Expecting a baby in 2019? This is the one book you absolutely need to read.

Listen up mamas-to-be: are you sick of googling strange questions at 3am about whether or not you can eat blue cheese or sleep on your back? Are you suffering from pregnancy information overload and not sure how to separate the good from the downright awful?

Mamamia chatted to co-author of ‘9 Months: The Essential Australian Guide to Pregnancy’ Ruby Matley about her reasons for writing it, and why it is the only book pregnancy you will ever need.

In 2016 when Ruby was just six months into motherhood with first baby Quinn, she decided to approach her obstetrician Dr David Addenbrooke about helping her to write the book she wished she had while pregnant.

“I was a new mum at the time and I still had so many questions. During pregnancy I was always researching whether or not something was okay or normal, and on one occasion I even sent David an email to ask if I could eat liquorice!

FYI… If you’re expecting a baby this year, or have a little one around, you’re going to want to listen to Mamamia’s brand new podcast, The Baby Bubble. Post continues below.

“There is so much information about pregnancy on the internet and it can be confusing and daunting to try and sift through thousands of articles from all over the world, every time you have a question. With my background in health science, I was mostly interested in evidence-based answers and so David became my go-to for advice. The opinions and thoughts of pregnant friends were still important however and so that combination of the professional and the personal became the idea behind this book.”

With Ruby’s own experiences of pregnancy and motherhood with Quinn and Alby (in 2018), as well as David’s professional experience as an obstetrician, 9 Months gives mums and dads-to-be the perfect combination of compassionate first-hand thoughts and ideas mixed with the latest practical and medical advice.

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Co-author of ‘9 Months: The Essential Australian Guide to Pregnancy’ Ruby Matley. Image: Supplied.

Here are five more reasons you need to buy or borrow this book right now.

1. It’s personal, its practical and there’s no judgement.

From c-sections to water births, from breastfeeding to bottle feeding, from healthy eating ideas to drinking coffee and eating chicken schnitzels (!) 9 Months gives parents-to-be all the practical advice with none of the judgement.

“David provides the book with all the latest medical advice and I added in my own experiences and feelings from my two pregnancies as well as those of other women, and in some cases men.

“If I hadn’t experienced something personally like carrying twins or bottle feeding, then I did my research and spoke to mums and dads who had that first-hand experience and included their thoughts in the relevant sections.”

2. It is super easy to navigate and use as a reference tool.

The book is cleverly divided into pregnancy trimesters with a final section for after the birth. It is further split into easily digestible paragraphs with David’s key advice followed by Ruby’s opinions and thoughts highlighting that while recommended advice might say one thing, it doesn’t mean you always have to agree! At the back of the book are some of Ruby’s own recipe ideas that got her through morning sickness and helped to keep her feeling full and nourished during pregnancy.

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"During pregnancy I was always researching whether or not something was okay or normal," Ruby said. Image: Supplied.

3. It is the first new Australian pregnancy guide in 20 years!

While there are plenty of other great pregnancy and birth books on the market, there had not been a new definitive Australian guide for close to 20 years.

“I had some old books that I loved when pregnant but I found a lot of the information was very outdated or from overseas, hence why I had to spend a lot of time searching the internet. I had questions about barista made coffee, hair dye and modern beauty products – those industries have changed vastly in Australia in 20 years - so writing this book with David was a way of making sure new parents-to-be have access to all the best and most up to date advice available.”

4. It covers not just what is happening to baby, but you too.

Recognising the importance of a woman’s mental and emotional health while pregnant was very significant for Ruby and David. From self-care during pregnancy to feeling anxious about connecting with your baby and the changes that pregnancy can have on your relationship; it’s all covered in 9 Months.

“Before I had my babies, I didn’t even know what the ‘baby blues’ were and I thought there must be something wrong with me when I left hospital in tears! I felt that while the physical aspects of pregnancy are well documented, the myriad ways you might be feeling during the pregnancy journey are not always given as much attention.

“It was therefore very important for David and I to reference mental and emotional health repeatedly to reassure other new mums and dads that what they are feeling is likely very normal.”

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Ruby and her two children. Image: Supplied.

5. You can stop the 3am googling – it’s all here!

All those weird questions you have about home birthing, haemorrhoids or even having sex after the baby is born, Ruby and David discuss all that interesting stuff in 9 Months and much more.

“As soon as you see those two lines appear on the pregnancy testing stick you will have questions and they just keep on coming, especially during your first pregnancy when everything is new. We are all so well connected now through the internet and social media and while these tools are excellent, they can also create more anxiety, pressure and uncertainty.

“This book is designed to be your companion, answering many of those niggling questions you might have but I hope that it will also reassure you; helping you to feel excited, informed and at ease about all that is to come during your pregnancy and birth.”

9 months: The Essential Australian Guide to Pregnancy is released on 29 February 2019 and will be available to purchase online and in all good bookshops priced at $34.99.

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