Health and Science News for Parents

What to expect when you’re expecting a book…

written by Tara Haelle

The past several weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I’ve taken on a new semi-regular client, and I’ve written a number of exciting stories that pulled my time away from the blog (and which I’ll share below). But the next few months will be even more of a whirlwind as I try to wrap up the evidence-based parenting book I’ve been working on the past year with Emily Willingham.

You may have noticed that I’ve published a few more frequent guest posts, and there may be a few more coming. My goal is to keep the content on this blog fresh and helpful – and, of course, based always on the evidence – while taking care of my many other responsibilities, which are nearly always either a paid gig (unlike this blog) or my family. I will still try to post at least one post a week myself, though they may not be as thorough as the ones I prefer to write. Hopefully you’ll bear with me (and be rewarded with the extensive research in the book when it comes out next year!).

In addition to researching and writing the book and writing new articles, this little guy has been keeping me busy too!

In addition to researching and writing the book and writing new articles, this little guy has been keeping me busy too!

I have more than a dozen posts, perhaps two dozen, in my list to blog about, and I’ll do my best to work my way through them if you can forgive the fact that they will sometimes be based on studies a few weeks or months old. I also have a number of books I’m anxious to write about. I have been reading Emily Oster’s excellent evidence-based book on pregnancy, Expecting Better (now available in paperback), and I’ve been impressed with the depth and breadth of her research. Although I have not finished it – despite her sending me a review copy long ago – I can already say that I recommend it for those wanting to know more about what the evidence actually says for various pregnancy issues.

Another book I will be reading and blogging about (hopefully sooner rather than later) is Positively Negative: Love, Pregnancy, and Science’s Surprising Victory Over HIV. Journalist Heather Boerner has provided me a review copy of her book (though you can already buy the ebook on Amazon), and I’m looking forward to reading about a couple who conceived a baby naturally despite the father having HIV.

And what have I been doing lately? I’ve also written several pieces about marine science, starting with a run-down of everything that went wrong in the reporting of a 12-year-old girl’s science project on lionfish. I followed that with a fun piece at Slate on the ocean’s most amazing supermom, a deep-sea octopus who protected her eggs for four years.

And then, in the midst of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, I wrote for Science about a new way to reduce shark bites, and for Pacific Standard, I profiled David Shiffman, a shark scientist who blogs at Southern Fried Science and has made it his mission to correct all the myths and misinformation spewed by Discovery during its signature TV event. If you’re as much a shark lover as I am, you’ll want to check out the piece on him (as well as his many pieces).

After hearing about Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani’s Fields Medal win, I was also inspired to write about my own problematic past with math, a subject I loved until an unfortunate experience in junior high. And I’m writing a cool piece about the flu vaccine’s ingredients that will be in Wired Magazine in a few months.

I’m also writing for HealthDay now, and some of my recent stories there have looked at the link between fitness and depression in girls and how unhealthy packed lunches are for many elementary students – less healthy, in fact, than the hot school lunches. One of my most recent pieces was sad to write, however, because it dealt with the link between poor sleep and suicide risk and I was finishing it up at the same time that I was grieving for the loss of Robin Williams.

And of course, in the midst of all this, I’ve been taking care of my new baby, who is growing faster than I can keep up. He’s the happiest, most smiley baby I’ve ever seen, and lately he’s the fattest as well. One of my future posts actually discusses what I’ve learned in feeding him, but that’s just one of many I want to write, and there are only so many (so few!) hours in a day.

So, I hope you’ll bear with me over the next few months as my posts are fewer or perhaps more erratic while I race to finish the book. Rest assured I’ll return to the long, analytical pieces or the mythbusters before too long!

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One Response to “What to expect when you’re expecting a book…”

  1. Looking forward to all this! Thanks for always having wonderful posts, and good luck keeping up! :)

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