Book review: Bumpalicious by Denise Van Outen

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Discovering that you are pregnant for the first time is one of the most thrilling moments for any woman - but it is also one of the most daunting.

It seems everybody has a story to tell about their own experiences of birth and motherhood...and not all of them are helpful or comforting!

Surrounded by conflicting advice, celebrity ‘mumoirs’, practical guides and lengthy instructions on eating and exercising, excited mums-to-be often long for books that put back the fun into being pregnant.

The UK’s favourite girl-next-door and first-time mum Denise Van Outen decided the time was right to share some good advice and learn how to simply enjoy those months as a ‘lady-in-waiting’.

Bumpalicious, a diary of her bumpy road to giving birth to daughter Betsy in May last year, hands out plenty of practical tips from food and fitness experts, but also encourages expectant mothers to relax and relish the joys of pregnancy and the first few months of motherhood.

Sharing her personal experiences first hand, Denise’s down-to-earth and entertaining take on pregnancy is rather like sitting down and having a natter with her from the comfort of your own couch.

Each of the chapters is divided into three parts including an overview of what is going on in your body each month, a diary recording Denise’s own experiences and expert advice from nutritionist Amanda Ursell and fitness expert Nicki Waterman.

Not all the subjects correspond to a specific month, so there is a helpful index at the back if you need to look up a particular topic or symptom.

There is also invaluable information on tackling stretch marks, backache, fatigue, constipation and all those other annoyances that are a hallmark of being pregnant.

Discover some great comfort snacks that will tickle your tastebuds without piling on the pounds and try out the gentle exercises that will keep your muscles trim while your ‘bump’ expands.

And then settle down to a bit of gossip as Denise shares a few ‘baby’ stories from her friends and family.

Most importantly, the TV star puts the smile factor into expecting a baby because giving birth isn’t all swollen ankles and morning sickness - there’s plenty to look forward to as well!

(Headline, hardback, £14.99)