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The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth Paperback – April 25, 2017
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From the Back Cover
Finally, a week by week pregnancy guide from a natural perspective!
Whether you want a water birth in your living room or just want to eat healthier, The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth is for you!
Top 10 things you'll learn in this book:
- Your perfect pregnancy diet (with weekly recipes)
- How to ditch toxins in your beauty & cleaning routine
- Natural remedies for common pregnancy symptoms
- The truth about epidurals (and other interventions)
- How to create your birth "dream team"
- How & why to eat your placenta (or not)
- Natural pain relief during labor
- What to do during each stage of labor
- Tips to navigate all those newborn interventions
- How to start breastfeeding on the right foot, er, boob
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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1.) The content is very similar to what is already up on Mama Natural's blog. So if you already read and keep up with the blog, the book might not be worth your time.
2.) Mama Natural is not a medical professional. She has two nurses who pop in to explain some medical things throughout the book, but most of the book is not written by them.
3.) She sites no sources. Zero. Zilch. Nada. She specifically quotes verbatim from ACOG, and yet there is nothing sited to tell the reader where to go to read the entire article. Is she cherry picking her quotes to match what she wants to say? Who knows. You'd have to search the ACOG database and read all the articles on the topic to find the specific one she's quoting in order to read it for yourself and get the context.
The fact that she sites no sources was a huge turnoff for me. She says a lot of things... A is safer than B, X amount of women have done so and so, this group does this and that... but not a single thing is sourced. How do I know that A really IS safer than B? Just take the word of a non-medical professional? No. She didn't come up with this info out of the top of her head... where did she get it? What journal, what doctor, what sample group, what article, what organization? There's not even a bibliography in the back, or a "helpful further reading" section, or anything. There's just her own words. Don't tell me that the American C-section rate is too high. Tell me the American C-section rate is too high, and then tell me where you got the number of the American C-section rate, and what organization says it's too high, and what the recommended C-section rate is, and who came up with that number and how. You are a woman who just happens to like natural birth and researched it a lot. Great. But if you researched and know as much as you claim: back it up with sources I can also look at myself!
4.) She does cover things like high risk pregnancies and C-sections, but in very little detail. If you are in a high risk pregnancy, this book can be helpful in some ways, but you also might want a book written by an actual OB.
5.) As someone who is in my second high risk pregnancy, I really roll my eyes at the "interventions are kind of bad and evil" mindset. And some things she calls "interventions" are really just routine medical things and don't "intervene" in your pregnancy at all. Blood work is fine. Ultrasounds are fine. Finding out the gender, getting your blood pressure taken, and your weight monitored, and dopplers, and non-stress tests, and all of those things... are fine. Doctors or midwives perform them to monitor your health and the baby's health. If these "interventions" lead to further actual interventions, then that is because your doctor sees something that could possibly have you or your baby in danger and wants to make sure you are both safe. There's no underlying evil motive behind a doctor asking you to have an ultrasound or a glucose test. He is monitoring your health...as is his job. These tests save lives.
Is this to say that some doctors and hospitals don't want to just make things more convenient for themselves? No. Some places do. But to paint this basic routine medical care with the broad brush of "interventions" with a negative connotation isn't true and it isn't helpful. Convince a woman to never have an ultrasound, and you run the risk of the woman's baby dying or the family being unprepared when the baby is born with a defect, or the appropriate neonatal staff not being on site to help a baby in distress.
6.) Don't eat your placenta. Just don't. There's actually been a death due to it, and there's no evidence that eating your placenta has any real statistical benefits. Pop a multivitamin post-birth instead.
7.) While she does mention it briefly, do your research before giving birth in water. There are special dangers to that that aren't present in birth done out of water. (She does mention this and say you can labor in a birthing pool, and then get out and have the baby in bed.)
8.) If you need (or want!) to use formula to feed your baby, that is a healthy option. But don't make your formula at home, and do a lot of research before importing formula from overseas. Also, let's not even ask or think or comment of judge another woman who might be formula feeding if you are breastfeeding. It's no one's business how or why a woman chooses to feed her baby like she does, and her baby is healthy and happy, so let's just not even go there.
9.) Even with the issues I have with some of the medical "advice" in this book, there are other topics covered that are helpful, such as morning sickness, naturally treating pregnancy symptoms, how the baby is growing, recipes for healthy food, items a newborn would need, and things like that.
10.) So overall, I'd only give 3 stars max. I'd say get the book and take a glance. The design is nice, there are drawn pictures throughout, and the author writes in an easy and approachable way. But I'd also recommend not taking her word alone on anything. Always consult your doctor or midwife, look up topics online at reputed medical journals or organizations, and fact-check, fact-check, fact-check.
I will say that I was not sure about the book before it came out, for a few reason: 1. Genevieve had both her babies in a hospital (birthing center), if I understand correctly; I am planning my 2nd home birth, 3rd baby, which brings us to... 2. Could this book really be useful to a third time mom?!?!? 3. Although I do enjoy (really enjoy) her blog (mamanatural.com), I still had my fears that the book would shine a negative light on the natural community, as I have seen done in the past.
Oh My Gosh!!!!! This book is AMAZING!
1. Although I have seen a lot of references to "leaving the hospital", I still got the feel that this book was "home birth friendly" (though if you want a real home birth book, read Ina May Gaskin's books)
2. So useful for EVERYONE. As a "third timer", I am sick of all the other books, but this book has a completely different, and refreshing spin on pregnancy and childbirth. LOVE IT.
3. It looks so well researched!!! Genevieve quotes one medical (or university, or other reputable source) study after another. So although it's officially from a "natural" perspective, the book has solid ground. That was EXTREMELY important to me.
Comparing this book to others:
1. Ina May Gaskin's books:
While I love Ina May Gaskin, and I think that EVERY person (men and women) should (MUST!) read her books, I felt that there was a little bit of a pushy-ness towards homebirth in Gaskin's books (and rightfully so, but still, it can turn some people off). Every person MUST read Gaskin's books to understand what the human female body is capable of, and get out of that fear mentality that controls most (of America and other countries) people that prevents women from relaxing around the time of birth (in any setting).
Howland's book, while not advocating for home birth, is very (whoa, EXTREMELY) positive about pregnancy and birth, no matter what setting you choose.
2. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Sorry, I just don't like this book. I have read it through each pregnancy (so three times now). It is so very fear based, not to mention anti-homebirth (but really, what else do you expect from the mayo clinic).
Howland's book is (obviously) neither of those.
3. What to Expect When You're Expecting.
I hate, hate, hate, this book. I know, why have I read it (at least) three times? Usually to look for examples of stuff to compare. This book is SO negative. The humor is awful. It is either condesending towards pregnancy or motherhood in general, makes fun of certain groups of people (think: anyone who does things differently than they do, ie. the "natural" community), or it's sexual. Why does a pregnancy book have to be filled with negative or sexual "humor" (if you would even call it that). MOST women/couples that I have spoken with over the years are over the moon happy to be pregnant (many have been trying for a long time). WHY the negativity!?!? (not to mention the extreme fear based perspective that the book is written from).
The Mama Natural book is SO positive. I mean REALLY positive. But not in a "living on a cloud" type of way. In a very down to earth, real person, facing reality, kind of positive way. YES, she will give you the heads up for what life with a baby will look like. There is an ENTIRE section devoted to things you might want to do before baby comes (that'll be hard to do after), but Genevieve is always focusing on the beauty and joy, and gift, that parenthood is. Yes, she talks about sex, but the humor throughout the book is not devoted to it. And her book definitely does not discriminate against any one group of people!! I love that she talks A LOT about the different testing/screening options and C sections. I love that this book does not exclude the women who get c-sections.
There is so much I love about the book, and I haven't even finished it (I've been skipping around, reading different parts). Genevieve has a true gift. It is very hard to cater to ALL women on the childbirth spectrum. But she did it. Hats off to you, Mama Natural, on a job EXTREMELY well done!
Most recent customer reviews
It is very helpful and full of good advices