It stands to reason that what you eat affects your health and shapes the wellbeing of your growing baby. But how much does your pregnancy diet really impact the character or outlook of your children?
Jena Pincott is both a scientist and a writer. So in this book, you have the forensic curiosity of a professional researcher, coupled with the amusing turn of phrase of a reputed journalist.
The title suggests that the book is light hearted, and the text is certainly amusing. But the tongue in cheek style does not detract from the fact that, Pincott’s findings are based on respectable and respected, peer reviewed research.
Jena Pincott wrote this book during her pregnancy and in the months that followed. It could be argued that she deserves a medal for being able to concentrate on anything while she was looking after a newborn, let alone write a book!
Like any pregnant woman, she was bewildered and paranoid about her changing shape and what was really going on inside her bump. The book is organised into nine chapters which are themselves divided into sections by the questions they answer. In addition to the numerous questions about diet, Pincott also explores what happens to men during their partners’ pregnancies and whether there is any purpose in painful labours. The answer to this labour question is particularly interesting. The theory goes that labour is so painful to focus the attention of the mother’s attendants and loved ones on the newborn and new mother, cementing them together as a unit. The trauma of the occasion is converted to elation when a healthy baby is delivered, and they all bask in the delight of the offspring.
Some of the sections about men’s experience of their partner’s pregnancy are less convincing. If your partner experiences as many symptoms of pregnancy as those described by Pincott, he would be having a rather odd time of things!
There are many pregnancy books on the market that enhance rather than soothe the expectant mother’s natural worrying instinct. Fortunately, this one falls on the side of soothing as even when Pincott is warning her reader about the dangers of a certain course of action (such as drinking alcohol during pregnancy), the tone of the text is informative rather than a lecture.
However, if you are not used to reading about scientific research, you may do well to remember that there are two sides to every story. Pincott often makes her point using a certain piece of research without necessarily putting the other side of the argument.
In case you were wondering about the answer to the question that gives the book its name, it turns out that chocolate lovers may well have sweeter babies, because their mothers are happier due to a bit of indulgence (although there is of course a warning about the dangers of excess sugar consumption and diabetes).
This book is worth getting because it hits both targets of being an interesting read and a book that can teach you something new.