talking about breast stimulation as a natural way to help start labor and refers to natural pregnancy books as "crunchy". So t ...more
Jul 31, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maternal-health
this is one of the books i merely screened. i only read a few pages of the intro before knowing it wasn't for me. i am guessing i may turn out to be one of those fringe people who are willing to face delivery without a neonatal unit next door and a full-time anesthesiologist in residence she so easily dismisses, and though it is helpful to read various viewpoints, such an attitude is so out of line with my interests, that i think it would prove fairly useless to me.

however, it may be great for o
May 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was given this as a gift which was a nice thought. But this book just bugged me. It was already getting on my nerves in the beginning with the pseudo-weird "name dropping" like "my girlfriend so and so that is an actress" and "my girlfriend so and so who is a model", but, whatever, I powered through. When I got to the part about how we aren't supposed to excercise pretty much at all ever I had to stop reading. To each their own, but I thought clearly me and this woman do not see eye to eye. ...more
Monica McCann
I wasn't so crazy about this book. While she provided good info & reassurance in some cases, I rolled my eyes more than a few times. I think I had a bad attitude towards Miss Vicki at chapter 8. I realize these books are based on opinion, but it was a little much to be force fed don't exercise...get an epidural & call your anything you want, you'll get fat anyway...I won't be passing it on to anyone I like :) ...more
Apr 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yep, I'm pregnant, that's why I read it. But I kind of got the feeling that she hated her husband the whole time I was reading it, always blaming him for everything (hey, it takes two, you know!), and I happen to love my husband...
It kind of ruined the whole experience for me. Plus, my pregnancy was nothing like the stuff she described, so it wasn't that helpful. But everyone is different, so it might be a great book for other people. Who hate their husband.
May 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I was first pregnant, Iovine's sassy and non clinical approach to pregnancy was exactly what I needed. She normalized everything that is weird about pregnancy and made me laugh in the midst of a miserable first trimester. As the book went on the advice felt more out of date and more heteronormative in a way I found off-putting. Not a bad book to borrow from a friend and flip through during your first trimester, but not a great pregnancy resource overall. ...more
Cyndy Aleo
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
When I first found out that I was pregnant, I ran right out and bought myself a copy of What to Expect When You Are Expecting ("WTE"). By the end of my third month, I had pitched it into the corner of my bedroom in terror (come to think of it, I never did find that book when we moved...) and ran out and got The Girlfriends' Guide based on the recommendations of the women I had met at I'm so glad I did.

Unlike most pregnancy books that you will find, Vicki Iovine comes to you with
Sep 28, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is exactly the kind of pregnancy advice I hate -all negative. Full of horror stories about every pregnancy symptom without any actual advice on how to not hate yourself during pregnancy.

But that isn't surprising when you realize the author is a raging narcissistic. "Don't cut your hair" she tells you, "because you aren't looking for 'new look' you're looking for a 'not-pregnant look' and it won't work." Was she really so vain that being pregnant made her search for ways to look not pregnant
Feb 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book surely does tell you things nobody else does: the good, the bad, and the things I wish I didn't know. I know I'll re-read the last few chapters later when I need to know what to bring to the hospital with me and what are real signs vs. false signs that I should go to the hospital in the first place.

However, I also hated the author's male-bashing, her assumption that every woman turns into a pregasaurus, her denouncement of exercise, and her chapter on fashion. I wanted to kick her in t
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
First off, I am not pregnant! I wanted to read this book because I had read an excerpt of it in a magazine (the first chapter) and had found it really hilarious. It is an interesting read for someone like me who is not pregnant, but would like to be in the future, and has no idea what it is like or the kind of things pregnant women go through. I'd personally like to know what I am getting myself into. It would've been a little bit more effective if she was a "normal-sized woman" to begin with an ...more
Lisa Kurt
Aug 14, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, baby
I would not recommend this book to any pregnant woman. It was one of the first books I read early in my pregnancy unfortunately. While there are a few parts that are funny - most of it was degrading and negative toward women and birthing. I actually cried a couple of times during certain sections where she was presenting what she considers "the truth". Yes pregnancy can be difficult and labor and birth may be the most difficult things to do physically, but the way in which the topics were presen ...more
I'm reading all the traditional pregnancy books, and wanted something lighter. After a recommendation from a goodreads friend, I hunted this down at the library. I read more than half of it the first day, and laughed so hard that I cried (not to mention couldn't stop for ten minutes). It just doesn't matter to me that Vicki Iovine is in a different "set" than me; or that at times she climbs on her soapbox a little. No other book I've read has been as frank about the trials and tribulations, and ...more
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