I have been reading "What Your Pediatrician Doesn't Know Can Hurt Your Child", by Susan Markel, MD. I have to say that I'm completely enamored with this book and will be sure to recommend it to the families that I serve.
Dr. Markel s a board-certified pediatrician who has a private consultative practice specializing in parent coaching and child health. A graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Dr. Markel became a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1981, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 1997.
Dr. Markel's philosophy of natural parenting empowers mothers to trust in their maternal instincts, and consider themselves the "experts" in raising their own children. By espousing "mindful parenting", she has allowed mothers to acknowledge and celebrate the joy of parenting.
During her years in private pediatrics practice in central Connecticut, Dr. Markel was an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut Health Center, teaching pediatric residents. For many years, she served as a medical liaison for the breastfeeding support organization La Leche League International. She is also a medical associate at Attachment Parenting International, a nonprofit parenting organization promoting "peaceful parenting for a peaceful world." Dr. Markel has been a regular contributor to BabyCenter.com and has been featured on many television broadcasts discussing various topics related to the emotional and physical health of children.
Her practice, Attachment Parenting Pediatrics, focuses on the tenants of Attachment Parenting, providing evidence-based care for the children and families that she serves. Her practice's website is full of wonderful information on how to properly care for your children in many situations.
I don't normally read introductions, I'm ashamed to say. But, in this case, I did without prompting, and am so glad that I did.
The book opens
"Doctors are trained to diagnose disease and use pharmaceutical drugs, and that's how they practice. They are not formally trained in health or nutrition, so asking your pediatrician for advice on either nutrition or health - meaning how to keep your child as healthy as possible - will probably be useless unless your doctor has been self-taught. If you've educated yourself in these matters, it's likely that you'll know as much or more about them than your child's doctor.And here, with have the premise for the book that Dr. Markel has authored. She seeks to empower parents to become conscientious and proactive consumers in their children's healthcare by teaching them to question the routine care given by the average pediatrician.
Nor are doctors educated about natural parenting or natural lifestyles - the benefits of sleeping with your baby versus having your baby "cry it out" in a crib, or the benefits of carrying your baby in a wrap, sling, or other soft carrier versus leaving the baby in a hard plastic baby-containing contraption.
A few hard truths about many of the pediatricians practicing today...
- They may say things that are not scientifically justified. It's fascinating that so many long-held beliefs in pediatrics are ultimately refuted by carefully done studies.
- They may be advising based on their own opinion or prejudice.
- They may be prescribing out of routine, convenience, or habit.
- They may be telling you what they think you want to hear, even if they internally disagree.
- Their decisions may be affected by the dictates of insurance companies, drug companies, or state or federal governments."
The sections of her book are broken down into three easy to read sections. These sections are Discovery, Emotions, and Maintaining Health.
Discovery is all about the early days of your child's life, considering what things are necessary or prudent for your family at the time of birth and shortly afterward. This section covers breast-feeding, baby carrying, co-sleeping, and infant nutrition in a concise and comprehensive manner.
Emotions covers a broader range of subjects. There is a lot of discussion on the parent/child relationship, early communication (not only for the child, but also the parent), discipline and and conscious parenting choices, and how to teach your child how to appropriately express emotion. The last subcategory of this section is one of my favorites, attention. In this subcategory, attention issues (and non-issues) are discussed. These include ADD, holistic treatments, and parent training for this specific situation.
Maintaining Health is the last section. It opens with a great quote from Meryl Streep, "I'ts bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician." In this section, Dr. Markel makes an easy-to-read case for holistic health. She covers information on nutrition, vitamins, allergies and asthma, eczema, ear infections, fever, natural healing vs medication, and vaccinations.
All in all, this book is extremely informative, easy to read, and a must-have, on-hand book for every parent. I have a number of books on a number of these subjects, but this is the first of it's kind that I have found that I can reference to all of these key subjects within one binding. For this reason, I will recommend Susan Markel's book to all new parents that I come in contact with.
Now, if you want a chance to win a copy of this book, the rules are simple. Just share this giveaway on some social site (messageboard, facebook, myspace, twitter, etc..) and then come back and tell me that you did and where you did.
I will draw a winner on the weekend of July 1st and will post the winner yet that weekend. The winner will have until July 7th to notify me of their mailing address. If I haven't heard from the winner by that date, a new winner will be drawn.
Good luck!*This giveaway is open to residents of the continental U.S.