Feng Shui Mommy by Bailey Gaddis
For all the birth-y books I read, I figured some of you may be interested in my opinion on a few of them. So here's my first shot at a book review, on Feng Shui Mommy by Bailey Gaddis.
This book is a breath of fresh air, validating womens' physical and emotional experiences throughout the exciting and overwhelming stages of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. With a strong focus on mindfulness, Gaddis sets the tone at the beginning of each chapter with a guided breathing exercise. Each of the exercises reminds the reader to be present in that very moment, which is also great practice for focused breathing during labor! 😉
Gaddis covers each trimester (including postpartum) and suggests how to honor the mind, body, and spirit during those times. The best part about this book is that Gaddis encourages the reader to pick and choose only what resonates with the reader. She recognizes that no two people (or pregnancies) are the same - and she honors those differences.
Although this book is an easy read, it challenges the reader to be aware of her environment and how it impacts her everyday thoughts and emotions. Gaddis provides suggestions on how to simplify everyday living and encourage positive energy by making a few changes in the home. She suggests decluttering, organizing in practical ways, and surrounding yourself with uplifting colors to encourage positive moods.
Would I recommend this book? Sure! I believe Gaddis encourages a positive outlook that is beneficial to more than just pregnant women. That being said, the birth nerd in me wishes more of her suggestions were evidence based. At one point she encourages Kegel exercises to support pelvic floor muscles during labor, and to help with postpartum recovery. I've heard conflicting arguments from professionals about Kegels, how they can be damaging if not "done properly". I've personally been told that Kegels should only be done under the care of a pelvic floor physical therapist, so I'm skeptical of this particular suggestion and would value it more if it was supported by current research - the same goes for her advice on perineal massages.
Other than a few of the medical-ish suggestions, I think the book is spot-on for encouraging a positive pregnancy and birth experience! I hope expecting women benefit from reading this book, and are able to fully appreciate the perinatal journey ahead of them, by surrounding themselves with nothing but positive energy!