This post is going up a bit late today! I kind of got behind in my reading yesterday as I got distracted by baby-related things (I’m 23 weeks this week!) and the terrible situation in Ukraine. But I managed to finish this book finally, and I’m really glad I did. Today, I am reviewing I’m Not Fat, I’m Pregnant! by Jaquie Brown.
Just like my previous two book reviews, I came across this book by browsing the Kindle Unlimited store, where you can download books with a subscription. I was instantly intrigued by the title and as an expectant mother with a lot of fear and anxiety about pregnancy, I really wanted to learn more about pregnancy, childbirth, and new motherhood.
“Chances are if you’re looking at this book title, you are either pregnant or wanting to be. Brilliant! You are about to embark on one of the most amazing, life-changing, heart exploding with love experiences of your life and you don’t want to start that without a bit of useful information and support. In ‘I’m not fat, I’m pregnant!’ You’ll find everything you need to know as you move through your pregnancy. Jaquie will humorously guide you through each stage with expert advice from an OBGYN, midwife, nutritionist and personal trainer. Jaquie shares her candid and hilarious pregnancy diary as well as reading stories from real women who have gone through pregnancy and come out the other side. Pregnant sex, IVF, body changes, soap cravings, morning sickness and much more. You’ll discover why your poop might be angry, if your vagina has bad breath, what birth is REALLY like and how to cope once your baby is finally here.“Quoted from Goodreads
I’m Not Fat, I’m Pregnant! is a guide to all things related to pregnancy and childbirth, and also has a significant chapter about the “fourth trimester,” or the first few months of caring for a newborn postpartum. The information is conveyed via a weekly diary from the author, and after the diary, useful terms and medical information is introduced by both the author and various experts. Interspersed throughout the book are opinions and experiences from other mothers and their partners.
Between the author’s personal diaries and advice, expert opinions, and these personal testimonies, you get a well-rounded overview of the whole experience of pregnancy and childbirth by the end of this book.
What I Liked
There were so many great things going on in this book! Where do I start?
First of all, I loved the author’s casual tone. I was worried it might turn me off at first, but that wasn’t the case at all. I often laughed aloud at the author’s jokes, and conveying some of the ickier medical information in a funny way really helped take the edge off and reduced my fear surrounding certain topics. I also really loved the weekly pregnancy journal portions. They were relatable and very funny!
I also appreciated the testimonies of other moms regarding their own experiences with pregnancy, body image, labor and birth, relationships, caring for a newborn, and more. Obviously, the author understands that every woman, every pregnancy, and every baby are completely different and hearing a wide spectrum of opinions and experiences was really interesting and helpful. It was a great way to compile information, and again helped ease my fears about certain topics because it helped me realize that my pregnancy, birth and baby will be completely unique and I don’t have to expect the worst for myself.
Another great thing about this book is that the author included lots of expert opinions to support her advice. For things like nutrition and exercise advice, she deferred to a professional nutritionist and a yoga instructor. Regarding medical information, she deferred to an obstetrician and a midwife, quoting their advice directly in the book. It was reassuring to know that the information wasn’t coming from just one person’s point of view, but from professionals with years of experience.
Overall, I also really liked that no single philosophy was ever pushed on the reader. The author presented different options, different people’s experiences, but ultimately encouraged the reader to do what’s best for them and their personal preferences.
What I Didn’t
There was not much I didn’t enjoy about this book but I do have some nitpicks that I have to point out.
First, since the author is from New Zealand, some of her advice was specific to the New Zealand health care system, so it didn’t exactly apply to me as an American living in South Korea. Similarly, some of her vernacular and slang was specific to New Zealanders. I was able to adjust to it most of the time, but I will admit that there were a few words and phrases that caused me to scratch my head.
Second, there were some bizarre typos that started to distract me throughout the last third of the book. I don’t think it was the fault of the author, though. They seemed to be caused by some kind of glitch from formatting the book into an e-book. I don’t really want to fault the book or the author for that, but it did kind of detract from the reading experience.
Third, while there was certainly plenty of helpful and useful information included in this book, when I finished reading it I felt thirsty for more information, especially regarding childbirth and newborn care. I think this book is a great starting point and it’s packed with info, but it will not answer all of your questions.
My Star Rating
Overall, I really enjoyed and appreciated this book! It was a light-hearted first look at the whole pregnancy journey and very informative. I think I would have given five stars if I had left this book feeling more prepared than I do, but I’m still glad that this was my first foray into pregnancy books. It made me think about things I’d never considered and now I have a lot of questions that will help guide my future research.
Now that I’ve read my first pregnancy book, I have a lot less fear regarding the whole topic! I will definitely be reading more pregnancy books before Baby arrives now that I have some background knowledge to go off of.
You can find I’m Not Fat, I’m Pregnant! by Jaquie Brown on Amazon.
For those of you who are currently pregnant or have been pregnant, what books did you read in order to prepare? I would love some recommendations!
Thanks for reading!