From the moment you share the news that you are pregnant or have a new baby it feels like everyone becomes an expert. Did you see that headline? Did you hear that story on TV? Have you heard the latest about what they say is best?
In a world overflowing with information telling you what is best for you and your baby, making decisions can feel overwhelming. Who do you trust? Who is telling the truth? And how do you know if what they are saying is right for you? How? By becoming your own expert in sorting the media spin and politics from the actual facts and data.
This isn't a book that is going to tell you which decisions to make, or that there is ever one right answer. It is not going to tell you that the same thing is always best for everyone. Instead this is a guide to help you evaluate information and evidence to decide what is right for you, your body and your baby.
In three main parts it will firstly open your eyes to how information is shared in the media and how this can affect our thinking and decision making. Next it will help you spot who is funding, leading and promoting research and how this can affect the content of what is shared.
Finally it will talk you through reading, understanding and evaluating evidence for yourself across topics in pregnancy, birth and caring for babies. You'll learn how to spot weaknesses in methods used, how to determine the real risk for you and your baby, and how wider context and other factors can influence what research means for you.
Information is power. Making your own decisions that are right for you is empowering. #Informedisbest
Reviews Hide Reviews
Absolutely fantastic book. Informative and readable.
An important and very feminist book
This is a very useful and important book, and is more important than ever in an era of fake news, limited attention spans, and a distrust of experts - as the book itself explains in glorious detail. What I find amazing about Amy's writing is her ability to gather so much information, and distil it into meaningful and accessible writing; in fact she quotes a study where a mother describes wanting "mom-level detail from an expert" (p226) and this is exactly what we have in this book. Amy sets the context, looking at how the media, social media, and the patriarchy shape our access to good quality information. She explains different types of research, and even gives us a quick blast of how to understand statistics in a way that didn't actually make me want to poke my own eyes out. The text is wonderfully seasoned with examples, including unpicking many twisted media reports of research; and presented in her marvellously offhand-but-serious-really style. For a book about research, it's just such an enjoyable read. One thing I especially love about this book is her exploration of her own bias, along with sections that really should make the reader reflect on their personal biases. The Dunning-Kruger effect really gave me pause for thought. How often do I dismiss someone's work because of a connection with something I didn't like reading or hearing? It definitely happens. Each chapter ends with a practical list of ways to keep informed, summarising the detail within. My favourite is: "To any female expert reading this, I urge you to have the confidence of a mediocre White man." (p124). Oh yes indeed.
Opened my eyes
I considered myself switched on when it came to reading things in the news and thought I would find this book interesting (as I've read Amy's other books) but nothing that new. But I was surprised at just how much is has helped open my eyes to how what we are being told about our birth is being manipulated by the press and who writes the stories. It shouldn't be allowed but it is happening every day. I've already given my copy to my pregnant friend and hope she learns as much as I did. Thank you again Amy.