The book: Natural Solutions to Infertility, by Marilyn Glenville
The edition: Portuguese translation by Ana Maciel, as published by Estrela Polar, 250 pages
About this book: a self-help book describing a approach through diet to infertility problems.
My experience with the book & my thoughts: I need to say something very personal up front: I am not experiencing fertility problems, my husband and I are not trying to conceive at the moment (although open to the possibility). I picked up this book as a mistake: I was looking for a good book about pregnancy (to be prepared when time comes) and couldn’t find one (I wanted one to read like a book, not one written in bullet lists and short boxes, and apparently the latter is the only kind of pregnancy book around — as if pregnant women could not deal with longer attention spans!); and from the Portuguese title and cover blurbs, this book seemed more of a general approach about pregnancy, not about a specific method.
So, I may have been biased. But I didn’t like this book at all. Basically, it proposes to consider nutrition (and a healthy lifestyle) as a major thing to consider while trying to conceive — I cannot agree more, but it’s mostly good sense, right? How many times do you need to tell a woman that they shouldn’t drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs before and during pregnancy? (I can count at least four chapters for each of these things.) Are there really still women out there, in first world countries, who do not know?
And while it’s important to have the right nutrients in your body, it’s not something to learn through a self-help book. If you want to try this method, you need to go to a nutritionist and ask him/her. (Not to mention the fact that the author excludes most things from your diet and then gives you plenty of supplements — and the little nutrition that I studied followed a completely different trend, avoiding supplements whenever you could get nutrients through natural food…)
What I liked: full, comprehensive sections about fertility awareness methods, nutrients that you need to take before and during a pregnancy (either through food or supplements), and assisted reproductive technologies.
What I didn’t like: it reads like one of those magazine ads about miracle diets or magic oils. The book is interspersed with recommendations to go through the author’s “4 months pre-conception plan” (as in: if you have tried to conceive but haven’t succeeded yet, stop trying and go through the plan before trying again; or: stop smoking, then go through the 4 months plan; etc.), and with case studies. These got particularly on my nerves: there were these boxes in every chapter, telling about case studies that were in no way related to the subject of that chapter, and mostly going like: “Jane and John were in their 30s, they had been trying to conceive for three years with no success; then they came to see me and followed the plan. Now they have a healthy child”.
Oh, and after all that, the plan itself gets a full seven pages. Seven! Out of 250! (Which may be a good thing, because such a plan needs personalized medical control, in my opinion.)
Language & translation: very precise, without being too technical.
Random thought: no way I’m going to quit all sugars and fat!
Read this if: if you want to understand exactly how your body works, some sections may be of help, and you can just skim the rest of the book. Also, if you have been trying to conceive for some time with no results, and medical examinations give no clear answer, you may want to know about this method, just in case.
Counts as: One, Two, Theme! Challenge – Pregnancy (#1)