News staff writer
The Birmingham News
From the Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Uncensored, Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Becoming a Parentby Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris. Three Rivers Press. 399 pages. $21.95
“From the Hips” is a snappy, visually-appealing guide that aims to carry new parents from first trimester to post-birth.
Written by Rebecca Odes, co-founder of the teen Web site Gurl.com, and Ceridwen Morris, a screenwriter, the goal is to put readers at ease: Been there, done that, and let’s talk about your options. Information is broken into colorful, easy-to-read segments. Blurbs titled “Anonymom” and “Anonydad” present observations about each topic. These anecdotal asides are quite candid, and often very funny.
Who knew that women could get morning sickness from the odor of their husbands? What happens to a woman’s body after she gives birth? How should new parents handle unsolicited advice from strangers? Through a tone of neutrality, the authors present conflicting approaches to child-birth, breast-feeding and sleeping techniques. Readers needing validation for a particular viewpoint should look elsewhere.
The biological and emotional health of the mother is the main focus of the book. There’s only a smattering of thoughts regarding dad’s side of the pregnancy equation. As well, it briefly addresses the perspective of nontraditional families.
Reading this book is like having a big sister tell you exactly what to expect. Thick with information, it is a definitive guide for new mothers, or those considering the path to pregnancy.
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