Herbal for the childbearing year
I got this book in my last month of pregancy. My hopes where to find some help in getting labor started. My first child was two weeks late and it drove me nuts. I loved it I also had a problem with infertility and this gave me some good ideas to try next time. I loved it and the labor tips and herbal healpers worked well to ease the labor and seem to be much calmer than the first. Even if you don't think the herbal way is best this book is a must read for the pregnant woman/ couples. And the after care info is a goddess sent book of gold. The diaper rash treatments really work. And the nursing fourmla kept my milk flowing even when I had to go back to work and could not pump that much. Hope everyone enjoys the book as much as I did.

Book Review

Before, During, and After Childbearing
Book Review by Althea


First off, this is an amazing book. Susun Weed has mastered the world of plants, and in this book, she shares it with us all. This is one book from the Wise Woman Herbal series. Yes, there are more. However, this is about the Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Yes, Year! She does not start at conception. Instead she shows us how to prepare for pregnancy, how to make our body healthy and fruitful. Then she discusses pregnancy and childbirth, then the infant.


This book starts with the Foreword..."Women are carriers of life. We hold the fruit of our loving beneath our hearts."...Here they [Jeanine Parvati Baker] talk about Susun and the knowledge she has to offer. Here we experience the surgance of power that allows us to reach deep within ourselves to take back the knowledge that has been all but lost. (This book was published in 1986. All the hype surrounding herbs had not yet escalated.)


Following the Foreword is the Introduction where Susun gives us her own words of wisdom, and then the section on Using This Book. Here it is explained that this book is not neatly divided into chapters. The remedies come up when they are needed. Also, we are told here to try a mild remedy first, and then to try a stronger one. We are told to identify plants with their Latin names when we get them, whether it be from a store or by mail. The italicized words are in the glossary.


Next is Using Herbs Safely "Begin by using gentle, nourishing tonics. Use one herb at a time. Remember that crude herbs (as opposed to the refined extracts known as drugs) rarely cause fatal allergic reactions or severely disabling side effects." This is only some of what is presented here. She basically says to explore your surroundings, there are a lot of great herbs in your own back yard. She encourages the learning of one herb a day.


From here, we have sections, which as she has stated are not in any particular order. The remedies are presented as a problem would arise. Some remedies and ailments appear more than once as you may suffer, for instance, from Depression while you are pregnant, and after.


This section talks about fertility. In it we are presented with fertility promoters. Some of which contain Red Clover, Nettle Leaves, Red Raspberry Leaves, Dong Quai, and False Unicorn. With each of these herbs we are given its Latin name, its properties (vitamin content, etc), its uses (uterine tonic, regulate period, nourishing of liver, etc), and her suggested use. Just as an example, here is an excerpt of one of the herbs.


Red Rasberry Leaves All Rubus species, but most especially the wild ones, provide leaves which contain an effective uterine tonic and a large amount of calcium. Raspberry Leaf is my third choice as an herbal fertility promoter. It is most effective when combined with Red Clover. One or more cups of the infusion (prepared by steeping one half ounce Red Clover blossoms and one half ounce Raspberry Leaves in a quart of water for four hours) can be taken daily and continued for months. Another way to increase the fertility promoting ability of Raspberry is to add 5-15 drops of False Unicorn root tincture into each cup of Raspberry Leaf infusion.


This section also talks about Herbal Birth Control, Implantation Preventers, Menstrual Promoters (emmenagogues), and Uterine Contractors. As well, she discusses Teratogens which are substances that cause birth defects and should be avoided. Following this section is a list of references.


As this section is very long, and I do not want this review to be too boring, I will summarize. This section includes a compilation of herbs, tonics, infusions, and remedies for anything you can think of that would come up in pregnancy. For example, there are remedies for preventing morning sickness, for preventing miscarriages, and exercises for varicosities/hemorrhoids as well as tinctures and herbal remedies for bladder infections, Pre-eclampsia, and backaches. Again, anything that can come up, she has provided a remedy for it.


In this section we are given solutions to stalled labor (here's the sex part, orgasm is very good for bringing on contractions), breech presentation, false labor, premature rupture of membranes, and more. She addresses pain not only with herbs, but with meditations. She follows through to after birth problems like hemorrhaging and shock.


Reminding us of the great transition period we are now in, we are told to be gentle with ourselves. Given here are remedies for perineal tears, after-pains, and exhaustion. There are also herbs for helping with lactation, painful breasts, and sore nipples.


These are remedies for your child; No breath, Umbilical care, postpartum eye care, eye infections, rashes, jaundice, colic and all of the other fun things that can accompany a child into this world.


Provides information on how to make infusions, concoctions, and remedies It also talks about where to get the plants, whether it be ordering them, buying them or picking them yourself. Following this are two appendixes with a list of tonics and infusions and their ingredients. This is a recipe section.


I love this book. It was my saving grace throughout my pregnancy. As a matter of fact, a neighbor of mine was pregnant and late, and edgey. I consulted my trusty book, gave her some herbs and the suggested use, and what do you know, she went into labor the next day and had the baby.


Susun Weed has an amazing way of compiling wisdom not only of herbs, but of the power of being a woman. Scattered throughout the book are meditations and words of encouragement reminding women to take care of the power they have within them. It is inspiring and amazingly helpful.


This review is by Althea at epinions, who describes herself as Musician, Poet, Mother, Wife.


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