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The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth

Written by: Genevieve Howland
Length: 20 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With more than 1.3 million video views each month and over 52 million total views on her YouTube channel, Howland's (aka Mama Natural) funny but informational videos have empowered millions of women to embrace natural pregnancy and parenting. Now Howland is turning to books, offering up the first week-by-week natural pregnancy book for soon-to-be moms.

For the last half century, control over childbirth has been in favor of doctors. Many pregnancy guidebooks are conventional, fear based, and written by male physicians deeply entrenched in the old-school medical model of birth.

But change is underway. A groundswell of women are taking back their pregnancies and childbirth and embracing a natural way. Genevieve Howland, the woman behind the enormously popular Mama Natural blog and YouTube channel, has created an inspiring, fun, and informative guide that demystifies natural pregnancy and walks Mom through the process one week at a time.

The Mama Natural's Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth is the modern (and yet ancient) approach to pregnancy and childbirth. "Natural" recognizes that pregnancy and birth are normal and that having a baby is a wondrous biological process and rite of passage - not a medical condition. This book draws upon the latest research showing how beneficial and life changing natural birth is for both babies and moms.

Full of weekly advice and tips for a healthy pregnancy, Howland details vital nutrition to take, natural remedies for common and troublesome symptoms, and the appropriate (and inappropriate) use of interventions. Peppered throughout are positive birth and pregnancy stories from women of all backgrounds (and all stages of their natural journeys) along with advice and insights from a certified nurse midwife (CNM) plus a registered nurse (RN), a doula, and a lactation consultant. Encouraging, well researched, and fun, The Mama Natural's Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth will be an essential companion for women everywhere to embrace natural pregnancy and reap all the benefits for both baby and mama.

©2017 Mama Natural Productions, LLC (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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  • skiing
  • 2019-02-16

Captivating but misleading

As a physician and mother-to-be, I couldn't get through more than a few chapters of this book before returning it because of its prolific factual inaccuracies. The book enthusiastically champions many theories not held up by science or controlled studies. I could not bear to put my future child at the risk of this poorly researched book and its misleading presentation of information.

For example, the book waxes on about the dangers of prenatal vitamins by citing the countless disastrous consequences of vitamin overdose. Most prenatal vitamins on the market these days do not have the high doses necessary to cause the toxicities mentioned. One would have to take multiple prenatal vitamins over the advised dosages to achieve the levels of toxicities described. Warning patients against prenatal vitamins because of non-existent harms, or worse, encouraging patients to use vitamins with inferior dosages ("whole food vitamins"), only puts them at risk of future birth anomalies. On a population level, this type of mis-information could have public health consequences.

As another example, the book also promotes the use of raspberry leaf tea, though countless controlled studies have not shown any benefit of this tea and cannot rule out its harm.

I could go on. The book is filled from cover to cover with inaccuracies such as these. It has more fluff than substance. Please don't put the health of your pregnancy and future child at risk by following this book's advice.

22 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • HannahK
  • 2019-01-03

Great week by week guide

I think this a great book, especially for the first time natural minded mama. Most of the information is really great and really valuable. However, I do have an issue with some of the "natural" skin care she suggests especially when it comes to chloasma. For the love of the skin on your face DO NOT put lemon juice on your face in any concentration ESPECIALLY if you are going to be out in the sun. It will not help to lighten you chloasma and in fact, could make things worse. Citric acid like that found in lemon and lime are known to cause photodermatitis, it is a chemical reaction between the citric acid and the uv rays and can cause a very severe sunburn. This is very well known and I am surprised it made it into the book. Furthermore, when it comes to this type of hormonal hyperpigmentation there is unfortunately very little that can be done to reduce its appearance, just make sure you are wearing an SPF 30 every day and wearing a hat when you will be exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Some of the other skin care things are questionable as well but not as offensive as that, please if you are having issues with your skin go see a dermatologist or a skin care specialist, they will be able to point you in a better direction. In the case of skin care natural is not always better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • T'Keyah Deans
  • 2019-08-23

Very informative

The things I learned in this book! I love it! And the natural recipes that come with it! I also now have the hard copy to go back threw it and listen to the audio all over again!

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  • shanti
  • 2019-05-28

loved this mama natural guide!

This was a great guide for any mama who is looking for natural options! I am 9months pregnant and would definitely recommend this to any mama. Great tips and information.

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  • Dina M.
  • 2019-05-18

I love this book!

I am currently 14 weeks pregnant and I love this book. Listening to each week ahead of time has truly helped me to understand what to expect, how my baby is developing, what my baby needs most at certain times, how my body will change, and provides healthy and unique meal options. Though the book is for a “natural” momma as shown in the title, I am very medical and plan on delivering in a hospital, and yet I feel everything in the book is benefitting me in some way. I had no idea about all of the options out there, and listening to this book gives me confidence each week in my decision making.

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  • Ony
  • 2019-03-28

I wish every pregnant woman had one

This is a fun, informative, educative amazing tool that every mama should have. None has ever taught me all the things I've learned thanks to Mama Natural. I've even been able to teach things to mamas that have already been through the process! thanks to all who made this happen.

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  • Brian
  • 2019-03-28

Did not like, do not recommend

The book was too extreme and too natural for my taste. The worst part is in the opening chapter they make it seem like it's going to be a balance of natural methods and what's best for mom and what she feels is best for her, but no if you are not pro completely natural and all organic dont bother. I could not even finish and felt it was a waste of money, sadly. I'm open to natural birth and organic foods but this takes the topic too far and bad talks OB doctors, medical advice and interventions which can save lives when necessary.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Hunnybare
  • 2019-02-22

Two Thumbs up

This is the best pregnancy book I've ever read... or listened to. It has so much great information so I listen to it over and over again. I may even buy a paper copy so I can easily reference it as my pregnancy goes along. I highly recommend to all pregnant moms whether this is your first child or your fourth.

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  • Chloe
  • 2019-01-28

So helpful for a first-time mom!

I really appreciate the way this book is broken out by week and how it covers a ton of different types of pregnancy-related topics: not just medical, not just social, not just development, not just nutrition. It's all of the above and more!

The audio quality and talent are good - very easy to listen to.

My only gripe is that so many places in the book mention a topic and then says "but more on that later." It's really repetitive and silly - just wait to give more on the topic.

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  • Sheila Rojas
  • 2019-01-21

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Great read for pregnancies.

I first want to say, this is a great first book to get you informed and prepared for pregnancy. It is not stuffy. Just a woman to woman talk about pregnancy. Kind of what you always want your OB or mother to openly talk to you about.

I was pregnant then lost my pregnancy at 6 weeks. After that I realized, although I was ready for a baby, I truly did not know what to expect nor preparing myself for the journey of pregnancy. So, while I wait for my body to heal, I searched for an audiobook and came across this one. It was a long read (which I like), and it also had great reviews. And I could not agree more. I feel more prepared for what to expect on my next pregnancy.

I knew I wanted to go natural, but was surprised by how informative this book was on both the “natural” and other medical interventions that are offered during your pregnancy. Plus, an open and honest section of the pains of childbirth, and how different women can handle the pain.