Monday, May 19, 2008

Book Review: The Tao of Fertility

When The Parent Blogger Network asked me if I wanted to review this book, I wasn't sure that I should. I was unsure for a couple of reasons, the first and foremost being that I'm male, and as such, I can't get pregnant... so why bother, I thought? Another reason that I had for not being sure that I should give it a gander is because Mrs Gunfighter and I are done having children.

In the end, I decided to review this book because I like to see things from points of view different than my own... and of course this is a seriously different view of pregnancy for me.

As you all know, I am an advocate of fully participatory fatherhood, and I tried as best as I could, to empathize with Mrs GF when she was pregnant. You know something? with all of the good intentions and sensitivity that I could muster, I CAN'T really imagine what it must be like to be pregnant. No way.

So. I decided to give this book a try.

First Impressions: "Oh, Lord... another touchy-feely, earthy-crunchy, new age, neo-hippie book on how to be spiritually holistic etc..." I figured that this would be another book that could be summed up by saying: "Watch what you eat, rest, drink water, exercise and all will be well"

I was wrong.

Clearly, I can't get pregnant, but there are things in this book that are beneficial to just about anyone... not just for women who want to have a baby.

The authors were kind enough not to fill the book with jargon that would leave my eyes bleeding and my head hurting. They wrote in plain speech, and didn't appear to try to dazzle the reader with flashy prose. On the contrary, this book is written so that a person with no knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine could understand it, and glean very helpful... and healthful information.

The information in the book even covers pre-pregnancy dietary information (including suggested menus and recipes), and self-applied accu-pressure, to promote health and fertility. By the way, I suggest accu-pressure with a partner. It's more fun. Yeah.

OK, so the book is good. The suggestions are good. The presentation is good.

Done, right?

Not yet.

There are other aspects of this book that I enjoy. The first being the stories of women about their journey toward pregnancy. Some of the stories were just heartbreaking. Other aspects that I enjoyed were post-partum suggestions on diet and exercise, as well as mom-specific nutrition.

I am going to be honest here and say that I thought I was fgoing to read this book and shoot it full of holes. I am rather pleased to report that this isn't the case here.

The authors, Daoshing Ni, Ph.D, and Dana Herko derserve full marks for their product.


This book review is sponsored by The Parent Blogger Network and HarperCollins Publishers. This review is cross-posted at my regular blog, Gunfighter: A Modern Warrior's Life.

1 comment:

dana said...

I'll admit it, I'm biased since I I co-authored The Tao of Fertility with Dr. Dao. I am also a first-time blogger and not sure how this whole thing works. So I'll just say I am thrilled by the good review, especially when the reviewer has the honesty to admit he didn't want to review it in the first place because of pre-conceived notions about "new-age, neo-hippy books on how to be spiritually holistic..." (loved that). I felt that about many of the fertility books I tried to read before I ended up as Dr. Dao's patient. Yes, it's written in plain language because Chinese Medicine is very simple: good health is good fertility. And good health is...well, good health. Who would argue with that? Thank you for keeping an open mind and, especially, for your compassion for what many women (often secretly) have to go through to have children...
PS Liked your blog!