I asked Tori what makes The Joy of Pregnancy different from the many other books available to expectant parents. Here's what she had to say:
Hi and thanks for inviting me here today.
What is it that makes The Joy of Pregnancy truly a different book than the thousands of other pregnancy books available, especially the most popular one? To answer that, please let me give you some background on myself and how I came to write it.
I have been a Perinatal nurse for more than 20 years. Even years before that I had a fascination with birth that has led me on this long and expanding road of pregnancy. There is nothing I know more about than “birthing” babies. I have seen more that 2000babies come into the world in hospitals, birth centers, bedrooms, bathtubs, hammocks and even in the back of a pickup truck! I practice in a very well respected, family centered women’s hospital in San Francisco.
Many years ago, I began to recognize that many women who were “prepared” for birth by having read books and taken classes were coming into their births ill prepared for actual labor. They were trusting a variety of “experts” and writers more than they trusted themselves. They were struggling to “think” their way through and to try to control the very primal and uncontrollable experience of childbirth.
In 1990 I founded a unique pre- and post-natal teaching program: PillowTalk, Modern Childbirth Education. My strategy in these classes—teaching women not to overwhelm themselves with information and to focus instead on trusting their bodies and enjoying their pregnancies was very well received in the San Francisco/Bay area. The classes came to be known as the “common-sense” ones to take. In 1995 I began Stork Site®, a community website for expectant and new parents. Bursting with activity, this site became one of the Internet’s first successful communities and later became a part of ivillage.com.
I have been able to use the skills I have in my work with pregnant women in a variety of ways. And I know I have been able to have a positive impact. My heart warms when a woman, with a child (or two or three) in tow, makes a beeline across the street to say, “Tori, do you remember me? You were with me eight years ago when my son was born, “ or “Thanks! We learned so much in your classes. They made such a difference for us.” What could be more fulfilling? I have always wanted to reach out to more women through a book and the time finally presented itself. The Joy of Pregnancy is not merely a resource. It is truly a work from my heart.
Women today are more worried, anxious and serious than I have ever seen. Where is the humor of that expanding belly, the funny stories, and the old wives’ tales? It seems as though the common sense and lightness of this wonderful time has been replaced by dry facts about procedures, tests, and nutrition. These are all important things but certainly not the whole picture.
The Joy of Pregnancy is warm, contemporary, practical and fresh. It speaks to today’s women. Because I actively work with pregnant women, the information is absolutely current and sound. I present information in a non-judgmental way so that women have the resources to make decisions that are best for them. Among the best-selling books, I continue to discover plenty of opinions and biases and medical information presented in a way that creates worry and fear. Much of what is written is alarmist, outdated and impractical. So many books focus on the negative possibilities.
Why is it that there is so much polarization in how women should experience their pregnancies and especially what should and should not happen during labor and birth? There are so many “opinions” about what the “right or better” choices are. The truth is that all those opinions do is create guilt for women. Of course, we want to do what is best and it is simply unfair for women to feel as though a reasonable choice they make is not the “right” one.
I focus on the realistic experiences that women may have and describe them in a positive way. I talk about how normal most of what women experience is. Practicality, particularly related to what is useful to buy and what is and is not necessary in preparing for the new baby is highlighted. I talk a lot about how to spend less and focus on things such as spending money on wholesome food and buying for the long-term and borrowing for the short term. The book also addresses some of the unrealistic expectations that magazines and the media place on pregnancy, weight gain, postpartum and baby care. I concentrate on what is real for women. Finally, I share a lot of myself in the book and it is very personal and honest. My goal with The Joy of Pregnancy is to help women in the most non-judgmental way possible prepare for their babies. The book is fresh, uplifting, funny and empowering.
I don’t for a minute say that I know everything. I really don’t want to give the impression that I do. I simply have had a lot of experience and hope to share that in a positive way through The Joy of Pregnancy. People close to me who have read the book tell me that it sounds just as though I am speaking. And I think I speak more comfortably than I write! I hope women can feel as though they have a trusted companion walking with them through their pregnancies.
I welcome women to read and learn and take from the pages of The Joy of Pregnancy anything that they find to be helpful. Feel free to leave the rest. The ride is great. There is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman. Babies are unbelievable, and humor is the ingredient that keeps us sane and happy.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share all of this with you and your readers.
~~ Warmly, Tori Kropp
THE JOY OF PREGNANCY VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on August 4, 2008 and continue all month. You can visit Tori's tour stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in August to find out more about her and her book!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author with a recent release or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they come available. The winners will be announced on our main blog on August 31!
This virtual book tour has been brought to you by: