Number One Reason You Are Infertile: Not Enough Yummy, Soulful Sex
As a vegetarian who makes her food from scratch to avoid processed meals, you would think that I’d be pretty excited about Alicia Silverstone’s new book. After all, she tackles infertility as one of her topics. Fertility is even part of her title: The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning.
I want supercharged fertility. Apparently, all I have to do is “Eat well, get healthy, then ditch all the planning and trying and just let it flow. There’s no better way to make a baby than with yummy, soulful sex!”
Her book description on Amazon begins:
When did making babies get to be so hard? Infertility is on the rise globally, affecting as many as one in six couples. But instead of considering diet and lifestyle factors, doctors pump their patients full of expensive and invasive fertility treatments.
So I didn’t have to do fertility treatments? All I had to do is change my lifestyle choices? For example (according to the book): stop using tampons?
Well, there is thousands upon thousands of dollars we’re not getting back.
Surely she’ll have something helpful to tell me about radiant pregnancy. I’ve had a lot of chemical ones, and the only one that went past 6 weeks ended early with pre-term labour. How can I prevent that?
All I have to do is eat plant-based foods and then I will “supercharge fertility; reduce your likelihood of miscarriage; infuse breast milk with all kinds of nutrient goodness that make your kids smart and healthy; and help stave off diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes.”
It took me a moment to remember that I DO eat a vegetarian diet heavy in plant-based foods. How did it go so wrong in my body? I not only never got supercharged fertility, but I miscarried, went into preterm labour, the twins were IUGR, and I produced no breast milk.
I could be the exception to the rule. I own that possibility. But it’s also possible that Silverstone’s new book places ideas out there that are hurtful at best and dangerous at worst. No vaccines? Claims that following her advice can prevent or cure “PMS, insomnia, allergies, breakouts, weight struggles, thyroid condition, lupus, multiple sclerosis—while significantly lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer”?
Plant-based diets are wonderful. Being mindful of the decisions you make on behalf of your child is wonderful. Anecdotal evidence has been used for thousands of years in raising children, with knowledge passed from one mother to another.
And perhaps that is it. Maybe if Silverstone spoke about her own experience with infertility and wanted to discuss the way she treated it (and if she provided the caveat that what worked for her may not work with other people with other diagnoses), I wouldn’t have such a problem with this book. But Alicia Silverstone wasn’t infertile. She didn’t have a “doctor pump [her] full of expensive and invasive fertility treatments.” She isn’t passing along anecdotal evidence on infertility. She’s parroting what others have told her.
She’s parroting anti-vaccination speeches without having done the research on vaccines herself. She’s parroting what scientists have said about how chemicals interact with the body or what psychologists have said about child development. And there’s a danger when a layperson parrots what she has been told vs. what she has studied in-depth or lived.
This book worries me.