The Herbal guide helped me throughout pregnancy and after
I followed many of the recommendations for herbal relief of symptoms and found great relief in them. I believe the herbs and tinctures recommended in this book helped me achieve my goal of a non-medicated labor and delivery, and my post-partum was eased as well. It is my #1 favorite pregnancy book and I give it to all my friends with a bag of red raspberry leaf for their own infusions and uterine toning routine!

Book Review

The Childbearing Year is a Thirteen Month Year - Book Review

Author, herbalist, and Wise Woman, Susun Weed, explains that the childbearing year is a thirteen month year: the two months before conception, the nine months of pregnancy, and the two months following the birth. I love this concept and opportunity to slow down and experience each season while creating life. And this is how Susun writes her book, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. She takes us back to our ancestors, those who taught their daughters the wisdom of the earth. She brings that wisdom to us as we give life, and she teaches us how to pass it forward.


Susun explains, "This book speaks to the Wise Woman in you--the pregnant woman--and the Wise Woman in your mate, lover, midwife, doctor, childbirth educator, and friends. It is based on the belief that you are capable of observing your own body, heart, and mind, responding to messages you receive during the childbearing year, and caring for yourself in the context of loving support and assistance."


Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year begins with the importance of using herbs safely. Susun offers a number of reminders for safety, and cautions about herbs that should be taken seriously. She includes a list of potentially toxic herbs.


The chapter on fertility, Before Pregnancy, explains that herbs used to encourage a pregnancy are characterized by their ability to nourish and tone the uterus, nourish the entire body, relax the nervous system, establish and balance normal functioning of the hormonal system, and balance sexual desire. Of course, specific herbs and their properties are discussed, as related to your goals and needs at this time. Susun shares a list of items (other than herbs) to avoid before and during pregnancy.


During Pregnancy is divided into several sections, beginning with tonics and miscarriage. Other sections are titled with a condition such as moodiness, backache, heartburn, fatigue, high blood pressure and so forth. If you are looking for relief for morning sickness, for instance, you will find raspberry leaves, spearmint, peppermint and ginger as a few suggested herbs that will ease the discomfort. Also included is interesting information about morning sickness and non-herbal suggestions for prevention.


After Pregnancy discusses perineal tears, after-pains, child-bed fever, depression, exhaustion/tension and lactation. The transitions experienced after childbirth can be made easier with knowledge about massage, compresses, sitz baths and the use of herbs in each process.


My favorite section of this book is chapter 5, Your Infant. Each chapter offers an abundance of useful and enlightening information, but this chapter assists in areas where we are generally unprepared, and at the same time, tired and overwhelmed. Topics include: umbilical care, eye care, colic, thrush, diaper rash, and infections and fevers.


Each chapter is supported with a list of resources. Included in the back of the book is an Herbal Pharmacy with instructions for making decoctions, infusions, tinctures and other healing "medicines."


Whether you choose to use herbal remedies while pregnant or not, this book opens up new channels of thought, a passion for healing, and a deep respect for our inner knowing and understanding of spirit. It wishes you a healthy year filled with wiseness and love.


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