LEAD Action News vol 4 no 3 Winter ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Way to Better Babies:
Book Review by Ann Gethin
Do you want a beautiful bright healthy baby, improved fertility, a trouble free full term pregnancy, short labour and successful breast-feeding experience? If you do I suggest, unlike me, you read the recently published book, "The Natural Way to Better Babies: Preconception Health Care for Prospective Parents", well before you plan to get pregnant (unless you fancy some guilt with your morning sickness). [Publ. Random House, RRP $24.95]. The authors, Francesca Naish and Janette Roberts combine to offer in comprehensive detail everything you need to know about preconception care including healthy eating, improving fertility, detoxification and dietary supplements. There is even a section on natural contraception - so couples can make sure they don't conceive until both (and their sperm and ova) are in optimum health.
The path proposed is not an easy one for most of us. At least four months before trying for a baby both partners need to clean up their lives. This means giving up all alcohol, caffeine and other drugs and adopting an organic wholefoods diet. Exercise and relaxation are also emphasised as is the need to reduce as much as possible the exposure to environmental pollution.
The information on lead is generally good with an accurate account of damaging effects and sensible advice on renovation. It may also be useful for women trying to get their male partners to adopt lead safe practices to know that high lead levels in EITHER partner are a factor in many miscarriages, still births, neonatal deaths and birth defects.
The only criticism is of the authors' recommendation to use hair analysis as a measure of lead exposure. Even though they do suggest using pubic hair if dye has been used, hair samples are too easily contaminated. A blood lead is a much better test. Later editions may advisably include the need for women to avoid lead for their entire lives because of the likelihood of lead leaching from the bones during pregnancy. Also of interest would be clinical trials on the lead remedies the book recommends, which range from the expected (zinc, calcium and vitamins) to the more unusual (wheat germ, black tea and algin from seaweed).
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Updated 26 November 2012