International Doula Month - book club: The first forty days, Heng Ou

First off, I think this is a beautiful book, I have a bit of a book lust in general, and I found the design of The first forty days very appealing (Ou's graphic design roots shining through).

The autobiographical first chapter is very touching and open, describing Ou's three quite different postnatal experiences. 

Side note, because this book reminded me of it - I am really enjoying Chef's Table on Netflix, sumptuous production and such articulate and thoughtful interviewees. 

Back to the book; content wise, I like it as a doula but not as much as a mother. This probably says much more about me than it does about the book, but I found it to be quite worthy and make me fancy a pint and some haribo.

I'm not often a devils advocate type person, especially not compared to my husband who, if you give (what he considers) to be a highly one sided account he cannot stop himself from giving the other side. Even if he violently opposes it. Not the worst habit, but took me a few years to get used to.  

However, despite not feeling like I have to present alternative views, something about this book makes me want to rebel. Even though I agree with so much of the content.

My conclusion for why this is:

  1. My mood today. I think I'm feeling a bit feisty.
  2. It is a smidge on the preachy side, giving opinion as fact. 
  3. It feels like it takes itself a little too seriously. There is humour, but somehow it's not connecting with me today.

That said, I do think this will aid me in postnatal care (always want to put postpartum, goddammit America). There are some gorgeous ideas for stretches, bathing and sleeping. And as a cookbook, it is gorgeous - I can definitely see myself making loads of the stuff in here.  

I am glad I have bought it, because  

  1. Who really wants to regret any purchase??  
  2. I think it is a good addition to the library of books I can offer to clients. 
  3. I think I would have found really useful things in here if I had read it when pregnant. I think if I had read it in that fuzzy forty days I would have found it too much. Also, lol that I think I would have had time to read ii with a newborn. 

The mindfulness throughout the book is spot on for mmy personal taste, although I'm sure it will be too much for some. One example of this is 'The Art of Sitting Still'. Something I never considered before I had a child and something I struggled with. Ou writes about this so well.

My thought as I put the book down was that it was so necessary to have all these words dedicated to the mother. And that if I had replaced my 3am panic forum scrolling with this book, I might have avoided a little bit of down time.