Kaz Cooke gives you the up-to-date lowdown on pregnancy, birth and coping when you first get home. No bossy-boots rules, just lots of cartoons and the soundest, sanest, wittiest advice you'll ever get. Everything you need to know about the scary parts, the funny parts and your private parts.
- Week by week: what's happening to you and the baby
- Hermoine and the Modern Girl's hilarious pregnancy diary
- How to prepare for pregnancy and the baby
- Info on conceiving, and IVF
- Crying, eating, weeing and working
- Blokes, bosoms, busybodies and bunny-rugs
- Nausea and other 'side effects'
- Tests: what they're like and what they are for
- The best services, websites and books on everything
- Stretch marks, 'natural childbirth' vs medical intervention, baby clothes and nappies, travel, safety, and how to be rude to complete strangers
- Labour, caesareans and pain relief
This book is a little different for a pregnancy book as it delivers information in the form of and alongside personal experience narrations. Various symptoms, emotions, thoughts and problems women experience throughout a pregnancy, from the very beginning to the first weeks after the birth, are written about in a conversational manner. The tone is open and friendly and from a friendly personal perspective. At times it reads a little like a diary and this can provide a sense of normalcy during a time of great upheaval.
For comfort and a general guide through pregnancy Up The Duff is a great book to read. But for those who are experiencing or have experienced one or more miscarriages, stillbirths or other heartbreaking events reading this book can at times be like reading the scribblings of another type of creature altogether, despite there being information at the back concerning common fertility problems. There is little included in the main chapters to comfort someone who is stressed, wary, emotionally withdrawn or guarded due to such a history. Instead there is mention of the normal miscarriage fears a pregnant woman without such history will go through in the first and early second trimester. Nor is there any information on how conditions like allergies, endometriosis and other uterus conditions might effect the pregnancy or one's outlook. As such, Up The Duff is very useful for understanding what is normal for those experiencing their first pregnancy, as it includes the standard concerns and joys of fairly normal pregnancies. For more information and support on specific issues it is best to search for more specialised books.
Also of help in Up The Duff, is a lot of useful information, tips and tricks for dealing with newborns, from choosing how to feed your baby, cleaning and caring, to development. This information is a lead up to Kaz Cooke's book Kid Wrangling on all things newborn-toddler. At the back of the book there's a list of contacts and websites for everything from fertility issues, health centres, grief councillors and women's health hospitals for Australian and New Zealand women.
I'd recommend this book to: those expecting, hoping and wishing for a fairly normal pregnancy, those wishing to provide others with general advice and a source of friendly and accessible support, and first time pregnant mothers feeling swamped by the variety of symptoms that come with carrying a little one and need to know what's normal.