From postpartum body image to colic, From the Hips touches on every aspect of pregnancy, birth and becoming a parent that has ever crossed my consciousness. Packed with quotes from real moms and dads, this reference guide brings each topic to life with honesty and frankness. Plus, the design is cool.
From the Hips comes out at a time (33 weeks) when I have entirely lost interest in the contents of Your Pregnancy Week by Week. I think I’m a fairly intellectually curious person, but I really don’t want to read about how my fetus’s eye nerves are developing, and I don’t care too much about her kidneys and liver right now, as long as they’re fully baked by the end of my pregnancy. I certainly don’t want to read tips for “dad” that imply that he might not know how to go to the grocery store without a cell phone to call me.
Authors Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris address the issues I really do care about, such as “bodily byproducts of birth” (drug hangovers, sweating, hot flashes, lots of peeing) and “the time warp” (Time with a new baby can move s-l-o-w-l-y). Their approach is to be a helpful guide, not an authoritative voice of warning. In the introduction they explain their inspiration:
We were shocked to discover that every piece of media we encountered on the subject of having a baby made us feel pressured to act in one way or another, rather than encouraging us to find our own voices as parents.
This book is fun to page through, and I think I’ll keep it out for the next three months as we move from pregnancy through birth and newborn care. However, it is overwhelming in terms of the density of information. Every page is packed with tons of text. Props to the designer who used lots of speech bubbles and sidebars to help us navigate the topics. And to Rebecca Odes, co-author, who illustrated the diverse group of moms and babies who punctuate the design.
I would certainly buy this book for any pregnant friend. It offers the voice of a friend who’s been there and isn’t afraid to talk about the hard topics.
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