Posts Tagged ‘Health’

The Positive Birth Book: A New Approach to Pregnancy, Birth and the Early Weeks

Milli Hill
Work out what kind of birth you really want, and learn how to maximise your chances of getting it, in this refreshing, warm and witty guide to pregnancy, birth and the early weeks. Packed with vital and cutting-edge information on everything from building the ultimate birth plan, to your choices and rights in the birth room; from optimal cord clamping, to seeding the microbiome; from the inside track on breastfeeding, to woman-centred caesarean, The Positive Birth Book shows you how to have the best possible birth, regardless of whether you plan to have your baby in hospital, in the birth centre, at home or by elective caesarean. Find out how the environment you give birth in, your mindset and your expectations can influence the kind of birth you have, and be inspired by the voices of real women, who tell you the truth about what giving birth really feels like.
Challenging negativity and fear of childbirth, and brimming with everything you need to know about labour, birth, and the early days of parenting, The Positive Birth Book is the must-have birth book for women of the 21st century.

What are your overall thoughts?
It’s rare for Big Book Little book to feature a non-fiction book, even more so to feature a pregnancy book. For the most part, while I love to indulge my passion for all things birth, I rarely read pregnancy and parenting books, my tastes tend to be a little less mainstream-parenting handbook, more evidence based textbook. Despite my own leanings I realize that for the the number of BBLB readers who would be interested to read an entire book on the hormone oxytocin are likely to be fewer than those who are interested to hear my thoughts on the latest speculative fiction offering from Maggie Stiefvater!

However, when I heard about The Positive Birth Book, I just knew that I was going to have to make an exception, I just had to take a look to see if it lived up to its promise- a no nonsense, factual evidenced based, relatable book about birth with a positive birth slant.

It is fair to say that I started reading The Positive Birth Book with high expectations. On finishing the book I have to confess to feeling torn. On the one hand, The Positive Birth Book completley fulfilled its promise as the new birthing bible. On the other hand, I feel as though the book so successfully covers all of the essentials in the lead up to birth and the birth itself, that my job as an antenatal educator is now redundant!

Hill beautifully manages to balance a humorous and relaxed approach to birth with her informal chatty and friendly tone while managing to clearly explain and explore complex biological, scientific, political and legal issues.

Not only is The Positive Birth Book filled to the brim with evidence based information, explained in clear lay language, Hill also explores exactly where that evidence comes from and provided reliable resources for the reader to obtain further information should they wish to.

The book has a fabulous practice element, in addition to providing an excellent explanation to the well known decision making “BRAIN” mnemonic, Hill has created HEART, a wonderful concise tool to help couples who births might not be following plan A.

She strongly encourages couples to research and develop their own unique birth plans (and plan B’s and C’s…) providing different examples for illustration, and she has co created some beautiful iconography for couples to use when developing their very own visual birth plans.

One of my favorite element of this book is the fantastic use of content from experts. From obstetric consultants, midwives and lactation specialists through to the biggest experts, mothers, Hill has found birth story’s, experiences, tips and examples across the birthing spectrum and in all settings to inspire and reassure any kind of birth can be a positive birth. This liberal sprinkling of women’s lived experiences is very reminiscent of the inspirational stories in Ina May Gaskin’s 1975 Spiritual Midwifery, but with the language and sensibilities of 21st century couples.

Would you recommend this book?
This well written and well-researched book aligns so well with my professional philosophy of care and information provision as a Midwife and antenatal educator, that I am happy to recommend this book with no hesitations. In fact I have already gifted a copy to a soon to be birthing mother!

The Positive Birth Book is a wonderful resource for all pregnant women, whether they are setting out on their pregnancy journey and getting to grips with all of the birth choices before them, or have already developed a strong sense of where and how they wish their birthing experience unfold.

It would also be a valuable resource for birth workers starting out in their career and experienced even for birth workers looking for inspiration for way to effectively communicate complicated ideas.

Verdict: Spiritual midwifery for the 21st century mother

Reviewed by Caroline

*I need to take a quick moment to disclose that although I have never met the author Milli Hill personally I am aware of her work though The Positive Birth Movement (see website here), for which I am a group facilitator. It is through the Positive Birth Movement that I first became aware that Mill was working on and later publishing this book. This has no way affected my review.

Publisher: Pinter and Martin
Publication Date: March 2017
Format: eBook
Pages: 352
Genre: Non-Fiction Pregnancy, Birth
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book
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Dr Dog

Babette Cole

dr dogMeet Doctor Dog, he’s the Gumboyle family’s favourite pet and their very own trusty physician. When Doctor Dog jets off to a medical conference in Brazil the Guimboyles decide they can’t survive without him and so he returns to rescue them from all sorts of ailments: itchy nits, tickly tonsils and worms to name but a few. . .

I have enjoyed a few of Babette Cole’s stories and when my youngest picked this up in the library I was quite happy to add it to our pile of books to borrow. However the girls decided that we had to read it in the library then and there, so we did and it attracted some comments from other library users too. This is a book that can’t fail to induce an opinion!

The story is about the Gumboyle family whose pet dog is also their doctor. This is of huge benefit to them as they are not the most hygienic or healthiest of families! Dr Dog has to treat them for such complaints as smokers cough, head lice and worms as well as tonsillitis, ear ache and tummy ache. He givens good advice and shows the family pictures (drawn in a childlike style) of what is happening in their insides as a result of their lack of cleanliness or their illnesses. It’s a great way to get a conversation going about health and hygiene. “Never scratch your bum and suck your thumb” has got us talking about lots of things, as well as raising giggles from the girls.

Dr Dog warns the family of that bad things will befall them if they don’t change their ways. I am sure none of them really thought that Grandad Gumboyle’s excessive wind would blow the roof off their house though. The illustration for this also causes much merriment as Grandad sails through the air on his toilet as the ruined roof lies beneath him. It may not be what happens to most people but it does make a point!

Unsurprisingly after all this Dr Dog has to have time off for stress – brilliant.

Verdict:This is an irreverent and amusing look at health issues that can affect children and families. It has been well loved for the three weeks it has been in the house!

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Red Fox
Publication Date: February 1996
Format: Picture book
Pages: 40
Genre: Humour, Health
Age: Early readers
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British book
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