—Susan Weed, author of Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
“This is truly the best book available on pregnancy and childbirth and should be read by everyone considering parenthood.”
—Rosemary Gladstar, author of Herbal Healing for Women
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Every mother wants the best for her unborn child, from the baby’s conception to birth. What’s more, every mother wants clear,/b>
A revised and updated edition of the classic handbook for women seeking a safe, organic, eco-friendly, and natural pregnancy, featuring an integrative-based approach with new medical, herbal, and nutritional information.
Every mother wants the best for her unborn child, from the baby’s conception to birth. What’s more, every mother wants clear, straightforward information delivered in a calm, empowering voice from someone who knows the facts. Enter Dr. Aviva Jill Romm, an expert in natural childbirth with more than twenty years of experience in both alternative and allopathic medicine. In this newly revised third edition, Dr. Romm takes a holistic approach, emphasizing natural remedies wherever possible and providing up-to-date advice on herbs that promote wellness during pregnancy, and alleviate such familiar concerns as anxiety, fatigue, morning sickness, and stretch marks. With tips for a nutritious diet, exercise and posture, and information on the emotional and physical changes that childbearing brings, The Natural Pregnancy Book is your comprehensive guide to a safe, healthy pregnancy, as nature intended it.
This book was conceived nearly thirty years ago in the kitchen of a dear friend’s home. At that time, she and I, both midwives and each the mother of a young child, were beginning a lifetime journey of uncovering and rediscovering a great wealth of information about childbearing and child raising. We were gleaning information from a variety of sources: anthropological research, medical and lay texts, our work as mothers and midwives, the experiences of other midwives and mothers, and, most significantly, what we were learning from our intuition, from each other as women friends, from our partnerships with our mates, and from our babies. We had found that pregnancy did not have to be ten (lunar) months of drudgery, discomfort, and exhaustion. We were finding that pregnancy and motherhood could be highly creative times, filled with confidence, perceptiveness, awe, and appreciation for the beauty of our changing physical shape, and the extension of this in the form of our growing children.
Standing in the doorway of that kitchen on an early spring day, a moment ripe for beginnings, I found an inspiration and made the commitment to carry this inspiration inside me, to gestate and nurture my discoveries until, like a baby after a full-term pregnancy, a book would be ready to emerge, to be born—a book to share the joy and strength I was gaining from my experiences. That so many women see pregnancy as a burden to be endured, a time fraught with insecurity and doubt, seemed a great loss. Aware of the transformative potential of the written word, I became determined to contribute a positive, supportive narrative about pregnancy by a woman and mother, for women and mothers everywhere.
I now have four children, all of whom have grown and flourished in their own unique and significant ways. I’ve had healthy pregnancies, strong labors, and beautiful births. I’ve nursed my babies and deeply enjoyed each of our children through every stage of childhood, adolescence, and unfolding adulthood. Each pregnancy has reaffirmed my conviction that natural health care is the bedrock of continuing wellness for myself and my family, and watching my children develop into strong, healthy beings has only strengthened that principle. In addition to my own pregnancies, I have had the honor to know and assist many women and families on the mostly joyous, sometimes tumultuous, and occasionally painful path of pregnancy. I experienced life come full circle this past January when I served as the midwife for the birth of my first grandchild. The joy I felt as I witnessed and supported my baby as he experienced the birth of his baby was transcendent, otherworldly, a moment that far exceeded any fantasy I could have dreamed up.
As women have become increasingly aware of the options of natural birth and home birth, and of the potential value of natural therapies as safe alternatives to some of the conventional medical treatments of common pregnancy complaints, I have watched with pride and elation as this book has found renewed purpose. Today it speaks to more than a piqued group of concerned alternative thinkers; it speaks to a diverse population of women and mothers who are curious about taking control of their health, their bodies, and their pregnancies. The face of wellness has changed since this book was first published, and there is now welcomed emphasis on natural treatments, herbal medicine, and integrative support. It is a pleasure to share this book—one of the original voices in the world of natural health for mommas—with you. The wisdom and information within it stands the test of time.
AVIVA JILL ROMM, MD, is a physician and highly respected expert in botanical medicine, childbirth, women’s health, and pediatrics. She practiced as a homebirth midwife and herbalist for more than twenty years, becoming one of the first certified professional midwives (CPM) in the United States, and graduated from Yale School of Medicine, where she was instrumental in creating the school’s first integrative medicine curriculum. Visit www.avivaromm.com.
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