QBD Reviews: Expecting Better by Emily Oster

9781409152064Emily Oster is an associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School for Business. This is the main reason why I think this book is so different from other pregnancy books out there. Most pregnancy books will tell you the recommended medical advice that many doctors will also tell you. If you have ever had one doctor tell you one thing and another tell you something completely different then you would understand that this is also true between pregnancy books.

Oster has now put out a completely different pregnancy book. Once Emily found out that she was pregnant the questions started flying in her head, that was when she started finding so many recommendations contradicting each other. To find answers Emily looks at studies for every question she was asking herself. Not giving up until she feels she has enough information to make a decision.

Throughout this book, research is presented mostly in graphs and explained in a very straight forward manner. Instead of having recommendations thrown at you, Oster shows you the reasons why recommendations have been given and also why they vary so much. In one chapter Oster states that one Doctor recommends absolutely no alcohol even though studies show that between 2-6 standard drinks per week show no harm. This is because in his opinion if someone has the choice to have one drink they might have 2-3 in one sitting which would be harmful to their baby. Therefore in giving the recommendation of zero this leaves less chance of someone over doing it, however in doing so patients no longer have a choice.

That is the big thing that I got out of this book, that Oster is providing all the results of her studies so that the reader has the chance to make the correct choice for their individual circumstances rather then being told what they should do.

Not having read any other pregnancy books I can not compare Expecting Better. I can however tell you that after reading this book I have felt more in control of making my own educated decisions.


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