Mellow Mummy: Pregnant Cross-Country Skiing – Safe or Not? (and other questions) : Taking life as it comes...

Thursday 24 February 2011

Pregnant Cross-Country Skiing – Safe or Not? (and other questions)

When I was asked if I wanted to review a new book, The Pregnancy Test, I nearly fell of my chair with laughter. My mellow approach to motherhood is not one that sees me consult parenting handbooks, or scour the internet looking for answers to my daily mummy worries. I do my own thing, make my own decisions and worry little. But, as I've mentioned before, I wasn't always this mellow. During my pregnancy, I DID worry, I did scour books, magazines and the internet for answers for questions about how I was feeling, and what I could expect.

So, is Cross-Country skiing safe during pregnancy? What, you mean you'd never stopped to ask yourself this?

The Pregnancy Test is a pocket-sized handbook for pregnant mums. It is packed full of questions that real mums have asked. They're not all as entertaining as this one (although I am sure that there are people out there who do worry about this). The book is a fascinating mix of
(a) the glaringly obvious things that I'd hope most pregnant mums already know
(b) the day-to-day questions that mums-to-be really do ask of others
(c) embarrassing questions people are too embarrassed to ask anyone else (even Google)
(d) silly questions to make you giggle

Reading the book actually made me realise how many of the questions I had asked myself during pregnancy. I really wasn't very mellow back then at all! There are lots of things I had to look up, or ask my midwife during pregnancy which are covered in this book. I did learn quite a few things, particularly in the section towards the end, all about twins (about which, I knew nothing). Also, did you know that it has been proven that men can also suffer from morning sickness??? Question #125 says it is so!

As I read through the questions and answers in The Pregnancy Test I really began to think how useful the book would have been for Dads-to-be. I don't think I would have bought the book for myself, but I would consider buying it as a gift for an expectant friend and even more so for a male friend or colleague. I think there would be great value in an expectant couple talking through each of the questions together as part of their pregnancy learning curve. I think Dads-to-be would be less likely to approach others for answers to questions and more likely to hide away in a corner of the house with this book and read up on what their partner is going through. Questions such as “Why am I snoring more now that I'm pregnant?” and “Does my baby feel anything in utero when I have sex?” may help dads to provide support to their partners, or at least make them feel knowledgeable.

The Pregnancy Test features 130 questions and answers plus a quick-fire quiz. It also features an index which is pretty useful if you want to go back and find out more about a question you remembered, later in your pregnancy. About 5% of the questions are a little too USA-oriented (US maternity law and some health guidelines differ to those in the UK). I enjoyed the fact that the book wasn't too serious – the bonkers things that pregnancy puts us through can be taken light-heartedly and often it helps to laugh at the horrors such as unpleasant odours, discomfort and some big changes to our diets and lifestyles.

If you were wondering, the answer to the cross-country skiing question is... d, all of the above. It's fine as long as you know what you're doing. Which I don't. The Pregnancy Test by Melissa Hecksher and Emily Sikking is released in paperback in March.

I shall leave you now with the page of the book which I felt was the most entertaining, most revealing and which will hit home to most mums, and terrify all the mums to be!

Images and excerpts courtesy of Quirk Books

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