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The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy and Birth Paperback – 10 Mar 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Publications Inc; First Edition edition (10 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555836267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555836269
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The first book of its kind, THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO LESBIAN CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, AND BIRTH is a step-by-step guide to the physical and emotional aspects of conception through delivery, providing easy-to-understand charts and illustrations, checklists, groundbreaking fertility information, and personal exercises geared specifically toward lesbians. Reflecting the unique experience of lesbian mothers, including the medical, legal, financial, emotional and physical aspects of lesbian pregnancy, this is a comprehensive and indispensable book, practical and inspirational, and will serve as a literary midwife to the growing number of lesbian mothers, as well as the definitive resource for clinics and professionals.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book to any lesbian, bisexual or single woman (in fact any woman) wanting to become a parent, as the detail of information and the compassionate style are truly unique. It covers everything from creating new family models, choosing a donor, optimizing fertility, conception and conception challenges right through to pregnancy. The medical information is thorough (both authors are experienced midwives) and both western and holistic approaches are outlined in detail. This book is such a valuable resource and contains information and encouragement that is hard to find elswhere. It is a must for anyone dealing with alternative conception issues!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Highly Recommended! 27 Feb. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was the best resource out there for me and my partner. It was an excellent reference book, with the most useful information being about the process of conceiving, tracking your cycles, and issues like how to time insemination if you're using frozen sperm vs. fresh sperm, etc.
Although there's info out there on artificial insemination, pregancy using sperm from a male partner, etc. this book puts all the information female couples need into one resource. Other books on these topics are for heterosexual couples and either don't address the decisions or don't address the various medical implications of those decisions for lesbian couples.
And, overall, it was just nice to have a book that was written for me and my honey. There was a place for her and a place for us written into those pages that meant we didn't have to translate all of the time into our own needs and experience.
(BTW- I didn't read anything that seemed negative in the book, so I was surprised to see that in other reviews. It's more that the authors take the approach of describing how to be healthily involved in getting the info you need to give birth to a healthy little one.)
Hope this is helpful. Good luck to you!
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Appropriate for lesbian, bisexual & aspiring single mothers. 22 Mar. 2002
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Essential Guide To Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, And Birth is jointly written by the co-founders of Maia Midwifery and Preconception Services, Stephanie Brill (a lesbian mother of three) and Kim Toevs (member of the California Association of Midwives, and the Midwives' Alliance of North America). Designed specifically for the non-specialist general reader, the authors have effectively collaborated to present information on how to plan and create an ideal family; decide between the many sperm-donor options; choose a co-parenting situation; legally protect family and custody rights; create a healthy, fertile lifestyle through nutrition, exercise, and herbal remedies; select a method of insemination; track fertility cycles and recognize fertility signals; diagnose and treat infertility; and handle both the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy and birth. The comprehensive, "reader friendly" text of The Essential Guide To Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, And Birth is wonderfully enhanced with easy-to-understand charts and illustrations, checklists, up-to-date fertility information; and personal exercises especially appropriate for lesbian, bisexual, and single mothers. Unique and very highly recommended.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
You go Girls! 16 Mar. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am so grateful that Stephanie Brill and Kim Toevs wrote this book. It is an excellent book written directly to lesbian, bisexual, transgender and single people who want to have children. It is an excellent resource and a lovely read!
It covers foods, herbs, sexuality, fertility, self-empowerment, mental health etc.
I live in a very rural area, and am unable to locate local support. This book is like receiving that support in the mail. Most books focus on donor insemination from a heterosexual infertile perpective. I appreciate being spoken to as a lesbian directly. This book is a bold step towards the liberation of life and true family! If you are even thinking about conceiving through some form of alternate insemenation, this book will cover all grounds! Congratulations to the authors for their hard work, tenacity, humor and love that has been invested into this book!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great Lesbian Conception-How-to Book! 5 April 2002
By T. Haney - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is very informative, though not boring or difficult to read. It covers many topics of the whole lesbian conception process, ranging from how to begin the whole "baby making process" to the actual birth. It also gives many resources for sperm banks, products, and even examples of legal documents necessary for parenting. The pictures (geared of course towards lesbians, partners, and children) add some coziness to a topic that can be very overwhelming. It's nice to see an all around great book that encompasses every aspect of lesbians choosing, planning, and becoming parents.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A disappointing lack of concrete information 22 May 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
The current reading list for lesbian parents and [potential] parents is short and light on substance. I applaud the authors of _The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth_ for boldly stepping into these relatively unchartered waters. Unfortunately, the end result- a 489 page tome- lacks the substance to help real women make real decisions about their baby-making plans.
The tone is warmly accepting of all lifestyles, just as one would expect from a modern midwife team. However, this "anything goes, do what's right for you" acceptance seems to prevent the authors from giving meaningful advice about difficult decisions. There's a decidedly and unsurprising anti-Western medicine bent, but the authors fail to substantiate their distrustfulness. For example, the couple of pages devoted to clomiphene (Clomid) give vague, almost paranoid warnings, without providing real information about observed benefits and risks of the drug.
The authors also fail to cite any research that might buoy their opinions. They carelessly use loaded phrases like "often," "many women," "usually," or "seldom." In this respect the authors sound to the careful reader like religious proselytizers or used car salespeople. For example, the authors insist that most women inseminate too early, which is very bad news for women who have familiarized themselves with the available literature on the matter. The evidence the authors provide seems to be based solely on their collective hunch.
Women who rely on this book to sort through the miasma of conception issues may feel unprepared to make the important decisions they will face.
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