Feature image from BOOK COVER
UP THE DUFF The Real Guide to Pregnancy by Kaz Cooke
I used to work in a cafe that had a copy of this book on a shelf. For seven years, no one touched it and I assumed it was one of those books that never even get sold at an op shop. Not only was the book slowly gathering dust, the spine design and cover art gave me the impression it was for morons. It seemed too comic and a little cliche to ever be the book I read when I was pregnant. I thought I wasn’t interested. Let me tell you, I was wrong!
This book it an absolute treat.
At the moment, I am four weeks pregnant and I’ve been reading A LOT of pregnancy books. This is the only book that has made me laugh and told me everything that all the other books left out. For example, what to do when you find out you’re pregnant and you’re addicted to heroin! Yes, some people are addicted to heroin and also fall pregnant. This book is open-minded, informative and completely without judgement or bias.
It also contains one of the most genuine explanations of miscarriage I have read - which makes me think it might have been written by someone who has actually had a miscarriage.
Cooke brings to light what it might be like to announce your pregnancy to a friend who has been struggling with infertility or who has lost their own child. She doesn’t just tell you to be mindful and considerate, she provides helpful an action plan so you feel confident and prepared.
I did wish that the Diary of Hermoine was actually real. Inspired by a number of pregnancy stories, the fact that the journal has been exaggerated and is a mix of many stories made me less inclined to read it. I’m not interested in any degree of fiction right now. I want life! Real Life! This is the time when I need to hear the facts.
UP THE DUFF has a typical pregnancy manual layout, but instead of being month to months, each chapter is week to week. This format was far more interesting to read that simply a chapter on the month. The difference between week 5 and week 8 is huge. This detailed breakdown provides a lot more detail, information, clarity and forward planning. Win.
The highlights of this book include but are not limited to…
1. Ease weird anxious thoughts pregnant ladies have, for example,
Will my baby be born healthy and normal? (Very Probably) Do I deserve a healthy baby? (Oooh Yes) How will I juggle parenting and career? ( Uou wont know till you get there) Will I be able to breastfeed? (There is lots of help avaliable, and in the end it is not compulsory)
2. Actual information about exercise, the best I have read. There are details about running shoes and good sports bra. This is the stuff the herbal pregnancy books seem to miss out.
3. A wonderful approach to unsolicited advice. “It’s not about you, it’s about them.” Oh, my GOD!! Where was this advice thirty years earlier? You could apply this advice to anything anyone around you ever says. I love it. How to actually deal with people in your family and those around you - problems that you might have. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
4. A whole chapter on bras.
5. …and a guide to buying maternity clothes based on seasons.
6. A pretty good breakdown to the weight you’ll gain and where it all goes. Which part of the baby weighs what amount, and how much weight gain is vital.
It took me less than a day to read this book. It’s the kind of book that contains so much good stuff, you’ll probably need to read it a few times. I’ll probably read each of the chapters again as necessary, as the weeks roll by.
Up The Duff also has a section at the end of each chapter (week) to help you remember any important details that might slip by. At the end of the chapter Cooke asks you to record details, thoughts and stories about the whole pregnancy. I read the chapters from week 3 4 and 5 and I’ve already realised I’m already forgetting the details. Like when did we actually conceive? How did it happen? What day was it? I didn’t write that down. That shit is important. I won’t be sure in a few months - And for a while it will seem insignificant. But in ten years time that’s the stuff I want to know. So yay to this book.
UP THE DUFF was published in 199 by Penguin, in Australia. KAZ COOKE is an Australian writer and cartoonist. She has also published WOMEN’S STUFF and GIRL STUFF which I will definitely be getting my hands on to review also. Most people that have read UP THE DUFF bare very happy with their $30 purchase.
The author decided to write this book after going through pregnancy herself reading contradictory information and finding that books stopped at exactly 40 weeks.She is honest about how much being pregnant consumed her mind and understandably wanted a book that acknowledge that.
Everything is explained well, is clear and easy to follow.
Definitely my favourite.