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Book review: Blooming Beautiful

TV presenter Melanie Sykes has had two children. Here she offers her beauty and health tips to turn a glamourous pregnancy into a yummy mummy experience.

Posted: 7 November 2006
by Sarah Lawson

Blooming Beautiful by Melanie Sykes & Hilary Boyd

A women’s mag celeb voice for staying glam during your pregnancy and after the birth, with medical advice along the way.
We don’t all have the time, money or looks of a TV presenter!
Features: Progress guides to how your body is doing and how to keep it beautiful, boxes on current beauty products and health tips about what to use and what to avoid
Price: £12.99 RRP
Contact: Penguin

OK, so Melanie Sykes did work right up to the birth of her second child, plus her partner was away, plus she already had a toddler, so it's not as though she had an idle second pregnancy! However, this book shows how staying beautiful (at any time in your life) is hard work and, to women like Sykes, important.
If you are happy to mooch around in your husband’s PJs as your bump grows, then the £12.99 for this book is probably better spent on some lovely preggie-friendly bubble bath and some cream cakes.
However, if you do want to enjoy the pregnancy ‘bloom’ and treat keeping your body beautified as your first major project of parenthood, then you may well find some inspiration here.

This book is divided into two parts. The first is five chapters about being ‘Big & Beautiful’ during pregnancy. It addresses the kinds of creams you can get to help ease your skin through hormonal changes and stretching, how to make your wardrobe work with your new bump, staying fit and healthy, eating well, and de-stressing when the emotions hit home.
‘Mummy Matters’ is part two. It’s geared towards those months when you look at your birth-ravaged body and begin to enjoy nature’s healings ways (and learn to give it a hand!), getting back into pre-pregnancy shape, eating well, and again dealing with emotions – post-birth.

A personal voice
In the intro, Sykes confesses to being prone to spots and ragged emotions, so there are times when her personal voice will certainly come of comfort to readers.
However, she is so undeniably gorgeous, that when chapters are subtitled things like ‘Saggy, baggy and flabby’, you wonder what rating your normal unfamous body would be on, compared to hers!
She recommends brands and shops freely, making this read much more like a magazine health feature, than a health textbook, and she does namecheck a few affordable skin treats alongside the Yummy Mummy shopping list.
The tone is chatty and the language is slangy, so you get the feel that this is real girly chat stuff, like your best friend spilling the honesty beans over what to expect from your pregnancy.

The ThinkBaby verdict

Light, easy reading if you want the celeb’s guide to having a baby, but with useful health tips thrown in.
Usefulness: 3/5
Readability: 4/5
Value: 3/5

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