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What to Believe When You're Expecting

Pregnant women encounter advice from many directions about how to have a healthy pregnancy - not only from health care providers, but from relatives, friends, and the Internet. Some of these pieces of advice (on topics that range from inducing labor to telling the baby's gender to improving breastfeeding) have been handed down from woman to woman for generations, and don't appear in any medical textbooks. Dr. Jonathan Schaffir explores the origins of these old wives' tales, and examines the medical evidence that proves which ones may be useful and which ones are just entertaining. On topics ranging from getting pregnant to the best way to recover from childbirth, the book settles the questions of what a woman should believe when she hears such advice.
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About the Author

Jonathan Schaffir, MD, is a practicing obstetrician with more than twenty-five years of experience caring for pregnant women and delivering babies. He is also a medical educator and teaches on the faculty of the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is the former president of the North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynecology, an interdisciplinary society that brings together various professionals who have interests in sociocultural and psychological aspects of obstetrics and women's health. He has extensive experience researching and writing in the field of obstetrical folklore and has been quoted in outlets such as Parents, American Baby, Self, and Child magazine. He has also appeared on local news programs to comment on these studies when they have been published.


Dr. Schaffir has done all of us who care for pregnant women as well our patients, their partners, and their families an invaluable service. He has provided a superb, easy to read, in depth and balanced discussion of the many "old wives tales" related to pregnancy and childbirth. Combining anecdotes and scientific study, historical background and the latest data, Dr. Schaffir tells us, among so many other topics, about diet from pica to placentophagy, how chocolate might influence your baby's disposition, what steps could be taken to start labor, and whether beer can help with breastfeeding. This book is a must read, a resource that should be available everywhere obstetrics is practiced. -- Steven Gabbe, Emeritus CEO, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology

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