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Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Emily Oster
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Kurzbeschreibung

20. August 2013
What to Expect When You're Expecting meets Freakonomics: an award-winning economist disproves standard recommendations about pregnancy to empower women while they're expecting
 
Pregnancy—unquestionably one of the most pro­found, meaningful experiences of adulthood—can reduce otherwise intelligent women to, well, babies. We’re told to avoid cold cuts, sushi, alcohol, and coffee, but aren’t told why these are forbidden. Rules for prenatal testing are hard and fast—and unexplained. Are these recommendations even correct? Are all of them right for every mom-to-be? In Expecting Better, award-winning economist Emily Oster proves that pregnancy rules are often misguided and sometimes flat-out wrong.
 
A mom-to-be herself, Oster debunks the myths of pregnancy using her particular mode of critical thinking: economics, the study of how we get what we want. Oster knows that the value of anything—a home, an amniocentesis—is in the eyes of the informed beholder, and like any compli­cated endeavor, pregnancy is not a one-size-fits-all affair. And yet medicine often treats it as such. Are doctors working from bad data? Are well-meaning friends and family perpetuating false myths and raising unfounded concerns? Oster’s answer is yes, and often.
 
Pregnant women face an endless stream of decisions, from the casual (Can I eat this?) to the frightening (Is it worth risking a miscarriage to test for genetic defects?). Expecting Better presents the hard facts and real-world advice you’ll never get at the doctor’s office or in the existing literature. Oster’s revelatory work identifies everything from the real effects of caffeine and tobacco to the surprising dangers of gardening.
 
Any expectant mother knows that the health of her baby is paramount, but she will be less anxious and better able to enjoy a healthy pregnancy if she is informed . . . and can have the occasional glass of wine.
 
* * *
 
Numbers are not subject to someone else’s interpretation—math doesn’t lie. Expectant economist Emily Oster set out to inform parents-to-be about the truth of pregnancy using the most up-to-date data so that they can make the best decisions for their pregnancies. The results she found were often very surprising…
 
 
·        It’s fine to have the occasional glass of wine – even one every day – in the second and third trimesters.
 
·        There is nothing to fear from sushi, but do stay away from raw milk cheese.
 
·        Sardines and herring are the fish of choice to give your child those few extra IQ points.
 
·        There is no evidence that bed rest is helpful in preventing or treating any complications of pregnancy.
 
·        Many unnecessary labor inductions could be avoided by simply staying hydrated.
 
·        Epidurals are great for pain relief and fine for your baby, but they do carry some risks for mom.
 
·        Limiting women to ice chips during labor is an antiquated practice; you should at least be able to sneak in some Gatorade.
 
·        You shouldn’t worry about dyeing your hair or cleaning the cat’s litter box, but gardening while pregnant can actually be risky.
 
·        Hot tubs, hot baths, hot yoga: avoid (at least during the first trimester).
 
·        You should be more worried about gaining too little weight during pregnancy than gaining too much.
 
·        Most exercise during pregnancy is fine (no rock climbing!), but there isn’t much evidence that it has benefits.  Except for exercising your pelvic floor with Kegels: that you should be doing.
 
·        Your eggs do not have a 35-year-old sell-by date: plenty of women get pregnant after 35 and there is no sudden drop in fertility on your birthday.
 
·        Miscarriage risks from tests like the CVS and Amniocentesis are far lower than cited by most doctors.
 
·        Pregnancy nausea may be unpleasant, but it’s a good sign: women who are sick are less likely to miscarry.

Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 336 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin Press HC, The (20. August 2013)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1594204756
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594204753
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16 x 2,7 x 23,7 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 262.093 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

New York Times:
"Expecting Better will be a revelation for curious mothers-to-be whose doctors fail to lay out the pros and cons of that morning latte, let alone discuss real science. And it makes for valuable homework before those harried ob-gyn appointments, even for lucky patients whose doctors are able to talk about the rationale behind their advice."
 
New York Magazine:
"Emily Oster combs through hundreds of medical studies to debunk many widely followed dictates: no alcohol, no caffeine, no changing the kitty litter. Her conclusions are startling… Expecting Better walks women through medical literature surrounding every stage of pregnancy, giving them data to make informed decisions about their own pregnancy. "
 
New York Post:
"It seems that everyone—doctors, yoga teachers, mothers-in-law and checkout ladies at grocery stores—are members of the pregnancy police. Everyone has an opinion. But not everyone is Emily Oster, a Harvard-trained economics professor at the University of Chicago … To help the many women who reached out to Oster for advice, she compiled her conclusions in her new book, Expecting Better, which she describes as a kind of pregnancy 'by the numbers.'"
 
Associated Press:
"[Oster took] a deep dive into research covering everything from wine and weight gain to prenatal testing and epidurals. What she found was some of the mainstays of pregnancy advice are based on inconclusive or downright faulty science."
 
Daily Mail:
"Economist and author Emily Oster contradicts conventional wisdom and advocates a much more relaxed approach to pregnancy."

Parents.com:
“She’s such a brilliant researcher and wordsmith.”

The Times (UK)
"[Expecting Better] offers expectant mothers a new route to the delivery room."

Telegraph (UK) 
"A comprehensive and lively debunking of the myths surrounding pregnancy."

Harvey, Karp, MD, bestselling author of The Happiest Baby Guide to Sleep and The Happiest Baby on the Block:
"Expecting Better gives moms-to-be a big helping of peace of mind! Oster debunks many tired old myths and shines a light on issues that really matter."

Pamela Druckerman, New York Times bestselling author of Bringing Up Bébé and Bébé Day by Day:
"It took someone as smart as Emily Oster to make it all this simple. She cuts through the thicket of anxiety and received wisdom, and gives us the facts. Expecting Better is both enlightening and calming. It almost makes me want to get pregnant."

Charles Wheelan, New York Times bestselling author of Naked Statistics:
"Expecting Better is a fascinating and reassuring tour of pregnancy and childbirth, with data leading the way at every juncture.  From start to finish, Oster easily leads us through the key findings of the extant pregnancy-related research.  My only regret is that my wife and I had three children without the benefit of this insightful approach."
 
Rachel Simmons, New York Times bestselling author of Curse of the Good Girl:
"The only antidote to pregnancy anxiety is facts, and Emily Oster has them in spades. Disarmingly personal and easy to read, this book is guaranteed to cut your freaking out in half. Pregnancy studies has a new heroine. Every pregnant woman will cheer this book—and want to take Oster out for a shot of espresso."

Steven D. Levitt, New York Times bestselling co-author of Freakonomics:
"This is a fascinating—and reassuring—look at the most important numbers of your pregnancy. It will make parents-to-be rethink much of the conventional wisdom: think bed rest is a good idea? Think again. This may be the most important book about pregnancy you read."

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Emily Oster is an associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She was a speaker at the 2007 TED conference and her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Esquire. Oster is married to economist Jesse Shapiro and is the also the daughter of two economists. She has one child, Penelope.

 


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Mal was anderes! 23. Oktober 2013
Von Dotti
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Ein sehr gutes Buch. Aktuelle (hauptsächlich statistische) Informationen. Auch auf Englisch absolut lesbar! Wer medizinische Infos sucht, sollte allerdings woanders suchen.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 von 5 Sternen  337 Rezensionen
331 von 356 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Fact-based book for empowered pregnancy choices 21. August 2013
Von Caroline Niziol - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
If you asked me a couple of weeks ago if I was interested in reading Yet Another Pregnancy Book, I would have laughed. Hardly! I read a couple early on, then turned to the almighty Google when I had questions or curiosities. Then about a week ago, my mom clipped an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal called "Take Back Your Pregnancy." Well, I took the bait. Emily Oster's article intrigued me. Definitely one for any subsequent pregnancy, I thought!

Then the furor struck on the Interwebs. Because Oster draws the conclusion from a variety of studies and data that it's fine to indulge in the occasional alcoholic beverage during pregnancy, she has been excoriated in a variety of articles and in the responding comments. Current Amazon.com reviews are skewed by those who take issue with an economist (not a medical doctor) who will, in their minds, increase the number of children born with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). Several comments made nasty remarks about the author's 2-year-old daughter, Penelope, implying that it was only a matter of time before she would begin to fail IQ tests and demonstrate signs of FASD herself.

Was Oster truly that horrible and conniving? Did she write her book to cause birth defects and emotional trauma? I had to know the truth, and while 40 weeks and two days pregnant, I picked up Expecting Better and read it carefully.

Spoiler alert: it's really not that bad. I love authors who examine evidence, explain scientific studies and methodology, and draw logical conclusions about the data. Oster isn't an ob/gyn, but she's a well-trained economist whose job is interpreting data. Her analysis is thorough even as she keeps her writing accessible, humorous, and sympathetic. As she points out in the introduction, advice about pregnancy tends to be either black and white--don't have any drinks, ever--or vague--drink coffee in moderation. Instead of relying on the hearsay, she reviews the actual data and comes to her own conclusions. Oster doesn't demand that women drink during pregnancy despite their own reservations. Not at all! She just presents the evidence that light drinking has been shown to be not harmful, and lets the reader make her own choice.

The knee-jerk reactions to the book and Oster's approach are misguided because they don't realize that telling women what to do during pregnancy is exactly the opposite of Oster's intentions. Rather, she wants all the data laid out so women can make informed decisions during pregnancy based on their own assessment and comfort levels with varying amounts of risk. That is far more empowering and practical than a notarized list of what to do and not do. She gives examples in the text, citing instances where her review of the data prompted her to chose one path and a friend reviewing the same data to chose another path. That is fine. The goal is seeking knowledge to inform personal decisions.

Pregnancy in the U.S. is fraught with judgment from family, friends, and total strangers that add extra stress in an already anxious time. Expecting Better steps back from the hysteria and offers women up-to-date, relevant information about the choices they will need to make during pregnancy. I'll definitely be recommending this one to pregnant friends in the future.
229 von 257 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen YES! A data driven book on pregnancy-- a MUST READ! 21. August 2013
Von Annie Y. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
My husband showed me an article on Emily Oster's book (published in the Wall Street Journal, August 9th) and once I read it, I could not wait to read her book. I am 12 weeks pregnant and could not understand the lack of data supporting all of the rules that pregnant women must adhere to. I saw 2 OB-GYN's and both doctors provided differing views, without providing sound data... was it just their opinion they were spouting off to me? That's what it seemed like to me. Women must make their own decisions, at the end of the day, and I am shocked with the negative reviews this book is receiving. This book is a MUST READ FOR ALL WOMEN!!

The negativity is around drinking --- Emily Oster is NOT supporting drinking while being pregnant. This book provides multiple studies on women who drink and shows us that if you have a drink or two, you are NOT HURTING YOUR BABY. But if you don't agree with this philosophy, then don't drink and mind your own business! There are plenty of women around the world who drink while carrying a child. I highly doubt that the reviewers who are so concerned with FAS have actually read the book!!

I loved the chapter on miscarrying since there is so much random information online. I too, like Emily's friend in the book, wondered the % of miscarrying at varying weeks. It is comforting to know that there are many reasons why women miscarry and you can't make a generalization as to your chances of miscarrying.

Another chapter I appreciated was foods you really should avoid. Even though I'm pregnant, I don't want to feel like I can't live and enjoy food! Knowing the foods I must avoid brings me a peace of mind. In addition, I always wondered about listeria and did not believe it would be harmful to me or my baby. But Emily Oster opened my eyes to the seriousness of this bacteria.

I am so thankful that this book came out during my 1st pregnancy. I felt very lost with all of the information that was provided to me and I kept wondering, "why is there such differing information out there?" This book is a god-send and every chapter is useful and to make it even better, she is HILARIOUS! This author is really funny and she adds personal touches throughout the book so you feel connected to her as well.

You cannot disagree with data and please do not be influenced by the negative reviews. Please get this book and make your own decision. I am so thankful that I bought the book and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
254 von 291 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Case In Point 20. August 2013
Von Melina - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The highly emotional reviews railing against Ms. Oster's book are exactly why this book was necessary. Too often, we rely on unbridled emotion to make really big decisions, when in reality our emotion needs to be tempered by factual data (so that we are not scared into doing something that may, in fact, be MORE dangerous). For what it's worth, I am incredibly conservative on the topic of alcohol. I myself do not drink. I am aware of and take seriously the damage alcohol can do to people. That being said, I hope that I NEVER, EVER come across as expounding the belief that alcohol is bad, hands down. While I certainly would not choose to drink during my pregnancy (for the reason that I live a sober life), I absolutely do NOT condemn those who choose to do so. I have a great appreciation for the numbers, and the numbers have clearly shown that small amounts in the 2nd and 3rd tri are unlikely to have any impact on the developing fetus. There is no arguing with that. It is fact, and it is public. Nowhere in Ms. Oster's book does she encourage ANYONE to drink. All Ms. Oster has done is collect the information that was already publicly available, and make it palatable for the average person. With all due respect to those representing NOFAS in the reviews here, this book is not going to change anything. People who are alcoholics and drink excessively during pregnancy have a problem that has probably never been influenced by medical data, not even when it was still believed by researchers that any amount of alcohol was hazardous to a developing fetus. As someone who has had to make very difficult decisions in my pregnancy, I have greatly appreciated having this book---a beacon of sanity in a period that is fraught with fear-mongering and false information. The overall takeaway is not that you SHOULD do anything discussed in the book, but rather look at the evidence (which Ms. Oster did not invent, but merely provided) and use a healthy combination of emotional and rational thought in the decision-making process.
146 von 169 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Try to Take Emotion Out of It 23. August 2013
Von LogicalThought - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
It seems as if the vast majority of you who have issues with this book do so from the standpoint of the author's position on alcohol consumption. I would like to address these people for a moment.
First, I am the sibling of a severely disabled family member, whose condition had nothing to do with alcohol consumption during gestation. I know well the incredible difficulties involved with caring for such an individual.
Second, I have a Masters degree in Nutritional Biochemistry from one of the top Public Health institutions in the US. I have also conducted research on FAS, and so consider myself both relatively familiar with the body of literature on the subject, as well as qualified to interpret the results, and identify the limitations, of this research.
Third, I do not drink alcohol, and my wife does not drink alcohol.
The author of this book did not say that there is no risk to consuming alcohol during pregnancy. She said, that based on her evaluation of some of the literature, she did not perceive there to be excessive risk to consuming "1 to 3" glasses of wine "over the course of the first trimester".
My research has focused specifically on the timing of alcohol exposure during gestation and the likelihood of the development of an FASD phenotype. My work has suggested that, in particular, it is during the first weeks following conception that the fetus is most vulnerable to insult. Furthermore, the timing of this insult is more important than the amount of alcohol consumed to generate the insult. Essentially, the period of highest vulnerability to the fetus is a time when the expecting mother is likely unaware that she is pregnant. Thus, she is likely to not have yet purchased this book. Considering that 50% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned, persuading the population to consider the creation of children as an incredible responsibility, and as such requiring appropriate preparation, is considerably more important of an issue than lambasting an author for saying that one glass of wine per month during the first trimester is statistically unlikely to result in egregious harm to the fetus.
That being said, it is unfortunate that the author seems to have reversed the 'risky' pattern of consumption, in that alcohol consumption in the later months should be reduced compared to the earlier months. Neurological development occurs very early during gestation. Alcohol should be abstained from during the first trimester. However, as for the remainder of the pregnancy, there is a trade-off.
If an expectant mother's social support system has relied heavily on a group of people who regularly consume alcohol as part of their socializing, being unable to take part in this socializing puts the mother at an increased risk of isolation, and the development of pre-natal depression. This is an under-recognized condition which can have long-term consequences both for the mother and her baby, including decreased mental capacity. Therefore, if, in order to reduce the risk of depression in later trimesters, the expectant mother decides to participate in 'normal' social activities, in particular the consumption of a glass of wine, there is really very limited evidence to suggest a high risk associated with this behavior. The consumption of a single glass of wine does not meet the criteria for 'moderate' levels of drinking, or even 'mild'.
I realize that this issue is emotionally-charged, but I encourage you to step back for a moment, and think rationally about the context in which this information is presented. It is exactly these type of 'all-or-none' recommendations you are recommending that has led people to seek additional guidance. It is not because these mothers are necessarily looking for data to 'rationalize' their drinking. They simply want an honest assessment of the evidence, presented without a bias or underlying motivating factors. By all means, the best way to truly do that is to have the education necessary to evaluate the primary literature. But that takes years, if not a lifetime. People simply need a way to 'digest' the body of information available, without oversimplification, and without dogmatism.
Feel free to respond to this commentary as you wish.
25 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent Myth-Busting Book 6. September 2013
Von Margery A. Yeager - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is excellent and I only wish it had come out a year earlier so that I could have had a more informed pregnancy. The author provides excellent information and analysis and allows the reader to then use that to make better decisions instead of the generic advice that women often receive during pregnancy. She does not advocate drinking during pregnancy as some hysterical reviews suggest, but just reviews the evidence which seems to suggest that very light drinking is rarely harmful. Readers can then determine if they are willing to accept this analysis or not. She provides excellent information about how to evaluate research studies, why some conventional wisdom is simply not supported by evidence, and the things that you actually do need to worry about. I can't wait for the sequel to help debunk all the crazy things you are told once the children are actually born!
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