Cover image for Dr. Ruth's pregnancy guide for couples : love, sex, and medical facts
Dr. Ruth's pregnancy guide for couples : love, sex, and medical facts
Westheimer, Ruth K. (Ruth Karola), 1928-
Uniform Title:
Pregnancy guide for couples
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 1999.
Physical Description:
xx, 251 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ31 .W4965 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Author Notes

Ruth K. Westheimer, 1928 - Ruth K. Westheimer was born in Germany in 1928, she went to a school in Switzerland at the age of 10, which became an orphanage for most of the German/Jewish students sent there. At 16 she went to Israel where she fought for that country's independence as member of the Haganah. She then moved to Paris where she studied psychology at the Sorbonne and taught kindergarten.

Westheimer immigrated to the U.S. in 1956, where she received her Masters degree in Sociology and her Doctorate in Education from Columbia University. She studied human sexuality with Dr. Helen Singer-Kaplan at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center.

Dr. Westheimer is a pioneer in "sexual literacy." She has twice been named "College Lecturer of the Year." Westheimer is a Psychosexual Therapist who helped pioneer the field of Media Psychology with her radio program "Sexually Speaking" which began in September, 1980 . "The Dr. Ruth Show," which aired on the Lifetime channel, has been syndicated nationally and internationally.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Coming from Dr. Ruth, this pregnancy advisor contains more about sex than many others, but with obstetrician-gynecologist Grunebaum as coauthor, it provides plenty of medical information, too. Accompanied by insertions of cases "From Our Files" and periodic "Ask Dr. Ruth" question-and-answer features, the main text proceeds through the stages of pregnancy from preparation to delivery and life after the birth. Sexual and medical information and advice are dispensed throughout, and clear line drawings illustrate the physiological stages of pregnancy as well as many recommended positions for sexual intercourse throughout pregnancy. It is odd that the "Dr. Ruth and Dr. Amos Position," said to "improve the odds of conception," appears in the second trimester chapter, but the position is also said to be more comfortable for both partners, so it fits. The emphasis on sex is rationalized in terms of keeping the prospective parents' relationship strong and loving, and it never seems that that is just a rationalization. Fine of its kind. --Ray Olson

Library Journal Review

Westheimer, probably the best-known sex therapist in the world, joins forces with Grunebaum, a respected obstetrician-gynecologist, to present a positive, factual, and modern approach to intimacy and childbirth. Their book is a compendium of sound information for couples as they plan for and experience conception, pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood. The doctors explore the physical and emotional developments of each trimester and offer tips on preserving a healthy lifestyleÄemotionally and sexually as well as physicallyÄduring pregnancy. Dr. Ruth's unique personality is evident, especially in discussions of "good sex" and in the "Ask Dr. Ruth" columns interspersed throughout the narrative. Examples of other issues are designing a birth plan, choosing the right hospital, and dealing with problem pregnancies. Noteworthy because it is written with both parents in mind, this paperback is recommended for individual purchase and consumer health collections.ÄLinda M.G. Katz, MCP Hahnemann Univ., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Get Ready, Get Set, Before You Get Pregnantp. 1
Introductionp. xix
Thinking Ahead about Parenthoodp. 3
Taking an Emotional Inventoryp. 5
Preparing Your Bodyp. 8
Preconception Carep. 9
Preexisting Conditionsp. 11
Inherited Diseasesp. 11
Maternal Agep. 11
Sexually Transmitted Diseasesp. 14
Other Infectionsp. 15
Chronic Medical Conditionsp. 17
Rb Diseasep. 17
Medications to Avoidp. 17
Prescription Medicationsp. 18
Over-the-Counter Medicationsp. 18
Substances to Avoidp. 19
Alcoholp. 19
Tobaccop. 19
Caffeinep. 20
Cocaine, Marijuana, and Other Illegal Drugsp. 20
You're Ready, You're Setp. 21
Chapter 2 Go! Making the Most Out of Making a Babyp. 23
Taking the Plunge--Putting Away Your Contraceptivesp. 24
Having Second Thoughts?p. 27
Experiencing Sex in a New Wayp. 28
Don't Worry, Be Happyp. 29
When Timing Is Everything: Determining When You Ovulatep. 31
Your Menstrual Cyclep. 32
Your Cervical Mucusp. 35
Basal Body Temperaturep. 35
Ovulation Detection Kitsp. 37
It Takes Twop. 38
The Ejaculatep. 38
Producing Quality Spermp. 39
The Youth Factorp. 39
Quantity as Well as Qualityp. 40
The Final Step: Fertilizing the Eggp. 40
Getting Ready for the Big Dayp. 42
The Best Positions for Conceptionp. 42
Missionary Positionp. 43
Rear-Entry Positionp. 44
What to Avoid If You Want to Get Pregnantp. 45
Lubricational Foreplayp. 46
Oral Sex and Pregnancyp. 47
Fellatiop. 47
Cunnilingusp. 48
Pregnancyp. 48
Orgasmsp. 48
Determining the Baby's Sexp. 49
A Short Lesson in Geneticsp. 49
Helping Nature Choose the Sexp. 50
Female Orgasmsp. 51
Male and Female Spermp. 51
Positions and the Sex of the Babyp. 51
Sperm Filtrationp. 52
What about Twins?p. 52
Superfecundation and Superfetationp. 53
Infertility and Treatmentp. 53
When It's Time to See an Expertp. 55
Inducing Ovulationp. 55
Removing Tubal Obstructionsp. 55
Advanced Techniques for Becoming Pregnantp. 56
Obtaining the Ejaculate and Spermp. 56
The Next Stepp. 59
Chapter 3 Now That You're Pregnantp. 61
Taking the Pregnancy Testp. 62
Planned Pregnanciesp. 62
Doing the Test on Your Ownp. 63
Doing the Test Togetherp. 64
Unplanned Pregnanciesp. 65
Miscarriagesp. 66
The Announcementp. 66
Sharing the News with Your Childrenp. 67
Sharing the News at Workp. 67
First Things Firstp. 68
Choosing a Hospitalp. 68
Birthing Roomsp. 69
Anesthesiap. 69
Neonatal Intensive Care Unitsp. 70
Birthing Centersp. 70
Childbirth at Homep. 70
Choosing a Health Care Providerp. 71
Your Medical Insurancep. 74
The Other Health Care Provider--Youp. 75
Weight Gainp. 75
A Healthy Dietp. 76
Exercisep. 78
Kegel Exercisesp. 79
You're All Setp. 80
Chapter 4 The First Trimester: The New Youp. 81
Strengthening the Bondp. 81
From Embryo to Fetusp. 83
Beginning a Healthy Pregnancyp. 83
Exercisep. 84
What to Avoidp. 85
Toxic Substancesp. 86
Hair Grooming Aidsp. 86
Emissions from Household and Office Equipmentp. 86
X-raysp. 87
Your First Visit and Physical Examp. 87
Estimating Your Due Datep. 91
The New Pregnant Youp. 92
Making Lovep. 96
Talking to Your Health Care Provider about Sexp. 96
Sex: What's Safe, What's Notp. 97
Orgasmsp. 98
The Clitorisp. 98
Oral Sexp. 98
Anal Sexp. 98
Condomsp. 99
Vibratorsp. 100
Vigorous Sex, Vigorous Exercisep. 100
Breastsp. 100
Keeping a Positive Attitudep. 101
Chapter 5 The Second Trimester: Feeling Like Yourself Againp. 103
Keeping the Bond Strongp. 103
The Growth of Your Babyp. 105
Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancyp. 106
Welcome Changesp. 106
Reduction in Nauseap. 106
Increased Energyp. 106
Increased Hair Growthp. 106
Quickeningp. 107
Continuing Adjustmentsp. 107
Frequent Urinationp. 107
Heartburn and Indigestionp. 109
Constipationp. 109
Backachesp. 110
Varicose Veinsp. 112
Leg and Foot Crampsp. 113
Dizzinessp. 113
Itchinessp. 113
Stretch Marksp. 113
Headachesp. 114
Your Physical Examsp. 114
Routine Proceduresp. 115
Special Proceduresp. 115
Sonogramp. 115
Maternal-Serum Alphafetoprotein (MSAFP) Testp. 116
Glucose Screenp. 116
Amniocentesisp. 117
Ethical Considerationsp. 117
The Pregnant Youp. 118
The Clothes You Wearp. 118
Sharing the News with Your Childrenp. 120
Making Lovep. 121
Sex: What's Safe, What's Notp. 121
Dr. Ruth and Dr. Amos Positionp. 124
Changes During Sexp. 125
Enjoy the Best Sex of Your Lifep. 126
Get Ready for the Third Trimesterp. 130
Chapter 6 The Third Trimester: Ready and Waitingp. 131
Keeping the Bond Strongp. 131
The Home Stretchp. 131
Making Time for Each Otherp. 133
Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancyp. 133
Continuing Changesp. 134
Swelling Hands, Ankles, and Feetp. 134
Incontinencep. 134
Continuing Adjustmentsp. 134
Shortness of Breathp. 134
Sleep and Pregnancyp. 135
Hemorrhoidsp. 135
Breast Secretionsp. 136
Clumsinessp. 136
Braxton-Hicks Contractionsp. 136
The Growth of Your Babyp. 136
Your Physical Examsp. 137
Routine Proceduresp. 137
Special Proceduresp. 138
Fetal Kick Countp. 138
Nonstress Testp. 138
Contraction Stress Testp. 139
Biophysical Profilep. 139
The Pregnant Youp. 139
Making Lovep. 140
It Won't Be the Samep. 142
Finding the Best Positionsp. 142
Contractions from Orgasmsp. 144
The Effect of Semenp. 146
Declining Interestp. 146
Getting Ready for the Big Dayp. 146
The Birth Planp. 147
Childbirth Classesp. 148
The Father-to-Bep. 150
The Big Eventp. 151
Chapter 7 Complications of Pregnancyp. 155
Complications That May Preclude Sexual Intercoursep. 156
Keeping Your Relationship Strongp. 156
Specific Conditionsp. 157
Placenta Previap. 157
Early Effacement and Dilation of the Cervixp. 158
History of Premature Labor or Miscarriagesp. 158
Incompetent Cervixp. 158
Multiple Fetusesp. 159
Vaginal Bleeding in Pregnancyp. 159
Leaking Amniotic Fluid or Ruptured Membranesp. 160
Sexually Transmitted Diseasep. 161
Alternatives to Intercoursep. 161
Additional Complications of Pregnancyp. 162
Ectopic Pregnancyp. 162
Abruptio Placentaep. 163
Preeclampsia and Eclampsiap. 163
Diabetesp. 164
Miscarriages, Fetal Death, and Stillbirthp. 165
Miscarriagesp. 165
Signs of Miscarriagep. 165
Stillbirthp. 166
The Psychological Impact of Losing a Pregnancyp. 166
Keep Yourself Informedp. 167
Chapter 8 Labor: The Time Has Comep. 169
The Waiting Gamep. 170
Your Due Datep. 174
What Are the Signs?p. 175
Ripening of the Cervixp. 175
Spotting and Increased Vaginal Dischargep. 175
Increased Braxton-Hicks Contractionsp. 175
False Laborp. 176
Engagementp. 177
Loss of Weight (or No Weight Gain)p. 178
Loose Bowelsp. 178
Increase in Energyp. 178
Making Final Plansp. 178
Going into Laborp. 178
The Stages of Laborp. 179
When to Contact Your Health Care Providerp. 179
Timing of Contractionsp. 179
Intensity of Contractionsp. 179
When Your Water Breaksp. 179
Sex After Your Water Has Brokenp. 181
Going to the Hospitalp. 182
Chapter 9 Delivery: The Big Dayp. 183
Know What to Expectp. 183
Your Health Care Providerp. 183
Labor/Birthing Roomsp. 183
Monitoring the Expectant Motherp. 183
Monitoring the Fetusp. 184
If It's Not Time Yetp. 185
Your Partner's Rolep. 185
Pain Relief During Labor and Deliveryp. 186
Pain Relief Without Medicationp. 187
Pain Relief with Medicationp. 187
Regional Anestheticsp. 188
Epiduralsp. 188
Combined Spinal-Epidural Anesthesiap. 189
Spinal Anesthesiap. 190
General Anesthesiap. 190
Narcotic Pain Reliefp. 190
Inducing or Stimulating Laborp. 191
Stripping the Fetal Membranesp. 191
Amniotomyp. 191
Prostaglandinsp. 191
Oxytocin or Pitocinp. 192
The Deliveryp. 192
Positions for Pushingp. 194
Birthing Bedsp. 195
Back Laborp. 195
Crowningp. 195
Episiotomyp. 196
The Birth of Your Babyp. 196
Premature Deliveryp. 197
Postterm Deliveryp. 197
When Nature Needs Helpp. 199
Forceps Deliveryp. 199
Vacuum Deliveryp. 199
Cesarean Deliveryp. 200
Your Baby Has Arrivedp. 201
Chapter 10 Life after Childbirthp. 205
Recovery: A Time of Healing and Adjustmentp. 206
Recovering at the Hospitalp. 206
Recovering at Homep. 208
When to Call Your Doctorp. 209
At Home with the Babyp. 209
Sleeplessnessp. 210
Breastfeedingp. 211
Breastfeeding and Weight Lossp. 212
If You Cannot Breastfeedp. 213
Breastfeeding and Sexp. 213
Breastfeeding and Contraceptionp. 214
Postpartum Blues and Anxietyp. 215
Postpartum Bluesp. 215
Postpartum Depressionp. 216
Anxietyp. 216
Keeping the Family Bonds Strongp. 217
Dad Feels Neglected and Mom Overwhelmedp. 217
Take Time Offp. 218
How Do Your Older Children Feel?p. 218
Your Extended Familyp. 219
Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!p. 219
Chapter 11 Keeping the Romance Alive: Sex after Childrenp. 221
Physiological Considerationsp. 222
Psychological Considerationsp. 223
Postpartum Blues and Sexp. 225
Planning for Sexp. 226
The Overnight Vacationp. 226
Setting the Moodp. 227
Using Babysittersp. 228