cover image 9 Months In, 9 Months Out: A Scientist’s Tale of Pregnancy and Parenthood

9 Months In, 9 Months Out: A Scientist’s Tale of Pregnancy and Parenthood

Vanessa LoBue. Oxford Univ., $22.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-19086-338-8

LoBue, an associate psychology professor and director of the Child Study Center at Rutgers University, draws on both current scientific thought and personal experience in this helpful resource. Chronicling her own journey into first-time motherhood, LoBue begins with pregnancy and labor. Based on her readings in current research, she reemphasizes the advantages of vaginal birth over C-sections for both women and babies. From her own son’s birth, she draws the “moral... that labor is never what you expect”—she didn’t expect her son, Evan, “to come two weeks early on New Year’s Day” but also didn’t expect a first-time birth to go so smoothly. The book’s second section relates the realities of parenting a newborn, from nursing—having long heard it portrayed as the “most natural thing in the world,” she was surprised by how difficult and painful it was—to postpartum depression, as LoBue finds herself most affected by loneliness. She also shares more general observations, such as that every child has “a very distinct personality” from the start, and that parenting is hard for everyone, even child-development experts. While unlikely to be a game-changer among parenting books, LoBue’s manual/memoir is honest, informed, and confidence-inspiring. (Aug.)