November 26, 2006

New Book Helps You Worry Productively About Green Pregnancy

organic_pregnancy.jpgHow can you not love neurotic New Yorkers? Seriously. Either you nod your head vigorously and go, "I know! Me too!" when they give you their paranoid shpiel, or their obsessive worrying about things you barely even thought about makes you feel like a zen master. It's win-win.

So my hat goes off to Dierdre Dolan and Alexandre Zissu, two reporter/moms who met at the New York Observer, whose new book, The Complete Organic Pregnancy, not only examines just about every potentially toxic or unsustainable risk factor of pregnancy, birth, and babycare, it provides a rational [!] context and a practical [!] set of recommendations. They do all the wacked out worrying and they research out the solutions. Again, win-win.

At least that's how it sounds from the level-headed review at Treehugger. For my money, though, I'd start reading the authors' guest blog at Huffington Post. Here's a quote from Dierdre's first entry:

The first time my boyfriend Olli and I had deliberate let's-make-a-baby sex was just plain weird. We were still in the talking-about-it phase when it just sort of happened. I lay in bed afterwards, freaking out. To my surprise, my panic had very little to do with the idea of a child.

My anxiety was about my physical world, suddenly looming over me. I tried to concentrate on that what-if-we-just-made-something feeling, but the crack in the ceiling above my head distracted me. It was suggesting a different sort of what if? As in, What if that's lead paint? What if that stain where the window meets the wall is actually toxic mold? What if the zit cream I smeared on my face before climbing into bed can lead to birth defects? And the wine I drank hours earlier? The fumes wafting through the vents from my building's boiler?

Olli wandered into the bedroom, unfazed, with a glass of water. I sipped. He turned out the lights. I couldn't sleep. Why had I taken a sip? We use a Brita filter. But what if even Brita isn't safe? What's in that filter anyway? The water sits in a plastic pitcher in our fridge. Isn't plastic toxic? And plastic is everywhere - my computer, all of my food storage containers, the television, the printer, the remote control, the Cuisinart, the garbage pail, the hangers, all of the plastic bags, my phone. What about cell phones? Eventually I drifted off.

Good stuff. [FWIW, we moved to DC a couple of months before the kid was born, in the middle of a massive, city-wide lead contamination crisis. After a couple of tense, bottled-water-only weeks, we switched to Brita, which was filter enough for lead. I never even realized how deadly plastic is, though...]

Buy The Complete Organic Pregnancy [amazon]
Fearlessly Au Naturel [huffpo via treehugger]

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