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Book Review: Eating Expectantly, 4th Edition by Bridget Swinney, MS, RD


The miracle of conception, pregnancy and childbirth are one of the most incredible experiences that a person can experience in their lifetime.  I think back when I got pregnant with my first child at 29 years old.  It amazed me that I had this body for so long, and when it was the right time it had the ability to create, grow and birth another living being!  Every month was a new experience being pregnant, and I knew that month brought me closer to meeting my precious child as I watched my belly grow.

Having a baby is one of the biggest and most paramount decisions you ever make in your life.  You need a reference for how to care and feed your body in preparation, during and after having a baby.

Eating Expectantly by Bridget Swinney, MS, RDEating Expectantly: Practical Advice for Healthy Eating Before, During and After Pregnancy by Bridget Swinney, MS, RD is one of the most comprehensive pregnancy nutrition books on the market.  This latest release is the the 4th edition of this book where Bridget updates previous editions and adds additional great features.  Here’s some of my favorite things that you’ll find in her book that you won’t find in others:

Emphasis on pre-pregnancy health.   It is becoming more and more clear that a woman’s pre-pregnancy health is highly tied to the future health of the baby.  That is why it cannot be more emphasized to get your health and wellness in a good place before considering parenthood.  Bridget puts a great little pre-pregnancy quiz to find out if you are ready to have children.  It is helpful to take this quiz as the quiz itself helps you see the nutritional and health components of your life that affect an optimal outcome.

Discussions about Dad’s health and its impact on fertility.  Although there is not a ton of time discussed about this, Bridget tells you why a man’s health affects fertility.  And she provides an excellent book resource by a male dietitian that discusses issues related to men’s health.

Ways to assist with Mom’s fertility and great information on conditions related to infertility.  Many women want to know what they can do to enhance the chances of getting pregnant.  And if they are not having success, what issues may be impacting conception.  Bridget tackles topics such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and provides an exceptional nutrition resource for those with PCOS.

QR codes throughout the book for additional information.  This is one of my favorite features!  I love technology and how it can enhance learning.  Bridget puts QR codes throughout the book where you can scan them with a QR scanner (free app on iPhone, Android or Windows phones) and it immediately takes you to additional resources.  The first QR code takes you to a nice little video of Bridget where she highlights great things in her book.  She even includes QR codes for any chapter updates.

Registered Dietitian author with years of pediatric nutrition knowledge.   Bridget is a registered dietitian with several years in pediatric nutrition.  She’s been a national authority on the subject that people come to when there are questions about child nutrition.  She is also a mom who discusses her own experiences, and how it inspired her to write this book.

Stocking the “pregnant” kitchen.  I am always a fan of practical nutrition – where the rubber hits the road, so to speak.  This book devotes an entire chapter of what should be in your fridge and pantry.  Bridget provides you a great list of “must haves” including a list of what’s in her own kitchen.  I was especially pleased to see that she included vital food safety considerations, including a handy chart on food temperatures and how long you can keep certain food items.

If you know someone who is thinking about getting pregnant, this would be an excellent gift that will keep on giving.  They will thank you for the essential information it will provide them and their baby! 

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