Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--and What You Really Need to Know

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Penguin, Aug 20, 2013 - Health & Fitness - 336 pages
“Emily Oster is the non-judgmental girlfriend holding our hand and guiding us through pregnancy and motherhood. She has done the work to get us the hard facts in a soft, understandable way.” —Amy Schumer

*Revised in 2019* 

What to Expect When You're Expecting meets Freakonomics: an award-winning economist disproves standard recommendations about pregnancy to empower women while they're expecting. From the author of Cribsheet, a data-driven decision making guide to the early years of parenting

Pregnancy—unquestionably one of the most pro­found, meaningful experiences of adulthood—can reduce otherwise intelligent women to, well, babies. Pregnant women are told to avoid cold cuts, sushi, alcohol, and coffee without ever being told why these are forbidden. Rules for prenatal testing are similarly unexplained. Moms-to-be desperately want a resource that empowers them to make their own right choices.

When award-winning economist Emily Oster was a mom-to-be herself, she evaluated the data behind the accepted rules of pregnancy, and discovered that most are often misguided and some are just flat-out wrong. Debunking myths and explaining everything from the real effects of caffeine to the surprising dangers of gardening, Expecting Better is the book for every pregnant woman who wants to enjoy a healthy and relaxed pregnancy—and the occasional glass of wine.

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User Review  - VictoriaBrodersen - LibraryThing

Finally an opinion free, data driven look at everything you've ever heard about pregnancy but never got an explanation of. Beginning with conception and following the development of new life through ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mcelhra - LibraryThing

When economist Emily Oster became pregnant with her first child, she soon found herself frustrated with the lack of and quality of data behind the pregnancy rules her obstetrician gave her to follow ... Read full review


Prep Work
Caffeine Alcohol and Tobacco
Miscarriage Fears
Beware of Deli Meats
Nausea and My Motherinlaw
Prenatal Screening and Testing
The Surprising Perils of Gardening
Eating for Two? You Wish
HighRisk Pregnancy
Labor Induction
The Labor Numbers
To Epidural or Not to Epidural?
Beyond Pain Relief
The Aftermath
Progressive or Regressive?
Quick Reference

Pink and Blue
Drug Safety
Premature Birth and the Dangers of Bed Rest

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About the author (2013)

Emily Oster is an associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She was a speaker at the 2007 TED conference and her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Esquire and is the author of Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool. Oster is married to economist Jesse Shapiro and is the also the daughter of two economists.  She has two children.

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