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Book review: A guide to a healthy pregnancy for mommy- and daddy-to-be

Ob-gyn Dr Gita Arjun’s book is for young couples who don’t have an older generation around to calm and reassure them.

books Updated: Aug 14, 2017 00:13 IST
Rhythma Kaul
Rhythma Kaul
Hindustan Times
Pregnancy,Guide,How to
  • By Dr Gita Arjun
  • Publisher: Westland
  • Price: Rs 499 (Paperback)

“Week 29. Baby: you will find the baby tucking herself under you ribs. Sometimes, you might experience pain under the ribs on the right side — this is because the baby is pushing against your liver… Mother: your breasts may feel heavy. This is common and just a sign that the breasts are getting ready for breast-feeding…”

There are two interesting things about this excerpt from Dr Gita Arjun’s book, Passport to a Healthy Pregnancy.

One, it is the kind of thing your mother would tell you, if she were around on a daily basis. This book is meant for young couples who don’t have an older generation around to calm and reassure them.

Two, notice how one point is addressed at the mother — as this suggests, the book is for both parents-to-be, and it stresses the important of the expectant dad’s involvement.

Chennai-based obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Arjun’s book is an updated second version of a 2012 work.

As she says in the introduction, “It has been written with the modern young Indian couple in mind: the couple that is involved, committed and totally invested in bringing a healthy baby into the world.”

Where it scores over most pregnancy guides is in the way it stresses the role of both parents-to-be.

Its 10 sections are detailed and easy to navigate, with each section further divided into five sub-sections.

Foetal growth, labour and delivery, breastfeeding and post-delivery birth control are also addressed, as are some of the emotions both parents can expect to face once they’ve taken their newborn home.

The book explains in great detail, with diagrams, what pregnancy feels like. This can be especially helpful to dads-to-be, as they navigate this new terrain.

Each week of a baby’s growth — from Week 1 to Week 40 — is explained separately, with details of what a woman can expect to experience at each stage.

Myths are busted — all that stuff about not climbing stairs, not eating certain fruits.

But, as Dr Arjun warns at the end: “Newborns do not come with instructions…” So once you get home, well, chances are you’re going to need your mom’s help, or his mom’s.

First Published: Aug 11, 2017 22:53 IST