Permission To Mother: Going Beyond The Standard-of-care To Nurture Our Children

  • Manufacturer: Outskirts Press
Why do you need Permission to Mother?

The "Standard-of-Care" is a legal term, the level at which the average, prudent provider in a given community would practice. It is how similarly qualified practitioners would manage a patient's care under the same or similar circumstances.

Sadly enough, the standard-of-care legally protects only the provider (the physician or hospital) and is not necessarily in the best emotional, physical, or spiritual interest of the consumer (the patient). Dr. Punger's personal experience brought this to her attention. She has experienced a doula-attended hospital birth without intervention, working while tandem nursing, tandem nursing beyond the toddler years, and perhaps most dramatically, a footling breech birth at home.

Included are other women's experiences that go beyond the status quo. All stories have one feature in common: Dr. Punger goes beyond the medical standard-of-care that too often imposes on a women's right to mother to the fullest.

Through her warm, attachment feel stories about her own mothering journey and the inspiring women she is in close contact with, Dr. Punger gives you permission, to birth just the way you want to and to breastfeed for how long you (and your baby) want to.

Customer Reviews

The BREAST book ever!!!, February 8, 2008
By Shannon Miller "Shannon & Katie"

My daughter will be a much healthier because of Dr. Punger. I felt the connection with her the first time I went to her practice for my breast feeding issues. Little did I know that I would continue going to her family practice for my daughter and myself.

I am so proud of Dr. Punger and her book because it will give so many people a different perspective on nurishing children the way nature intented. This book will convey the same kind of philosophy that you will receive in her clinic.

There are so many examples in this book of what may seem like a the impossible but there is always a way to perserve nurturing at the breast. This book is not just for women or just mothers. Fathers and health care providers will learn that there are no excuses to not breastfeed. All barriers can be overcome.

Heart of the Home, February 6, 2008
By Bernadette Clark "RN"

The classic you are about to read will take you along Dr. Punger's personal journey from medical school training to home-centered parenting. Dr. Punger skillfully weaves her subjective experience as a mother with her clinical expertise as a family physician and international board certified lactation consultant. She examines birth and its outcomes in various elements, hospital and home, with and without professional doula support. Breastfeeding from the first moments of life to beyond the typical weaning years is chronicled together with the joys and difficulties women encounter personally and socially in feeding their young. Dr. Punger has a way with putting life into words we can all relate to. She has amassed information covering a large, but very related set of mothering topics. If I could only put her words of wisdom in a nutshell and pour it into the hearts and minds of each of my "mothers," this world would be a better place.

Not your typical self-help book, July 30, 2008
By Danielle Sullivan

As a new mother, I read scores of parenting and breastfeeding books. They all had the same information regarding breastfeeding - most all of it unhelpful and outdated, as well as very hard to read (with a newborn in tow).

Dr. Punger's book was the first book that actually made sense and gave real-world, practical advice. Her book was written with her real-life stories and it draws you in as a reader. She cleverly intertwines her expert advice amoung touching personal stories and you forget you're reading a "self-help" book. She teaches you to trust your instincts and to stop comparing your baby to the medical "norm".

I keep this book right next to my favorite spot to nurse.

The most inspiring book I've ever read!, May 23, 2008
By Patricia Chibas "Trish Chibas"

I'm not sure if there are enough words to describe how much Dr. Punger's book inspired me. Once I opened the book I couldn't put it down! After reading it I feel confident in the way I raise my daughter. In a society that is shaped by social norms and fear of what others might think, Dr. Punger enlightens that we can choose the way we raise our children.

Dr. Punger portrays birth so beautifully and really reminds us that the experience we have while bringing new life into the world is enitrely up to us. My husband and I are anxious to have our next child at home.

Dr. Punger also inspired me to switch to cloth diapers, something I NEVER thought I would do. My daughter had 3 UTI's by the time she was 8 months old. I never thought they could possibly be caused by disposable diapers. But now it makes sense! There are tons of chemicals in those things. I'm glad she pointed that out. None of my daughters doctors ever told me to try switching daipers. They just did really invasive proceedures that had inconclusive results. I'm fairly new at the cloth diapering but Brianna has been free and clear of UTI's since switching.

Since reading "Permission to Mother", I have also decided to breast feed longer than I intended. Actually, I'm not to sure how long that is but I know I don't feel I need to put a time limit on it. I'm comfortable with letting my daughter decide when she is ready to wean.

All in all, "Permission to Mother" is the most incredible, inspiring, and empowering book I have ever read. I love it and strongly recommend it to everyone!!!!!

Every Mother-to-be needs to read this book!, February 26, 2008
By Courtney Girdwood "TheGirdy8"

This book is WONDERFUL! It is the first book I have ever read that truly gives women the freedom the mother their children the way they want to.
I love that it is written by a doctor. It is extremely insightful and I learned so much. I read all of it in two days. It was so good, I could not put it down. I think it should be suggested reading for every first time Mom.

This book empowered the mom in me, July 19, 2008
By Mom Doc

As the reader winds through Dr. Punger's journey - medical school and it's OB 'protocol', her own births and eventual discovery of her unique specialty of breastfeeding medicine - you are brought full circle. I audibly laughed, cried and cringed at her experiences.
She begins as a naive, eager-to-learn hospital volunteer and medical student. She quickly learns that the status quo treatment of laboring moms is not only unnatural, but also very restrictive. Her inner strength encourages her to seek the perfect natural birth for herself, and she finally does with her third child.
Her medical knowledge, own research and personal experiences lead her to a fulfilling career in groundbreaking breastfeeding medicine - to help those of us who also desire a gratifying birthing and breastfeeding experience.

This is a must read!, April 4, 2008
By Kimberly Wildner "Kim Wildner"

There are two main reasons that Dr. Punger's book is important. The first is that she started out with the same culturally imposed beliefs about birth and breastfeeding that most American mothers have. Often, mainstream mothers assume that `alternative' mothers have always had `far out' ideas.

Yet the journey from culturally accepted parenting beliefs to heart-centered intuitive parenting doesn't happen overnight or without good reason. Often it is the result of a great deal of research and soulful exploration. Permission to Mother is Dr. Punger's journey. Part of this journey includes her medical training (and that of her physician husband), which is the second reason this work is so important.

People tend to assume that support of all safe birthing options, including homebirth, automatically requires that someone be `anti'-doctor or `anti'-hospital. Likewise, to advocate for breastfeeding is often taken as an `anti-woman' stance. Somehow it doesn't occur to certain folks that it is only their own erroneous assumptions about birth and breastfeeding that could lead to such conclusions. In any case, in this book, they are challenged. Dr. Punger IS a doctor. She is married to a doctor. Her father-in-law is a retired obstetrician. Obviously she isn't anti-doctor. Yet she supports homebirth and doulas. She is a working woman; yet she's a breastfeeding advocate. Her story is vitally important in putting to rest the `us' against `them' mindset once and for all.

Punger shares with us her education, training and early experiences. We hear first-hand just how little doctors learn about truly normal, natural birth and breastfeeding. She asks important questions about why obstetricians so often jump to surgical solutions when other, less invasive options abound for many variations (sometimes called complications). Her own breech home-birth ends up being part of that process of questioning.

Likewise, her discovery of Dr. Brewer's advice which led to the elimination of toxemia from his own OB practice prompted her to ask, "Why does the medical community ignore his evidence?" Good question; midwives have been using this advice to help mothers to be healthy for decades. The information is there, and it is so simple. Why the resistance?

Perhaps the best part of this book is "Finding Breastfeeding Medicine". Dr. Punger's own breastfeeding experiences led her to supplement her education to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). We learn elsewhere in the book that medical `training' in breastfeeding may include an hour or two of instruction and continuing education sponsored by formula companies. What I want to know is why every single doctor (or nurse) that will discuss infant feeding with new mothers isn't required to be a lactation consultant? Why isn't every obstetrician, pediatrician and family practice physician required to be able to fully inform mothers of the benefits of breastfeeding and understand how to overcome challenges when they occur? How can they actually educate women if this isn't part of their own education? How can they be of assistance if they don't have the motivation to go above and beyond as Dr. Punger chose to do?

I love that the author shows that being a working woman doesn't mean you can't breastfeed. I love that she herself is so dedicated to her boys that she would have them brought to work to nurse them when she couldn't be home. I actually chose my own daughter's pediatrician for exactly that reason: the doctor's husband brought her children to the hospital when she couldn't go home to nurse them.

Because of this level of knowledge of breastfeeding, Punger is also able to address issues such as adoptive nursing and other special situations, as well as introduce the concept of breast-milk donation, which may be a new idea to some readers.

Finally, I'm excited about this book because also home-birthed, cloth diapered, breastfed, co-slept and unschooled my own daughter (who, by the way, is an intelligent, compassionate, independent young adult now, despite dire warnings of where our `weird' parenting choices would lead). It's nice to find a kindred soul.

Kim Wildner
Author of Mother's Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth
HypnoBirthing educator

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