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Publisher's Summary

What to listen to after What to Expect.... 

A badass, feminist, and personal deep-dive into the science and culture of pregnancy and early motherhood that debunks myths and dated assumptions, offering guidance and camaraderie to women navigating one of the biggest and most profound changes in their lives.

Like most first-time mothers, Angela Garbes was filled with questions when she became pregnant. What exactly is a placenta? How does a body go into labor? Why is breast best? What are the signs and effects of postpartum depression?

But as she discovered, it’s not easy to find satisfying answers. Your OB will cautiously quote statistics; online sources will scare you with conflicting and often inaccurate information; and even the most trusted books will offer information with a heavy dose of judgment. To educate herself, the food and culture writer embarked on an intensive journey of exploration, diving into the scientific mysteries and cultural myths that surround motherhood to find answers to her questions that had only previously been given through a lens of what women ought to do - instead of allowing them the freedom to choose the right path themselves.

In Like a Mother, Angela offers a rigorously researched and compelling look at the physiology, biology, chemistry, and psychology of pregnancy and motherhood, informed by research, reportage, and her own experience. With a journalist’s curiosity and discipline, a mother’s urgency, and a food writer’s insatiability, she explores the science behind the pressing questions women have about a number of subjects, including postpartum hormones, breast milk, and miscarriage.

Infused with candor and humor, born out of awe, appreciation, and understanding of the human body and its workings, Like a Mother is a full-frontal look at what’s really happening underneath your skin (and to it) and why women need to know.

©2018 Angela Garbes (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Like a Mother

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Microchimerism - interesting at first, then profoundly healing

I listened to ‘like a mother’ after hearing the author speak on Terry Gross/ fresh air. The book was incredibly fascinating as I was in my 2nd trimester of my first, Long sought pregnancy. I ended up giving birth to my daughter who died shortly after cutting the cord and am mourning her every moment since. My husband reminded me of ‘microchimerism’ we learned about in this book- the concept that our daughter’s cells are now in my body and will be for years to come. She truly will always be with me. It is profoundly healing to think of this and while my heart is broken in a million pieces and will be for some time, I am grateful to this author for writing such a powerful book about pregnancy and motherhood.

8 people found this helpful

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Thought this would be better!

The narration was terrible for one thing, trying to look past this the book itself was not what I expected. It had a very pessimistic view of women and their roles as mothers.. this book was not uplifting to me at all, talk about a downer. I wouldn't recommend unless you are prepared for this. There was a lot that I agreed with and also some things that I thought that the author was creating mountains out of mole hills, so to speak. We, as mothers, all have different experiences and I am sorry that she didn't have a better story to tell.

7 people found this helpful

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Good info, tough listen

Very good information, super important. Narrative tone had me depressed and discouraged. Sample voice was the author, not the narrator. Suggest reading over listening. I was put off trying to get pregnant for months.

6 people found this helpful

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interesting, but not a fan of the narration

I heard the author pitch this book on Fresh air and was excited to listen to it as I'm due next month with our second child. The content is very interesting and I enjoyed the format, but the narration was dry, monotone, and condescending. The author reads the intro and makes me wish she would have narrated the whole book. I am familiar with the narrator and she has a lovely voice in general so I am not sure if it was the direction or what, my general advice, buy the book just not the audio version.

6 people found this helpful

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One of the best books I've read on this topic!

I'm a veteran childbirth educator and cannot recommend this book highly enough. The topics are ones I think all expectant parents (or those trying to conceive) need to read. They are things I talk about a lot with my students, but are too little known in our society. Please read!

5 people found this helpful

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A must listen

If you’re sick of reading all the pregnancy books that clearly prioritize the fetus over the mother, you’re going to love this book. I certainly did.

4 people found this helpful

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Speed the audio up and it's great

The context of the book is wonderful and uncovers many truths that aren't discussed about pregnancy and motherhood. There were many negative reviews regarding the narration, but if you speed it up to 1.4 / 1.5x it's not so monotone and didn't bother me. Would definitely recommend mothers to be to check out this book!

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Will recommend to every pregnant person I know

Intersectional feminist perspective offering historical and modern context to the challenges and uncertainty of pregnancy and birth. Unlike other guides, the author is not patronizing or preachy. It informs solidarity among pregnant people and mothers. It's rooted in vulnerability, understanding, and compassion. Would recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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This one makes the shelf. Top pregnancy book.

An excellent combination of factual information and personal experience. Like a Mother brings context and philosophy to a 'what to expect' guide for pregnancy. This helps expecting mothers look critical at how mothers are treated and the social expectations put on them as compared to the data available as well as the wisdom we can glean from ancient people and various cultural practices around the world.

If we are ever going to change the more problematic aspects of women's health we first must be informed about our bodies and the process of pregnancy. This book helps to illuminate our experiences to help women understand their rights and the many ways they are commonly exploited and ignored.

<3 we can change the world <3

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Great book with useful information

I'm a dad and this made me better understand how complex and demanding, but beautiful pregnancy is. Totally recomand this book

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-21

A struggle to get through.

Its my first pregnancy and I wanted more medical facts (like in the chapter relating to breast feeding). The narrator is absolutely horrendous (not narrator in the sample don't be fooled) she was slow (get to the point), monotoned and all in all I found this book difficult to listen to. It took me months to listen to whereas I binge books in less than a week normally. The book had interesting parts but they were far and few between. I actually found as a non anxious person this book made me worry and increased anxiety about being pregnant and now about birth. My friends have offered more information and facts about pregnancy and birth than this book. Big no no for me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-16-21

not for me

i usually stick out any book i start. but 3 chapters of nothing substantial in I decided to start fast forwarding. I gave every chapter 10minutes before getting to the last and skipping it. so full disclosure I havent read all of it but I got a good sense of it.

this is a strong feminist who had a miscarriage then a baby. is a food critic and decided to write a book about breastfeesing and also features her emotions about other pregnancy related events.

theres little info about what other cultures do. at the start she talked about how stitching up vaginas was done on black slaves and how better bonobos are at giving birth because they arent under a patriatchy and that and she went for a walk in poor parts of america that people starve in to put her miscarrage in persepctive. it really slathers on the guilt. if you want to feel guilty for how easy you have it this is the book for you

later in the book she talks about breastfeeding and how important it is. beyond a high school education I didn't learn much. god help the women who struggle to feed reading this. she talks about how this isnt the typical pregnancy book. i cant work out what it is either.