Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Tuesday Review: Books for Pregnancy

Do I ever love books! I absolutely do! I am an avid collector, sometimes to the point of ridiculous, but I could have worse hobbies, don't you think?

What with my nutritional resourcefulness and my current studies in midwifery, I've been getting some questions of late about vegan and holistic pregnancy books and such. So, until I write my own book on the subject, here's what I can recommend with enthusiasm:

* Follow the cleanse guidelines at the back of Get It Ripe pre-conception, and even as comfort allows during pregnancy, if you're so inclined. Just cut down on the junk.

* If you are at all on the fence about who you might choose to be your primary care provider in pregnancy, get a hold of this book by two Ontario midwifery consumers Miranda Hawkins and Sarah Knox, The Midwifery Option (2003). I know why midwives are your best option, but in case you don't yet, or someone else is questioning their competency, refer to this guide. (I'm not sure it's in print anymore, but I've seen it at a few used bookstores around - it's worth the hunt.)

* The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm (2003). Love this woman. Love her!!! She is a long-time midwife and herbalist, and now a medical doctor to boot! Her guidance is thoughtful and caring, and includes a section on diet diaries that, while not vegan, I think is pretty smart. Also lots on herbs, as I'm sure you can imagine.

* Your Vegetarian Pregnancy by Holly Roberts (2003). This is a new one to my library, and I don't mind telling you the blurb on the front of the book by Dr. Christiane Northrup certainly persuaded me to open this one up. Flipping through it just the other morning, I found this book to be very thorough and readable, and covers topics well beyond vegetarianism/nutrition and helps to avoid the meat-eating centric view of other pregnancy guides. The author is an OB-GYN herself, and backs up her words with lots of references.

* Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. First published in 1977, and with the 4th edition released in 2003, this book is a classic, full of lovely, joyous, and yes, very hippy birth stories. Ina May is really known as the mother of modern midwifery, and the most famous midwife in the world (I had the chance to meet her in Toronto the other week and somewhat geekily offered her a copy of Ripe from around Here). If you want her current take on the state of birth, read Birth Matters.

* To connect with your inner birthing goddess, read Birthing from Within by Pam England (1998). Lots of ideas to get your preggo-creativity on and develop your consciousness about the spiritual-emotional side of your experience. Just be sure to ignore her nutritional guidance (which is well off the mark).

* The Birth Partner, 3rd edition by Penny Simkin (2008). This book is not for you, but for your main squeeze in labour. Get them to read it, and they will be uber-prepared to support you when the time comes. Good to go through as much of it as they can before your due date, and easy to flip to specific guidance in the moment as needed.

* The jury is out for me as to whether the best book for breastfeeding support is La Leche League International's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, now in it's 8th edition, or Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding. Either way, they were both co-authored by my lovely friend Lisa's mom, Teresa Pitman, and really worth having on hand.

* Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva Romm (2003). See rave above for this incredible woman. I love this book, and have been using it for myself for about 10 years now. All about safe and effective use of herbs for children. I'm surprised it's not better know as a classic parenting guide.

Three more books I have yet to read but would like to:
* Having a Baby, Naturally by Peggy O'Mara (2003).
* Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Deepak Chopra, David Simon and Vicki Abrams (2005)
* Healthy Child, Whole Child by Stuart H. Ditchek and Russell H. Greenfeld (2009)

Okay! With all that being said, happy reading, happy nourishing, and happy baby-growing!

PS. I have created an amazon.ca book list here. Not that I wouldn`t prefer that you went and bought them all from Parentbooks.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Read it, feel good.

Are there books you've read that have had a nice or even profound impact on your happiness or outlook on life? I'd love to have an exchange of titles.

Here are some books that I've picked up, and have either enjoyed bits and pieces of, or devoured from start to finish.
* The Yoga of Healing by Swami Sivananda Radha
* Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott - This woman is so smart and funny!
* Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - Yes, I know, so popular it may be hipper to dislike it, but I'm not really oriented to being a hater.
* Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert - Yes! Helped me find some peace about relationships.
* Long Quiet Highway by Natalie Goldberg - I've read this one a couple times. It's very dear to me.
* Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh
* Teachings on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
* The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin - I started this one recently and didn't stick with it, but am interested to revisit it.
* The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha
* Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth - I haven't read this one yet but have heard good things

So please share. Or maybe there are books that you thought'd be awesome and didn't really do it for you. Tell us about those, too.

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"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

about the cookbooks:

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



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