Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care
by Alan Greene, MD, with Jeanette Pavini and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo

[2007, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, paperback, 291 pages.]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 85, Spring 2008, © 2008, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Rebecca Kelley.]

Dr. Greene, a practicing pediatrician, wrote Raising Baby Green “to help you understand how the environment affects your baby and how raising your baby affects the environment.” It’s an excellent resource for learning about the toxins your baby is exposed to—from the pesticides absorbed in the womb to the paint fumes in the nursery. The book also functions as a general green guide, with practical tips to help families reduce their carbon footprints. The advice ranges from pragmatic (re-use glass jars for food storage) to somewhat over-the-top (request an organic hospital gown for giving birth).

The first 80 pages of Raising Baby Green are dedicated to pregnancy and birth. Dr. Greene stresses the importance of eating organic foods during pregnancy and lists foods to avoid. He compares obstetricians, doulas and midwives and explains how each will help facilitate a green birth. The following chapters go through each room of the house pointing out the potential toxins and opportunities to “go green.”

The information in Raising Baby Green is useful to new, eco-minded parents. It’s well-researched, easy to read, and contains a resource guide and extensive bibliographic notes. Raising Baby Green will not function as a stand-alone pregnancy and birth guide, and sometimes it loses its baby focus and promotes a more general green message, but it’s still a worthwhile read for parents who want the best for their babies and the planet.

Frugality motivates Reviewer Rebecca Kelley to scour thrift stores and plant her own zucchini—practices that have an added benefit of helping the environment. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches writing and co-edits www.greenbabyguide.com with Joy Hatch.

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