13/01/2010 09:09 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Are Week-By-Week Pregnancy Guides Helpful Or Not?

When I was in the early stages of my first pregnancy, I couldn't get enough of mother and baby magazines. I was entering a whole new world that I knew little about and needed to fill in the knowledge gaps, pronto.

One magazine feature that really stood out from that time was a week by week pregnancy guide. It explained how the baby would grow, using the surprising metaphor of fruit. So the pictures showed how the pregnancy would progress, with the foetus developing from the size of a tiny pea, to the size of a tomato. Half way through we were looking at the size of a generous grapefruit, until, at the end, the contents of the womb was predicted to be around the size of a watermelon.

It was a very hot summer that year, and every corner shop was piled up with watermelons outside. I used to gape at them and cross my legs. How could any human being possibly grow something that size within them? And then we have to somehow squeeze it out? That couldn't be right.I know that there is a place for pregnancy guides in that they help to explain what's going on. But every pregnancy is unique, and it's misleading to suggest that you can predict and control exactly what is going to happen.

And the down side to them is that they can create excess worries about what is to come, and take away focus from what's happening right now. When it was time for my second pregnancy I gave the magazines a miss because by then I knew enough to trust that whatever happened, my body would handle it.

What do you think? Did you find weekly pregnancy guides helpful? Or did you go through your pregnancy without them? Leave a comment below.