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Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: How to Stay Sane and Care for Yourself from Pre-Conception Through Birth

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians covers everything you need to make the thrilling and challenging journey to motherhood: from choosing a donor to tracking fertility to signing the right papers on the dotted lines. Rachel Pepper's lively, easy-to-read guide is the first place to go for up-to-date information and sage advice on everything from sex in the sixth mo ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 23rd 2005 by Cleis Press (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  159 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Again, ignore this casual reading. ;) Nothing to see here.
Nov 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is not nearly as good as The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth by Stephanie Brill. I think the author's conscious intention was to provide something that was a little less clinical, a little less "woo woo", a little less intimidating of a book, and while the book does have a "chattier" tone, it also delivers way less useful information. Basically everything she has to offer is common sense. An example: sometimes when you have roommates and you decide to ha ...more
Jan 28, 2008 is currently reading it
I chose this one 'cause it's got a lot of info for single women... Yes, like sperm banks, lesbo prego books tend to lean toward nuclear family structures. Or so it seems. Anyhow, so far, so good. Now, if only there were a lesbo prego book for broke/poor/working class single lesbos... ...more
Jan 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
If I could give this book less than one star, I would.

The fact that so many of us end up reading (and worse, buying!) a book that has such little detailed information -- you could learn this much in 30 minutes online -- and so much denigration of non-gestational mothers (who apparently shouldn't breathe on the baby, lest nursing collapse, or consider themselves mothers -- "dyke daddy" is okay, though) is a testament to how few good books there are about lesbian parenthood. Stephanie Brill's boo
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
You can tell what you're in for from the cover, which is of the midriff of a beautiful, smooth-skinned, white pregnant woman with a bare stomach and a sarong around her hips. By the end of reading it, I felt like if I read the words 'luscious pregnant body' one more time I was going to kill something.

As I said to my wife, it's kind of like reading an account of being pregnant along with some unsolicited advice from some random hippie friend-of-a-friend who talks about spending time with your God
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
Good primer. But once you're a few insems in, you'll be wringing the books spine, wishing it had MORE! You should probably just have a drink then and order fertility books written for straight women slogging through the ART world. And when you get those, rather than cry about the lack of queer fertility books, make it into a game and do a shot every time "your husband" is mentioned. (But don't tell your doc lest she lecture you about alcohol and fertility statistics.) ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pregnancy
My wife and I are in the beginning stages of planning a pregnancy and I looked to this book for advice on getting started and the whole process in general. While I did find the chapters surrounding sperm banks and donor sperm somewhat useful I found the book as a whole to be condescending, outdated, and overall unhelpful.
While I understand that some things have changed since the book was published in 2006, it is pretty clear that the “completely updated edition” still have bits left in from the
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I didn’t realize I had purchased the 2005 edition as opposed to the 2014 edition of this book. I will probably look into getting the latter. It still had some useful information and I will hang on to it, but there were parts that were out of date (same-sex marriage being legal now in the US, for example). I also felt that the author used judgmental language, particularly surrounding pain management during labor and breastfeeding. She literally asks the reader to “reconsider” an epidural and trus ...more
Heather Wehr
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m inflating my rating to 4 stars because this sort of literature just isn’t available for queer folks! And it’s SOOO needed. Because of that I had moments of truly feeling seen and held by this book. Especially the chapters on selecting a donor and going thru trying to conceive.

That being said- the talk of trying to conceive a girl for lesbians was weird at best and an offensive antiquated way to talk about gender at worst. I suppose it could be dated, but I just wanna say thats not a lesbian
Bek Andrews
Feb 16, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Incredibly out of date. Disappointing language made me cringe multiple times.
Super judgey tone sometimes, specifically towards young mums. This book was written purely from the authors experiences/opinions which would be fine if it weren’t for the title/marketing of “ultimate guide”. DNFed at 50%.
Upsetting that this is one of the only books I’ve found for lesbians and it hasn’t had a revision since 2002.
Winnipeg Mosquito
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really good introduction. if you and your partner want a baby, but have no idea where to start. This breaks it down in non-threatening and laywoman language. if you want something detailed and are familiar with the basics you probably won't find anything new here. ...more
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I find myself having to give this book a very mixed review.

On one hand, it is the most comprehensive book I've ever read about lesbian conception and I appreciate greatly that it goes over fertility issues without assuming you are a straight couple that needs to mourn your inability to just magically get pregnant. It avoids a lot of the sexist and weird messages about pregnancy that you get in mainstream pregnancy books and I'm thankful that the book does such a good job of covering different p
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I reviewed this in two parts, here and here. The abbreviated version is this: the resources on preconception and pregnancy are good. As for the actual birth stuff, while not necessarily incorrect, was the kind of thing I'd highly encourage researching through other sources before making a decision.

My biggest qualm was with the fact that Pepper makes a point of mentioning that she's writing for lesbian families where one partner is trans, only to later make it pretty clear that what she means is
Oct 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Even though I had/have already done extensive research on the topics covered, I learned some valuable things from this book. It's an easy read and not poorly written. It is, however, not brilliantly written, either; there's too much summary, repetition, and basic information. Although I thought the book was ok overall, my main criticism is that the author's personal situation/background (having gotten pregnant with teh intention of raising the child alone, as a single lesbian) leads her to downp ...more
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this more since it was recommended to me, but apparently Emily Oster's Expecting Better ruined me for all other pregnancy books. Because I'm expecting, like, actual evidence and explanations to be offered. I mean, the book seems pretty reasonable, but it'll be like, "Be sure to avoid bitter foods in the first trimester." And you're like, "What? Why?" So you eagerly read on, but that's it, the next sentence is about something else.

Of course, being a straight married woman, a lot
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am now in my 9th month of pregnancy and have enjoyed reading this book throughout the process. I appreciated having a resource that focused in on a family like mine, but felt that she was overly negative about the way the non-bio mother could react. My wife is very supportive and excited and I felt that her reactions were not represented in the book. It seemed almost as though Rachel was trying to prepare me for a negative experience with my spouse.
Abby Brithinee
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, how-to, non-fiction
This book contained some useful information and a lot of reassurances. It was like reading a (book-length) letter from a very supportive friend. Much of the information is from the personal experience and opinions of the author, which, while useful, is extremely biased. Even though I agree with many of her opinions (e.g., the benefits of home birth), I did feel that her strong biases were a little off-putting and might push other readers away.
Feb 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Johanna by: Trin
A friend let me borrow the book -- it was definitely an interesting read, taking the reader from the decision making process through taking a bundle of joy home. Brought up some interesting considerations. Wouldn't be my number one reference for getting pregnant, but not a bad starting point and concise enough to read even if it isn't in your immediate plans. ...more
Aug 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Informative, but sort of judgmental and narrow-minded. Not all of us want to howl at the moon to get in touch with our lunar cycles and give birth in a tub with all our family and friends present. But this book is certainly somewhere to start if you are a lesbian thinking about having a baby.
Luciana Gerez
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pregnancy
It's not only a book, it's a friend. At least this is how I feel about it. The fertilization process is demanding in many ways and every time I felt down and hopeless I went to it like you go to a friend's shoulder to cry out. And in most cases it made me feel much better.
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting and informative overall guide for F/F couples. I am sure that all readers will find something in this book that they may have otherwise overlooked:)
Mar 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Its really great so far, but kind of intense too, u know.
Feb 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, library-books
You have to love a pregnancy book that discusses how your pregancy might affect your clit piercing.
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing and I fully intend on buying it to have around the house while my partner and I attempt to get pregnant. I can't wait! ...more
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
MUST READ for lesbian couples planning to have a child or single women having a child on their own.
Kate Raven
i know, i know, i'm demented. i'm thinking it might stave off the baby cravings a bit when i factor in the pricetag and realities of single parenthood. ...more
Aug 12, 2008 added it
well it's never too early to be prepared right! ...more
Sara Beth
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2014
Sophie Meredith
rated it liked it
May 11, 2018
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