Thursday, July 12, 2007

Body, Soul and Baby

When I was pregnant with Sammy, I religiously poured over the pages of the traditional 'What To Expect' pregnancy tome. It provided me with tons of information, but little insight. I didn't notice at the time, because I was so high on excitement and progesterone, but the book seemed to focus more on issues or problems that can occur during pregnancy, while only giving a brief mention to the more positive aspects of pregnancy.

Now it's the second time around, and the excitement of the unknown is missing. Add to that the fact that I'm a little older, a little heavier and I have a toddler to chase and you can imagine why this pregnancy has been a little less the thrilling experience that my first was. When I went to consult with the pregnancy book, I came away feeling even more negative then when I started. I had read some earlier reviews of Body, Soul and Baby by Tracy W. Gaudet, M.D. but I wasn't sure a new book was the answer. I trudged through my first and second trimesters like a good little soldier, but I wasn't really enjoying being pregnant.

And then there was some sort of mystical intervention. The Parent Bloggers Network was looking for bloggers to review Body, Soul and Baby. I decided to give it a try, figuring that it couldn't make things any worse, right?

Once I started reading, I knew that this was not your normal pregnancy book. Dr. Gaudet stresses focusing on the experience of being pregnant, both physical and mental, instead of just playing attention to the 'condition' of being pregnant. She recommends the use of integrative medicine (combining 'the best of conventional Western medical practices with a careful selection from a range of other, less mainstream therapies') to help enhance a woman's ability to tune in to her body during this dynamic time.

Early chapters include questions and tools that can help with this process. While some of these tools seemed a little too 'new age' for me, others, like journaling (aka blogging) seemed to make good sense and were pretty simple to execute.

Preconception and conception are covered, but since I had mastered that part back in December, I skimmed ahead to the discussion of the actual pregnancy. Each trimester is covered over four chapters: Reflection and Observation, The Inside Scoop, Medical Care and Self Care. Labor and delivery and the postpartum period are also covered in the same way. This organization is helpful because say you have a question about labor that is of the medical variety, it is easy to locate the chapter where that information can be found.

Since I started reading Body, Soul and Baby I have recommended it to several other pregnant friends. They also have had similar positive responses to the book. There are a lot of books out there aimed at expectant mothers, so it can be difficult to find one that appeals to a wide variety of personalities. However, because Dr. Gaudet combines complimentary and alternative techniques with her medical knowledge, her approach to pregnancy and birth can be appealing to many different types of women.

Usually after reading a book for a PBN review, I offer it up to one of my readers. Bad news for you though, because I think this one if going to stay on my shelf for a little longer. I'm betting it'll come in handy during the first week of September when my body is reeling from progesterone withdrawal!

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