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Mothering the Mother Birth Services

Book Reviews by Mary Paliescheskey

 

Published in Mothering the Mother

Birth Services Quarterly Newsletter

BIRTH IS A TRANSFORMATIONAL EXPERIENCE

  Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood

  Back Labor No More

 The Children's Hospital Guide to your Child's Health and Development

 Infant Potty Training

 Recommened Reading- NEW

  • More about Books

     

     

     

     

     

    Book Review

    Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood

    Sandra Steingraber

    by Mary Paliescheskey, Birth Guide

    Mothering the Mother Birth Services

    The story begins on the day of Faith’s birth. “The pattern your veins make on the back of your hand is identical to my own. I cannot stop staring at you. No wonder mothers claim they cannot remember their labors clearly. You fill all my brain cells. Just the sound of your breathing-which is a miracle-requires my complete attention.”

    From the wonder of birth, we move to the miracle of creation. Each month of pregnancy is given a full chapter. The book is enlivened by the personal experiences of the author as her body changes to nurture Faith. Dr. Steingraber includes the most enjoyable descriptions of fetal development that I have ever read. Not only do we bear witness to a journey of a woman to motherhood, we experience embryo to fetus to Faith.

    Dr. Steingraber’s field of expertise is environmental toxicology. She describes the environmental hazards that threaten our children. The myth of the impenetrable placenta is dispelled. The how, when, where, and why of chemical effects on embryos and children are explained. The explanations are clear and simple to understand. Information is power. It is how we make clear decisions for ourselves and our children. Avoidance of chemical contamination does not clean the envioronment.

    The author is also a published poet. Scientific principles are presented with her poetic soul shining through the descriptions. This makes the science behind toxicology clear and easy to read. In addition, she highlights her explanations with real life examples of other women who may not have the ability to avoid the toxins because of their environments.

    The book is full of the wonder of life and motherhood, but at the same time calls us to remember the toxic changes we are making to our environment. The author states that merely asking women to avoid contaminated food is not enough. The source of the pollution must be contained. Toxic contaminants have been found in amniotic fluid, umbilical chord blood, and human breast mild. She calls us to remember that an adult human is not the top of the food chain– a breast feeding infant is.

    For more information or to buy this book click the link:

    Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood
    Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood

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    Book Review

    Back Labor No More

    Janie McCoy King

    Back Labor No More!! : What Every Woman Should Know before Labor

    by Mary Paliescheskey, Birth Guide

    Mothering the Mother Birth Services

    Back labor can make a birth longer and very painful. Relaxation can help, but the only way to alleviate back labor is to reposition the baby or wait for the baby to reposition itself. This book discusses the causes and the author’s cure for back labor. “It has been my intent to explain why you may have back labor, and through the use of external examples, what you can do to help yourself if you choose to do so.”

    This book outlines techniques with many figures and directions. It demonstrates a philosophy of physical positioning to allow labor to progress rapidly. Back labor is the primary focus, but many women would benefit.

    The author utilizes the concepts of physics and math to present a simple way to avoid back labor. Whenever the child’s head is pushed into your back, you will feel pain. Whenever the child’s head is pointed toward the cervix, you will not.

    The author provides several assignments to illustrate her principles. The force of your contraction is a vector. You will learn how to use this knowledge in labor. The author explains pain in childbirth as: “It hurts if you hit a wall.” She recommends that you point the baby toward the door.

    An explanation of why childbirth education works is included. Of course, it has to do with forces and vectors. If you fight a contraction, you tighten your abdominal muscles. This results in moving the baby out of the best alignment. You then get a prolonged and painful labor-hitting the wall hurts.

    Childbirth education methods work because they teach relaxation in response to a contraction. This keeps the baby in a good vector. The force of the contraction can work as intended. This book is to be used in addition to a childbirth education course.

    You should discuss this technique with your provider. The author explains the safety of the technique and things to consider before using this method, but she is not a medical provider. I think the most important safety measure it to be where the baby will be born. In addition to the author’s recommendations, I would suggest the use of a fetal monitor if you want to be sure that the baby is handling this method of pain relief.

    There are many testimonials listed in the book. The physics of the technique are sound. Forces and vectors do move the way the author describes. In back labor, any technique is worth a try. After consulting your provider, this method holds the promise of helping you with a difficult labor pattern.

    For more information or to buy this book click the link:

    Back Labor No More!! : What Every Woman Should Know before Labor

     

     

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    book review

    The Children's Hospital Guide to your Child's Health and Development

    Children's Hospital Boston: A.D. Woolf, MD, MPH editor

    by Mary Paliescheskey, Birth Guide

    Mothering the Mother Birth Services

    The Children’s Hospital Guide to Your Child’s Health and Development (ISBN 073820241X) is a comprehensive book. It covers pregnancy through school age children. This book is an excellent and one stop manual for pregnancy, childbirth, child care, and child development through school age children.

    Inside the front cover is a list of the most common emergencies for children and where to find instructions in the book. These include pictorial instructions for infant and child CPR, head injuries, bleeding, poisoning, and allergic shock. Fifty-three pages of the book are devoted to emergency care.

    The majority of the book discusses common childhood illnesses. The illnesses are listed in alphabetical order. Each illness has sections describing symptoms, causes, prevention, what you can do, and what a doctor can do.

    Important information is located in pink highlighted boxes. ‘When to call a doctor’ box is divided into emergency, call immediately, call today, or at your next checkup. Descriptions of the child’s symptoms that would require each action are listed. Each symptom is a bulleted item so that the instruction is clear.

    Child development is well covered. Developmental milestones are listed for each age group. Common parental concerns are listed and addressed. The text is easy to read and the sections have titles so you can skim each area for the items that interest you.

    Difficult topics are also discussed. Not only concerns about how to select child care, but the big issues of drug addition, learning disabilities, sports and safety, and sexuality.

    An excellent resource book for any parent’s library.

    Table of Contents:

    1. Before Baby Arrives

    2. Meeting Your New Baby

    3. Your Baby's First Month

    4. Your Baby's First Year

    5. Your Toddler

    6. Your Preschool Child

    7. Your School-Age Child

    8. Your Child's Doctor and Health Plan

    9. Leaving Your Child in the Care of Others

    10. What to Expect When Your Child is Sick

    11. Preparing for and Handling Emergencies

    Index

    For more information or to buy this book click the link:

    The Children's Hospital Guide to Your Child's Health and Development
    The Children's Hospital Guide to Your Child's Health and Development

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    Book Review

     

    Infant Potty Training By

     

    L. Laurie Boucke

    by Mary Paliescheskey, Birth Guide

    Mothering the Mother Birth Services

    Infant Potty Training promotes a philosophy new to Western culture: training infants to use a potty instead of a diaper. Boucke learned this technique from a woman who lived in India. Boucke has modified the technique to fit better with Western society. “...interest in this method has been steadily on the increase, and parents have requested more detailed information…”

    The author is very clear about the time involved and that infant potty training is not for every family. She states the importance of positive attitude on training. The focus of the training is teaching parents and care givers to recognize the baby’s signals.

    The book is very specific and gives detailed instructions. Parents choose a verbal signal such as ‘sssss’ to indicate they want the baby to go. Instructions for choosing a receptacle for the waste are discussed. The book is full of pictures of happy babies going on the potty.

    Instructions for the various stages of infant potty training are included. At first, baby’s need to be held over a receptacle. Then they are supported on a potty of appropriate size. After they become stable sitters and walk, they become more independent users of the potty. Boucke states:, “For those of you who feel a child is too young to start toilet training until he takes the initiative himself, the alternative is to let the diaper ‘catch’ everything for 2-4 years.”

    The first portion of the book instructs parents in the methods. It includes aspects like part-time training with discussion of success rates and when to start training. Boucke indicates that the best success rate for this method was with babies who were younger than 4 months. However, success is possible with older children. It just may take longer and involve more luck. “Readers must bear in mind that each baby is unique and will develop at its own personal pace.”

    Boucke states that the following lifestyles and philosophies are compatible with infant potty training: Attachment Parenting; Continuum Concept; La Leche League; Gentle Childbirth and Nesting; Postpartum Honeymoons; Baby Massage; and Homeschooling.

    A section is devoted to dispelling the myths about infant potty training. Testimonials from mothers in the USA as well as around the world are included. The last portion of the book is devoted to cross cultural studies from Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

    To buy this book Infant Potty Training : A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living
    Infant Potty Training : A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living

     

     

     

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