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practical advice written non - patronisingly

Still a bit "preachey" on breastfeeding rather than bottles

Recommendable Yes:

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Well folks, it had to happen didn't it .... it's fair to say that I've always had an obsession with magazines from celeb packed glossies like "Heat" and "Closer", right the way through to my F1 mags - I don't just read them, I devour them! Magazines tower precariously at both sides of our settee - with my husband preferring the Computer and Dvd mags. Thing is, now that I am 3 months into my pregnancy my addiction has now ventured onto a whole new topic. Pregnancy and childcare ...

A whole 10 months ago, the thought of me leaving a newsagent with a copy of Pregnancy & Birth under my arm would have brought on a fear usually only experienced by teenage boys buying their first top shelf magazine. Giving a few furtive looks to each side before I snatched my purchase and make a dash for the counter, I prepared myself for the fond looks from the girl on the checkout, however she took no notice ... The reason I started buying such a publication is simple. In short, I have no experience with children and no one to offer any advice which I can rely on. Obviously, the offer of some unbiased and sensible advice is exactly what I was in need of. Pregnancy & Birth was the first magazine that I managed to pluck from Asda's shelves and have a good look through and the only one I have bothered with since.


My favourite regular feature is "9 Magical Months" which is a reader's diary throughout her pregnancy. This spans between 6-7 pages and breaks the pregnancy into weeks rather than monthly segments, eg weeks 0-4, 9-12 and so on. This follows their emotions and trials throughout and right through their labour. Detailed to the right of this diary is a pregnancy planner which gives a weekly guide to your baby's development and also the changes that you are encountering at this time. There is also a measurement scale in cm at the foot of the page detailing the length of your baby at each stage, which I consider a nice addition.

"Working Woman" is another interesting regular read. This offers details on your benefits and rights in the workplace. Sometimes there is advice on how to make your work days more bearable whilst pregnant or how to handle employers who are being difficult.

"Real women, real births" takes the experiences of 3 women and asks them what their original birth plan was and how it differed from the experience they actually had giving birth. For example in this months issue, Fiona had planned a natural birth but had to have a Caesarian due to the baby's heartbeat being particularly low. This is presented in a straightforward "no frills" approach - far from the romantasied "rosy" depictions you may expect.

For the squeamish, I would not recommend "Birth in pictures" as it can be off putting! However, the 6-7 pictures it shows are probably the best way of illustrating each stage of the labour process and the pictures tend to speak for themselves. A small amount of supporting text is offered for each stage . This month it's a much less gory water birth.

"Our first 6 weeks" is the follow on story from the previous month's "9 Magical Months" couple. It gives a fascinating insight into the difficulties they had in those first few weeks after the baby's birth. This is written a bit like a diary also and as you'd expect frequently concentrates on the struggle to get the newborn into some sort of pattern (whilst the housework and the rest of your world proceeds to move into insignificance ..) It isn't always about the baby - as relationships or depression can also be an issue early on.

"It's on Test!" I love tried and tested articles and this is no exception. Each month P & B test one particular item, this month it's baby baths (to bath baby in - not the bubble bath variety!) and usually 5-6 different brands of different price brackets are put to the est by the reader panel. As I have kept all my magazines, these will form an invaluable reference before we go shopping for all our essentials. Expect items like Sterilisers/Baby Alarms/Moses Baskets and Car seats to be included in other parts of the magazine too.


There is so much information crammed into this magazine, that you will not want to throw them away! Sometimes I look through previous months articles to find something that is particularly relevant to me at that time, that perhaps wasn't when I bought it (I bought it for 7 months before we conceived!) and so it's great for reference.

Articles are presented in a no fuss manner, and a lot of "fun" is packed in here too with lighthearted articles such as "Jealous, Moi?" about pregnancy rivalry between women (oh, purlease .. that's not a bump, that's pies ... ahem) or how to cope with the changing relationship you may find you now have with your partner since the baby's arrival.

There are so many pictures in each months magazine detailing each weekly stage of your pregnancy - it really is amazing. I find that Brian likes to look at these. It gives him an idea of whats going on in there and how big it is and what it can now do for itself. For example I am at week 11 which it details as:

**week 11: (you) may have gained 2-3lb about 10% of your total weight gain.
(and your baby) is 7cm long and would fit into your palm. All her major body organs have formed and her most critical period in her development has passed**

Pregnancy & Birth also go through what you should consider for your birth plan. These are the choices that you will have to make and have discussed with your midwife long before labour starts. For example, will you want a home birth/natural birth - no pain relief/active birth with pain relief/water birth etc, as well as things like will your partner cut the cord and so on.

There are so many articles in each of these magazines, all totally relevant and informative. Think of this as a 24hr midwife reference! there are lots of question and answer sessions and myths dealt with in a true/false manner. Overall for a monthly fee of just £2.35 and with 130 plus pages - it is excellent value. It has all the answers to the question you want to ask and has provided me with hours of essential reading!
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P & B August mag
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Comments about this review »

funkyjo 10.03.2005 14:28

Great review, when I was pregnant I couldnt leave a shop without buyiny yet another magazine or book. Jo x x

scgproductions 12.11.2004 02:06

not my kinda read but a good op though...........steve

Jaynestep 08.11.2004 20:35

Great review, I haven;t bought any magazines though my mum has plied me with books on the topic and I get a weekly update from Pampers via e-mail. The closer it gets the less I'm trying to focus on it as it just feels like its dragging now!!

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Review Ratings »

This review of Pregnancy & Birth has been rated:

"exceptional" by (2%):

  1. AnitaM

"very helpful" by (98%):

  1. euphie
  2. KateHurst
  3. Delicate_Orchid

and 59 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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