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Momover: The New Mom's Guide to Getting It Back Together (even if you never had it in the first place!) Paperback – March 18, 2010
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"Momover reads like a juicy exposé that spills a delicious secret: a happy mom equals a happy baby. Dana Wood redefines the tenets of modern motherhood with wit and a stockpile of indispensable, expert advice." --Cynthia Rowley
"After you have a baby, everyone focuses on the baby and the baby clothing and baby gear. I applaud Dana Wood for turning her attention to the new mother and helping her return to her chic fabulous self!" --Liz Lange, founder and president of Liz Lange Maternity Clothing
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But the writing comes across as off-putting, reminding me of women who complain about how hard it is to find a good nanny, Pilates instructor or housecleaner. I've encountered this scene before: Mom with newborn in her richly appointed home has two friends over, also with newborns. As the Jamaican baby nurse sits on-call nearby, and the Filipino maid cleans up the dishes from the luncheon she prepared for the group, the women talk about how hard it is to find time just for themselves. They reminisce about the old days when they could schedule a salon appointment or meet their personl trainer at the gym without worrying about breast-feeding times. Oh, wait, skip the breast-feeding and get that kid on formula. It's so much easier for Mom, never mind the nutirional value for baby. Yes, it's so tough with a newborn.
The whole book seems to be various ways for moms to justify being selfish. Unless you plan to hire baby nurses, nannies and babysitters, along with a personal trainer/Pilates instructor who comes to your home to get you back into shape, and become a member of Harry & David's "Organic Fruit of the Month Club"...I can't imagine what you'd get out of reading it.
The author writes, "I can virtually guarantee that your little bundle of joy doesn't really need fifteen impossibly gorgeous hand-loomed blankies. You, on the other hand, just might be in the market for a cozy new cashmere sweater or shawl." News flash: If your friends wanted to buy something for you instead of the baby, they would have!
One of the "ground rules" listed is, "I will build at least one (and preferably many, many more) mommy time-outs into my day, including reading snippets of a million delicious Edith Wharton novels and steeping in steaming-hot aromatherapy baths." This is fairly unrealistic, especially finding that kind of time more than once a day...most moms I know are grateful to squeeze in a quick shower, if that!
The last straw for me was when the author effectively called women who exclusively breastfeed (ie, no supplementing with formula) "vain and stubborn". She claims her daughter "wouldn't be here today" if she hadn't listened to the hospital nurses and started giving formula. This kind of myth is perpetuated by people who don't do their research, so the vast majority of newborns are given formula when it may not actually be necessary.
The fact is that newborns are born with the ability to survive on very little for the first few days, until the mother's milk comes in...and losing a little weight at first (up to 10% of birthweight) is perfectly acceptable. For the record, I was one of those "vain and stubborn" women who was told by nurses and pediatricians that I should supplement with formula. However, I had done my research...so with the help of my lactation consultant and various other support networks, we were able to exclusively breastfeed and our baby has been thriving.
In short, don't waste your money on this book. What a relief that I checked this out from the library before making the mistake of purchasing it!
The book also talks about some issues that other books leave out. Information about exercising again, developing a new routine for personal care, reducing stress, and taking time to treat yourself (because you are worth it!) are as important as whatever is done for the new little one. It is true that the needs of the mother are often swept under the rug, since the needs of the baby always come first. It is just as important for the new mother to pamper herself and find ways to jump start a positive inner voice for lasting self love that will lead to greater self confidence as a new mother. Each chapter has call out sections such as "Worked for Me" or "Reserve the right to..." which give the new mother permission to try something new, put herself on the schedule, or even to get help from others without being afraid to ask for it when needed.
There are testimonials available from other moms, tidbits and laughs in this book, and any new mom of one, or more than one, will get something out of reading it again and again. It gives moms the confidence to understand that whatever they are doing to care for their new baby is good enough, and the right thing. It allows new mothers to feel that they are capable of taking on the job of caring for their new baby - a job they have never been better qualified to fill.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is expecting, adopting a young child or just interested in the topic. It is a well written book that I am sure will become a favorite of new moms everywhere.
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