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Publisher's Summary

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. From the author of Cribsheet, a data-driven decision making guide to the early years of parenting

Pregnancy - unquestionably one of the most pro­found, meaningful experiences of adulthood - can reduce otherwise intelligent women to, well, babies. Pregnant women are told to avoid cold cuts, sushi, alcohol, and coffee without ever being told why these are forbidden. Rules for prenatal testing are similarly unexplained. Moms-to-be desperately want a resource that empowers them to make their own right choices.

When award-winning economist Emily Oster was a mom-to-be herself, she evaluated the data behind the accepted rules of pregnancy, and discovered that most are often misguided and some are just flat-out wrong. Debunking myths and explaining everything from the real effects of caffeine to the surprising dangers of gardening, Expecting Better is the book for every pregnant woman who wants to enjoy a healthy and relaxed pregnancy - and the occasional glass of wine.

* This audiobook includes a downloadable PDf of charts, graphs and an Appendix from the book.

©2019 Emily Oster (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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 Times)

"A book...that pregnant women won't want to miss." (Parents Magazine)

"Oster's advice cuts through the emotion, myth, fear of malpractice litigation and looks at the numbers. A mother herself, Oster's interest isn't just curiosity, it's the same thing that motivates every new mom...and Oster's ability to break down the data into informed analysis is a refreshing break from the hysterical hearsay that often dominates the conversation." (Babyzone

"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." (Pamela Druckerman, New York Times best-selling author of Bringing Up Bébé)  

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What listeners say about Expecting Better

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  • Overall
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Perfect for new moms - critics, are you even reading the whole paragraphs?

When I became pregnant, I was so overwhelmed with all of the information out there. I got this book because I was encouraged by her reliance on actual data. I could not have been more pleased and will probably not read another pregnancy book. The reviews of with their pitchforks over some of her conclusions that fly against normal recommendations reminds me of those who rely on Facebook posts to decide vaccines aren’t safe. If all they have is the American Association of whatever says this isn’t safe and doesn’t have the data to prove it, they are not as informed as a Emily Oster is. And also probably don’t realize that America is not even talk to him and infect health in mortality. It would be one thing if she were conclusory, but she has hard data, does her homework, and attaches PDFs. In fact, I have decided for the remainder of my pregnancy, I’m not hanging my hat until I can read a pure reviewed journal with an abstract and methodology. At the end of the day, this book is about providing the actual evidence, but still to each their own, and you can decide what you want to do - just based on reliable information. Thank you so much, Emily!

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Great information! Very technical.

I liked the research based approach to this material. Gives you some perspective on what the actual risk is of all these outdated recommendations. Plus, gives you the confidence to fight back with the oppressive and archaic OB system in the hospitals.

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Fascinating content, could be narrated better.

Every chapter is illuminating, easy to understand, and empowering. Normally, I enjoy books narrated by the author, but Oster does not control inflection at the beginning of sentences and it comes off as screech-like, which was distracting. However, it becomes less pronounced in parts of the book (I assume these were well into the recording session).

Overall, still great. Going to pick up Cribsheet after this knowing it's the same narrator.

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factual unbiased data in pregnancy cautions

great, data driven book. really helped me decide on some issues that were worrying me.

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Excellent resource for expectant parents

Overall, this is an excellent resource for any current expectant parents. It dives into the actual scientific research behind pregnancy decisions, and provides a real, evidenced-based ways to frame decision making. The author (Emily Oster) also combines her own anecdotal experiences to make it entertaining and down to earth. The book covers topics a carrying parent is likely to encounter in pregnancy, including trying to conceive, miscarriage, seafood, alcohol, caffeine, medications, prenatal genetic tests and screening, glucose screening, to labor and delivery, among many other topics. If data analysis and scientific research speak to you, you will find this book helpful, informative, and entertaining.