At a Glance
Title: Conceiving Healthy Babies: An Herbal Guide to Support Preconception, Pregnancy and Lactation
Authors: Dawn Combs
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Release Date: 2014
Cover Price: $24.95
Target Audience: Prospective parents looking for natural methods of health promotion; expecting mothers who wish to ensure as natural and uncomplicated pregnancy as possible
One of the biggest and most rewarding decisions we can make as human beings is to raise children, and it’s a choice that Dawn Combs—herbalist, co-owner of Mockingbird Meadows in Marysville, Ohio, and blogger at The Prescription Gardener here on HobbyFarms.com—and her husband Carson were heavily committed to. Unfortunately, life threw them a major curveball when they were unable to conceive and Dawn was diagnosed with infertility. After two years of cycle-charting and drug trials, the pair found themselves across a desk from a doctor who was telling Dawn that she was “broken” and that they had done everything to get her body to “work,” but in vitro fertilization was now their only chance.
Using this as a wake-up call, Dawn and Carson slowly began to focus on plant-based strategies to promote fertility and conception while also cutting out processed foods and chemical household cleaners and toiletries from their home. Today, the couple has two young children and Dawn has spun her findings into her first book, Conceiving Healthy Babies.
Part memoir, part meticulously researched herbal handbook, Conceiving Healthy Babies details Combs’ struggle to conceive and nurse her two children, complete with detailed sections on using plants and herbs for health, well-being strategies for prospective parents and a 200-page comprehensive Healthy Baby Herbal Reference Guide.
Normally in encyclopedic reference books like this one, I tell you that the comprehensive entries on each herb and its usefulness to new and expectant mothers are the crown jewel of the work. That section is indispensable, yes, but with this book, another section takes that title—the chapter on the Combs’ birth story, including the foreword by Carson. The pair have taken one of the great struggles of their lives and turned it into educational and inspiring reading; the writing is unflinching in its frank discussion of sensitive medical issues and family mindsets throughout the process, and the pages are rife with personal details that add depth and weight to the later material. No matter how much you may or may not agree with the choices that Dawn and Carson have made, you come away from the book with a profound respect for the couple’s bravery and beliefs.
That said, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the book’s other great strengths—Dawn has pointed out specific compounds and constituents of each herb that are responsible for the benefits she discusses, lending additional scientific credence to her work. Each herb she mentions also has a color-coded graphic key that lets readers know the safety level of the herb for pregnant, nursing and prospective mothers.
With Conceiving Healthy Babies, Dawn Combs has potentially empowered countless couples to take responsibility for their own well-being and has turned what could have been a tragic story of infertility and dashed dreams into an inspiring one of natural health and wellness.
The Final Word: If you and your partner are interested in alternatives to the traditional Western birthing methods, Dawn Combs has your back, and her advice comes from the very best place: personal experience.
Read more of Dawn Combs’ work on HobbyFarms.com:
- Uplifting Herbs for the Winter Windowsill
- Got Muscle Pain? Plant Crampbark
- Plant Your Weeds—And Love Them, Too!
- 7 Ways to Use Mugwort
- How to Grow Goldenseal without a Forest