Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health
  • Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health
  • Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health

Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health

by Christiane Northrup
     
 

With such groundbreaking bestsellers as Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. Christiane Northrup is one of today’s most trusted and visionary medical experts. Now she presents her most profound and revolutionary approach to women’s health. . . .

The mother-daughter…  See more details below

Overview

With such groundbreaking bestsellers as Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. Christiane Northrup is one of today’s most trusted and visionary medical experts. Now she presents her most profound and revolutionary approach to women’s health. . . .

The mother-daughter relationship sets the stage for our state of health and well-being for our entire lives. Because our mothers are our first and most powerful female role models, our most deeply ingrained beliefs about ourselves as women come from them. And our behavior in relationships—with food, with our children, with our mates, and with ourselves—is a reflection of those beliefs. Once we understand our mother-daughter bonds, we can rebuild our own health, whatever our age, and create a lasting positive legacy for the next generation.

Mother-Daughter Wisdom introduces an entirely new map of female development, exploring the “five facets of feminine power,” which range from the basics of physical self-care to the discovery of passion and purpose in life. This blueprint allows any woman—whether or not she has children—to repair the gaps in her own upbringing and create a better adult relationship with her mother. If she has her own daughter, it will help her be the mother she has always wanted to be.

Drawing on patient case histories and personal experiences, Dr. Northrup also presents findings at the cutting edge of medicine and psychology. Discover:

•How to lay the nutritional foundation to prevent eating disorders and adult diseases
•The truth about the immunization controversy–and the true meaning of immunity
•How we can change our genetic health legacy
•Why financial literacy is essential to women’s health
•How to foster healthy sexuality and future “love maps” in our daughters
•How to balance independence with caring, and individual growth with family ties

Written with warmth, enthusiasm, and rare intelligence, Mother-Daughter Wisdom is an indispensable book destined to change lives and become essential reading for all women.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The author of the bestselling The Wisdom of Menopause and a certified ob/gyn takes a more expansive look at women's health and how the mother-daughter relationship affects it in this opinionated handbook-cum-memoir. Northrup's philosophy that "our bodies and our beliefs about them were formed in the soil of our mother's emotions, beliefs, and behaviors" may turn off some readers, while others may take issue with her comment that "some men fear either they or their wives are inferior if they cannot have a son." These theories aren't backed up as much by scientific evidence (although in the latter example, Northrup does cite a 1975 study) as by anecdotes from her life as a mother of two daughters and her experiences with her patients. The book's opening section ("the Foundation of Mother-Daughter Health," i.e., pregnancy) mixes obvious health tips (e.g., don't drink alcohol while pregnant) with more informative ones (e.g., take prenatal vitamins such as beta carotene and folic acid). Northrup seems more comfortable when she moves on to discussing how a mother can most effectively take care of her daughter's emotional and physical health from the ages of three months to 21 years old, and her best and most heartfelt advice is on dealing with teenage daughters. She suggests moms not become their daughters' social directors, and that they hold daughters accountable. Nuggets like these are certainly valuable; it's unfortunate that they're buried in such a massive and uneven outlay of information. Agent, Ned Leavitt. (Mar.) Forecast: TV tie-ins could help this sell well; the book's publication is timed to coincide with a PBS special of the same name, and Northrup has appeared on Oprah. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Obstetrician and best-selling author Northrup (Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom) here offers parenting advice and some useful information on holistic medicine. Much of her guidance applies to all parents and children, but her insistence on women's innate "Mother Bear" wisdom and other such concepts becomes distracting. Readers who approach this thick book with a critical eye may find it taxing to sort the worthy from the extraneous passages. While Northrup is wise to question one-size-fits-all medical orthodoxy-as when she points out the dangers of unnecessary caesarian sections and the advantages of avoiding painkillers during labor-some of her advice is problematic. For instance, she opposes vaccinations for children and gives tips on getting waivers from vaccination requirements, but she does not provide sufficient evidence that vaccinations cause children more harm than benefit. In presenting her medical and psychological theories as if these beliefs carried the weight of proven medical practices, she does her readers a disservice. Recommended only for public libraries with comprehensive alternative medicine collections, though Northrup's program Mother-Daughter Wisdom (airing March 5 on PBS) may increase demand.-Susan E. Pease, Univ. of Massachusetts Lib., Amherst Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553105735
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/22/2005
Pages:
752
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.81(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Mothers and Daughters

The Bond That Wounds, the Bond That Heals

The mother-daughter relationship is at the headwaters of every woman's health. Our bodies and our beliefs about them were formed in the soil of our mothers' emotions, beliefs, and behaviors. Even before birth, our mother provides us with our first experience of nurturing. She is our first and most powerful female role model. It is from her that we learn what it is to be a woman and care for our bodies. Our cells divided and grew to the beat of her heart. Our skin, hair, heart, lungs, and bones were nourished by her blood, blood that was awash with the neurochemicals formed in response to her thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. If she was fearful, anxious, or deeply unhappy about her pregnancy, our bodies knew it. If she felt safe, happy, and fulfilled, we felt that too.

Our bodies and those of our daughters were created by a seamless web of nature and nurture, of biology informed by consciousness, that we can trace back to the beginning of time. Thus, every daughter contains her mother and all the women who came before her. The unrealized dreams of our maternal ancestors are part of our heritage. To become optimally healthy and happy, each of us must get clear about the ways in which our mother's history both influenced and continues to inform our state of health, our beliefs, and how we live our lives. Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her and all those who will come after her.

A mother's often unconscious influence on her daughter's health is so profound that years ago I had to accept that my medical skills were only a drop in the bucket compared to the unexamined and ongoing influence of her mother. If a woman's relationship with her mother was supportive and healthy, and if her mother had given her positive messages about her female body and how to care for it, my job as a physician was easy. Her body, mind, and spirit were already programmed for optimal health and healing. If, on the other hand, her mother's influence was problematic, or if there was a history of neglect, abuse, alcoholism, or mental illness, then I knew that my best efforts would probably fall short. Real long-term health solutions would become possible only when my patient realized the impact of her background and then took steps to change this influence. Though health-care modalities such as dietary improvement, exercise, drugs, surgery, breast exams, and Pap smears all have their place, not one of them can get to the part of a woman's consciousness that is creating her state of health in the first place.

Before birth, consciousness literally directs the creation of our bodies. It is also constantly being shaped by our life's experiences, most especially those of childhood. No other childhood experience is as compelling as a young girl's relationship with her mother. Each of us takes in at the cellular level how our mother feels about being female, what she believes about her body, how she takes care of her health, and what she believes is possible in life. Her beliefs and behaviors set the tone for how well we learn to care for ourselves as adults. We then pass this information either consciously or unconsciously on to the next generation.

Though I acknowledge that the culture at large plays a significant role in our views of ourselves as women, ultimately the beliefs and behavior of our individual mothers exert a far stronger influence. In most cases, she is the first to teach us the dictates of the larger culture. And if her beliefs are at odds with the dominant culture, our mother's influence almost always wins....

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Meet the Author

Christiane Northrup, M.D., trained at Dartmouth Medical School and Tufts New England Medical Center before cofounding the Women to Women health care center in Yarmouth, Maine, which became a model for women's clinics nationwide. Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, she is past president of the American Holistic Medical Association and an internationally recognized authority on women's health and healing.

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