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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sacred Pregnancy - Anni Daulter

Anni Daulter's Sacred Pregnancy: A Loving Guide and Journal for Expectant Moms is an accurately titled book with extensive resources to assist mothers and their partners.

The introduction suggests that the mother-to-be analyze her anticipated choices for when it comes time for birthing and to seek out a doctor or midwife whose own decisions will align with her own. From there it moves on to the typical organization of a pregnancy to a week-by-week from 1 to 40. Each week has a title page along with gorgeous photographs to inspire. The sections are broken up into 8 sections: Your Body, Your Baby, Your Spirit, Week #, Reflections, Ideas, "Pairings", and Journal. Your Body and Your Baby are typical offerings, which simply describe the things the mother will be experiencing and what is happening with the baby's development. Your Spirit and Week # can vary greatly in content from mindfulness, physical advice, or ideas on how to celebrate the pregnancy. Reflections and Ideas contain personal considerations and activities to do. I am particularly keen on the "Pairings" section as it offers a variety of resources for mothers and their partners to investigate, including music, movies, books, websites, recipes, and more; however, at some points in the book they seem to be little more than advertising for the author's favorite things. The Journal section contains a prompt or question.

The overall tone of the book is inviting, companionable, and optimistic. There are certain portions that troubled me, though, such as the author's overbearing opinions on circumcision, doctors versus midwives, and natural childbirth versus assisted. All of these are very personal choices and the author should have been more careful to keep these topics neutral. The photographs of various women are beautiful; however, I only saw one dark-skinned woman of the approximately 28 photographs and only one interracial couple. While I'm sure this was inadvertent, I think it may cause some women to feel uncomfortable or alienated while reading the book since they will not see their own ethnicity represented.

There are sections that include the father titled Romance, Partner Energy, and Sexy Mama, which are great for women who are in relationships. Unfortunately, the author gives no alternatives for those who may be single mothers, which is a very big deal since these are the topics for those weeks. The author could just as easily have suggested including the woman's birthing partner instead along with alternative activities. I feel the author should have been more sensitive to the varying situations of women who would want to use this book.

The "sacred" portions take on a variety of forms in this book. Mindfulness, meditation, exercise, art activities, and more give mothers a variety of ways to stay aware and experience their pregnancy. Many of these activities may be objectionable to those in some organized religions, though. One of the very first activities is to create a "pregnancy altar". While this is simply a way to create a safe and fun place to keep various objects and art pieces created during the duration of the pregnancy, I think some women may view it as competing with their religion. Some women can easily pass portions they dislike or object to, but others may find it difficult to utilize the book due to the differences in belief.

Overall, it's a decent journaling tool for pregnancy, but it is certainly not for every woman.

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