Book Review: The Joy of Pregnancy

Book Review: The Joy of Pregnancy: The Complete, Candid, and Reassuring Companion for Parents-to-Be
By Tori Kropp, RN
Harvard Common Press, 2008
ISBN 978-155832306-3
412 pages, paperback, $14.95

Reviewed by Molly Remer, MSW, ICCE, CCCE

“One of the most important things I have learned about birthing babies is that the process is more of an unfolding marvel than a routine progression of events.” –Tori Kropp

Written by a nurse in a refreshingly positive tone, The Joy of Pregnancy is a basic guide to pregnancy and birth, intended primarily for first time parents. Not only does it cover month-by-month fetal and maternal developments during pregnancy, it includes information about labor and birth, preparing for postpartum, breastfeeding, and the first days of parenting. There is a conventional emphasis on “asking your care provider” rather than a consumer-oriented approach to making your own best decisions. Something unique and valuable about the book is that each section contains information specifically for women expecting twins or other multiples. This content is inset into boxes, but it is the first pregnancy book I’ve read where information for mothers of multiples is integrated into the main body of the text, rather than being relegated to special section or chapter. Specific “Dad’s Corner” sections in most chapters are another nicely integrated feature of the book.

Overall, the information contained in the Joy of Pregnancy is fairly conservative and standard, though as I noted, presented primarily in a positive and upbeat way rather than a fear or complication based way. Doulas, postpartum doulas, and midwives all receive casual mention and are presented as “normal,” rather than “fringe” options. Birth centers and homebirths are briefly included in the section on choosing a birth setting. Parents who are looking for a complete guide to pregnancy that reassures and comforts, rather than produces self-doubt, will find The Joy of Pregnancy a nice alternative. The book is also currently available as a free ebook via, which is a great bonus!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

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