Expecting Better Book Summary By Emily Oster

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Expecting Better is a must-have for all mothers-to-be!

It helps clear away the fog of pregnancy myths and provides you with the facts so that you can make the best decisions for your happiness and health during this beautiful journey.

The book was authored by Emily Oster, an acclaimed economist, who puts forward a compelling evaluation of conventional wisdom surrounding pregnancy to give future moms insight into what really matters.

This remarkable book will truly help expecting mothers feel reassured and ready for parenthood!

Expecting Better Book

Book Name: Expecting Better (Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Need to Know)

Author(s): Emily Oster

Rating: 3.9/5

Reading Time: 25 Minutes

Categories: Parenting

Author Bio

Emily Oster is an American economist and professor at Brown University who has written a groundbreaking book in the parenting genre.

Her best seller, Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting from Birth to Preschool, has become a go-to resource for expecting parents.

She has changed the landscape for how many think about expectant parenting as it provides data-driven insight into better and more relaxed parenting techniques.

Expect The Best: Debunking Misconceptions And Myths About Pregnancy With The Help Of Scientific Evidence


When it comes to pregnancy, there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there.

Whether it’s what you should or shouldn’t eat during your pregnancy or which prenatal tests you should take, it can be hard to know what do.

That’s why Emily Oster wrote Expecting Better: to provide practical and pragmatic guidance through the labyrinth of pregnancy.

Using her expertise as an economist, Oster set out to evaluate the data and uncover whether or not certain accepted rules were actually backed up by science.

She discovered that many common beliefs are either misguided or wrong!

In her book, she covers topics such as whether or not you can have that glass of wine; the risk associated with tests like amniocentesis; and why TV water-break scenarios may not be accurate when it comes to childbirth.

It’s everything you need in order to make informed decisions about your own health during this unique period of your life.

Economist Emily Oster Brings An Evidence-Based Approach To Pregnancy Decisions

As an expecting mother, chances are you want to know the best way to navigate all the decisions that come with being pregnant.

Traditional wisdom and anecdotal advice can often feel confusing or overwhelming.

That’s why Emily Oster decided to put her economic decision-making principles to the test and explore how they could help answer the tough questions pregnant women face.

Using data from reliable sources and research, she delved into the world of prenatal care and uncovered evidence that dispelled many commonly accepted myths and superstitions surrounding pregnancy.

She also developed a framework for making decisions around pregnancy – one which makes use of economic decision theory as its foundation.

This approach requires two key elements: good data, something in short supply when it comes to pregnancy; and an assessment of the costs and benefits of a decision, something that is highly personalized depending on each woman’s individual circumstances.

What To Know When Planning For Pregnancy: Fertility, Alcohol And Timing

When it comes to planning your pregnancy, researching the best options can have a huge impact on your chances of conception.

By understanding exactly when you’re ovulating, having intercourse at the right time and using tools like temperature charting and pee sticks for greater accuracy, you can increase your odds of having a smooth and successful pregnancy.

Research has shown that by monitoring your body temperature or tracking cervical mucus, you can often identify when ovulation is occurring— increasing the chances of getting pregnant quickly and efficiently.

Furthermore, studies show that even light drinking while trying to conceive will not impact your ability to become pregnant- although avoid excessive use of alcohol as it could affect cell development.

By taking all this into account, you’re giving yourself an advantage in preparing for each pregnancy step .Reviewing and understanding these research findings allows you to make informed decisions about what strategies are most likely to lead to success — making for an enjoyable and safe pregnancy journey!

Don’T Let Uncertainty And Misinformation About Miscarriage Diminish Your Pregnancy Joy

Pregnancy Joy

As a pregnant woman, it’s normal to have some anxiety about the first trimester.

But unfortunately, many of the restrictions we hear about pregnancy may not be necessary.

The book “Expecting Better” takes a look at actual scientific data and provides evidence about which lifestyle changes – if any – are necessary for both your long-term health and that of your baby’s.

For instance, when it comes to drinking alcohol, light drinking – no more than one or two drinks per week during your first trimester – is reportedly safe and won’t negatively impact your baby’s IQ or behavior; nor will it increase the chances of miscarriage.

Similarly, two 8-ounce cups of coffee a day are also ok, so you don’t have to give up your morning pick-me-up.

Food consumption may also require fewer dietary changes than expected.

Raw eggs, sushi and raw fish don’t necessarily need to be removed from your diet since bacteria like salmonella and E.

coli donot pose a special risk for pregnant women.

This said, toxoplasmosis is something that should be avoided by cutting out raw meat, persisting on washing fruit and vegetables before eating them and refraining from gardening or handling cat litter – all common sense things anyways!

It’s important to remember that while lifestyle changes can help minimize the risks associated with miscarriages, every woman (no matter how healthy) has some likelihood of suffering one; this chance varies significantly with age – with 4.4% in those under 20 years old but up to 19% in those 35+.

Additionally there are added risks associated with previous miscarriages as well as In Vitro Fertilization procedures too.

Finally, pregnancy comes with its own set of symptoms such as nausea which could be awkward at times but provide an indication of a healthy pregnancy (as opposed to no nausea which increases the likelihood of miscarriage).

There are several different approaches available (both herbal & Pharmaceutical) to address these ailments says ‘Expecting Better’ without risking harm on you or your child!

When it comes to prenatal testing, it can be an incredibly emotionally fraught decision.

That’s why it’s important to have a good framework to decision-making – one that allows you to make an informed choice based on the facts and your own values.

At its core, prenatal testing detects chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome; it can come in the form of prenatal screening or invasive testing.

Prenatal screening is not 100% accurate – think of it like grocery shopping where you judge the ripeness of fruit but sometimes get it wrong.

Recently, cell-free DNA testing has become more popular as a way to test with higher accuracy (up to 1 in 90,097 false negatives for women aged 30-34).

While invasive testing like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling is 100% accurate, these procedures also carry with them a very small chance of miscarriage (roughly 1 in 800).

Therefore, when considering whether or not to undertake prenatal testing – and which type -it’s important for individuals to look at the risks associated against their own values and beliefs so that they can make the best decision for themselves and their family.

The second trimester of pregnancy is an exciting time, but it also brings with it some big decisions.

One of those decisions is whether or not to find out the gender of your baby.

A lot of expecting parents opt to learn the sex through ultrasound at 20 weeks or via invasive testing, but this isn’t necessarily for everyone.

Alternatively, you can now determine a baby’s sex by a blood sample at any point in pregnancy, though it may not be 100-percent accurate.

Unfortunately, there is no truth to old wives’ tales about heart rate and gender – studies have shown that this isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator either.

Ultimately, if you decide not to find out the gender of your baby during the second trimester, then you’ll just have to wait until their birth – and that can be part of the fun!

Arm Yourself With Knowledge To Ensure The Safest Third Trimester Of Pregnancy


As you near the end of your pregnancy, it’s essential to plan for any complications that could arise in the third trimester.

With this in mind, be sure to equip yourself with adequate information about risks such as premature birth.

Decisions surrounding labor and delivery need to be made now too!

It used to be that babies born prematurely had very little chances of survival but thanks to advances in technology, those born before 22 weeks still have a fighting chance.

Delaying delivery is also possible through drugs prescribed by a doctor, and steroid treatment can speed up fetal lung development.

It is recommended that your doctor check both cervical length (effacement) as well as dilation when making predictions about labor onset since cervix length often has more predictive power than dilation alone.

When deciding on whether or not an induction is necessary, there is not enough evidence to support inductions based solely on low amniotic fluid levels – but, one safe method proven effective is nipple stimulation and membrane stripping which should only be done so by a doctor or midwife who uses a gloved finger.

Cesarean section may come off as the easier route, but if possible avoid it as induction at full term does not come with major risks unless induced earlier.

The Three Stages Of Labor And Their Possible Complications

When it comes to being well-prepared for labor, one of the most important things to know is the timeline.

Although it’s common to be told that labor could take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day, the truth is that labor consists of three distinct stages – dilation, active labor and pushing – each with its own set of challenges and complications.

The first stage of labor has two parts, dilation and active labor, which can range from days up to weeks.

It has been found that on average the cervix dilates at 1-2 cm per hour but if it is slower than that your doctor may need to intervene by giving you Pitocin or delivering via C-section if necessary.

Additionally, it’s important to note that even though TV often shows this dramatic scene where a woman’s water breaks and she immediately goes into labor, only 10% of women actually experience this.

If your water does break before your contractions begin and you are still not in labor after 12 hours then induction may be needed.

Once you have moved into active labor then pushing usually takes between a few minutes or up to a couple of hours – however in some cases there might be trouble in pushing out the baby due to its position so then other options such as C-section would have to be considered as well.

Making The Best Birth Plan Decisions For Your Pregnancy Journey

Plan Decisions

Having a baby calls for multiple decisions, especially when it comes to preferences during labor and delivery.

Understanding that one size doesn’t fit all is crucial to make sound decisions that are best for you and your baby.

When discussing with your healthcare provider the use of pain medication or even Pitocin, consider the benefits versus risks.

For instance, an epidural could diminish painful contractions but can also lead to issues due to the numbing of motional activity for both mother and child.

Similarly, when using Pitocin there is decreased risk of postpartum hemorrhage but side effects such as nausea can possibly arise.

Furthermore, creating a birth plan can help make sure you have discussed things in advance including restrictions due to hospital policy such as eating and drinking during labor as well specifics relating to episiotomy procedures which has been known to cause damage in some cases.

Lastly, leaving an open possibility for a home birth should not be off the table as potential benefits include being more comfortable at home and no risk of being rushed or pressured with medical interventions.

Regardless of the approach taken during the labor process, it’s important to keep in mind that no two births are alike and carefully research all options so that you feel informed when making decisions.

With well-rounded knowledge on each option readily available, it will ultimately set up confident decision-making so both mother and baby are safe!

Wrap Up

The final summary of Expecting Better by Emily Oster is that research smart when it comes to decisions affecting your pregnancy journey.

Make sure you understand what all the facts are, as this will help you decide the best route for you and your baby.

It’s important to remember that conventional wisdom isn’t always right and some common practices may not be the safest.

Also, keep correlation and causation in mind when looking at scientific studies – there can be outside factors influencing the results, so make sure to consider these too when evaluating the study.

Ultimately, being informed about pregnancy decisions can result in better outcomes for both parents and babies!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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