BOOK REVIEW: Like a Mother by Angela Garbes

Title: Like A Mother
Author: Angela Garbes
Publication: May 29, 2018
Publisher: Harper Wave
Genre: Personal Health, Pregnancy & Women
Pages: 256

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

What to read after What to Expect . . . . A badass, feminist, and personal deep-dive into the science and culture of pregnancy and early motherhood that debunks myths and dated assumptions, offering guidance and camaraderie to women navigating one of the biggest and most profound changes in their lives.

Like most first-time mothers, Angela Garbes was filled with questions when she became pregnant. What exactly is a placenta? How does a body go into labor? Why is breast best? What are the signs and effects of post-partum depression?

But as she discovered, it’s not easy to find satisfying answers. Your OB will cautiously quote statistics; online sources will scare you with conflicting and often inaccurate information; and even the most trusted books will offer information with a heavy dose of judgment. To educate herself, the food and culture writer embarked on an intensive journey of exploration, diving into the scientific mysteries and cultural myths that surround motherhood to find answers to her questions that had only previously been given through a lens of what women ought to do—instead of allowing them the freedom to choose the right path themselves.

In Like a Mother, Angela offers a rigorously researched and compelling look at the physiology, biology, chemistry, and psychology of pregnancy and motherhood, informed by research, reportage, and her own experience. With a journalist’s curiosity and discipline, a mother’s urgency, and a food writer’s insatiability, she explores the science behind the pressing questions women have about a number of subjects, including postpartum hormones, breast milk, and miscarriage.

Infused with candor and humor, born out of awe, appreciation, and understanding of the human body and its workings, Like a Mother is a full-frontal look at what’s really happening underneath your skin (and to it), and why women need to know.(


I first heard about this book from my sister-in-law.  She had heard an interview with the author on an NPR.  I hadn’t even hung up the phone when I purchased the book for my Kindle.  I wanted to read the book because, like the author, I am a C-Section mom.  I wanted to read another mom’s perspective.  I’ve read some of the things floating around the internet about C-Section mom’s taking the easy way out to birth their children.  I have had three.  It is far from easy. 

The author visits all the parts of the body.  She talks about how your body changes during pregnancy metabolically as well as physically both during and after pregnancy.  She talks about the uterus, how it changes shape, stretching and expanding to the size of a watermelon to house your growing baby.  She visits how the breasts work and how the breast milk itself changes to suit the needs of your baby.  Your breasts create a suction that sucks in your child’s spit and it analyzes it and then produces the things it needs to help your child get better if it is sick.  She discusses how the United States is number one when it comes to Maternal and Fetal death.  With all the advancements in the medical field, we still cannot save mothers and babies.  Especially the African American population. The United States is really bad at post-natal care.  They give one six week appointment and that is it.  They are done at that point. Mother’s need more help than that.  It would help cut down with post-natal depression and anxiety.  Most countries offer more help to post-natal mothers.  From continuous Midwife check-ups to wands that you insert into your vagina so you can see what exercises you need to do to return your vagina and its muscles back to normal. 

I loved this book.  It was filled with scientific information about pregnancy and the changes to your body.  I wish that it was around when I was pregnant. I spent most of my time Googling any questions that I had or asking my Mom and Aunt.  This book was absolutely fascinating.  I have had three kids but I had no clue that all of that happened.  I knew my uterus stretched, my organs got shoved around, my breasts produced milk and my feet grew 1.5 sizes bigger… never to return again.  What I didn’t know was how everything happened. This book is well written and insightful.  The lingo that she uses can be understood by the non-medical person.  It gives you a glimpse into the amazing changes your body goes through.  Your body is a wonderful thing.  

WARNING: This book contains triggers, including Fetal Death.


Pick up your copy of Like A Mother by Angela Garbes on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from author Angela Garbes on her website here.

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