I was given a copy of Shonda Parker’s The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy to review by my midwife. It is one of the many books she hands out to her clients and since I had not read it before, she graciously handed me a copy to read. Since I am no herbalist (not even a bit) I was intrigued as I want to become more knowledgable on the subject, especially now with a toddler (Parker’s book, Mommy Diagnostics, has really peaked my interest).
The book really is information dense in some areas, citing lifestyle and herbal changes that can aid almost any pregnancy ailment. I did skim through many of these pages, landing on the ones dealing with issues I currently have or have had in the past only. (She goes from Metabolic Toxemia to insomnia to common issues like heartburn.) Parker also goes through what a whole foods diet looks like and has many different meal plans and charts to aid someone new to the idea of a whole foods diet.
I most enjoyed the last half of the book, where she deals with recovery after labor and care of a newborn. I took notes on her lifestyle and herbal recommendations for the first week after labor. What I liked most is that she strongly encourages mothers to take it easy and enjoy mothering their newborn the first week after labor. She also goes into some detail about nursing that can be helpful for any first time mother, dissecting the popular “schedule” and “attachment” methods. (My favorite nursing book is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I highly recommend it if you plan on nursing your babe or are just curious about breastmilk.)
If you are at all interested in taking care of pregnancy, labor, and recovery with herbs and lifestyle changes, this book is a great place to start. Some parts might seem repetitive, but it is worth it to make it to the end. Parker does write from a specific Biblical base, and does discuss the pros and cons of all forms of birth control, old and new covenants concerning food, and the Biblical view of children.
I’d say The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy is a good alternative to What to Expect When Your Expecting and Babywise.
Some section/chapter titles: God’s Design For Women, When Baby Dies Within The Womb, A Biblical Prescription For Health, Body System Changes During Pregnancy, Labor of Love, Breastfeeding Anatomy And Physiology