Who says being pregnant isn't fun? I get to review more things when I'm pregnant! Anyway, I came across the details on this book  in a press release and tried my luck in requesting for an opportunity to review it even though the title suggests that it's for fathers-to-be. I mean, hey, this book is written by a woman and I want to know whether there are anything being left out or anything that my husband should be aware of this time round! (Not that he's not prepared during our 1st birth but it doesn't hurt to learn more, right?) So here is my review of this educational book from Elaine Atwood Adler entitled: "A Concise Guide to Labor and Delivery for Fathers-to-Be".

Author: Elaine Atwood Adler
Publisher:  CreateSpace (June 27, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-1453611647
Hardcover: 104 pages

Description from the product page:

"You’re expecting a baby! Congratulations! This is a very exciting time in your life – one that will be filled with more joy than you could ever imagine! Maybe you’re not the father, but a supportive friend helping the new mother through her pregnancy. Either way, having a baby is not only a monumental task for the mother, but for you as well! The new Mom needs you to be there with her and for her not only during the pregnancy, but especially during labor and delivery.

Many men are reluctant to be present during the birth of a child. Some might feel they’re too squeamish to witness the actual birth. Others are afraid they won’t be able to effectively provide support to their partners. Most of the time, the hesitation these men feel stems from the fact that they are basically clueless when it comes to the miracle of childbirth."

I got interested in this book as I read the list of what you will learn from this book, such as:

# What happens when you get to the hospital?
# What a woman needs most during labor.
# What labor contractions feel like - if you dare!
# What happens during the three stages of labor.
# What you can do to help alleviate her pain.
# What you absolutely must NOT do while your lady is in labor.
# Your role in the delivery or birthing room.
# Suggested items for your "Labor Tool Kit".
# What to do if you believe that some hospital procedures seem not medically necessary.
# What's a spinal block? An epidural? An episiotomy?

As I read through each chapters in the book, I start comparing with how my husband fared when I gave birth to Ben 2 years ago and I realised he did most of the things from the book (thank God!) but there's one thing which was not mentioned in the book when it comes to pain relief methods. Maybe it's not popular or recommended anymore in overseas, but I thank God that my husband realised AND remembered that we could use Enthonox (laughing gas) as a pain relief method. While I was busy trying to remember and focus on my breathing exercises (which was also reminded by my husband!), my husband happened to see the gas mask hanging right above my labor bed and asked our gynae whether I could use it and the moment our gynae said 'SURE! GO AHEAD!' I was hanging onto the mask as if it was my lifeline!

I find the great thing about this book is that the author mentioned about the dangers of pain medication where it mentioned: "pain medications, once administered, cannot be rescinded and you may need another drug or procedure to remedy the ill effects. These in turn, introduce their own risks". (taken from page 42)

I also like the points listed on what makes a great birthing partner where the author mentioned some things that the father-to-be can do (or not do) just to provide support and encouragement for their birth partner.

From this book, I learned something new on the reason why mum-to-be normally get started on an IV drip. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't know why (I thought it's to provide some sort of nutrition or feeding for energy and strength) until I read this book which mentioned that it is done as a preventive measure in the event that medications must be administered later.

What would be great for the book is if it also comes with illustrations or pictures to accompany the points in the book.

 Do get a copy of this book if you want to know more on what to expect and to be more prepared during labor & delivery.

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a  softcopy of the book (which looks great as I read it on my iPad) by Jim from the publishing company in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Pregnancy at month 5...

~ Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 8:42 AM ~

Ladies and gentlemen, we are cruising into the 5th month of my pregnancy now! Updates for this month since my previous status updates in pregnancy at month 4 are as follow:

#1: This baby is STILL a SPICY BABY!

Image taken from Google search

I'm still wolfing down spicy food at month number 5, so this nickname is going to stay for sometime...

#2: Maintaining increment of 1kg per month

Image taken from Google search

Latest gynae check-ups indicated I have gained an extra kg for this month, making it to 50kg now. I have always been a straight 45kg since I was 17 years old and I went back to this weight pretty fast after Ben was born probably due to me breastfeeding him.

#3: Gynae check-ups

We're continuing on our check-ups at the hospital where I gave birth to Ben 2 years ago.

Signage for NO formula, NO bottles, NO pacifier! Way to go!!

Apart from being a pro-natural birth hospital, I love this hospital because they are also PRO-breastfeeding! I snapped the picture above while waiting for the lunch time to be over and I'm very impressed with the signage - NO formula, NO bottles, NO pacifier! LOVE IT!

Anyway, back to the check up... this time, we found out it is wayyyyyy faster to have our appointments after lunch! Hubby's theory was most likely people take whole day off to go for their check-ups and they'd rather get everything done in the morning and enjoy the rest of the day, hence the wayyyyy less queue at the registration and waiting. This time, I didn't even have to queue to do my urine test and although we have to wait half an hour (lunch hour until 2pm and we arrived there at 1.30pm), I was the 1st one being called the moment the clock strikes 2pm.

And maybe because of the way lesser crowd after lunch time, our gynae really took his own sweet time to do our ultrasound scan and check every single thing and explained to us slowly and in details. (Not that he didn't do that during our last check-up but this time we don't feel we're holding the queue down or anything!)

During this round of check-up, we get to try out the 4D ultrasound machine and this is the picture taken of Spicy Baby at month 5:

The stringy stuff on the right are actually the umbilical cords...

We were kinda impressed and amazed with the 4D machine and can't contain our excitement of seeing Spicy Baby in a different light (as in clearer compared to the usual 2D scans...) The gynae said at this month, baby has yet to develop much fat so we can't see the chubby cheeks and fat much...

#4: Breastfeeding during pregnancy

I think few days ago my breastmilk production has been reduced to almost nothing. I tried squeezing them with my hands but nothing comes out but then again,  I did  the squeezing right after Ben nursed so I might not have anymore milk by then.

Image taken from Google search

So I'm still wondering whether my breastmilk factory is officially closed for now as Ben is still faithfully coming after my breasts to suckle before his daytime nap and sleep at night (he also nursed about once or twice during his sleep at night).

Maybe there is still milk, or maybe he's just suckling for comfort, but whatever it is, I will let him suckle as long as he wants. And I do hope that we can go for tandem nursing when the baby is born. And I'm wondering whether Ben will noticed when my colostrum starts to come back... hmmmmm....

#5: My belly itches like MAD!

Image taken from Google search

Seriously, it is VERY VERY ITCHY!!! And the more I scratch the itch, the nicer it feels, the more I wanted to scratch it, and then I looked down at my belly and saw the red scratches and sore burns... yikesssss! I think my belly is expanding to cater to the growing Spicy Baby and hence, the skin is trying to expand which causes the itchiness feeling. 

So there you go, updates as at 5 months pregnancy... have a blessed week and thank you for reading!

** P.S: Btw, our gynae did mentioned the gender of the baby in this month's check-up but until I see it with my own eyes and convinced of the findings, I will not reveal the gender yet and it shall remained to be unconfirmed results as of now... heheheh...

Pregnancy at month 4...

~ Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM ~

I realised that since I've announced that we're expecting early in February this year, I haven't been posting much about my pregnancy updates.. so, at 4 months mark now, I just want to share some updates on what's going on with my pregnancy...

#1: This is one heck of a spicy baby!

*Image from Google search

Yeap... I've been chugging down spicy foods pretty much lately... curry noodles, spicy fried chicken, etc etc. Spicy baby? Uh-huh....

#2: Gaining 1kg every month!
When I was pregnant with Ben, I only started gaining weight about 5th month onwards.... that too because I got scolded by my gynae for NOT gaining weight at all! But with this pregnancy, I'm steadily gaining a kilo every month and I have no idea what I did to achieve that!

#3: Favorite foods/drinks go haywire...
Prior to this pregnancy, I used to love eating fishball and sometimes looking forward to my MIL's cooking, but now, I steered clear of these foods. And weird thing is prior to this pregnancy (and with Ben) I go 'ewwwwww' at the first sip of full cream milk but this time, I just gulped it down like water... no reaction at all!

#4: Gynae check-ups
We've just went back to the hospital where I gave birth to Ben 2 years ago. However, my previous gynae was no longer working there, so we are currently seeing a new male gynae (somehow I'm more comfortable with male gynaes). Our first impression of him is good, friendly, he doesn't rush his check-up with me and he takes his time to slowly explain and answer our questions. The only downside is the journey to and fro the hospital, each ride is an hour's journey. But other than that, the service is pretty fast compared to the previous private hospital we went to for my check-ups.

The antenatal pills I'm getting from my current gynae now...

#5: Breastfeeding during pregnancy
Yeap, it's still on-going (FYI, Ben is 2 years old now)! When I found out I was pregnant 2 months ago, I was very worried as I do intend to breastfeed Ben as long as he wants (and also as long as I can) and at the same time, I don't want the breastfeeding to pose any risk to the baby as well. After much research and asking around on the mummy forums and Facebook pages, I decided to stick to it and take it one day at a time. What I can share about the experience of breastfeeding during pregnancy was well, it is a good excuse for me to take a rest. I just lie down on the bed to rest (pregnancy is VERY tiring OK!) and Ben will come snuggling to me to breastfeed. We just lie on the bed together, I rested while he just nursed on for a while and then go off to play on his own. So yeah, one day at a time...

So there you go, updates as at 4 months pregnancy... have a blessed week and thank you for reading!

*P.S: I am so glad my blog is back up now after being down since last Friday!