Finally all mothers-to-be can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Why? Because Naomi Wolf has produced a book that honestly describes the impact that first pregnancies have on women, their relationships, and their jobs.
In Misconceptions, Wolf takes readers with her on her journey towards first-time motherhood. By explaining how she felt through each stage of her pregnancy, Wolf is able to create a sense of comradeship. Readers know she is not a doctor, speaking in medical niceties. She is a real woman who fully understands what they too are experiencing. She knows what women want during pregnancy. She understands the confusion, the joy, the doubts, and at times, the sheer terror of impending motherhood.
From Wolf’s "been there, done that" viewpoint, she is able to share a realistic look at how the American medical system often devalues women. She shows that the medical community too often treats pregnant women as little more than another source of income. For any American woman, this is a scary, yet fascinating revelation.
Although Wolf has many unkind words for the medical system, she doesn’t condemn it entirely. Instead, she describes improvements and questions women and their partners can ask practitioners. She encourages mothers-to-be to know all the birthing options available, and helps them not to enter childbirth with unrealistic expectations.
At times, Misconceptions can be a frightening book. The hard look it takes at pregnancy might make some women wish they had not chosen to take the journey to motherhood. Occasionally the author comes across as cynical and bitter, but this does not diminish the usefulness of the book. Women need more books like Misconceptions to balance the sugar-coated view of new motherhood presented in too many books.