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Ordered by Date of Review

Spirit Babies: How to Communicate with the Child You're Meant to Have
Date of Review: 05/2006

When I was handed this book by a birth trauma therapist whom I respect, I took it home and dipped into it. Hours later, having read the entire book in one sitting, I realized I might be the perfect one to review it. After all, I was raised in a totally left-brain household, educated mostly in my left brain, and taught that the test of whether something was real was whether you could grasp it with one of your five senses. For my two school-teacher parents, those five senses were the only senses that exist.

It has been a long journey for me to accept what lies beyond the grasp of my...

The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting
Reviewer: Dulcita Love
Date of Review: 05/2006

Dr. Alice Miller boldly goes where most people wouldn't dare. She raises to the surface the long-standing moral code that children shall honor their parents to live a long life (referred to as the Fourth Commandment in her book) and shows how adherence to this code may actually cause the very thing the commandment purports to prevent, a short-lived life. She illustrates through the lives of well-known authors the lingering effects of abuse, after studying their writings and other resources.

Miller's theory is grounded in the principle that early abuse by a parent often causes a...

Reviewer: Binnie A Dansby
Date of Review: 12/2005

LOTUS BIRTH: THE WATER BIRTH OF THE MALCOLM TWINS (DVD) by Centre for Human Transformation, Love Lightning Productions, New World Media. (2005). 80 minutes, plus 3 hours of additional features. Available at .

Lotus Birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut, so that the baby remains attached to the placenta until the cord naturally separates at the navel at 3 to 10 days after birth. Receiving the full amount of the valuable cord blood present at birth is of major benefit to the child's ongoing health and well-being.

Lotus Birth, the book, and the...

Wisdom in the Body: The Craniosacral Approach to Essential Health
Reviewer: Jennifer Absey
Date of Review: 12/2005

Our world as healthcare providers and parents becomes increasingly more complex with numerous healing modalities that seem to rise and fall away; and it is hard to discern which modalities are helpful. One modality, craniosacral therapy (CST), is receiving wider attention. To compound obscurity with confusion, there are many schools and styles of CST that appear to have conflicting philosophies; the core principles of CST can be difficult to explain.

Michael Kern's book, Wisdom in the Body, is a lovely primer on the development, theory, and practice of craniosacral therapy. His...

Marked in Your Flesh: Circumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America
Reviewer: Marilyn Fayre Milos
Date of Review: 10/2005

As founder and director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC), I am often asked about the history of circumcision. While the origins of circumcision, especially as a puberty rite, are lost in antiquity, the Bible tells us that Jews and Muslims circumcise in accordance with Abraham's covenant with God (Genesis 17). Christians rejected circumcision as spiritually worthless.

In his newly published book, anthropologist Leonard B. Glick, MD, PhD, traces the history of circumcision from its Middle Eastern origins to the practice that was...

The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles
Reviewer: Karen Ehrlich
Date of Review: 10/2005

Think for a moment about your high school or college biology classes. What were you taught about cells-the basic units that make up all of life? What part of the cell is the brain of the cell?

I'll tell you in a minute. First, I want to introduce the author who caused me to rethink the answer to this basic question. Bruce Lipton is an APPPAH member whose talks at conferences have been stimulating, thought-provoking, lively, and popular ones, causing us all to expand our minds about the cellular basis of pre- and perinatal psychology. In his new book, The Biology of Belief:...

The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation and Disease
Reviewer: Michael Trout
Date of Review: 10/2005

I have focused my attentions, during the last year of reading, on the neurobiology of trauma. Robert Scaer's remarkable treatise has particularly grabbed my attention for its innocence, its profundity, its empiricism, its clear-headed medical suggestion that pain-and long-term response to sudden physical trauma-may be linked to earlier, emotional trauma. A simple example: the length of time whiplash symptoms persist after a motor vehicle accident may have less to do with the particulars of the accident itself than with whether or not the victim had been-even decades before-abused.

Earthbabies: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times
Reviewer: Marjorie L Rand
Date of Review: 05/2005

This charming book is written in a conversational style that makes it easy to read and to digest and is beautifully illustrated by Paige Sullivan. The author takes the voice of a wise woman who tells stories (lessons from the womb) by the fire for twelve nights. She suggests the reader read each of the twelve chapters one at a time in order to follow the material in real time.

The chapters follow a pattern of prenatal development, the first corresponding to pre-conception, called "the time before zero," and carrying the message that we have a responsibility to those who are not yet...

Prenatal Parenting
Reviewer: Jon R G Turner
Date of Review: 05/2005

Birthing a baby is obviously a quest of epic proportions for a family. You will face transformational challenges that will call upon all of your internal resources and powers. Your external prize will be a wondrous baby. Your internal treasure will be a new commitment to protecting and nourishing this miracle. - Frederick Wirth

While Prenatal Parenting was published in 2001, its message is relevant today, as it will be in the future. Pregnancy and birthing in the USA present us with a conundrum. Even as the skills of science and medicine focus on birth, large is the number of...

The Jonathon Letters
Reviewer: Kelduyn R Garland
Date of Review: 05/2005

When "birthing" comes to mind, scenarios range from a home birth with midwives, a doula, supportive husband/mate and friends-and even a water tub for laboring/birthing ... to ... hospitals with labor & delivery rooms, ob's, nurses-and possibly a midwife, doula and husband/mate present, optional birthing room and, if lucky, a tub of water for laboring/birthing.

Michael Trout and Lori Thomas offer us a different "birthing" process/journey in their book, The Jonathan Letters. Michael Trout is the "doula" who provides long distance email support from half-way across the country to...

Welcoming Consciousness: Supporting Babies' Wholeness from the Beginning of Life, An Integrated Model of Early Development
Reviewer: David B Chamberlain
Date of Review: 05/2005

This unique work of Wendy Anne McCarty is an intellectual milestone-the first attempt to integrate theory and practice of pre- and perinatal psychology with other early developmental theories. Adept in positive appreciation of the currently separate fields and gifted in discerning both shortcomings and greater potentials, Wendy also understands the imperative to move beyond a fixed Newtonian view of reality to a comprehensive science of human consciousness. Considering these many talents, I cannot think of a better person to handle a sensitive project of this scope. Or one who could wrap...

The Psychology of Birth: Invitation to Intimacy
Reviewer: Bobbi Jo Lyman
Date of Review: 03/2005

This is an extraordinary film, suitable for a wide audience, on the importance of the events during the earliest of human developmental stages. The film presents new material about what babies can tell us about their experience, given a supportive atmosphere, and as well how adults explore and heal traumatic separations and problematic relationship issues.The script is well written (and sensitively narrated by Binnie A. Dansby) and director's vision as shown through the images is truly noteworthy. This is an educational or documentary film that features Joseph Chilton Pearce, Barbara...

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Reviewer: Karen Ehrlich
Date of Review: 12/2004

Ina May Gaskin is arguably the most recognized midwife in the United States. Her new book is a clear-eyed look at what birth has become and how we can regain a sense of the wisdom of nature. Ina May has been front-and-center in the movement to humanize and optimize pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting since before her first book, Spiritual Midwifery, was published in 1975. Along with Birth Book written by Raven Lang (1972) and Immaculate Deception by Suzanne Arms (1975), Gaskin's work was instrumental in awakening a generation to the benefits of embracing the power and inherent...

The Vital Touch: How Intimate Contact With Your Baby Leads to Happier, Healthier Development
Reviewer: Kelli Cymraes Lincoln
Date of Review: 12/2004

Quite simply, developmental psychologist Sharon Heller's The Vital Touch is the best, most comprehensive guide to good, early parenting on the market today. This book synthesizes all of the current research on attachment parenting issues, such as baby-wearing, breastfeeding and the family bed. These issues and the corresponding research are vitally important to our babies, who aren't allowed a second chance at childhood. That Heller understands these issues also are important to society as a whole is shown by her comment that societies have either "cooperated and shared resources" or "...

A Holistic Guide To Embracing Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood: Wisdom and Advice by a Doula
Reviewer: Ellen Miller
Date of Review: 10/2004

In this book, doula Karen Salt offers an abundance of suggestions, practical applications, tools, exercises, resources and information for any pregnant mother to prepare in mind, body and spirit for the birth of her baby. Partners and doulas can also benefit from reading this book. The information is well-organized and in a number of different styles, such as numbered lists, tables, and narratives chock-full of explicit examples and imagery. This book can serve as an ongoing reference guide throughout pregnancy by use of the index to look up key areas of interest. As well, it is a good...

Book Review: Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive
Reviewer: Jeane Rhodes
Date of Review: 10/2004

Dr. Siegel and Ms. Hartzell have collaborated to bring us a truly exceptional parenting book. This book should be required reading for all parents and for anyone working with families. Further, the insights to be gained through understanding one's own development is of great value whether or not you are a parent. The blending of neurobiology and attachment research has resulted in a comprehensive and very readable text describing how interpersonal relationships directly affect the development of the brain.

Rather than teach parents "techniques" for better parenting, Dr. Siegel and...

FATHERBIRTH: A Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind
Reviewer: Martin Srajek
Date of Review: 10/2004

Fatherbirth is intended for an audience of parents-but specifically fathers-interested in understanding more about the "mystery and power of life itself captured in pre- and perinatal events. Consistent with current research on the topic, the authors propose that these events have a "profoundly significant role in stimulating the initial bonding process between parents and child and in catalyzing the personal growth of the parent." In the context of increasing numbers of child-abuse and other forms of violence, the authors see bonding as a way to increase "species identification-the...

9 Journeys Home
Reviewer: Sandra Collier-Verny
Date of Review: 05/2004

Bob Mandel is a skilled teacher and personal growth trainer. Very early in his career, he saw the connection between pre- and perinatal experience and later personality development, and he has been an enthusiastic supporter of APPPAH since its inception. His latest book, 9 Journeys Home, draws on Mandel's wealth of knowledge gained working with groups and individuals both in the United States and throughout the world. The book is well organized, clearly written, and richly layered. It is divided into nine parts, each describing one particular aspect of the process of self-reclamation and...

Having a Baby, Naturally
Reviewer: Robert J Oliver
Date of Review: 03/2004

I recommend Having a Baby, Naturally. I was kept in the Fathers' smoky waiting room while my first child was birthing through her very frightened mother. I was allowed to see her only through a glass window, could not stay in the room while she was there, and did not get to lay hands on her until she was 3 weeks old. That was how it was in the 50s. Fathers were "nothing but trouble." For my second family, I was the father, the OB, and support for their mother as the two girls were born under hypnoanesthesia, safely and happily.

"This book has focused on the tendency in our culture...

Reviewer: Jeannine Parvati Baker
Date of Review: 03/2004

Elizabeth Noble has inspired me for a quarter of a century. Her revision of the classic HAVING TWINS informs how thoroughly the "Birth Machine" has infiltrated childbirth. The cradle is still being rocked by society's hand, but nowadays it a mechanical one-cold, steel, electronic, and expensive. In multiple births, everything is multipliedthe anticipation, the fear, the costs, and possible damage to the psychological integrity of the family unit when treated as "high risk." Maintaining connection with one baby already is tricky enough, in our individualistic culture, yet to deal with the...