Posts Tagged ‘The Post-Pregnancy Handbook’

Book Review: The Post-Pregnancy Handbook by Sylvia Brown and Mary Dowd Struck

February 17th, 2015

Theoretically, having a book about the after-effects of pregnancy on a woman’s body, mind, emotions, and relationships is a great idea. The authors are right that pregnancy books and childbirth courses spend little time on the topic, and that women might be likely to feel that as soon as they deliver focus shifts to the baby and they get “left behind” to pick up the pieces of themselves without support.

So the idea behind The Post-Pregnancy Handbook is a great one. Unfortunately, the execution was only ho-hum.

When I started reading, I was shocked by the abrupt nature of the first chapter, detailing a variety of complementary and alternative medical approaches without so much as a paragraph of introduction. It was only after I’d started in what looked to be the second chapter that I realized that first section was meant to be a foreword of sorts.

The first non-chapter was a harbinger of what was to come. While there was a fair bit of science in the explanations of what happens to a woman’s body after birth, the proposed solution was often a method with only the most tenuous scientific grounds. When the book addressed emotional or relational topics, it generally couched them in Freudian terms that this reader, at least, found off-putting.

Additionally, with over 300 pages, this book just never ended. And recognize – this is coming from a woman who loves to read and loves to learn about the minute details of the human body. I took human anatomy in college for fun. So my guess is that the average reader would find this book overwhelmingly onerous.

And…to pile on complaints: the authors assume the mother who delivered vaginally will have a episiotomy. They are eternally ambiguous about the appropriate length of breastfeeding, sometimes seeming to encourage a year, other times three months. Their breastfeeding advice was only halfway correct and some of it rather inclined to sabotage successful breastfeeding. They encourage women to wait way too long to begin an exercise program following delivery. And, there is no concluding chapter (I rather like books to have a beginning, a middle, and an end – this had only middle.)

So, this book was a good idea poorly executed. I don’t recommend it.


Rating: 1 star
Category: Health
Synopsis: The authors explain what happens to a woman after pregnancy and how to manage common physical, mental, emotional, and relational difficulties.
Recommendation: A good idea poorly executed

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