376 of 389 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2013
Because the original Nourishing Traditions book has been so useful for me, I pre-ordered the Baby and Child Care version as soon as I heard it was going to be released. I was excited when it was delivered and I could finally read it! Having two small children, I am always happy to learn more about nourishing them.
There is a lot to like about The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon Morrell and Thomas S Cowan. Some of it is exceptionally well-researched (other things I thought were a little sketchy or questionable, see further below). I could never list all the awesome things the book discusses, but some of the highlights for me include:
- Discussion about healthy fats. Many parents and parents-to-be are scared of fats because we've been fed a lie about cholesterol. I'm not afraid of fats and believe they are essential to nutrition and development, especially that of children, but I sometimes feel the WAPF goes overboard with this.
- Exploration of the vitamins and minerals needed prior to conception and during pregnancy.
- Discussion about toxic chemical exposure in every day life/products and the risks of this during pregnancy.
- An examination of what is in modern infant formula.
- Comprehensive suggestions for treating common childhood ailments using natural approaches rather than mainstream medicine.
I also found myself reading and rereading a few things in the book that made me go hrmmmm:
- A suggestion that it is not necessary to consume large amounts of water before and during pregnancy (p35). Apparently, the best way to hydrate your body is to 'consume plenty of healthy fats, because fats provide the most energy on the cellular level - much more than carbohydrates and proteins, and the by product of this energy is water'. I don't know enough about this matter to comment further at this stage, but I find it strange that drinking water would be discouraged.
- "Attachment parentings can interfere with a child's need to learn about the world on his own, and his gradual emergence into his sense of independent self" (p156). Clearly, the authors have confused attachment parenting with helicopter parenting. One of the greatest outcomes of attachment parenting is confident and secure children who are not only independent, but highly inter-dependent.
- A suggestion that a baby play pen is a good idea to 'protect baby from being stepped on' (p160). As far I have ever seen, baby play pens are good for two purposes - keeping little hands away from the Christmas Tree, and having a safe place for mum to iron.
- Promotion of the time-out technique for dealing with inappropriate behaviour (p173). I've worked with enough children in my career and read enough literature on child behaviour and development to know that time-out is an ineffective, overused and misunderstood tool that adults resort to when they have no clue otherwise how to deal with their child's actions (thank you Super Nanny). In many cases it's the parents who need time out from the situation to cool down and gather their composure. I'm not about to tell anyone how to parent, but I will say that when a child is sent to time-out to 'think about their behaviour', you can be guaranteed they're thinking of anything BUT that.
- An apparent misunderstanding about baby-led weaning. The book says that baby-led weaning is to be resisted and that baby's parents should be squarely in charge of what baby eats from the beginning. I did a combination of purees and baby-led weaning with both my children, and I was always squarely in charge of what they ate and what they were offered. Part of my role as a mother is to prepare nourishing foods for my children. Whether they pick at it and hand-feed themselves or whether I offered it mushed up on a spoon is irrelevant. The book fails to recognise that a child can only choose food from that which they have been offered or is available. If only nourishing food is offered and available, then that is what the child will choose.
I must admit I am surprised that with the concept of Nourishing Traditions being about adopting traditional methods of preparing foods as observed in ultra-healthy non-western people groups, I expected the book on baby and child care to promote more traditional and indigenous ways of nurturing (not just nourishing) little ones, such as babywearing and co-sleeping. I guess we always have The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff for that!
With all its good bits and all its interesting bits, I still have one as-yet unmentioned gripe and disappointment with The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care. Not enough recipes!
275 of 288 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2013
I enjoyed reading Nourishing Traditions (NT) and have incorporated some of the information from that book into my family's diet. It also prompted me to delve into some areas of nutrition research that I hadn't read before NT. I expected this book to take a similar approach to child care (i.e. present qualitative and quantitative research, give an overview of historical trends, and present ideas from various cultures). I had high hopes for this book, since Sally Fallon was once again listed as an author, but after reading this book perhaps I should search for more from Mary Enig (the co-author of NT, but not on this book).
Perhaps the first sign that this book would be a let down were the typos throughout the pages (such as "hunbands" for husbands p 211, "sores" for scores p 104). The carelessness of the authors was reflected in the poor quality of the content and its presentation. This book lacked a coherent voice, and others have noted the contradictory statements found throughout its pages.
There are myriad sections without references. At other times the authors reference secondary sources (in discussing toilet training they note that "Pediatrician Lindy Woodard believes that a child can and should be trained by thirty months; in her professional experience, children who are trained at an older age have more problems learning to use the toilet." p. 168). Often the subject of a section would lack focus and context, such as p. 209 where the authors talk about "soul disorders" in reference to mental health. One assumes they are referencing the work of someone else, but it isn't cited or put into context. This leaves the reader to wonder why the authors would consider if "wisdom teeth extraction impacts our souls."
Some of the child rearing advice was unexpected: p. 203 "no parents can really play with their children" because they have "too much responsibility, too many disappointments, too much school learning to play" and "Don't play with your children, just do your stuff-laundry, cooking, gardening, mowing the lawn, bird watching." Perhaps the authors began writing the section to stress the importance of letting children have creative play rather than structuring all playtime with activities and parental narration, but they composed a message of 'do your chores and leave your child to do his own thing.' Again, there were no references in this brief section, though there are plenty of sources the authors could have drawn from if they had done some research.
Although I anticipated the publishing of this book with excitement, I cannot recommend "The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care". Thank you for taking the time to read this review, and thank you for not clicking "unhelpful" simply because you disagree with my view. NT is a groundbreaking book, and I sincerely hope this book does not tarnish its reputation.
187 of 203 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2013
The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care is about using traditional nutritional wisdom to raise your child in a healthy way. The book contrasts conventional belief systems about pregnancy and feeding children vs. giving babies and children a more traditional diet based on plenty of grass-fed animal fats and proteins.
Most readers are probably picking up this book because they are familiar with Sally Fallon Morrell's popular cookbook, Nourishing Traditions. If you are not familiar with that book, Paleo diets, or the work of the Weston Price Foundation, then be prepared to have your dietary and health belief systems turned upside down. For those familiar with the work of the Weston Price Foundation, you will find this book to be an extremely thorough explanation of using real foods, tying together many important topics about how to have a very healthy child.
Here is a careful summary of the exciting contents of the book:
The introduction takes a look at how we have gotten to where we are today in relation to conventional thinking about feeding children. Ms. Morrell points to Dr. Spock's Common Sense Book to Baby and Child Care published in 1946, which sold a staggering 50 million copies and effected a dramatic and negative change in how we feed our children. Dr. Spock promoted infant formula over raw grass-fed milk, grains over meat and fat, fruit and sugar water. This contradicts the eminent work of Dr. Weston Price. The summary of Dr. Price's epic anthropological survey of indigenous cultures is that each culture around the world has traditionally valued their respective sources of fat-soluble vitamins--which primarily come from animal fats, raw dairy and organ meats. When traditional cultures move away from the traditional diet (which includes animal fats), the health and body structure of further generations of children change. A particularly amusing part of this chapter is called "Bad Advice in Baby Books," in which Ms. Morrell criticizes other authors for promoting low fat diets. She is right in doing so, as grass-fed animal fats are the gateway to conceiving and bearing healthy babies. Of course, there is so much more in each chapter then can be mentioned here. You'll have to read the book to get all the goodies.
Chapter 1 - Preparing for Your Baby
This chapter starts out by defining what a healthy baby is. The list includes a baby with a broad face, healthy complexion, who rarely gets sick, has good digestion, doesn't have allergies, is intelligent, etc. The list goes on. Ms. Morrell immediately goes into the "formula" for creating this baby. And there is a very important dietary chart on page 15 that lists all the foods to be included in a healthy mother's diet for before conception and during pregnancy, as well as what to look out for that might make you sick. On the list of healthy foods are grass-fed animal proteins, pastured eggs, cod liver oil, bone broths, raw milk and more.
The chapter then goes into moderate to significant detail about each special food item on the list. The number one ingredient is cod liver oil. Ms. Morrell provides quite a bit of information on how important vitamin A is for fetal development. There is a discussion on the value of eggs and butter, and an important discussion on raw milk. Yes, this book recommends raw milk during pregnancy, and explains why raw milk is safe to consume, along with the dangers of pasteurized milk. There is a discussion of meat, seafood, the GAPS diet and lacto-fermented condiments, plus a neat table of conventional foods vs. replacement foods on page 28 and a warning about genetically modified foods, which are of course to be avoided by both you and your baby.
Moms might particularly enjoy page 33, which has a list of sample meals--although, knowing moms, a much longer list would have been more helpful.
The chapter ends with a brief discussion on toxic things in our surrounding environment, including EMFs, pharmaceutical drugs, and yes, prenatal vitamins.
Chapter 2 - Nutrition for Fetal Development
The first thing I noticed in the chapter was the specific reference to a birth defect called hypospadias, which happens much more frequently with vegetarian mothers than with those who eat animal proteins. It's just one more reason not to be vegetarian and pregnant at the same time, since doing so increases so many risk factors for different health problems.
After an explanation of the different trimesters of pregnancy comes a detailed look at vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, biotin, folate, choline, glycine, sulfur and saturated fat. Instead of recommending multi-vitamins, each section gives food suggestions for making sure the mother has these important nutrients in her diet during pregnancy. If you are familiar with Ms. Morrell's work, you'll know that she is a big fan of liver and egg yolks, which are common sources for many of these important nutrients.
Chapter 3 - A Healthy Pregnancy
Ms. Morrell wants moms to feel healthy and happy during pregnancy. This chapter reads almost like a nutritional program to help balance the body. There is a thorough discussion on morning sickness and how one might treat it with whole foods. Instead of prenatal vitamins, Ms. Morrell has prenatal vitamin foods, which she recommends in a list on page 59. The key foods recommended are cod liver oil, liver, egg yolk, raw dairy and butter. And who doesn't love butter? But I think she forgot to add homemade ice cream to the list. After all, ice cream made from grass-fed milk and cream is a pregnant mother's favorite vitamin! Just be mindful to avoid ice cream made from homogenized milk, as the damaged fat globules can make people sick.
This chapter then slides into a more truthful explanation of flu shots during pregnancy, Rh incompatibility, fetal screenings and the now well-documented harms of pregnancy ultrasounds. The book is co-written by Dr. Tom Cowan, and I think this is part of his contribution, as there is advice for rubella, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, toxemia and how to have a stress-free pregnancy. If you're not familiar of the work of Dr. Cowan, he offers very practical advice that is well thought out but not necessarily in the mainstream.
Chapter 4 - Your Baby Is Born
Again, another chapter chock full of very practical advice. It's almost like a helpful grandmother passing down her wisdom to those preparing for birth. Ms. Morrell supports home birth and good childbirth preparation. She also has a list of what supplies to pack when preparing for birth. I like that she recommends avoiding fetal monitors (on page 80).
There is a lot of helpful advice that can assuage the common fears and worries of parents who want to have a safe natural birth at home. Ms. Morrell has an interesting perspective on water births, and supports pro-natural delivery for breech births. Again, this chapter is full of comments that will support a mom who wants a more natural and less medically managed birth.
Chapter 5 - Newborn Interventions
It is sad that we live in a world that where this chapter is even necessary. That being said, I understand why it is in the book--parents need to be ready to deal with all kinds of strange practices done to their little helpless babies after they are born.
There is a significant discussion on cord clamping. There then follows an interesting commentary on lotus birthing and the vernix. Eye drops? How about some breast milk instead of antibiotics in a baby's eyes to prevent infection. Next, vitamin K shots and reasons not to get them, including the fact that castor oil is in the ingredient list--yuck. Ms. Morrell warns parents to be careful of Hep B vaccines if they are in a hospital, as doctors will try to sneak it on the baby. Sneaking medical treatments on babies makes me wonder what is wrong with our world today, but unfortunately these are some of the things parents need to be aware of in a hospital setting. Blood tests on the baby seem to have meaningless results and false positives--not to mention the fact that it is cruel to poke your new baby and draw his blood.
The discussion on circumcision is not what I expected. It comes across as somewhat neutral, explaining the proposed benefits along with the detriments. Ms. Morrell does, however, describe some of the ruthless circumcision practices used on babies. I am not clear if hospitals or doctors are still using these baby-torturing methods of circumcision today. I think the Creator gave males a foreskin for a reason, and believe that nobody should remove it. The male child can always decide when they are older and can think for themselves whether or not to get circumcised. Conversely, uncircumsizing is a much more difficult proposition.
Chapter 6 - Vaccinations
The vaccine chapter starts off soft--and then the hammer comes out and Ms. Morrell eloquently destroys the fake science used to promote vaccinating. She references Dr. Russell Blaylock a few times in this chapter. There is a very long list of toxic additives in vaccines, one of particular interest being mouse serum protein. The chapter is decidedly short. Clearly she doesn't intend this book to focus on vaccines, other than to give a good overview of reasons to avoid them.
Chapter 7 - Nourishing Your Baby
This chapter begins with the benefits of breast milk. There is an interesting section that disputes the idea that breastfeeding prevents dental deformities or problems. Clearly nutrition--and not just suckling--is important to the bone structure of a child. There is a nice explanation of the types of fats you find in human milk. Then a section about how it is common for breastfeeding mothers to be deficient in vitamins, particularly vitamins A and D. So again, the message is clear: What the mom eats is vitally important for the growing baby. Again, there is a warning about trans-fats--yes, they can show up in breast milk.
On pages 130 and 131 are lists of natural remedies for breastfeeding problems like sore nipples and mastitis. All of the remedies are natural. There is then a thorough discussion on breast infections, jaundice and sore nipples. There are tips for a colicky baby. Although not mentioned in the book, colic in a breastfed babies where the mom eats a clean diet is likely caused by compression of cranial nerves. The body becomes slightly over-sympathetic and the baby cannot relax completely when he or she needs too. Good cranial work will make a huge difference for this problem.
You could almost choke just looking at the scandalous list of ingredients in commercial milk formula (on page 139). Moms who, for whatever reason, need to feed their young babies something besides breast milk will really like the recipes for homemade baby formulas. There are also some tips for dealing with problems with the homemade formulas.
Chapter 8 - Bringing up Baby
This chapter is a mix of practical advice, such has how to avoid SIDS by avoiding toxic mattresses, and other parenting advice. There is a section on things to avoid for babies, such as baby monitors (which put out EMFs) and baby walkers or jumpers that could be dangerous for babies. I especially agree with the tips on germs, childproofing, clean clothing and sunlight, but disagree with comments that raise concern about attachment parenting, as well as the promotion of the "time-out technique." Some readers of the book may find some of Ms. Morrell's grandmotherly parenting advice useful, while others might feel it does not reflect their beliefs.
The end of the chapter has multiple lists and charts on what to expect at different developmental stages from your baby, based on information from the University of Michigan. Again, Ms. Morrell's whit and accurate information about physical health comes through when she blames children missing their developmental cues on a poor diet, vaccines and exposures to pesticides.
I was hoping for some Rudolph Steiner information in this chapter, but did not find anything. There is brief mention of traditional child raising practices of different indigenous cultures but this is not the focus of the chapter. If you are looking for more information on indigenous child raising traditions, see the note at the end of this review.
Chapter 9 - Nourishing a Growing Child
This is another home run chapter, and one that makes the purchase of the book worthwhile on its own merit. It speaks against commercial baby food and encourages parents to steer clear of breakfast cereals. Again, Ms. Morrell stresses the importance of fat. On page 186 is a list of super foods for babies. I like the fact that Ms. Morrell was brave enough to put brain on the menu, but I don't think many moms are going to take this suggestion.
Moms will really like the chart on page 187, which explains when to introduce certain foods for the babies. I found this list quite helpful. Egg yolks and liver are encouraged as first foods. However, Ms. Morrell forgets to mention ghee, which is a special first food from India. Again, moms will love pages 188 and 189, which have recipes for what to feed babies, including yogurt, fish pate, marrow custard and liver pate. The recipes focus on animal fat, of course.
Ms. Morrell deplores the use of fake milks, and tells moms not to worry if their baby doesn't like vegetables. This chapter is the highlight of the book, and parents will find it extremely useful and practical.
Chapter 10 - From Birth to Adulthood
This is the chapter on Rudolf Steiner, who looks at childhood symbolically. It attempts to categorize diseases as they relate to the developmental stages of the child, along with their symbolic meanings. It hopefully gives the parent some idea of how the child perceives the world while growing up. It also suggests that certain illnesses might be necessary for the healthy development of the child.
Chapter 11 - Child Spacing & Birth Control
This is a very short chapter that gives some examples of indigenous cultures' thinking and principals of child spacing. Three years as a minimum for child spacing seems to be the theme. This chapter could be longer. There are only short sections on the harms of the IUD and birth control pills, and a recommendation and encouragement to use fertility awareness to help space children.
Chapter 12 - The Illnesses of Childhood
The chapter starts out with a subtle warning, stating the therapies presented in the book go against the mainstream perspective, which seeks to treat the symptoms of disease with drugs. When a chapter starts out that way, you know it is going to be exciting. Ms. Morrell takes the alternative perspective that illness might be useful, and that bacteria are not the cause of disease. There is a lengthy discussion on the three spheres of the human being, which is based on Rudolf Steiner's philosophies. This chapter doesn't feel complete on its own because it lacks the practical advise you would expect, but it is really meant as a segue into the next chapters, which are full of practical advice.
Chapter 13 - Treating Infectious Disease
Ms. Morrell and Dr. Cowan suggest looking at disease as a stage of life. I feel like this is a positive perspective to take. If we strive to fight disease, we might inhibit the child's normal growth and development process. The chapter includes a discussion on some homeopathic remedies, Echinacea and elderberry syrup.
Chapter 14 - Ear, Nose & Throat
Again, we are presented with what appears to be Dr. Cowan's alternative medical perspective on illness. Alternative remedies are suggested for pneumonia, ear infections, tonsillitis, sinusitis and whooping cough. Moms looking to treat their children's illnesses more holistically will appreciate the information presented here.
Chapter 15 - Allergies, Asthma & Eczema
This chapter suggests that a key cause of these problems is disturbed intestinal flora, which means that the child's intestines do not have the coating required to protect themselves from irritants. A remedy suggested for these problems is the GAPS diet. Page 247 has some specific remedies for eczema and asthma.
Chapter 16 - Neurological Disorders
This chapter is mostly about autism. It suggests movement therapy and the GAPS diet for autistic children. It's mostly focused on general advice about dealing with this condition. It does not delve deeply into the subject matter. Of particular note is the fact that cranial work (or bite therapy) is not mentioned. This treatment can significantly help with movement related disorders. Also missing from the chapter are references to juicing and cleansing, and the suggested reading list is limited. This chapter will be useful for parents whose children have mild cases of neurological disorders, as it should set them on the path towards finding balance again.
Chapter 17 - Remedies for Illnesses of Childhood
Again, the foundation of a healthy child is a good diet. When that fails, the book offers natural, drug-free solutions for these problems. This chapter covers itching, anemia, boils, bug bites, chicken pox, colic, concussion, croup, diaper rash, diarrhea, growing pains, foot and mouth disease, hives, measles, meningitis, mumps, muscle cramps, pickiness, poison oak, rheumatic fever, rubella, scarlet fever, tooth decay, scrapes, slapped cheek syndrome, strep throat, sunburn, thrush, food poisoning and whooping cough. I found the advice helpful and to the point.
Appendix I - Therapy Instruction
Contains a short guide on using herbal compresses.
Appendix II - The GAPS Diet Protocol
There is a well-done 8-page summary of the GAPS diet, and the different stages involved.
Appendix III - Recipes
Again, recipes and dietary advice is where this book really shines. Moms will really enjoy this section, which is seventeen pages long. Most or all of these recipes seem to be from Nourishing Traditions.
Appendix IV - Resources
The resources listed are websites on which to buy items mentioned in the book.
Strangely, the book does not have a conclusion. However, this fact does not take away from its message. The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care is stuffed full of practical advice for raising your baby on a whole foods diet. It smashes mainstream advice about pregnancy and baby nutrition, and replaces the misinformation of the last 50 years with more accurate and healthy information based on millennia of indigenous traditions. The book is full of references to scientific studies and anecdotes that support a holistic and drug-free approach to child care. Like almost every book, it has some imperfections, some slow parts and some parts that you may not relate to or feel necessary. But overall, reading the book will leave with you a feeling of being more connected to the nourishment of your baby--which is, after all, its purpose. I highly recommend this book as a guide for nourishing yourself and your baby with good food, and keeping you both safe from toxic medical practices. Well done, Sally Fallon Morrell and Dr. Thomas Cowan.
About the Review
This review is written by Ramiel Nagel, author of Healing Our Children: Because Your New Baby Matters! Sacred Wisdom for Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting (ages 0-6), which provides a clear, paradigm shifting holistic resource for loving yourself and your child's body, emotions and soul, based on the wisdom of indigenous cultures throughout the world.
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2013
This felt like a judgmental anthem written to scare mothers into compliance of a very strict and hard to follow lifestyle. Let me say that I am a dedicated member of WAPF. I have bought over 40 copies of Nourishing Traditions (YES! I really have) because I keep a stack in my pantry and give any friend of family member a copy if they show even the slightest interest in the topics of health, nutrition, and cooking. My children drink raw milk, eat liver, and we follow WAPF about 80% of the time. The foundation has given me the deep information to make me healthy and my family healthy and happy, and I am eternally grateful for these cooking tools and informational tools. I was SO EXCITED when this book came out almost a year ago because my son was just days old and because my twin sister was pregnant with her first child. We both bought the book and gobbled it up. At this very vulnerable time in our lives we both felt like this book was not the supportive source of information that we were looking for.
Let me be fair and say that so much of this book does have good information, particularly with regards to baby's first food and the timelines of what-to-feed-when. But I could not hand this book out to the exhausted moms in my baby group or to other friends who have older children or who are planning for their first. It's too extreme and over and over again the implication is "if your baby is not perfect and happy, has colic, does not sleep well, etc. that you and your diet are to blame." Sally Fallon, that's the message we got.
Please amend these implications throughout the book. I am happy to highlight the paragraphs that need editing if you ever hope to reach a broader audience.
I want this book to succeed. I want every part of WAPF to succeed. But how can I hand this book out to my mom friends who have never heard of WAPF and who need a gentle and informative (that is, impersonal) starting point?
80 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2013
The book's chapter on breastfeeding, titled "Nourishing Your Baby", is pretty much word for word what the WAPF's site says on breastfeeding with a bit of filler added. It starts with some positive messages about breastfeeding, but by the fourth paragraph, they are already reverting to negative language about breastfeeding: "But for some women, even many women, all does not go well."
Then they go back to talking about how wonderful breastmilk is with its "amazing qualities" , but it's quickly followed up by a section entitled "Benefits of Breast Milk: Conflicting Studies" where they again cite the same studies used on their website that show breastfeeding in a negative light.
There is a section on "When Breastfeeding May Not Be Best" and it includes vegan mothers, adopted babies and even babies conceived from in vitro fertilization!
The book gives poor and dangerous advice like an old wive's tale about preventing cracked and sore breasts with a daily application of rubbing alcohol on the nipples for the last month of pregnancy. They also suggest an herbal supplement for engorgement and oversupply that is known to dry up milk completely, not reduce it.
In the Milk Supply section, they say that if a baby has persistent crying, even after nursing, an inadequate or non-nutritious milk supply should be suspected. To substantiate their claim that low supply is way more common than breastfeeding advocates claim, they reference artwork showing women praying for good milk supplies. They also note that milk volume varies between women, which is true, but then they compare a woman who can squirt her milk across the room to a mother who can't produce milk while pumping. Those are two different situations and not fair comparisons. Pumping output is no indication of supply.
When they discuss stress as a possible factor for lowered milk supply, they recommend that the environment should be very relaxing. However, they turn this good advice negative by saying, "...for many women, burdened by domestic strife or financial worries, a stress-free environment may be impossible to achieve."
It's not until the very end of the Milk Supply section, that they describe the normal behavior of an infant wanting to nurse a lot during growth spurts and the mother's menstrual cycles. So a mom has to read through all the negative discussions of low milk supply before she sees that her situation is normal and there isn't an issue with her supply, but doubt is already in her mind. They also recommend using their homemade formula for supplementation during supply drops.
Even when they suggest seeking help from a lactation consultant, they turn it negative by saying "...some consultants can leave mothers in tears."
Their section on donor milk warns that you need to ask the mother about her diet before accepting milk. They also state that you should observe the donor's own baby to see that they are "rosy and robust" and not "pale and whiney". That visual observation will tell you if a mother's milk is nutrient dense.
They make a completely false statement about breast pumps, too:
"Most importantly, the breast pump provides an accurate picture of how much milk a mother is producing. If, after pumping consistently, mom still only produces an ounce or two of milk per day, she will know for sure that supplementation is an absolute necessity."
Like I said earlier, pumping output is no indication of supply because it doesn't get milk out the same way a baby does. It is not as efficient and it could take multiple pumping sessions to obtain the same amount of milk a baby can get out in one breastfeeding session.
When working mothers are discussed, they mention that there are some state laws about pumping at work, but it's actually a federally mandated law from 2010 that requires employers to provide break time and a place to pump. Unfortunately, the book had to make mention that white collar employees (such as lawyers and editors) would find it easier to pump than teachers and service workers. This gives the impression that full term breastfeeding can only work for women with "good jobs", and other moms have to use formula, perpetuating an elitist view of breastfeeding.
So, even though the book may have some correct information on breastfeeding, the general attitude is disapproving and negative towards it. Decent advice is tainted by negative opinions and comments. It makes it hard to even consider this book as credible source for breastfeeding mothers. It's not the empowering book they try to make it out to be. It actually perpetuates guilt.
70 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2013
Wow. I was so disappointed by this book. I'm grateful to Sally Fallon and WAPF for teaching me a lot about healthy fats, fermented foods, and other nutritional information. I refer often to my copy of "Nourishing Traditions" But this book is filled with untrue and harmful advice which flies in the face of modern research AND tradition. It seems that Ms. Fallon is justifying her own parenting choices by giving her opinion that they are the best thing to do, regardless of research and even in contrast with Weston Price's original research- but even when she gives studies as evidence, she cherry picks one statement from the study even if it goes against the original study's own conclusions. She also undermines mothers in breastfeeding and attachment parenting (authentic traditional parenting practices) by giving false, misleading, and discouraging information. There are plenty of better books that give information about traditional/ancestral healthful food and nurturing care for babies that are backed up with research and are more factual.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2014
If you are looking into this book as a purchase or as something to check out form the library I am assuming that you are going to read more then one review. Therefore I am not going to say what others have said. I agree with many other negative and bad reviews especially ones that point out that she is extremely unfair to Attachment Parenting. We all know that there are parents who give attachment parenting a bad name because they have a martyr complex but she turns Attachment Parent into a caricature. But the sentence in this book that made this review a one star was this:
( This is a bullet point under a box titled “Supporting Your Child's Developmental Stages” under ages 0-7)
"The child engages in play and should be supported in this activity by a hands-off policy. Don't play with your child!” ( The exclamation point is from the original text)
Why is it bad for me to play with my toddlers? She doesn't explain what is bad for the child's development when the parent plays with the child. That sentence is the end of that statement and then she moves on to another topic. I find it astounding this statement is in the book with nothing supporting it. Its bizarre!
As far as the nutrition aspect I completely agree that it is correct and well founded advice but you don’t have to pay for this book in order to learn this information: If anyone wants the nutritional advice you can read Nourishing Traditions or just go the the Weston Price Foundation website: [...] and under Children's Health you will find a number of articles on the topics of vaccines and nutrition.
I do not think this book is well researched about the parenting aspects and I believe it could be very destructive. My review does NOT cover all the objections I have to this book but I did not read other reviews that mentioned the above issue so I wanted to point it out. It bothers me that Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride recommends this book. I believe that Sally has a personal ax to grind when it comes to this book because she has written extremely well researched, exacting books and articles and only a personal bias could lead her to make arguments about parenting that would not stand-up in a high school debate.
p.s If you are looking for information about natural birth I would look into Ina May Jaskin. Yes she is a vegetarian or at least was but her birth information is awesome. And attachment parenting can be don in a loving and parent-friendly way. (The only reason my husband and I feel into attachment parenting is because every time we tried on of its methods i.e. baby wearing and co-sleeping it made our life easier and my son cried less and slept more.) Cheers!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2013
Here is the "too long, didn't read" version of this review: "The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care" is a great resource for new and expecting parents interested in following a traditional foods diet, but not the best place to look for advice on childrearing.
Never heard of a traditional foods diet? Here's a quick back story. Weston Price was a dentist who was bothered by the amount of problems he was seeing in the mouths of his patients. Were humans really meant to be so imperfect? His studies took him all around the world, and he wondered why "primitive" peoples living isolated from modern civilization seemed to be so much healthier than the rest of us. His conclusion was that it was due to their diets. Far from the junk-filled diets we consume, these people ate lots of animal products--meat, butter, eggs, full-fat raw milk, rich bone broths--and lacto-fermented foods (the most well-known example of these would be sauerkraut). And such a diet is exactly what the Weston A. Price Foundation advocates today.
In all honesty, it's kind of a wonder that modern Americans, meat-lovers that they are, have not more fully embraced such a diet. Would doing so really make us healthier? Would it make pregnancy go smoother, labor shorter? Would it produce more alert, robust children? The many people who embrace a traditional foods diet certainly think so. "The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care" applies this dietary model, as well as other related ideas, to the pregnant women and children of all ages.
Prepare to have your ideas of a healthy diet turned on their heads! The principles in this book emphasize milk, eggs, meat, and animal fats, all of which are rich in nutrients important for human health. Unlike most guides for eating while pregnant, fruits and vegetables are last on the list here, and grains generally require a different style of preparation than you're likely used to in order to render them more digestible. Babies generally need to start solid foods by 4-6 months, and some dietary supplements should be started even earlier.
A good portion of this book is also focused on other aspects of health. The authors are firmly against routine vaccination, a debate which this reviewer is not going to delve into. There is much information about natural remedies, advice for when to treat a fever and when to let it run its course, how to handle formerly common childhood illnesses like pertussis and still-common illnesses like the flu, how to deal with asthma and allergies, and even ideas regarding neurological disorders like epilepsy. Some of the more philosophical aspects of the book may seem a bit quirky to some readers.
Where this book falls short, in my opinion, is in its attempt to cover so many topics. Morell and Cowan tried to cram too much information into their "Book of Baby & Child Care," resulting in many topics being only touched on. There are many, many books in publication on topics like pregnancy & labor, discipline, and baby gear; some of these segments probably could have been left out of this book with no ill effects, as readers interested in these topics would be better served picking up a book devoted to the subject anyway.
Perhaps more disturbing are some of the straight-up inaccuracies herein. Much of what the authors have written about infant sleep habits serves only to perpetuate mainstream ideas that have been proven inaccurate by valid science, which is disappointing for a book that seems to pride itself on giving readers the truth, despite it being against the wisdom of most "experts." Some of their thoughts on when and how to introduce solids to babies are very debatable, and their outright recommendation of baby carriers that can cause hip dysplasia (while telling readers to avoid carriers that have baby "facing you with his legs spread open," which is in reality a more ergonomically correct position) is troubling. The palpable hostility towards vegetarians and vegans is perhaps not surprising, while the authors' attacks on attachment parenting seem to be based on an inaccurate and extreme definition.
Despite this though, the fact remains that "The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care" is a great resource. The appendices, in particular are filled with wonderful recipes, information about the GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet, a temporary diet that allows a damaged intestinal tract to heal), and a wealth of other sources to consult for more information. There is a lot of good information to be found here! So come for the alternative science, stay for the recipes, but don't rely on it for principles of child rearing.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2013
I'm not a big fan of Sally Fallon, but she does have some good info to talk about. I think a nourishing WAP type of diet is best and especially when we're talking about babies! As always Sally Fallon has put great info on nutrition in her book. However as other reviewers have mentioned there seems to be some other things that are way off base.
-circumcision-Someone who teaches about the importance of eating the way humans were made to then goes on to talk about how circumcising can be good in the future for men as is could make it possible for them to prolong sexual gratification to better please their partner. This is absolutly ridiculous. Mens bodies are made perfect and don't need to be cut to make them better. I have one son who is circumsised and another who is not. I don't lose sleep at night over my eldest getting the procedure done, however when given the choice again I chose differently. Some of the "research" that is sighted in favor of circumsising has been shown to not be complete and not accurate. I agree there is so much info out there and it is hard to find just good unbiased information that is not sensationalized but really this is the best they could come up with.
-breastfeeding- While I agree there is not nearly enough information or support out there for women to understand the importance of a nourishing diet while breastfeeding, I do not agree with most of the advice given. Almost all of the breastfeeding advice apart from the optimal diet is crap and not based on evidence. Again for someone who is teaching optimal human diet she doesn't put much emphasis on the importance of breastfeeding. I mean really, formula is better than a vegan mothers bm????? I'm definetly not saying a vegan or vegetarian mother has very good breastmilk it is certainly better than formula, even homemade. She's also going on the assumtion that a vegan or vegetarian mother wouldn't supplement to fill nutritional gaps in their diets. I do know many vegan and vegetarian mothers and all of them do supplement. While I don't agree that the diet with supplements is optimal her claims are still absolutly ridiculous. I hope anyone reading this book would find their bf support elsewhere and take nutrition advice from Sally instead, as this is where her knowledge lies. She has said she was not able to produce enough milk for her baby and thus has shown on numerous occassions how she can damage another womans bf relationship. If you want much better evidence based breastfeeding information check out the book Breastfeeding Made Simple: 7 Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing MothersI could go on but seriously this part of the book is utter crap.
Parenting- First of all what does a book about nourishing our children have to do with making parenting choices???? She obviously has only heard of attatchment parenting through the Time magazine article and totally doesn't get it. It's not helicopter parenting, it's just following your baby and meeting their needs at that moment in time. Having children is hard work but it's also temporary. My child will only have these needs once in their life and I am glad I'm meeting them now instead of dealing with the fallout later.
Honestly I didn't even finish this because I was so frustrated by most of what was in this book. Glad I didn't pay money for it.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2013
I was given this book as a gift and was excited to read it. After reading it, I would NOT recommend this book to any new parent who is worried they may not be "doing it right". I found it rife with mis-information and judgement. The suggestion to stop nursing your baby if you get pregnant again because you will not be taking care of either child made me chuck the book across the room. I am really surprised at the good reviews this book has gotten. I will not be passing it on. It is going to the recycle bin.