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I don't want to write negAtive things about books which seek to be helpful and address important issues like proper health during these reproductive stages. But I can't give it 5 stars just for trying.
Other books I have read deal with these topics much better, give you better readability and construction, more resources and information on just about all this book does. I will include the titles in this review.
My impression of this book:
this book seems to try to include varied information about 3 very lengthy topics but falls short of being thorough or practical and feels very choppy. It's like it was compiled as a response to answering a list of questions that we can't see-like it's half a conversation or a check list. It doesn't flow, it doesn't engage the reader and discuss how to make this info applicable or seek to provide an example of a daily diet which can incorporate the authors fact profiles. This book feels like a compilation of facts and anecdotal info, it's very cut and dry. I also don't like how nothing is said of preparation for labor...things like exercise, mental preparedness, avoiding intervention or the usefulness of foods and herbs to promote successful labor would be easy enough to mention and a few suggestions for further reading would be sufficient. May I suggest to readers the book "pushed" by Jennifer block or looking into labor prep on the wellnessmama.com site as well as researching methods like hypnobabies...
A large section of this book is devoted to herb profiles which are sadly way too basic and often not targeting specific reproductive or lactation support. It does not include many galactagogues (lactation promoting food or herb) i have heard of and includes other plants that seem interrelated to the subject matter. I know it misses quite a few important herbs and doesn't discuss some enough. The herb profiles are not really explained in a constructive manner that would render the reader more capable of using them than before they read the book. No dosage recommendation or type (such as capsule, tea, tincture) is provided. The pictograph rating system is silly and words would suffice and be much less redundant. Also, No sources are cited in most of the claims in the herbal profile dealing with safety...so you have to take the authors word. This is especially frustrating when other books with better information and more thorough explanations contradict the provided herb information...you are left no source to read further or substantiate the claim. It seems that instead of providing many herb profiles that should be entirely or mostly avoided and seem utterly useless to the book, the author could have compiled a list of herbs to avoid and saved some of their and the reader's time. you don't need a picture and general information of something you can entirely avoid. A focus upon the most effective plants/herbs would have been helpful instead of including many obscure herbs that are only allowable during only one of the 3 reproductive stages this book discusses. the inclusion of plants that have no specific constituents pertaining to conception, pregnancy or lactation as outlined or specified by the author (though in other more thorough books like "mother food" or "a breastfeeding mother's guide to making more milk", many of these same plants are included and pertinent information provided as to why and how to use them) is confusing...like artichoke... little reason is given to support its necessity to be discussed.
I would have been satisfied with this book if it offered something like a herbal blend recipe for conception or some methods of using the herbs that are abstractly listed...that would have been useful. Overall, I feel this author's offerings would have been better suited to a blog format, and structured as based upon her experiences as, without enough sources, the information the book discusses suffers the unverified status of anecdotal. research exists that would greatly substantiate much in the book-its just not included.
good information is provided concerning General health that I feel is already understood by the reader who has reached the intermediate level of such research. It's available everywhere and honestly, the kind of person who is seeking to improve their health for these three phases in life is already going to know or have come across it before. That said, I agree with most of it. It has been discussed by many other similar books though. However...if you want to get something basic for a friend who is ttc, who has a cruddy diet and isn't considering diet in their limited, pharmaceutical friendly minds...this could be a good book. I'm passing it along to someone I know who has never thought to alter their diet or take herbs to improve chances for conception. However...that said, proper diet as suggested by the book and understood by me is expensive, time consuming and hard work...and most people just don't want to do it...or stop eating crud out of a bag. But that's no reflection on the book. I guess what I'm getting at, is that the usefulness of this book is dependent upon the reader being very unaware of general nutrition, having not ventured to research anything before and who a r e willing to do much more reading to figure out how they can apply the type of diet involved in achieving proper nutrition.
Anyway, I like that the book tries, but I think other books succeeded with a profundity of information which I have found more useful, practical, source heavy, easier to implement and overall, more accessible. These two books I find most helpful were "Mother food" by Hilary Jacobson and "The breastfeeding mother's guide to making more milk" by Diana West and Lisa Marasco (sp?) If you want general information for nutrition, look into "Nourishing traditions" by Sally Fallon and Weston a Price followers (no it's not a religiousthing, well, maybe it is if you actually change your diet like you should)...