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Publisher's Summary

What to listen to after What to Expect.... A badass, feminist, and personal deep-dive into the science and culture of pregnancy and early motherhood that debunks myths and dated assumptions, offering guidance and camaraderie to women navigating one of the biggest and most profound changes in their lives.

Like most first-time mothers, Angela Garbes was filled with questions when she became pregnant. What exactly is a placenta? How does a body go into labor? Why is breast best? What are the signs and effects of post-partum depression?

But as she discovered, it’s not easy to find satisfying answers. Your OB will cautiously quote statistics; Online sources will scare you with conflicting and often inaccurate information; and even the most trusted books will offer information with a heavy dose of judgment. To educate herself, the food and culture writer embarked on an intensive journey of exploration, diving into the scientific mysteries and cultural myths that surround motherhood to find answers to her questions that had only previously been given through a lens of what women ought to do - instead of allowing them the freedom to choose the right path themselves.

In Like a Mother, Angela offers a rigorously researched and compelling look at the physiology, biology, chemistry, and psychology of pregnancy and motherhood, informed by research, reportage, and her own experience. With a journalist’s curiosity and discipline, a mother’s urgency, and a food writer’s insatiability, she explores the science behind the pressing questions women have about a number of subjects, including postpartum hormones, breast milk, and miscarriage.

Infused with candor and humor, born out of awe, appreciation, and understanding of the human body and its workings, Like a Mother is a full-frontal look at what’s really happening underneath your skin (and to it), and why women need to know.

©2018 Angela Garbes (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

interesting, but not a fan of the narration

I heard the author pitch this book on Fresh air and was excited to listen to it as I'm due next month with our second child. The content is very interesting and I enjoyed the format, but the narration was dry, monotone, and condescending. The author reads the intro and makes me wish she would have narrated the whole book. I am familiar with the narrator and she has a lovely voice in general so I am not sure if it was the direction or what, my general advice, buy the book just not the audio version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thought this would be better!

The narration was terrible for one thing, trying to look past this the book itself was not what I expected. It had a very pessimistic view of women and their roles as mothers.. this book was not uplifting to me at all, talk about a downer. I wouldn't recommend unless you are prepared for this. There was a lot that I agreed with and also some things that I thought that the author was creating mountains out of mole hills, so to speak. We, as mothers, all have different experiences and I am sorry that she didn't have a better story to tell.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Microchimerism - interesting at first, then profoundly healing

I listened to ‘like a mother’ after hearing the author speak on Terry Gross/ fresh air. The book was incredibly fascinating as I was in my 2nd trimester of my first, Long sought pregnancy. I ended up giving birth to my daughter who died shortly after cutting the cord and am mourning her every moment since. My husband reminded me of ‘microchimerism’ we learned about in this book- the concept that our daughter’s cells are now in my body and will be for years to come. She truly will always be with me. It is profoundly healing to think of this and while my heart is broken in a million pieces and will be for some time, I am grateful to this author for writing such a powerful book about pregnancy and motherhood.

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Best motherhood book

This book manages to balance heart and science. It is so difficult to express the struggles, hardship and joy which is motherhood especially the transformation and the loss of our pre-pregnancy self. Angela Garbes managed to capture all that and shows how profoundly mothers change physically and mentally. Loved it.

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Interesting, but I was hoping for a little more...

Like a Mother by Angela Garbes was interesting and there was some interesting and useful information in there, but the summary described this book as a bit more of the "No BS" version of What to Expect...In the beginning and through a decent portion of this book, I'd say that there WAS some good, no BS information there that was presented in an easy to understand, feminist type way, which I enjoyed. Then there were the parts that I just didn't care about at all, for example where the author when on to talk about how her four year old plays with her vagina and gets pleasure from it and how she is encouraged to talk about her vagina and touch it. I don't know...it was just a bit odd and really went more into the authors own story and deviated from the informative stuff that the author was presenting back in the beginning of the book.

Angela Garbes narrated a very small portion of the book, though the majority of the book was narrated by Roxana Ortega. This is my first time listening to Ms. Ortega narrate, and though others have said that she's much better in other performances, I wasn't loving her performance narrating this book. It was pretty bland and depressing sounding. It just wasn't for me.

Overall, if I had to do it again, I won't have spent a credit on it, as I just didn't feel that it lived up to the hype that the well-written publishers summary had promised. I'd buy it on a good sale though.

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Love! Love! Love!

This was just the book I was looking for and so very much needed! I cried every time I listened to it because it spoke to me so deeply. Thank you so much for writing this book!

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Females are strong as hell

This book is fascinating. In addition to grabbing my attention, Angela Garbes has made me wicked impressed with the female body and the nearly magical things that it can do.

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Beautiful!

I’ve been so moved by Angela Garbes’s words.

This book has been a much needed and much loved companion during the third trimester of my first pregnancy.

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A very depressing view of things

I am a staunch feminist and while this book had some good insights and viewpoints, it was super depressing!! I agree with other reviews that this was largely due to the voice of the narrator which was way more dour and serious than in needed to be. Listening to the author read the intro, I really felt like I could relate to her but the narrator made it feel stiff and dead. As a newly pregnant woman I would not recommend this to other women in my situation. I also live in Canada, so perhaps the outlook up here is better than for our sisters down south. I do feel there needs to be advocacy and listening to the stories of women in order to change things, and hope there will be more feminist perspectives that don’t make me feel nothing but dread and foreboding about how having a baby will ruin you.

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  • Kate
  • SEATTLE, WA, US
  • 07-16-18

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I wept throughout this book again and again. After having two children, I felt like this was the book I had been desperate to read. Angela Garbes captures so much of what I felt as a mother and confirms so much of what I suspected. This will be my go to gift for all expecting mothers.