Before being sent this new pregnancy book to review, I'd never heard of Emma Cannon, but I'm sure anyone who has ever had any fertility issues is instantly sitting up and taking notice. Emma is one of the country's leading complementary fertility specialists and, after writing her first highly-successful book, The Baby-Making Bible, has acquired the nickname "The Baby-Maker" !
From her Harley Street office, Emma has dealt with a number of high-profile clients, including the lovely Sophie Dahl, who not only praises the book on the front cover ("A brilliant book from a woman who knows what she's talking about. I adore Emma Cannon.") but also provides one of the recipes inside.
"Recipes ?", I hear you say, "in a baby book ?". Well, yes ! What I really like in Emma's book is that it is a whole "mind and body" approach to getting pregnant, having a happy pregnancy and even beyond, as it also has great advice on successful breastfeeding. If you're one of those people who likes to have a guide on the shelf for every possible problem area - conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding, the early days of being a new mum, pregnancy nutrition, recipes, health guide, ... - this book will cover all bases.
I didn't sit down and read it cover to cover, as I am not pregnant nor intending to be (with three lovely kids, I've decided to hang up my nursing bra for good !) but just from dipping into it, I found lots of very interesting and helpful advice. Emma manages to give really concrete, practical tips, including recipes, comprehensive health check guides and no-nonsense advice on how to have a healthy and serene pregnancy and motherhood.
On paper, Emma's approach to medicine may sound a bit new age and confused. She is an advocate of Fusion Health, which uses a combination of Western knowledge and ancient Eastern techniques (such as acupuncture, meditation, visualisations, yoga and positive thinking) and focuses on getting not just the body but also the mind into optimum condition for pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. But in practise, it sounds really good and Emma's tone is approachable, encouraging and supportive.
Just some of the things that leapt out at me as I flicked through the pages were chapters on the link between your physical health and your emotional state of mind (worrying yourself sick isn't just an expression), practical ways of recovering from miscarriage and dealing with IVF pregnancy, foods and therapies to help with breastfeeding and - chapters which I would have loved to have read when I was going through it myself - advice on turning breech babies and dealing with pre-eclampsia.
Pregnancy and labour are often highly medicalised and you can end up feeling more like a lab rat or a piece of meat than an actual person so it's great to find a book that is as concerned with the emotional wellbeing of mums-to-be as their physical health. It's often been said that happy baby = happy mum and this book could help inverse the saying, working towards happy mum = happy baby, be that before, during or after conception.
*** Great news for all you mums-to-be (or future mums-to-be) is that one of you will be able to win a copy of the book, right here on this blog. Watch this space ! ***
star rating : 4.5/5
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Rodale (3 Jun 2011)
RRP : £14.99 (but only £7.50 on amazon - see below)
for more information : http://www.emmacannon.co.uk/
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