Kaz Cooke: women were in the dark about their pregnancies. Now there’s too much advice

In 20 years, Up the Duff has sold almost half a million copies – in that time the science of pregnancy has changed, but people haven’t

A woman with bird’s nest hair plonked down next to me in a cafe last year, holding a tiny baby with dark chocolate eyes and a fluffball of black hair. She launched into a graphic description of her baby’s recent birth. “… and then Aunty Helen* barged right into the room holding up her phone, taking photos of my hoo-hars”.

I had never seen this woman before, wasn’t aware the word hoo-har could be a plural, and couldn’t have picked Aunty Helen out of a lineup for a cash prize. But somehow she knew I had written the pregnancy book she’d read. In her mind, I’d been through the pregnancy with her, so she was just giving me the exit report. It was lovely.

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