Read some peer reviews of The Australian Pregnant Book...

Congratulations to Dr Thompson on producing this outstanding book for prospective parents. His years of clinical experience shine throughout the book, demonstrating the ideal balance between clinical skills and the wise use of technology.

Topics covered, in a logical sequence, include preparing for pregnancy, confirming pregnancy, antenatal care, and pregnancy monitoring, labour and childbirth and the postnatal period. Options of care are also discussed.

The content reflects current maternity care practices in Australia; in areas where there are different opinions on management, the author presents each opinion fairly. Birthing options are discussed, and the benefits and risks of procedures are clearly explained in a nonthreatening way. the technical aspects of investigations are described well. I suspect that the author's concerns that the information may seem too technical for some readers will be unfounded, because he has the ability to make the difficult very easy to understand.

The book is well presented. The diagrams are outstanding and there is a good summary at the end of every chapter. There is also a helpful section of frequently asked questions.

Although this book is primarily intended for prospective parents, it is a handy and practical reference for GPs, midwives, students of medicine and midwifery, and obstetricians. It will be very valuable when explaining aspects of maternity care to patients.

I thoroughly recommend it.

Professor Ian Jones
Director of Women's Health
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
Brisbane, Qld

Dr Derrick Thompson will be well known to staff at the Royal Women's Hospital as an experienced, capable and amicable Obstetrician Gynaecologist. The Australian Pregnant Book, was launched in February at Federation Square by Dr John McBanin, to an enthusiastic audience of his peers, and marks him now also as an author. This book is the result of five years dedicated work by Derrick and reflects his 30 years of obstetric experience. Recognising that women keenly seek information of what to expect during pregnancy and child birth he has set about to provide an accurate and up-to-date text which will meet their needs.

The resulting book is highly comprehensive with eight chapters covering pre pregnancy preparation (with detailed dietary advice including pictures of what a standard glass of wine really looks like), how to confirm pregnancy (with a handily provided pregnancy wheel to calculate gestation), the early pregnancy period, progress during pregnancy, labour and delivery and the postnatal period. Many areas not well covered (or avoided) in standard pregnancy books are better presented here, such as the explanation of antenatal tests of fetal well being and the partogram for tracking progress during labour, which reflect that this book is written by an experienced Obstetrician and clinician. There is an additional chapter on those frequently asked questions we all anticipate like "Can I lie on my back in pregnancy?" and some newer ones like "Can I have botox during pregnancy?" (which presumably reflects an aging obstetric population). An extensive glossary is provided to aid the reader with inevitable use of medical words.

The layout allows easy reading of the text. Each chapter is clearly broken into smaller subheadings. Highlighted areas in the margins are used to emphasise, summarise or provide quick reference guides relevant to the text, such as the explanation of the hormonal component of the trisomy 21 test during the first trimester in the chapter cover early pregnancy, or, in the labour and delivery chapter, where the need to be transferred to a center with neonatal facilities if labour is before 34 weeks is highlighted. The diagrams are particularly noteworthy. They are used extensively for visual representation of the text and are beautifully conceived and highly graphic. Derrick notes in this Forward that both the text and the diagrams may be found by some to be complex initially however most women will appreciate the frank approach to presenting the information. (Certainly they make my modes explanatory sketches appear very inadequate). Somewhere between a medical text book and the "lay person's" books currently available, complex information is conveyed in a way that non medical people will be able to comprehend. Additional Derrick has written the book in the first person and succeeds in making the reader feel they are being addressed personally.

Pregnancy is a highly anticipated and anxious time. Disappointment is the gap between expectation and reality. Helping any woman or couple better understand pregnancy and delivery will inevitably reduce their anxiety and improve their experience. Derrick has produced a book that pregnant women will find refreshingly informative and unambiguous and that should go a long way to guiding them through their pregnancy. There is however one error of note on the cover of "The Australian Pregnant Book" the words "Edition 1" have been omitted. Obstetrics is a fast changing area and no doubt Derrick will have to get down to edition 2 over the next 5 years.

Shelley Rowlands
Senior Obstetrician
Specialist in Maternal Medicine