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Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child Kindle Edition

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Length: 290 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Maizes, a medical doctor at Andrew Weil’s influential Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, argues compellingly that women should try natural, easy, not-too-invasive steps to improve their health to increase the odds that they will deliver healthy babies. She tells the story of how another doctor, Julianne Garrison, conceived her daughter by combining conventional medications (progesterone and Clomid) with more holistic techniques such as self-hypnosis and acupuncture, which some research shows improves blood flow through uterine arteries. Maizes points out eating organic foods and drinking tea are linked to better fertility. More surprising, Maizes notes that the Nurses’ Health Study found women who drank high-fat milk were less likely to be infertile than women who drank low-fat milk. Avoid high-mercury fish, such as shark and mackerel, and steer clear of domestic pesticides, such as weed killers and ant and roach sprays, which may contribute to low birth weight, birth defects, pregnancy loss, and infertility. Maizes also talks about Chinese medicine. Overall, this book will help any woman open to trying alternative medicine as a way to improve health and fertility. --Karen Springen


“It's clear from the very first chapter of this power-packed guide on maximizing fertility that a hands-on clinician, brainy scientist, holistic thinker and compassionate, thoughtful woman is offering up the very latest and best that integrative medicine has to offer. Be Fruitful is an eminently readable, warm, encouraging, practical book bursting with a wealth of consequential information, backed up by clinical research and epidemiology. It is destined to become a well-worn, gratefully used reference book for anyone interested in fertility, whether professionally or personally.”

--Belleruth Naparstek, LISW, BCD, author of Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal; and creator of the Health Journeys Guided Imagery series.

Who knew that low fat milk might lower your fertility, while hypnosis could boost it? I found Dr. Maizes' well researched book to be a treasure trove of this kind of valuable, but rarely discussed, advice. Be Fruitful is the perfect read for anyone seeking a happy pregnancy and a healthy baby." (Daphne Miller, MD, author of The Jungle Effect and Farmacology )

"For some of us, the road to motherhood is strewn with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In Be Fruitful, Dr. Victoria Maizes has given us a superb, well researched guide to help transform our obstacles into health and life-affirming opportunities." (Julia Indichova, author of The Fertile Female: How the Power of Longing for a Child Can Save Your Life and Change the World )

“Women interested in protecting and maximizing their fertility will find this book filled with up- to-date facts that are easy to put into practice. I will recommend this book to my women patients in their late teens and early twenties to help them maximize wellness and fertility years before they start trying to have children. This is a must have book in my integrative medicine medical reference library.” (Roberta Lee, MD, author of The Super Stress Solution and Vice Chair, Department of Integrative Medicine Continuum for Health and Healing Beth Israel Medical Center )

“Be Fruitful is a must read for any woman currently attempting or planning for a pregnancy. Dr. Maizes is a leading advocate for Woman’s Integrative and Preventative Healthcare and her book provides practical, proven strategies for improving the chances of becoming pregnant and as well as enjoying a successful pregnancy. The importance of pre-pregnancy planning cannot be overstated. As a Reproductive Endocrinologist, I see daily how the positive influence an integrative approach to healthcare can benefit patients. This is a book I will ask all of my patients to read.” (Carmelo Sgarlata, MD, Reproductive Science Center of San Francisco and former President of the Bay Area Reproductive Endocrinologist Society )

“A well-rounded approach to ensuring a successful pregnancy. Maizes provides a wealth of practical advice and a comprehensive self-assessment test covering contraception, nutrition, diet and exercise, environmental factors and spirituality. Solid and wide-ranging prenatal advice for women of all ages.” (Kirkus Reviews )

Clear, comprehensive, and compassionate, this is one of the most important books in maternal health to appear in recent years.” (Larry Dossey, MD author of Reinventing Medicine and The Power of Premonitions )

"I cannot think of a more compassionate yet knowledgeable companion to accompany couples on their journey toward parenthood than Victoria Maizes. Her warm, friendly manner and her thoroughly integrative approach to fertility will give women and men the confidence and the practical advice they need to conceive with ease." (Linda Sparrowe editor-in-chief, Yoga International Magazine and author of The Woman's Book of Yoga & Health )

"A hopeful and encouraging map mothers-to-be can follow to increase the liklihood of achieving optimum health before conception and beyond. This straightforward resource clearly explains the fertility benefits of combining the best of conventional and alternative methods." (Publishers Weekly )

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jessica T. Wei on October 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must-read for any woman considering pregnancy. Easy to read and understand, Dr. Maizes' fully well-informed and gentle guidance for preparing physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for pregnancy is invaluable for any woman desiring a healthy, whole pregnancy. This book provides a comprehensive review of nutrition, supplements, environmental exposures, mind-body medicine, traditional chinese medicine (especially acupuncture), Ayurveda, and spirituality in the journey to getting pregnant and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Her book is one the resources to which I most often refer my patients when considering getting pregnant. We love this book!

Jessica T. Wei, MD
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on August 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before I read this book I felt a bit lost in all the diverse and sometimes conflicting information available on this topic. While I'm more than willing to draw on conventional medical approaches if that's what it takes eventually to conceive, I want to go in knowing that I have already tried everything possible through diet, supplements, stress management, and elimination of toxins to maximize fertility, to maximize the effectiveness of conventional medical treatments, and to ensure a heathy pregnancy and baby. Dr. Maizes puts all this information in one place, providing clear explanations, tons of practical advice, and many links to other helpful resources along the way. She writes with compassion, enthusiasm, and, most importantly, expert authority. She analyzes the available scientific research critically and draws on vast clinical experience, both her own and that of her community of practitioners. While the focus is very much on approaches to health that are usually ignored in conventional medicine, she also does a great job of explaining what the conventional approaches to infertility are and how to go about deciding when and how to use them. I really enjoyed the chapter on Traditional Chinese Medicine; it's a topic I knew little about and had kind of dismissed until now. The ones on Ayurveda and spirituality were a bit beyond my personal comfort zone, but I think it was good for me to be challenged in this respect.

I think every woman (and man -- yes, there's a lot of stuff in here for the gentlemen as well) should buy this book if you're planning a pregnancy, whether or not you've experienced difficulty conceiving. Many of the recommendations go well beyond fertility and are also helpful for women who are already pregnant or really anybody who wants to improve their health. No health care provider has the time to give you the depth of information contained in this book. Thank you to Dr. Maizes for writing it and to my nutritionist for recommending it to me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rev. on January 23, 2015
Format: Paperback
So I've just set this book down and have no news to report as far pregnancy goes but I can tell you from the point of view of someone hoping to conceive someday soon that this book is a beautiful and invaluable resource. It truly is a guide.

Not once did I feel rushed, nervous, confused, or scared. Dr. Maizes wrote so many kind, sincere, and profoundly helpful messages that as I closed the book I felt as though I had just ended a heart to heart with a wise, welcoming friend.

Being that my mother died when I was 13 and my family has dispersed widely among the states, there really isn't anyone around for me to talk to about my issues with fertility or what could happen if my health issues trump my desire to conceive. That said, this book provides so many answers and suggestions to my questions and problems that I now feel like I have plenty of support and guidance.

I'm currently battling an autoimmune / hypothyroid issue that my doctor is reluctant to treat further because everything "looks normal" per standard ranges despite my symptoms. Even with their "standard" ranges my fertility is threatened and it's frustrating to have a doctor tell me not to be concerned with conceiving now. At a time when I was sincerely considering giving up on having kids and on Western medicine, this book helped restore my faith not only in medicine and doctors but in myself.

It highlights a multitude of ways that I can repair and rebuild myself now so that my body is an optimal vessel to nurture what it may one day create. There are plenty of things for me to do on my end now to prepare for better health and the fruitful conception to come. And I will do whatever it takes.

I would definitely recommend this to young women and couples who are considering having children. It is well-written, concise, easy to follow, and very warm.

If you're reading this: Thank you, Dr. Victoria.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leslie McGee on December 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Be Fruitful lives up to its subtitle: an essential guide to maximizing fertility and giving birth to a healthy child. Victoria Maizes covers a lot of material - nutrition, supplements, environmental factors, conventional medicine, as well as a fine review of alternative medicine approaches to fertility challenges. I was especially impressed with the chapter on environment, which provides a thorough and scientifically documented overview of how chemicals can impact fertility, and yet provides practical and hopeful guidance to minimize that impact.

I was also deeply moved by her chapter on spirituality. It is a wonderful gift for a physician to bring scientific rigor to a topic, and also write with deep compassion about the pain and loss experienced by infertile couples. She brings practical, compassionate guidance for the spiritual and emotional journey. This is a terrific book: engaging, scientific, and filled with heart.
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