Growing up pregnant is a very readable book that, on the surface, appears quite simple. However, over time, I realised that this book had much more depth than originally anticipated. It is the story of a young woman and her journey from student to mother. Written in very simple language, I initially didn’t identify all that much with the story. But by the end of the book, I realised both that this story was one that many women could identify with and that its focus is towards young women in a similar situation. I would not hesitate to recommend it to any young woman who is pregnant and is looking for something aimed at her age group. In addition, I feel that there could be real value for people who work with young mothers in reading this book. It gave me insight into the mind of a young person and what matters to them and why. I came away with greater insight and understanding towards the issues faced by young women. The author also intersperses factual information about pregnancy and birth into the book, so it really could be one stop shop of a book, for a young girl or woman feeling overwhelmed by the information and choices out there.
My slight hesitancy to recommend it might lie in the fact that not all women will be as well supported as Deirdre, who had very supportive families on both sides, an engaged and loving partner, a reasonably stable financial situation and the capability of buying a house to live in, with her baby. I guess I would include a caveat about this, if I was recommending the book to somebody whose situation was less stable. It would have been great to have a little bit more breastfeeding information, though it was great how positive the author was about breastfeeding and how she seemed to view it as the natural way to feed your baby. Nonetheless, despite these minor points, I did enjoy reading Deirdre’s story and I would recommend this book both to teenage or young women who are pregnant, as well as to anybody who might be supporting these women, including family members, friends and health care professionals.