Saturday, April 12, 2003

Review of Pregnancy Resources 


"What to Expect When You're Expecting" - must buy; comprehensive; answers most pregnancy body-related questions you might have so you don't have to call your doctor every other day; I've read reviews where people don't like this book because they think it is too negative, but I say that you should take all advice with a grain of salt; it is better to have all the information and you can judge for yourself than not know enough and be surprised

"Baby Bargains" - must buy; feeling too overwhelmed by all the stroller brands? this book provides a summary of parental reviews and consumer reports to give their own rating on all products baby related; if you don't want to buy this book, this Consumer Search website is excellent and incorporates info from "Baby Bargains"

"Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" - fun book to read so you can laugh about being pregnant and know that you're not the only one experience these things

"Expectant Father" - good book for Dads to feel part of the process and support their wives

"Pregnancy Journal" - daily calendar charting the growth of your baby; you can also input notes about your progress too; I think it's a fun book to have as a keepsake and also chart out your progress vis-a-vis what the book says

"Your Pregnancy Week by Week" - I bought this book first because of great reviews from Amazon, but I found this book least interesting; some people prefer it over "What to Expect..." because it is more "positive and encouraging", but in my viewpoint, you can find similar information by subscribing to email newsletters, and the medical information is better covered in "What to Expect..."; what I did like were the pictures of the actual size of your baby (we still laugh about our baby being the size of a "lower case o" when it was 8? weeks old)

Other recommendations from friends: "Prenatal Prescription"

Exercise Videos

"Fit Mama" - I like this video the most; good balance of low impact aerobics and yoga moves; Leisa has good cuing in the routines, and is appropriately encouraging without being annoying; tells you which exercises help what kinds of pregnancy pains

"Pregnancy Exercises by Kathy Smith" - a little dated (check out the hair and the leg warmers!!), but good overall low impact exercises and tape; I like this tape because of the all over body workout I feel that I am getting; but Kathy Smith a little cheesy sometimes, especially that Labor Rap in the middle, and that second aerobics section the music seems to keep repeat without variety

"Prenatal Yoga" - good relaxing workout but only brief explanations of which poses work best when you're experiencing a particular pain; separates moves by trimester or level which I thought was good

"Yoga Zone's Postures for Pregnancy" - I find this husband - wife team a little creepy; if you can get beyond that, he goes through a series of poses that really helped me with some of my pregnancy aches; I liked the fact that he explained what muscle each pose was supposed to hit, and how to do it right; downside is that some of the poses are difficult, and he doesn't give options for beginners / different trimesters of pregnancies; not uplifting and new-agey like the other videos; very stark German-like

Maternity Stores

Old Navy - good quality clothes, classic styling, wait 'til everything goes on sale which it always does; I was dissatisfied with my pants because they were not using stretch material so didn't fit in the 3rd trimester even though they had the full panel; did it shrink because I washed it too much?? if so, it shouldn't happen and I wasn't satisfied

Japanese Weekend - good quality clothes, cute contemporary styles, OK waist band most comfortable; only pants I liked to wear in the last months of pregnancy; only issue is pants often tailored on the long side to help tall women find pants to wear; return policy is strict so make sure you like what you buy

Target - Liz Lange is a maternity clothes designer who has agreed to design inexpensive clothing for Target; I love the styles of the shirts; good looking at good prices

Gap - same as Old Navy, but 2 Xs more expensive; more dressy clothing available for business casual, or dressy w/o suit jacket office

Motherhood - seems like a lot of synthetic material used for the clothes here, so I didn't like very much; styling not as interesting, but cheap prices and they have a full range of maternity items that you'll need; I bought the stretch mark prevention lotion from here and I don't know if it was the lotion or my genes, but I didn't get any! Woo hoo!!!!!

Mimi Motherhood - higher end of Motherhood stores; seems like they have nicer stuff but I didn't shop here because there wasn't one conveniently near me

Pea in the Pod - fuddy duddy clothes at an expensive price

Also recommended: Babystyle stores and website. The store opened during my 9th month of pregnancy so I never took advantage of it. Darn!


JW's "OK" waist band - most comfortable, sits below below and supports it

Full panel - not comfortable, sized weird sometimes where it is too big in your 2nd trimester, then later just feels itchy on the tummy; I always wind up pushing the panel down beneath my tummy

Elastic Waist Band - gets tight when you get to your 2nd trimester and becomes uncomfortable; basically, anything that stretches over your belly in my opinion is least comfortable

Baby Stores

Babies R Us - superstore that has virtually everything you need for your baby; surprisingly very knowledgeable and helpful staff given the fact that it is a big superstore; good return policy so highly recommend registering at this store

Baby Depot - by Burlington Coat Factory; the one in Hayward at least is totally gross, with merchandise strewn across the floor, unhelpful staff who are neither knowledgeable or interested in helping you; I've heard the return policy here is totally restrictive, so I say do NOT waste your time here; only advantage is I hear the prices here are cheap, but the shopping experience is so nasty that I don't think it is worth the savings

Rockridge Kids on College Avenue, Oakland - good variety of merchandise, very knowledgeable and helpful staff; clean, well-lighted place; I would recommend this shop for East Bay baby shopping; a little pricier because it is a boutique shop, but it has most the stuff you need

Baby World on Telegraph Avenue (also on College), Oakland - good range of merchandise for a boutique store; staff ranges from being really helpful, to at least one in particular kind of creepy; kind of dark and dinghy and sometimes I wonder if anyone shops there; a little pricier because it is a boutique shop, but it has most the stuff you need

Email newsletters

Verybestbaby, by Nestle
Pregnancy Weekly


Snoogle - ever since the Snoogle body pillow came, Rich has been jealous; it has really helped me get some sleep though - I tried to keep pillows between my legs, arms, belly, etc. but it never seemed to work out very well; the pillows kept falling off the bed (it doesn't help that it was only full size) the Snoogle wraps around your body so you can put your head on it, put between your legs, support your belly AND your back with it!; feels like someone is cuddling you all the time so it is very relaxing and helps you fall asleep

Thursday, April 10, 2003


Don't have many notes from our trip - sorry. We spent most of our time in Tobacco Caye. Here are some pictures of fun w/ b-school buddies.