Jena Pincott, the author of this delightful and informative book, says “yes.” Pincott, a science writer and former senior editor at Random House, has compiled a fascinating compendium of research-based facts and theories about pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. Pregnant with her first baby while writing the book, she shares her own experiences while enlightening readers with little-known research spanning from morning sickness in early pregnancy to the amazing components of breast milk. She includes information about nutrition, exercise, and potentially harmful substances. I particularly liked her well-researched section on stress during pregnancy. Pregnant women will be relieved to read that some stress is actually beneficial to the developing fetus. When she does find dangers and risks of pregnancy, she most often also discusses ways to mitigate or minimize those risks so that the tone of the book is more confidence-building rather than fear-mongering. She includes a short section on self-induction, sharing her experience of manual nipple stimulation as her pregnancy approached 42 weeks. (She went into labor a day later.)
Her one regret about her own birth was that the baby was whisked away for washing, weighing, and footprinting soon after birth, only to be returned to her fully swaddled and sound asleep. She spends a good amount of time documenting the benefits of keeping mothers and babies together skin-to-skin in the “golden” hour after birth. For research junkies (like me), she includes her sources in the back of the book. I strongly recommend this book not only to childbirth educators, but also to pregnant women and anyone with an interest in pregnancy and birth.