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The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning Paperback – Illustrated, April 15, 2014
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“I LOVE this book! It's chock-full of invaluable information for mamas, along with the most beautiful images. Kudos to Alicia Silverstone for sharing your story and the personal choices you've made for your family thus far. So Inspiring!” —Ricki Lake, producer of The Business of Being Born
“A unique and positive statement about how wonderfully well pre-birth, pregnancy, birth, and child raising can be experienced. Not only do you need this book, but I needed this book.” —From the foreword by Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
- Item Weight : 1.93 pounds
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1623360404
- ISBN-13 : 978-1623360405
- Dimensions : 7.5 x 1 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Rodale Books; Illustrated edition (April 15, 2014)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #205,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Some reviewers got the impression that Alicia's message was "100% natural or you're a terrible mother" this is definitely not the case. She certainly leans towards natural recommendations - encouraging breast feeding and organic foods, but also speaks on alternative selections. She states many times that C-sections have to happen sometimes, and this doesn't make you any less of a mother or woman. Birth, in it's essence is natural, and just because you have a C-section, doesn't mean you should think of it inferiorly.
The recipes listed opened my eyes to new ingredients. By no means are these ingredients strange, hard to find, or incredibly expensive. I found everything she recommended on vitacost.com & I'm sure they are easily available at local Asian markets - kuzu, shoyu, mochi, mirin, toasted sesame oil, amaranth, etc. I was happy to try a new style of cooking and some of her recipes are going to become my new staples!
Her tone does not come off as preachy & she doesn't state that all your ailments will be cured by going vegan. She even describes that she had her own difficulties with pregnancy and extended morning sickness. You can obviously take away from this that no, life is not 100% easy and pain-free on a vegan diet. She describes the not so rosy aspects of pregnancy and child birth. Her recommendations are appropriate and make sense. I'm not sure why some reviewers took such offense as she is never degrading and offers a wide range of information (oh, you do want to use plastic bottles? here are some good brands that are BPA free. You would like to use disposable diapers? Here are some good brands that are eco-friendly and non-toxic to your baby. You would like to avoid buying 100% organic foods? Here is a condensed list of things to definitely consider always buying organic if nothing else.). Of course you are going to feel better if you are feeding yourself well & it seems that there is a plethora of empirical evidence out there to support this claim (see her vast resource list).
Yes, not all mothers will be able to hire someone to cook for them (she mentions that she did this a few days a week, not that she had someone waiting on her hand and foot 24/7), I know I certainly won't. So she recommends asking friends and family to help out & not hesitating to ask for help and take rest when you need it. Sound advice.
If you are offended by people encouraging you to eat a plant based diet or informing you on the possibilities of a "natural" birth, then the Kind Mama is not for you. If you'd like to learn more about what you can do to best set you and baby up for success - do not hesitate to buy!
I also found the following book very helpful: Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide .
Side note: Alot of people are giving the book negative reviews because of a tiny section on vaccinations, where she really just encourages you to do your own research. I understand people have strong opinions on this and even though I ultimately disagree with Alicia on vaccines, it didn't take away from the awesomeness of the book for me. Actually, I think it's kind of silly to expect to read a book and agree 100% with an author, unless that author is me!
Top reviews from other countries
As a scientist, a vegetarian for over 20 years and a fan of all things natural, I want literature that is balanced and provides solid scientific background to all "natural" claims. That is not what this book gives you. Instead, this is a one-sided diary of a rich, spoilt woman who uses every page to piss on medicine that brought mankind to where we are now. It is insulting for women and couples fighting infertility from the very first page. It is degrading for women and very successful at pulling them away from their nature because everything is portrayed through idealised hippie worldview. Women don't have a "hoo-ha" and a "chichi", they have vaginas. There's no place for language like this in a book dedicated to the period when thorough understanding of your body and its functions is a must. I won't even start about all the anti-vaxer nonsense. Absolutely disgusting and a sign of being totally detached from real life and uneducated about one's own body. Not everything can be cured and prevented through food and to claim it the way it's done in this book is highly irresponsible.
Alicia should consult specialists when writing something like this or rebrand it into a work of new age fiction. No wonder so many people see vegetarians and vegans as some sort of crazy sect - pseudoscientific books like this are exactly what makes us all look like lunatics.