Print Review: “The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians”

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians
By Rachel Pepper
271 pages, soft bound

As more and more American women decide to raise families without a husband, more and more American women are deciding to raise families in partnered relationships that don’t involve a man.

The second edition of Rachel Pepper’s groundbreaking Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians is perfectly designed to make the increasingly common lesbian pregnancy process less solitary, and more celebratory than ever before. Already packed with an impressive amount of common sense and not-so-common insights, the latest update truly brings the book into the early 21st century.

Pepper says she’s added information throughout the book, even to chapters that served readers well in the book’s previous incarnation. Now, in addition to practical advice about improving the chance of conception and selecting a sperm bank or proper personal donor, a number of particularly tricky elements of daily living and loving are addressed, as well. For instance, Pepper intelligently and sensitively explores the complex emotional and societal landscapes that both single and partnered lesbians will need to consider before making the final decision to conceive. Age, education, overall health, and the ability to lovingly raise a special needs child are among the less than warm-and-fuzzy but unquestionably essential issues that she presents for consideration by her Sapphic momma hopefuls.

Once an affirmative decision has been made, readers of the second edition will have a greater understanding of the changes their bodies can expect, what the process of pregnancy and childbirth feels like – and what it means to the rest of their life — than did their first edition sisters. Since much as changed legally for lesbians and lesbian parents during the past seven years, Pepper includes information about what rights, responsibilities, and challenges new mothers should anticipate, as well as how to determine the most appropriate distribution of parenting activities and make sure everyone is getting the support that they need. The resource guide has been expanded and includes a number of recommended clinics, on and offline publications, and childbirth practitioners.

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