Book Review: Understanding Pregnancy and Childbirth: Your Complete Guide
Written in simple, straightforward language, Understanding Pregnancy and Childbirth is a basic guide intended primarily for first-time mothers. It would be appropriate for clients with low literacy levels. With sections covering each trimester of pregnancy, physical changes, labor, comfort measures, and postpartum, the book is a handy, portable size that makes it easy for reference.
Published in Ghana by a midwife working in a small maternity hospital that she founded with her husband (an OB), the book contains some country-specific phrases and suggestions that may be mildly confusing to readers based in the U.S. I noted a higher than average number of minor errors in the text as well as some incorrect information (such as calling all morning sickness “hyperemesis gravidarum” and the advice to shave your pubic hair regularly because otherwise it, “may cause you to have an unpleasant odour”).
Overall, the information provided by Understanding Pregnancy and Childbirth is very basic as well as conventional. There is a nice illustrated section of positions for labor. However, the only “delivery” position described is the standard semi-sitting position and episiotomies are discussed without criticism (as are other interventions like IVs). The illustrations in the book (aside from cover image) are all of women, couples, and babies of color, which is a welcome change from many similar books on the market.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.