Do you love drinking tea and eating roast chicken? If so, you will be relieved to learn that these foods are perfect for keeping the body warm and in a good condition for maintaining and boosting fertility.

It is very reassuring to see a book with dietary advice in it that normal people can follow without breaking the bank or getting a qualification from chef college!

Emma Cannon’s first book, The Baby Making Bible, was a huge success. Readers appreciated her down to earth advice combined with her medical expertise. This book is likely to be a similar hit. Cannon once again combines the familiar approach of Western medicine with the ancient principles from Chinese medicine. Rather than pitting the two theories against each other, she suggests ideas from each school of thought that will complement each other and work together.

Chinese medicine advocates an holistic approach to boosting your fertility. The writer examines not only the reader’s diet and physical symptoms, but also her state of mind and stress levels. These issues, Cannon claims, are all key contributors to your ability and readiness to bear a child.

After a brief introduction into the principles on which she has based the book, Cannon examines the areas that men and women should focus on when considering conceiving a child. She then translates these points into practical advice for the kitchen, gym, bedroom and for the inside of your own head (from the point of view of combatting stress).

It is unusual and refreshing to see a book about making babies that talks openly about sex. After all, this is necessary if you want to have a baby! Cannon approaches the subject directly, and reminds her readers that they should aim for a relaxed and fulfilling sex life as part of their conception plan. She does not use coy language but at the same time keeps it ladylike and professional.

Any text that aims to help couples conceive will inevitably require some charting of your cycle. The language used sometimes comes across as a discussion of what is normal and abnormal, and where the reader falls in that spectrum. Some writers can engender a kind of panic in everyone (because no one surely has a cycle that lasts exactly 28 days). However, Cannon’s guide to charting and cycle tracking is not at all alarmist. She encourages her readers to develop an awareness of their cycle rather than become a slave to it.

If there is a down side to this book, it could be that the part on assisted reproduction is rather short. Cannon’s treatment of the subject is sensitive but there could be a more in depth discussion of how to deal with the emotional roller coaster involved.

However, this book does live up to its title: Total Fertility. You will come away from reading it with knowledge of how you can tweak every part of your life to give you the optimum chance of having a baby.

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