Like a Mother by Angela Garbes

Like a Mother

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 int...

Details Like a Mother

TitleLike a Mother
Release DateMay 29th, 2018
PublisherHarper Wave
GenreNonfiction, Parenting, Feminism, Autobiography, Memoir, Science

Reviews Like a Mother

  • Jaime
    UPDATE: For those who want more info on breastfeeding - and why pushing new moms to nurse is misguided - check out this article on the Daily Beast: As a new mother and feminist killjoy, I was so excited to read this book. Everything about its premise perfectly encapsulated where my mommy brain now resides. There were so many wonderful parts of this book. The chapter about the placenta was utterly fascinati...
  • Jaime
    This. Is. Excellent. I say that as a mother, as a maternal-child health MPH, and as a woman. This tells it like it is, with the science and research and sociology to back it up. I laughed, i underlined, I wrote in the margins. I only wish I’d had this when I was pregnant. She writes about that dreaded postpartum poop with a candor that I loved. This should be mandatory reading for pregnant people. And anyone who loves them and cares for them.
  • Samantha
    There's a pretty good consensus nowadays that pregnancy guides are problematic in various ways. They're condescending, judgmental, and aren't very informative. There's a real need for books that speak more to the science of pregnancy and don't infantilize women when offering advice, and Angela Garbes's book is a step in that direction.While much of this is personal narrative, Garbes does some deep dives into subjects most mothers encounter during...
  • Jaci Millette Cooper
    Motherhood- it's an unfolding. Of course, I don't know this firsthand- I cannot relate, but Garbes’ use of the literal unfolding of paper as a metaphor for the transformation of motherhood, gradual and all at once, makes me almost believe I can empathize: “At first, I see the unfurling of tissue and viscera, the way our placenta, unraveled, would occupy miles of space. Then, the image gives way to a paper fortune teller, the intricately folde...
  • Anna
    Although I am not now a mother and in all probability I will never be pregnant or give birth I am fascinated by childbirth and have read a fair number of books on the subject. This book is different in how deeply it delves into the science of pregnancy. The information on the placenta and lactation in particular was astonishing and fascinating. The information on the pelvic floor should be given to all pregnant women. On the other hand, the femin...
  • Mehrsa
    I thought that the premise was interesting, but the book seems to be aimed at people who have never had babies or know nothing about childbirth. It seems like an informational text as opposed to a response to culture or analysis. Perhaps if I were pregnant for the first time, I would appreciate this book. I don't know. But having had 3 children with natural births and nursed them all for a long time, I often felt like interjecting her narrative t...
  • Gail
    In the introduction to “Like a Mother,” Angela Garbes writes, “This book is not meant to be a traditional pregnancy guidebook with advice on what or how to do things,” but after reading each of its chapters closely, it’s still unclear to me what it is intended to be. As best I can figure, a food writer got pregnant, had a baby, had some friends who had some babies, wrote an essay about breastfeeding that went viral, and got a book deal....
  • Jessica Sullivan
    At 31 weeks pregnant, this is the first and probably only book about pregnancy that I will have read before my baby arrives. Being pregnant means being constantly overwhelmed and inundated by information. I have been picky about where I seek it—especially if I’m going to be committing myself to a 200+ page book.I knew when I saw the title of this book that it was the one for me. I needed something that would be unapologetically feminist; empo...
  • Amanda Arbuthnot
    I have complicated feelings about this book. As a new mom reading this in the trenches of around the clock nursing and diapering and soothing there were passages that spoke to me so intimately, but in reality, most conversations with other moms feel that way to me. I appreciated this book, but felt it was more of a memoir than a scientific or feminist guide. I was also surprised by the number of things she was shocked to learn, all of which I was...
  • Louise
    I finally read this book after hearing it referenced so many times on the Mom Rage podcast. It was great and now my go-to present for new parents. It had all the nitty gritty details about birth and aftercare that no one talks about as well as raw, emotional anecdotes from other mothers. I especially love that it’s not prescriptive and really just serves to educate women about their bodies.
  • Kristin-Leigh
    I've never given birth, and never intend to, but this was an incredibly interesting book about how much we know (and don't know) scientifically about the mechanisms of pregnancy and motherhood. As a non-mother I would compare its appeal to a Mary Roach book - individual chapters dig into the study (and lack of study) of the placenta, breast milk, pelvic floors, miscarriages, etc. It's all fascinating and gross and amazing.
  • Erica
    This was an amazing read! Everyone who has ever lived a life should read this book to take a closer look at pregnancy, pre and post natal care in America, and generally, to just understand more about giving birth. It’s something so shrouded in secrecy, and Garbes does an excellent job of detailing it through research and personal anecdotes, which is how one should read nonfiction! This book was challenging in all the right ways, and also extrem...
  • Katya
    There is some great stuff in this title, and I enjoyed reading it. Garbes is a thoughtful and illustrative writer--she really digs into imagery and detail. I wish, though, that this book had been more heavily edited. There is no clear throughline, and subjects thus receive a random-seeming amount of attention, which varies quite a bit from topic to topic. While of course Garbes makes no claim to having written a comprehensive book, I feel she cou...
  • Caitlinleah
    My new favorite pregnancy book. I will be buying it for every pregnant person I know. So much that is true about my experience here. It’s like a collection of all my favorites. The chapter on pregnancy quotes from Emily oster’s Expecting Better. The chapter on labor interviews Peggy Simkin of my beloved The Birth Partner. The chapter on breastfeeding had all my favorite research from Unlatched. This is a book about all stages of this process ...
  • Amanda
    This was lower on science than I would have liked, especially because I found this book after so enjoying her article on the science of breastfeeding, but it was fascinating and honest account of one women's experience finding her own way through pregnancy and motherhood.
  • Sarah
    I wish this had been longer, because I feel like it touched on so much and could have been thousands of pages. But it’s great and worth reading.
  • Kara Belden
    I had low expectations for this book. I figured I’d like it, but I never expected to find myself totally engrossed in the book and sobbing multiple times throughout. After all, I’ve already been through pregnancy twice, so what could I possibly get from this book? Ha! Boy, was I mistaken! I wish I would have read this before my first pregnancy, but another part of me knows that some parts of the book would have been lost on me without having ...
  • Rachel
    I have a six month old, so everything in this book is still fresh and raw to me. If I had read this book before I had my daughter, I'm not sure I would have given it 5 stars. If I had first picked up this book several years from now, many years past my first full term pregnancy and experience of giving birth, I also doubt I would have given it 5 stars. This is simply one of the best books I have read for where I am emotionally and physically righ...
  • cierra carter
    4.5— this is such an important read, i think for everyone, not necessarily just mothers or those who want to be. so many of the topics she addresses are things that have been avoided or ignored in my own experience as a woman. so good!
  • Diana
    I’ve had two babies, one was a healthy pregnancy who is now a wild two year old and another ending in a stillbirth at 40 weeks. Both pregnancies made me a mother. This is the first pregnancy book I read I felt seen and heard. I admired the research and the emotional connection the writer has in each topic she brings up. It read like I was having a conversation with her, not being told in a condescending matter about my own body carrying my baby...
  • Emma
    not pregnant just an MPH and a feminist who cares about maternal health!!!
  • Brittany
    "But, as someone who enjoys having a partner take charge and use a little force, I was frustrated to find that my husband was reluctant to be anything but gentle with me...Turns out it is pretty much impossible to convince someone to be aggressive toward you when you have a large abdominal wound and are prone to sobbing.":D
  • Sarah
  • Denise
    A must read. Quick, empowering, and oh so relatable. Thank you!!!
  • Darcy
    Since becoming pregnant and then becoming a mother, I have had lots of moments where I’ve said to myself, “Why doesn’t anyone TELL YOU about this??!” This book, more than any other pregnancy/parenthood book I’ve read, tells you those things: the gross postpartum issues, the lingering aches and pains, the incredibly complicated emotions, etc. There’s also a lot of really neat-o science throughout! I just thoroughly enjoyed reading this...
  • Devon Steven
    Mandatory reading for expecting parentsThey should bundle this book with pregnancy tests. They should have stacks in OB-GYN offices. They should include this in every high school reproductive health class.
  • Hannah
    I have two children, 3 years old and 18 months. So my days are full of diapers, making snacks, so much laundry and someone is on me constantly. So when I read a book in two days, it’s a Big Deal. This is the book pregnant people should read. This is the book their partners and support people should read. This is the book every human who has grown in a uterus should read. It made me cry. It made me laugh. It made me raise my hands and go yes yes...
  • Ms. Yingling
    Public library copyThis made me really glad that I am old, and that I had my children long enough ago that maternity clothes were tents and there were topics that just... weren't discussed. Now everything needs to be discussed, apparently. Still, I learned a lot, especially that people talk about miscarriages now. I don't want to be completely out of the loop if my one daughter ever has children. I need to read enough to know what to keep my mout...
  • AnnieLiz Love
    I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars! I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant and this book has been a revelation in the best way possible. I laughed, I cried, I was shocked- Thank you to Angela Garbes for writing this book. It meant so much to me.
  • Annie
    Actually a really fun read, if you can believe. Really quick read too, I buzzed through in a matter of days. For me a lot of info I already knew but learned some great stuff on microchimerism (!!!!!) and deeply appreciated her discussion of the pelvic floor