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Is there such a thing as a “practical pregnancy”?

Practical Pregnancy
Wolfe and Goldsmith

Submitter: Let me apologize for having this book in our library. Thankfully the spine label 612.24 has been wrong all these years and it was cataloged as 618.24. Someone found Waldo and this and was last checked out in October of 2006. Chapter 16 just makes you want to build a time machine when it breaks down how much this baby is going to cost you, hospital charges $888.40 and Doctors’ fees $515.00.

Also learn how to be pregnant at work! Said one employed mother, “I took no sick days, attended Lamaze classes evenings, and made doctor appointments on Saturdays. I thought it was important to set an example for skeptical men.” A college teacher said, “I worked hard all the way- even dragged myself to class with the flu so I wouldn’t be thought of as shirking.”  Wowza, what a read.

Holly: Good grief.  Time to let go of this one!

Mary:  I wonder what our girl Judith from Moving through Pregnancy post would think of this one.  As an aside, based on my personal experience, neither the pregnancy or the babies afterwards were particularly practical.


0 Responses to Is there such a thing as a “practical pregnancy”?

  • It makes it look so glamorous.

    Sex education in the schools? I suggest this book as required reading for 8th graders would, all by itself, slacken teen birth rates dramatically.

    It’s like a bound After School Special.

  • She was able to stay 3.3 days!! I’m jealous!

  • Clearly not a Canadian Book

  • Who wants to stay 3.3 days? It’s boring as hell, and plus, you have to hear all the other babies screaming, besides your own. With my first I had a bad reaction to the epidural, so I was there about 48 hours, but I was out in 36 with my second. Here’s some “practical” advice for the hospital: bring a book to read, because they charge you for the TV, and bring snacks, because hospital meals are designed for sick people with no appetites.

    Oddly, at my hospital, the TV is free in the labor and delivery room, for the husband to watch!

  • How to have a baby and not let it interfere with your life. As if.

  • Yes, I was pregnant with my first child in 1981 and had a copy of this book. It was really thorough, helpful, well-organized, etc. My son will be 29 this year…MIGHT be time for an upgrade!

  • The comments about being pregnant at work are not so out-of-date as you suggest, more’s the pity. In 2007, when my wife was pregnant and a post-doc in neuroscience, she was careful to hide her pregnancy from her colleagues for as long as possible, and she only took a month of maternity leave after the birth (I was a stay-at-home dad), because of the attitude in her lab that women who got pregnant weren’t serious about their careers– mind you, this was an attitude held by her female colleagues! (Not that they said these things to her face, or that she was ever really discriminated against, but months of conversations and gossip had certainly made it clear what the general attitude about motherhood was.) Mind you, science is a field which often demands intense devotion and long hours in the lab, but still, male postdocs who became fathers never got that level of gossip aimed at them.

    (And they were wrong: two and a half years later, my wife is a tenure-track professor.)

  • We recently found a letter, dated 1970, from our library board addressed to the assistant librarian that read, “Congratulations on your marriage, we will be expecting your resignation shortly, as we do not employ married women…” This book and it’s comments on working while pregnant was very relevant in 1980! Women were seen as only working until theymarried or had children and then they would quit. As women working in 2010 this concept seems almost laughable…time to weed this!

  • I’m waiting for the comment that says this book needs to be kept in Smallville, USA’s public library for historical purposes to compare prices of hospital services, social mores, pregnancy fashion with McCall’s patterns, etc.

    Oh dang….

  • Impractical though Practical Pregnancy may be, I for one, am pleased to dream of a pregnancy where I walk jauntily down the street, kickin’ plaid jumper and all.

  • Love the prices. I work for an OB group on Long Island, and we chg $7500/8700 for complete care minus all testing/sonograms and $650 for a circ. And our bill is only about half of what the hospital charges, yikes!
    How weird is the 3.3 days? And no difference between vaginal and c-section?
    TOSS IT!!

  • I’m quite shocked at the fact Circumcision is included! Is that still common in the US? It’s almost unheard of in the UK!
    Also I know the NHS has been getting a bad press recently but I would rather that and it being free than hundreds (or possibly now thousands!) of pounds to just have a baby!

    • Well, let’s see, first off circumcision is still part of Jewish religion signifying the covenant between God and the Jewish people. Plus some of us women still prefer looking at a circumcised penis. So, yeah.

    • In our practice, about 3/4 of the boys get circ’d, and it’s not a heavy jewish community.

    • In my experience, having it done in the hospital is not an automatic assumption anymore, and some women I know to had their first son circ’ed and then decided that it wasn’t necessary and didn’t have their later sons done. Other friends say that their husbands didn’t like the idea for whatever reason, so they didn’t have it done.

    • Circumcision for non-religious reasons is extremely common in the U.S. It’s dropping a little in popularity now, but at the time this book was written, something like 90% of male infants in the U.S. were circumcised.

    • In Missouri, when my daughter was born in 1975, circumcision was required by law for ALL baby boys. The hospital breathed a sigh of relief when my baby turned out to be female, because I had threatened to sue them and the state if anyone messed with my baby’s penis.

  • Will President Obama’s healthcare reforms enable women in the Land of the Free to have babies for free like you can in our horrid European Socialist countries?

  • When I had my son in 2003, the charges were at least 10 times that! Wow – an interesting illustration of the rising cost of health care.

  • I do wish I had a doctor that had Saturday hours like this lady, though. Was that common back then? With many more women working through pregnancy now, you would think Saturday hours for the myriad appointments required of even a normal pregnancy would be something doctors could offer to gain patients.