Other Books I Recommend
As you can tell I love reading and I'm passionate about finding resources for my patients that can help them through many different situations. Here is a list of other helpful books and some books I found interesting for myself listing in no particular order. Happy reading!
Highlights for me include
She suffers from imposter syndrome too. In chapter 5 and throughout the book she recognizes that she works hard for her accomplishments but there is a voice inside her head at times asking ‘Am I good enough?’
She struggled with infertility like many women. In chapter 13 ‘It turns out that even two committed go-getters with a deep love and a robust work ethic can’t will themselves into being pregnant. Fertility is not something you conquer.’
She wants to increase awareness for miscarriage and help shatter the stigma of shame. In chapter 13 ‘If I were to start a file on things nobody tells you about until you’re right in the thick of them, I might begin with miscarriages. A miscarriage is lonely, painful, and demoralizing almost on a cellular level. When you have one, you will likely mistake for a personal failure, which it is not.’
As a woman, she bares the burden of infertility treatments while her husband went about his daily life. ‘I was just feeling the acute burden of being female…None of this was his fault, but it wasn’t equal, either, and for any woman who lives by the mantra that equality is important, this can be a little confusing. It was me who’d alter everything, putting my passions and career dreams on hold, to fulfill this piece of our dream.’
I finish the book wanting more. She touched on so many themes and thoughts that are my own and I loved hearing her perspective on work/life balance, imposter syndrome, bullying, infertility, friendship, mom guilt.
The author sent in her DNA to ancestry.com on a whim and discovered that her deceased father was not her biological father. Within 36 hours of this discovery she knew who her biologic father was: a retired doctor living across the United States who donated his sperm for an intrauterine insemination in the 1960s as a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania. The author was raised in a proud, strong, Jewish family and feels betrayed yet enlightened by her family’s secrets. As a reproductive endocrinologist I am still reflecting on the brand new world that access to genetic information and testing to the public through websites like ancestry.com, 23andme, and more. Is anonymity a thing of the past? What does this mean for the people that donated decades ago who couldn’t foresee this technology and what it means. Highly recommend this book for an interesting read into how we define ourselves based on family, experience, and what we are told.
I can sum it up in a few statements: points he makes repeatedly using different examples from his own experiences and those of notable people in history and present day.
We cannot control what happens to us but we can control how we experience those things (we can control what we give a f@ck about)
Entitlement is a tragic flaw - it encourages us to blame others for our own failures and robs us from taking responsibility for our own actions
Get your values in check - defining your own accomplishments by comparing yourself to others will only lead to frustration and emptiness
A lot of his points remind me of Buddhism - suffering is inevitable and good (we learn from failure).
His points are nothing new but presented in a new way. I loved the real life examples and appreciated the reminder that we can take control of our experiences - not what happens to us but how we interpret, reflect on, and learn from them.
Lynn Jensen's Yoga for Fertility: A Journey to Health and Healing book walks you through simple practices and poses that can help increase blood flow, flexibility, and decrease stress. She is a wonderful resource for people in Seattle who can attend her classes and I'm thrilled that she's put her knowledge into a book and DVD that people who are not able to attend her classes can learn from her!
This lovely picture book by Matthew Cordell depicts a couple who come together, enjoy life, decide to start a family but wait, wish, wait some more, and finally welcome their baby. Bittersweet story of a journey towards family. This would be a perfect gift for a couple with a newborn after infertility and/or miscarriages or adoption.
Body Belief by Aimee E. Raupp, M.S., L.Ac., 2018
Patients ask me about the impact of diet on infertility and miscarriage risk every day. There is lots of buzz about gluten, dairy, and other foods that may alter our immune system and impact our health. Leaky gut, probiotics, detox, oh my.
My head starts to spin and every resource says something a little different.
I read ‘Body Belief’ by Amiee E Raupp, M.S., L.Ac this weekend. She is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist who wants to teach you ‘how to heal autoimmune diseases, radically shift your health, and learn to love your body more.’
I liked her overall message of shifting your mindset and making changes that can last a lifetime. This is no 7 day detox or quick fix. She encourages the reader to be mindful of their symptoms (fatigue, pain, brain fog) and keep a journal daily to get feedback on the changes you decide to make. I also liked her focus on decreasing exposure to toxins through the products we use like beauty products. Everything was great until I got to her detox plan - I quickly became overwhelmed with her recommendations. I can take away pieces of advice and I like the lists of recommended products and recipes she includes. Just not sure I could do the whole program, but I love learning!
Description: Rachel Carson started an environmental awareness revolution with this book in 1962. She shed light on the harm of pesticides and other commonly used chemicals on animal species and the environment. She faced harsh criticism from the establishment but the evidence presented in this book and her testimony in front of congress lead towards a ban of DDT use in most of the Western world and lead to the creation of the environmental protection agency.
Dr. Shahine says: Today we take for granted the knowledge that pesticides and chemicals can be harmful to our health, but this was not always the case. During the first half of the 20th century chemicals were highly regarded and allowed for mass food production, efficiency in industry, and decreased cost of production. Chemical were modern and the future. Rachel Carson sounded the alarm of the harms of chemicals and stood up for what we take for granted today. This is where modern day environmental awareness began.
Description: A thorough guide through the definition and physiology of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome written in patient friendly manner. Dr. McCulloch describes inflammation, insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, and ways to improve overall wellness with a natural approach.
Dr. Shahine says: Dr. McCulloch does a wonderful job explaining PCOS, a common and complex hormonal disorder, in a way that many people can understand. There is no single lab test that diagnoses PCOS and there is no typical collection of signs and symptoms of this disorder. Dr. McCulloch takes each aspect: inflammation, insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances and explains how PCOS is interconnected on many levels. She balances between reviewing the science and giving practical advice on diet, recipes, exercise and lifestyle changes that can improve overall wellness. I will recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about PCOS.
The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies are Changing the Way We Have Kids – and the Kids We Have by Bonnie Rochman, 2017
We are living in a brand-new world of technology and genetics. Ethics and society’s ability to deal with the ramifications of genetic testing is slower than the development of the technology itself. Genetics have gone from testing single, simple genetic mutations that lead to diseases we’ve heard of like cystic fibrosis to the ability to sequence the entire genome and find ‘secondary findings’ or mistakes that we weren’t looking for much less know what to do with. Bonnie Rochman, an experienced and award-winning journalist, tackles this explosive and fascinating new world with a balanced interest. She weaves technology with real life stories of families dealing with genetic disease and its testing as well as the providers (doctors, scientists, and genetics) who are all trying to learn and care for each patient and each other through this quagmire.
Dr. Shahine says: I am so very thankful for this book. As a reproductive endocrinologist who does IVF and genetic testing on patients and embryos every day – I struggle with ethics and slippery slopes every day. Something I say to patients regularly “Let’s think about this since just because we can do something does not mean we should.” The Gene Machine is an excellent resource for anyone interested in an up to date look into genetics and it’s testing.
Description: This is the first book from the editors of Goop, the lifestyle website started by Gwyneth Paltrow in 2008. Just like the content on the website, the book is part experts sharing knowledge on everything from beauty products to detoxifying diets to hair styles.
Dr. Shahine says: The book is beautiful to look at and easy to read. The focus is on improving wellness from the food we eat to the beauty products we use. Gwyneth Paltrow gets a lot of press when she recommends fringe wellness options (remember vaginal steaming!) but this book has more realistic suggestions. It includes simple tips on ways to detox your life from the refrigerator to your medicine cabinet.
Description: A personal account of struggling with the decision of whether or not to have more than one child. The author, Lauren Sandler, was an only child to a mother that made a conscious choice to have an only child. “My mother was deeply devoted to raising me. To have a happy kid, she figured she needed to be a happy mother, and to be a happy mother, she needed to be a happy person. To do that she needed to preserve her authentic self, which she could not imagine with a second child.” While writing this book, Lauren is a mother of one child and struggling with the pros and cons of having another child. She reviews medical research, literary references, social pressures and norms with an open mind and compassion. She quotes Granville Stanley Hall, the first president of the American Psychological Association, who said in a lecture in 1907, “Being an only child is a disease in itself.” She reviews more recent medical literature that finds that only children are thriving, successful, and not different from people who had siblings.
Dr. Shahine says: I have recommended this book to many patients who are struggling with either the choice to have one child or the inability to conceive a second child. The book is not glorifying the ‘only child’ like many other books on this subject – this is a balanced examination and the author’s personal input make it comfortable and warm to read. At the end of the book (spoiler alert!) the author does not reveal whether she decides to try for a sibling for her own daughter and I’m sure I could look it up but I haven’t…yet.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, 2012
Description: This is a guide to navigating crucial conversations in work, love, and all aspects of life in order to be more productive, maintain respectful relationships, and in many ways, get what you want. The authors have sold over 3 million copies and topped almost every best seller’s list since they first published in 2002, so pay attention. First they teach you how to identify a crucial conversation: it’s not the topic but the emotion involved and the stakes at risk that make a conversation crucial. One you know you’re in a crucial conversation you learn how to navigate through the muddy waters to come out on the other side better than when you started. Tools include staying in dialogue (not forcing your opinions on someone), keeping the conversation safe (avoid violence/lashing out or silence/clamming up), recognize what you want to gain from the interaction and get yourself there by finding mutual respect and mutual purpose.
Dr. Shahine says: Where has this book been all my life and I’m thankful I found it now. It dials into mindfulness – staying aware of what is at stake, your emotions, your goals throughout any intense conversation. I got slightly confused with the authors’ use of key phrases like ‘fool’s choice’ and ‘start with the heart’ but they would bring me around with interesting examples and scenarios. Highly recommend for anyone who talks to any other human being.
Description: First published in 1936 and over 15 million copies sold. Described as a ground-breaking guidebook for simple and life-changing concepts that carry people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.
Dr. Shahine says: My Dad talked about this book growing up and I am so glad I finally read it. Even though it was published over 75 years ago, the advice stays relevant. I don’t think of it as a ‘success guide’ but more of common sense advice on how to get along well with others and be a good leader or manager. Solid advice like ‘don’t criticize, appreciate others, smile, get people to talk about themselves, show respect.’ I enjoyed the real world examples of leaders that have modeled the advice Carnegie gives. I’ll keep this book around and flip through every once and a while for reminders.