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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 – April 15, 2014
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“The Kind Mama gives you the solid information you need for raising a healthy baby. Medically sound and engagingly written, this book will be on your bedside table as a trusted guide.” ―Neal D. Barnard, MD, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, George
“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
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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!
I think most of what she says is accurate, and I appreciate her perspective, but there are a few things I think are important that are either not mentioned or inaccurate.
First of all, she recommends eating your placenta. The placenta protects the baby, so it also protects the baby from some toxins. LEAD, mercury, FLAME RETARDANTS, anything you came into contact with during your pregnancy, is absorbed into your placenta in order to protect the baby as well as possible. Lead in water, etc.
I would argue that eating that is not kind to yourself or to your baby, especially if you choose to breastfeed, as it could get into your breastmilk.
Sayward Rebhal also recommends this in the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide, which is worrisome.
The author appears to be arguing that home birth is best for everyone.
Although I do agree that home birth is probably the best way to go, I think that if you feel safest, most relaxed, and comfortable giving birth in a hospital, then you should. I think she has good tips for finding a doctor who will be on board with making sure your hospital birth is as close to what you want as possible. I have not read it, but "Natural Hospital Birth" may be a good book for you to check out. I plan to check it out just in case.
The Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide is different in that she auto-assumes a hospital birth.
I also think asking doctors open-ended questions can help, because an open-ended question does not typically give someone a hint at what your thinking is. Some questions could lead a doctor to thinking that you may not have formed an answer yet. For example,"What do you do if ____ happens?," "What do you do if the baby is not coming out?," etc.
1 thing both Silverstone & Rebhal (Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide) recommend is chamomile tea. While that can be safe in small doses during the first, and MAYBE second trimester, it gets dangerous during the 3rd. (See "Chamomile Tea May Not Be Safe During Pregnancy" on nutritionfacts.org)
Another thing both of these authors recommends is "healthy" oils. While I do believe oils can be beneficial during pregnancy, they are not truly healthy. These are processed, removed from the whole, and they carry risks. Use lightly & in moderation. Also, go for OLIVE over coconut oil. Regardless of what the coconut industry may tell us, there is no such thing as a "healthy" saturated fat.
The author recommends kombu, or kelp, which is too high in iodine and can cause iodine toxicity. Wakame would be a better choice.
Also, be aware that Hijiki or hiziki, is a sea vegetable that contains high levels of ARSENIC.
This is not like apples, the benefits do not outweigh the risks or amount of arsenic.
Definitely limit your sea vegetables to a couple times a week.
She also recommends pickled foods which are high in sodium. I do not recommend eating these too much. They can mess with your BP as well as having other negative side effects, which you can see on nutritionfacts.org
She also seems to rely too much on low glycemic index sweeteners like agave, brown rice syrup, etc. These are still super sweet and can still be addictive, although less so. I try to only use BLACKSTRAP molasses (also has calcium, iron & potassium), & date sugar which is just dried dates. These are the only whole food sweeteners, and the only truly healthy ones. Coconut sugar, etc. is all addictive and has the same effects on the body, just to different extents.
I do not understand why she treats Dr. Mehmet Oz as an expert. He has said things without any information to back them up, or without accurate information (see "Find Out if Your Doctor Takes Drug Company Money" by nutritionfacts.org).
I'm not sure I personally agree with how much she seems to want to get the man involved (I mean, if he and you are both into that, than great. But if one or both of you does not want that level of involvement, I do not think it should be forced, coerced or expected), or how much she thinks he should do. I personally will not be expecting my man to come home from work (or work from home) and clean the house, cook for us, deal with all the people, massage or coach me during labor, or watch me give birth. While for some people that goes well, and they feel closer afterward, it can totally freak a guy out. She even says her husband got freaked out.
The hypnobirthing stuff kinda freaks me out, personally. I meditate and do yoga, but that was just a bit far out for me. I think if it helps, go for it, but that stuff gets my anxiety up.
The home birth insurance link she listed in the book no longer works.
PROS (Like, the entire rest of the book!)
I am so glad she mentioned the toxic plastic toys (etc.)!!! I don't know how many times I've seen someone stuff a PVC toy into a babies mouth! You feel like you cannot say anything because parents may get defensive or angry, but you know that it is not like they are doing it intentionally, they just do not know!
Personally I think if you are going to mention something like that to someone, you should do it while they are not actively engaged in it (giving their baby a toxic toy, having the car seat or baby placed wrong in the car, putting the car seat in the shopping cart wrong, etc.). I think the best way to word it is like, "I just read something crazy" or something to that effect. Talk about it in terms of what YOU got out of reading it.
I also liked that she included a section on how to deal with well-meaning but misinformed family etc.
Anyways, I think this is a really great book so far, aside from the listed "cons." I love how detailed she gets, and greatly appreciate her citations for mostly everything. I especially appreciate the part about tests conducted on babies in hospitals without express consent from the mother or without even her knowledge.
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