4 out of 4 stars
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Some books exist because the author has decided to write the book they would have needed in a particular situation, if only it had been available. The Single Woman’s Guide to a Happy Pregnancy, Fourth Edition by Mari Gallion is a work of this type.
When the author decided to go ahead with an unsupported pregnancy, she found that the two distinct forms of counselling available were both unhelpful. The “life” camp was only interested in pressuring her to have the baby adopted while the “choice” camp, although less judgmental, could not help her as she did not wish to have an abortion. She has now written this book to fill the gap in the guidance provided for women in this situation. She covers a range of subjects including the all-important self-care for the mother, financial health, custody and child support, what baby equipment is really needed, where to live, and giving birth.
What I liked most about this book was its upbeat, empowering tone. The author’s warmth and generosity come across; she is also level-headed and wise, offering useful nuggets such as the reminder that cooperation is not the same as trust when it comes to communication with the father. I appreciated the inclusion of her birth story, which illustrates that the best laid birthing plans may quickly go out of the window once the reality of labour hits. One doesn’t want to scare women who have yet to give birth, but it is good to be reassured that things can work out just fine even if they don’t go according to plan. Such personal accounts may be missing from standard pregnancy manuals.
Readers should not expect a book about pregnancy themes like foetal development. There are many such books out there; this one is about the well-being of single mothers. There was nothing that I did not like about the book. The information in it is specific to the USA, but since things vary from state to state there and since laws change, readers will have to do their own research wherever they live. For its wealth of comprehensive and sensible information, I give this book 4 out of 4 stars.
This book is specifically aimed at women pursuing a planned or unplanned pregnancy in which the child’s father is absent as the result of his rejection of the mother and/or child, or in which the child’s mother has abandoned the relationship with the child’s father. Some of it will not be relevant for women in other scenarios such as intentional single pregnancy. However, some of the content could well be useful for women who become single mothers at some later stage. The material about baby equipment and birthing could be helpful for any pregnant woman, while some of the information, especially about finances and nutrition, could benefit anyone!
This seemed competently edited. There were some typos but not so many as to be distracting. However, a formatting error was present in the Kindle edition. On several pages, the last paragraph started in mid-sentence and did not follow on from the paragraph above. The lead-in to the orphaned text then appeared several pages on. This was frustrating every time it happened. If such a rating were possible, I would give the book 3.5 out of 4 stars because of this.
Overall, I cannot recommend this book highly enough to all single mothers-to-be.
The Single Woman's Guide to a Happy Pregnancy, Fourth Edition
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