The Better Baby Book
By Lana Asprey M.D. and Dave Asprey
What is the book about? Research, research and more research…
The Better Baby Book tackles how to get your body in the best shape to have the happiest, healthiest and smartest baby possible. I used it in order to get my body in the happiest, healthiest shape to increase my chances of having a baby in the first place. Rumour has it that the publisher is not printing further copies of this book, meaning that the only copies available are those already in circulation. Does this make it retro? A closed market? A hard to find valuable commodity? Well, it is on Amazon to buy new, so it is none of the above (yet) but one day may be worth a fortune.
The book starts off by setting out the roadmap to a healthy pregnancy, including advice on diet, supplements, detoxification, stress, mindset and intuition. The book contains a vast amount of detail on diet but it is wonderfully specific. None of this “just eat a balanced organic diet and you’ll be fine, lass”. Nope. This book goes in to specifics and therefore provides a multitude of practical advice on diet that can be implemented by the reader. It is to the level of detail that they even provide their opinion on the research on certain food types, such as cheese, cured meats, milk etc. The nutritional chapters outline what the evidence suggests you should eat and what to avoid for optimal health and fertility. The book contains helpful diagrams that can be printed out and brighten up the outside of any fridge (they are available for print at https://www.betterbabybook.com/diet/). Just don’t attach them using sellotape, unless you want a permanent sticky scar across your fridge door. Trust me on that one.
The next section of the book goes in to detail on the toxin connection including environmental toxins, mould, the toxins produced by the body and how to deal with them. The final section considers how you can best prepare for pregnancy which includes detoxifying your body and home, reducing stress and having a ‘gentle birth’. It also outlines whether intention matters to getting pregnant, something that I often wondered following the constant pressure to ‘think positively’ at all times, despite the negative results month after month. This chapter is short but suggests that intention does in fact play a part in how our lives turn out. Thankfully, if does not suggest that people who are having difficulty trying to conceive don’t want it enough. Wise decision. That would make anyone struggling throw the book down in rage.
The Authors - The doctor and the biohacker
The authors are married couple Lana and Dave Asprey. Lana is a medical doctor who suffered with PCOS and was told that she would have trouble conceiving. This spurred her and her husband Dave to research how to deal with her PCOS and they went on to conceive two children quickly and naturally. Lana runs a fertility consulting business which provides advice and guidance to women all around the world who are trying to conceive.
Dave Asprey is a bio-hacker (worth a Google if that term is new to you, as it was to me) and the founder of the Bullet Proof brand. Dave is not a medical professional but he has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars researching, taking and testing various health claims and alternative medicines. Dave is obsessed with health and longevity and his very public intention is to live to aged 180 years. Good luck Dave.
Who is this book for? Want to take big steps to change your lifestyle for fertility?
As with many of the fertility books that I read and review, this book is particularly well suited to those who love a bit of research and those who adore wallowing in the details. It is great for anyone wanting to make changes to their lifestyle in order to improve their chances of conceiving and their fertility in general, as well as those without fertility issues that want to whip their bodies into the best shape possible ahead of pregnancy. It is a similar style of book to It Starts With The Egg by Rebecca Fett in that the focus of both books is on evidence based dietary and lifestyle changes and both are very well researched. The books are sufficiently different that I would recommend reading both, if this is your sort of thing. There is plenty to learn and the reader can take what appeals to them and their lifestyle from each book.
The Better Baby Book is especially relevant to those suffering with PCOS. The author, Lana Asprey, is herself plagued with PCOS and so the research and changes discussed in the book are likely to have a positive impact for other PCOS suffers, as well as being useful for those struggling with fertility in general.
What are the good points of this book?
It is easy to read, evidence based and highly practical, meaning that you can implement many changes into your life as a result of reading this book (if you can be arsed of course). The chapter on supplements, which included discussion on essential minerals and probiotics, I found to be especially helpful. I adopted nearly all the recommendations in this book and totally overhauled my supplements regime, much to the dismay of my bank account as those things do not come cheap. There is a good level of detail in the supplements chapter allowing the reader to follow the advice if their wallet allows. Although brands aren’t recommended in the book, the Bullet Proof website has more detail on how much of each supplement to take and when, including selling its own brands of many of the supplements recommended in the book.
The chapter on detoxification is also a winner. If you have read It Starts With The Egg by Rebecca Fett and had the bejesus scared out of you by reading about how everything in your life is an environmental toxin and out to kill you, then this chapter in the Better Baby Book will be a blessed relief. The chapter gives sound advice on how to deal with toxins, such as using activated charcoal and chlorella, so that you can take steps to reboot your body back to manufacture’s settings. Be warned, spirulina and chlorella are the food of the devil. But anything that foul tasting has to be good for you, right?
Are there any drawbacks to this book?
I’m nitpicking here as the content of this book is, in my opinion, fabulous. So here goes… The one thing that consistently annoys me about a number of fertility books including this one is the success story. Dr Lana, the author with PCOS, followed the advice contained in her book and then fell pregnant straight away after trying. I followed the advice in the book, I spent a small fortune and plenty of mental energy copying all the actions and tips contained within it, and to no avail. I did not fall pregnant naturally despite 3 years of effort in modifying my lifestyle. I bet you can now see why this is nitpicking as it is completely unfair to find fault with the book simply because it didn’t have the same result for me as for the author. That lady got lucky. Twice. I need to learn to accept that the positive stories aren’t for everyone. The advice in the book dramatically improved my health, wellbeing and fertility, so really I was just being a grumpy ungrateful cow.
How long did it take me to read?
It took me a few weeks to complete this book. There is much to take in and it isn’t a beach read pager turning thriller. It is pack to the rim with evidence, science and advice which resulted in my undertaking a contemplative read over a number of weeks. It’s the type of book you can dip in and out of and tackle a chapter at a time.
The Better Baby Book was one of the first fertility books I read to help me to coerce my body into shape and normalise my crazy cycles. Big changes were implemented to my diet and especially to my supplements regime as a result of the advice in this fabulous book. The information is evidence based and the advice practical and easy to implement (if not potentially quite expensive on the supplements front). In my view, this book is a 10 out of 10.