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The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year Paperback – July 13, 2015
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"Finally, someone has brought some science―and some sense―to the mommy wars. Should be required reading for all new (and old) parents."(Emily Oster, Brown University, author of Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong―And What You Really Need to Know)
"Alice Callahan has written a breakthrough book, combining the compassion, warmth, and angst of a mother with the measured reasoning of a scientist. She helps parents not only understand how science works, but how they can access that science to answer their questions. She's found a way to access the scientist in all of us."(Paul A. Offit, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)
"Yes! An easy-to-read, fascinating, nuanced review of the science behind new parents' biggest health questions. Many of these issues―infant sleep, breastfeeding, vaccines―have or will hit your 'Should I panic?' button. With gentle guidance, Alice Callahan puts your fears to rest."(Tracy Cutchlow, author of Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science (and What I've Learned So Far))
"Too many of today's parents treat science as a weapon, using it to justify some choices and condemn others. Yet, most don't fully understand what science can and cannot tell us. By giving parents a comprehensive understanding of how science relates to parenting, Alice Callahan has helped us turn this weapon into a tool for peace. Callahan untangles basic scientific concepts, reveals the realities and limitations of research, and advocates for a measured approach to parenting science that eschews absolutes and acknowledges nuance. The Science of Mom is a rare gem in the parenting canon―smart, sensitive, and a lifesaver for a generation of parents caught in the nebulous spider's web of Internet 'wisdom.'"(Suzanne Barston, author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn't)
"Families routinely search for health information. The Science of Mom makes it easy collecting evidence for health decisions and putting it into perspective with a mom-to-mom connection. Callahan's advice is thoughtful, backed by science and feels fueled of love. She is willing to provide powerful advice when detailing the science and safety of vaccines. Keep this book in arm's reach as you support your infant for calm and direction."(Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP, Seattle Children's Hospital, author of Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Parenting, Child Health, and Work-Life Balance)
"Fascinating! Think of all the controversial, hot-button topics that parents obsess about in a child’s first year―from vaccines and feeding, bed-sharing to sleep training. Weighing the scientific evidence, Callahan offers balanced insights and in-depth answers―a far cry from the oversimplified advice prescribed by many 'parenting experts.' The result: a must-have guide that’s substantive and extremely engaging."(Jena Pincott, author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The Surprising Science of Pregnancy)
"Dr. Callahan isn’t bossy, and isn’t out to tell you what she thinks. Her book tells you what the science says, and explains how we know what we know, and what things we still need to learn more about. There’s humility and warmth, here, which I think parents of newborns will find reassuring."(The Pediatric Insider)
"[Callahan] takes a compassionate, non-preachy approach with a goal of not telling the reader what to do but rather how to seek wise advice and make smart decisions…and to enjoy having a baby, which is what it is all about..."(Live Science)
"This is science-based medicine writing at its best. Callahan doesn’t cherry-pick. She knows how to evaluate the entire body of research and put it into perspective along with practical parenting considerations. She enhances her message with a personal touch, including anecdotes about her own experiences as a new mother and about the experiences of her friends and family. If I had three thumbs, I would give this book a 3-thumbs-up recommendation."(Harriet Hall, MD Science-Based Medicine)
"... in Science of Mom, Alice Callahan, PhD combines the critical eye of a scientist with the heart of a mother to create a helpful resource for all people interested in evidence based infant care and parenting."(Science & Sensibility (Lamaze International))
"... a timely and necessary book for parents... It will help both moms and dads work together to choose the right parenting methods for them and give them a research-based approach to raising a child."(Patheos)
"... a fresh and enlightening approach... I’d highly recommend this book to any mom expecting her first child … or her fourth."(Uncommon Motherhood)
"... a solid resource for any new parent or parent to be. Callahan does the work of sorting through the science of baby’s first year, so you don’t have to."(Raise Healthy Eaters)
"[Callahan's] compassion and empathy for the difficulties of parenting shine through in every chapter, from breastfeeding to vaccines to feeding to sleeping."(Forbes)
"[ The Science of Mom] should be required reading for all new parents... She calms fears and provides parents with real facts. She doesn’t make the decisions for you, but she makes it a lot easier to make sound decisions."(MomSense)
"A book long-overdue in the parenting literature."(Momma Data)
"Name a complex or controversial topic and Callahan provides the science on both sides of the arguments to help parents make wise choices."(Psychology Today)
"The Science of Mom stands out from the crowd...an easy to read, certifiable resource."(American Reference Books Annual)
About the Author
Alice Callahan holds a PhD in nutritional biology from the University of California, Davis, and spent two years investigating fetal physiology as a postdoctoral scholar. After giving birth to her first child in 2010, she put her scientific training to work answering the big questions of caring for a baby. The creator of the blog Science of Mom: The Heart and Science of Parenting, she writes and teaches in Eugene, Oregon.
Top customer reviews
I so appreciate Callahan’s thoughtful approach and realistic application. Unfortunately, it is too late for me to apply a majority of Callahan’s research in the decisions I make with my son; at eight months he has passed most of the milestones addressed in the book. However, The Science of Mom has given me reassurance regarding a number of our decisions and provided me with a few new perspectives on how we might do things differently with any future children. I wish that this book had been available a year ago, but even though it came a bit late for me, I will definitely be recommending it to all of my pregnant friends!
The author is a smart science consumer. She reads actual academic research (that is, she doesn't rely on popular news articles) and knows when the evidence is clear and when it isn't (not all studies hold equal weight). She is an excellent research summarizer, which is more uncommon than you might think.
And just as impressive, she is a generous and compassionate advice giver. When good evidence exists, she is clear about her recommendation; when it doesn't, she doesn't try to shame or boss you, which is a rare quality in parenting books. She is also astutely aware that research findings work at the population level and may not apply to your family or your child, and she often recommends finding out what works for just your family.
Looking at scientific findings to find out how to parent is tricky for many reasons, but I think this book does an incredible job with a tender touch.