The Pregnancy Puzzle Book: Is It a Must-Read or a Must-Skip for Moms-to-Be?

Photo: Seal Press
Photo: Seal Press

The Pregnancy Puzzle Book, written by Ivy Press is hot off the presses (no pun intended!) — and it’s just for mom-to-be. The book, which features dozens of pregnancy-related crosswords, anagrams, sound-alikes, wordplays, logic puzzles, cryptograms, word pairs and more was designed to keep your pregnancy brain “sharp,” and each mind-exercise is accompanied by top pregnancy tips to prepare mom-to-be for her nine-month journey to baby.

The official statement on the Seal Press website about the book reads, “As every expecting mother knows, the hormones of pregnancy have a tendency to decompose brain cells at an alarming rate. Feeling like a space cadet? Forgot where you put your keys or parked your car? To help keep your gray matter operational, The Pregnancy Puzzle Book offers mind exercises in the form of fun crosswords, anagrams, sound-alikes, wordplays, cryptograms, logic puzzles, word pairs, and other games. These pregnancy-themed puzzles are accompanied by top pregnancy tips to prepare readers as much as possible for the nine months ahead. With answers in the back, The Pregnancy Puzzle Book is the perfect gift for all expecting mothers.”

Before we go any further, let’s talk about the obvious, shall we?: It feels like a children’s book; like something you’d pick up for your preschooler to get those critical thinking skills churning well before he heads into Kindergarten. However, to fairly play devil’s advocate, aren’t children’s workbooks still fun? They’re great for long trips and even longer holiday plane rides and problem-solving is fun. And the cover is so 1950s housewife that it makes me cringe. (There’s nothing wrong with being a 1950s housewife, by the way, but the sheer remembrance of how limited women were viewed in both their curricular and extra-curricular skills seems like a not-so-smart artistic approach for this cover — especially when we’re living in a world of feminism and Beyonce?) But here’s the bigger question that I can’t let go of quite yet: Is it offensive to pregnant women to assume that their brain’s turned to mush since carrying a baby in their uterus? Or is the idea of a pregnancy puzzle book the God-send every mom-to-be needs but is too embarrassed to ask for? Or is it none of the above, and instead just a fun, lighthearted book for an expectant woman (and maybe even her partner) to read to keep her feeling “sharp”?

It’s a little forward to assume that you’re not as smart as you once were now that you’re pregnant, right? I mean, it’s one thing for the expectant mother to jokingly admit that she’s suffering from pregnancy brain, but doesn’t it cross the threshold from a lighthearted rib to just-plain-rude when someone else is telling you that your brain isn’t up to par? And what would you think if you opened up the book at, say, your baby shower as a “gift” from a friend? When your hormones are already traipsing all over the place would you be offended or relieved? Or would it take the right friend with the right sense of humor to be able to make it work?

That said, the book could be exactly what it sounds like: An innocent, buoyant book for mom-to-be to test her skills and pick up a handful of new tips before baby arrives.

Moms-to-be, tell us: What are your thoughts on the book?

Plus, more from The Bump:

The 4 Books That Got Me Through Becoming a Mom

The Best Pregnancy Books!

Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week