'What to Expect When You're Expecting': Top 10 Changes in New Edition

'What to Expect' to Be a Perfect Parent
ABCNEWS.com

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" has been hailed as the pregnancy bible for moms-to-be and their families for decades.

First released in 1984, the New York Times bestseller has now sold more than 17 million copies, and it is estimated that more than 90 percent of expectant mothers have read it. "What to Expect When You're Expecting" was recently adapted into a movie by the same title, starring a cast of Hollywood heavyweights including Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Rock. It will be in theaters nationwide May 18.

Author Heidi Murkoff talked with "Nightline" about the updates she made to a few sections of the book, which is in its fourth edition. She shares her top 10 changes since the book's first edition below.

1.
More Details on the Importance of Pre-Conception Preparation

More and more research shows that a healthy baby begins before conception, Murkoff said, "with a mom's and dad's lifestyle, weight, eating habits."

2.
Expanded Section on Moms-to-Be Working During Pregnancy

What Murkoff called "juggling business with baby-making," the latest edition of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" includes an expanded section on "how to stay comfortable and safe on the job, how long you can stay on the job, how to play pregnant office politics, how to figure out your rights as a pregnant worker, which are minimal compared to what they are in other developed countries."

3.
New Section on 'Pregnancy Beauty'

After becoming pregnant, women will often change their diet or exercise routine, but what about changes to their personal care routine? Is it still safe to get that weekly pedicure or root touchup?

Murkoff said she is often asked questions about lifestyle changes for expectant mothers, so in the latest edition, she included answers on what moms-to-be should consider about "hair color, skin care. Can you reach for the Clearasil when you end up with zits instead of glow? Can you book Botox now that you have more to smile about than ever or use tooth whitening products? Salon and spa treatments and spray tans."

She also included answers to questions about "tattoos and piercings (belly and nipple) -- the ones you already have, ones you're clamoring to get."

4.
More on Alternative Medicine or CAM Therapies

More advice about common CAM therapy practices were added to the new book, "from acupressure for morning sickness to acupuncture for backache to hydrotherapy for sciatica to reflexology for labor pain relief," Murkoff said.

"Once considered on the fringe, these therapies are being integrated more and more into traditional obstetrical practice, prescribed by traditional OBs," she added.

5.
Much More on Sex, Intimacy

In the latest edition, Murkoff said she provides more answers to intimacy questions expectant mothers might not feel comfortable talking about with their doctor, such as whether sex toys are off the table, or what to do when their partner's libido has cooled and theirs is heating up.

6.
New Chapter on Expecting Multiples

"Multiples are multiplying," Murkoff said. "Twin births up 50 percent, higher order multiples up 400 percent."

This new chapter includes advice for moms-to-be expecting twins, triples or quads, "from how much more you'll need to eat, to how many more symptoms you're likely to have, to the extra tests and risks involved in baking more than one bun at a time, and how labor and delivery might differ from a singleton birth," she said.

7.
More Information for Dad

A "self-avowed Dadvocate," Murkoff said expanding this section was important to her.

"While the entire book is intended for both parents-to-be, the father's chapter taps into concerns and feelings that are uniquely Y chromosome focused. For instance -- the scoop on male hormonal changes during pregnancy -- yes, they happen."

8.
Advice for a Kinder, Gentler Pregnancy Diet

"No longer 'whole wheatier than thou,' as I liked to call the old diet plan," Murkoff said. "The old diet plan was too strict, too unrealistic and, while well-intentioned, sent more women running screaming for the nearest McDonald's than running to the nearest health-food market."

Murkoff said the new pregnancy diet laid out in the fourth edition makes "eating well easier and more enjoyable."

"It shows how to apply healthy eating to a pregnant lifestyle, one that's on the run, often on the cheap, dictated by cravings and aversions, filled with queasiness and heartburn," she said.

9.
More Details on Birthing Options and Trends

It seems there are endless options for moms-to-be to decide on where and how they want to give birth. Murkoff expanded on birthing trends to help expectant mothers wade through the waters of labor.

"Whether it's inviting a labor party to the hospital, or laboring in water or water birth, or home birth, or hypnobirthing, or scheduled c-sections, or VBAC [vaginal birth after caesarean]," she said.

10.
The Latest Edition's Cover Got a Facelift

The latest edition of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" has a fresh new look.

"Previous editions featured an expectant mom sitting in a rocking chair besides a basket of dried flowers, looking frumpy and miserable," Murkoff said. "I sort of have deluded myself for years that she was wearing a sort of day-dreamy, contemplative look on her face, but let's face it, she looks far more constipated than contemplative."

The new cover shows a relaxed and smiling illustration of a mom-to-be standing up, with her hands placed around her pregnant belly.

"She is pregnant and proud: smiling, glowing, happy and thrilled to show off her beautiful new body, especially her baby bump, in clothes that cling to all those new curves. No hiding under polyester pup tents," Murkoff said.

Find more tips and advice from Heidi Murkoff's "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book on her website, click HERE and on the What to Expect Foundation website HERE.

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