This is where the references for Expecting by Anna McGrail and Daphne Metland live.


We list here the main sources for the information given in Expecting: Everything you need to know about pregnancy, labour and birth (new and revised edition, Virago, January 2013). Research is being published all the time, so please bear in mind these were the most up-to-date sources at the time of going to press.

Also, web pages change, links go awol, and things get archived. If there’s something that looks odd, please let us know.

You can buy our book here. As one Amazon reader says, “This is THE book for pregnancy. Buy the most recent edition though.”


Pages 1-5: Getting ready for pregnancy

Pages 7-20: Eating well throughout pregnancy

Pages 21-24: Exercises throughout pregnancy

Pages 25-104: The first trimester

Pages 105-198: The second trimester

Pages 199-312: The third trimester

Pages 313-345: Giving birth

Pages 346-355: You after the birth

Pages 356-363: Your new baby

Pages 364-386: What’s safe and what’s not

Pages 387-420: Medical conditions and pregnancy

Pages 421-429: When things go wrong


These are our main sources:

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Guidelines

BMJ Clinical Evidence Guidelines

The Cochrane Library

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines

NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries

Midirs (Midwives Information and Resource Service)

Midirs reviews many papers and issues in midwifery. It is the best single source of midwifery-based information and has proved invaluable to us.

The Cochrane Database is another valuable source. Experts round up all the papers on a particular issue and draw conclusions about what works and what doesn’t, making it very useful resource for doctors, midwives and parents.

As a baseline, we have found the WHO Guidelines for Normal Birth especially useful.