Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: Advice from Trusted Experts

05/11/2011 at 02:00 PM ET
Courtesy Good Books

Is this nausea normal? Should I use an epidural? How do I know I’m in labor?

Pregnancy, especially the first time around, comes with lots of questions — some answered more easily than others.

And while there are many pregnancy guides out there, perhaps one of the most informative and best researched is the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy ($14).

Written by the OB/GYNs of the renowned Mayo Clinic — many of whom are parents — the book, an updated version of an earlier edition, covers every aspect of pregnancy, and includes colorful photos, helpful calendars and handy items like a first-appointment checklist.

“We discuss what’s normal during certain times of pregnancy, discuss when to call your doctor, what may not be normal and needs to be checked out,” Dr. Myra J. Wick, one of the book’s contributors, tells PEOPLE Moms & Babies. “A lot of women are much more cognizant of their health when they’re pregnant. They obviously want to do what’s best for their baby.”

Wick references all of the standard pregnancy advice: quit smoking, stop drinking, cut caffeine consumption, exercise carefully. She also recommends knowing your family health history, and resisting the urge to self-diagnose anything.

“People in general, when they have a health concern, they jump on the Internet and look at all kinds of sites indiscriminately without checking out how valid the site may be, or whether it contains good information,” she says. “They should first talk to their provider, or look at our list of resources to see which websites we recommend; those that have accurate information.”

Finding advice from friends can be touch and go, too. “As long as a friend is reliable, and doesn’t raise anxiety, it’s fine to talk with friends,” she shares. “But it’s also always good to run things by your provider, or use our book as reference. There are concerns that friends can’t address.”

Courtesy Mayo Clinic

Wicks says that the questions she hears most often deal with managing nausea, explaining aches and pains and overcoming surprises like constipation and other gastrointestinal issues.

And as baby’s due date draws closer, many women become concerned about delivery and anesthesia, epidurals and those first few days of baby’s life.

How to overcome these stressful situations? Don’t let your worries take over the excitement of becoming a mom. “Most women have a healthy sense of concern about pregnancy,” Wicks says. “You just need to use common sense.”

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Kate on

I am 7 months along and I have the earlier version. It is the best book out there.

Charity on

This is the book I always give to my friends during their first pregnancies. It explains the reasons why your body is doing what it’s doing. It makes you really appreciate how hard your body is working to make a baby. I’m in the medical field, so I know the book is thorough, but it does not talk over your head. And unlike some books, it doesn’t scare you and make you think you’re doing everything wrong. At the end of each chapter, there is a chart that helps you determine if (and if so, how soon) you need to see your provider for any issues that pop up. That helps quell the first-time fears you may have. I love this book !

Shawn on

The new book is a must-have! They also have a Facebook fan page too. Lots of good information… http://www.facebook.com/MayoClinicHealthyPregnancy

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