Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy is fabulous for promoting a healthy pregnancy and mediocre as a birth preparation book. It is a resource for foundational knowledge and reads like a text-book, covering information in detail while completely omitting material meant to inspire, persuade, or stir inner reflection.
Because birthing is such an act of human spirit I would hate for this type of literature to be the only thing a woman reads during pregnancy, but in the moments when she wants to learn about how her body is functioning, or needs answers to a question, Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy is great. It includes month-by-month pregnancy information as well as a reference section on concerns, questions, and complications. Both are extremely well done. They provide accurate and thorough answers and emphasize both the incredible aspects of pregnancy and practical suggestions. It is well indexed and easy to use. While many guidebooks are little more than a list of pregnancy discomforts, Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy provides so much more.
The birth section and the newborn information are both very dry and limited. They are accurate, but don’t offer much beyond explanation of biological process. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy also offers decision guides meant to help you think through options on various topics such as circumcision or when to return to work. I found this area a lot like the sections on birth and newborns – dry and limited – and also more biased then other parts of the book.
My take away – you can turn to Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy for your answers to pregnancy questions, but go elsewhere to support your birth preparation goals.
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy’s Authors, The Pregnancy Experts at Mayo Clinic
Roger Harms, M.D., has been at Mayo Clinic for 32 years. He is currently a specialist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and an associate professor at the Clinic’s College of Medicine.
Myra Wick, M.D., Ph.D., serves as a specialist in both the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Medical Genetics and is an associate professor at the Clinic’s College of Medicine. She has four children.