The Pregnancy Journal is a random little publication. I’m not sure exactly how it became a pregnancy staple, but I was given a copy with my first child, and I’ve met many mothers-to-be who came to own a copy one way or another. It is sort of a low-tech version of today’s popular pregnancy apps that came out before there was such a thing. (In fact, it released as an iPhone and iPad app late in 2013.)
Journal’s are written for many different purposes as described in my review of From Pea to Pumpkin. The Pregnancy Journal is basically a day-by-day description of the growth of your baby and your physical changes. In addition to the daily brief on what is happening with your pregnancy, it intersperses advice, factoids, and quotes. There are also spaces provided for you to jot notes or write a few simple responses to prompts such as “How are you feeling today?” There is a section in the back to record details of your labor and birth.
I have no idea how the author made decisions about what to include in The Pregnancy Journal. One day may include a “parenting tip” about making homemade covers for your diaper changing pad and the next will share a bit of ancient folklore about how to tell if you are having a boy or a girl. These extras are short statements headed by subtitles including “childbirth in other cultures,” “back savers,” “food facts,” “did you know,” and others. There is also a mediocre parenting quote at the bottom of each page.
Although The Pregnancy Journal does have an index so you can look up information, the aim of the journal is not to provide you with an education, but rather with notable impressions that may become a part of your pregnancy transformation. If you’re a busy mama with several little ones at home, it may provide a moment of respite each day to focus on the new life you are welcoming into your family. Couples welcoming their first might enjoy a ritual of reading over the journal together each evening. Working on The Pregnancy Journal will provide a time to cherish and enjoy your pregnancy. If the journaling is an activity you enjoy, it will increase happiness and therefore wins those stars in my rating system.
Over-all, The Pregnancy Journal leaves me with a pleasant but unremarkable experience. If you are an avid scrap-booker and love to capture memories, thoughts, and anecdotes The Pregnancy Journal is for you! If you don’t, it will likely end up disregarded sometime during your second trimester.
The Pregnancy Journal’s Author, A. Christine Harris
Dr. A. Christine Harris, now retired, was a professor of psychology and child development at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, California. She now lives with her family in Elk Grove, California.