What are “boob foods”? The expression epitomises the writing style of Latham Thomas as she whirlwinds her way through this maternity guide. She is wholesome, funny and helpful as she takes you through conception, pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Mama Glow is described as the abundant energy all pregnant women and mothers should have. The philosophy is every woman deserves to look after herself, and enjoy a sense of wellbeing so powerful that she glows inside and out.

There are quite a few books on the market that deal with the importance of diet and maternal health. What makes this one stand out from the crowd is the fact that it is written by a strict vegan.

However, this is not the kind of vegan food that seems like a punishment. The recipes are hearty, fresh and perhaps most importantly full of ingredients that you probably have in your store cupboard or fridge. This means that trying them out will mean a couple of minutes chopping things up rather than spending a fortune on exotic ingredients you will never eat again!

Latham Thomas is an American, and there are several turns of phrase here that are a little cringe worthy to a British reader. For example, do you call your female friendship group your “sister circle”?

On the other hand, the relentless positivity is an American characteristic that many Brits would do well to emulate. Thomas’ optimism and belief that her readers can and should take control of their own health through diet and yoga is empowering and, rather than feeling that you have been lectured at, you will finish the book feeling that you are well equipped to make some positive changes in your life (whether you are pregnant or not).

The book is set out to follow loosely a woman’s progression from preparation to conceive; through the three trimesters of pregnancy; birth and the post-partum period. At each stage, Thomas gives helpful tips about diet, exercise and mindfulness in dealing with psychological and physical issues that may come up.

Aside from the usual information about how to keep yourself healthy and how the foetus develops as the pregnancy progresses, Thomas also has plenty of ideas about how readers can spring clean their lives, which sounds a little odd but makes perfect sense when you think about making your body, mind, home and lifestyle ready for a baby.

In case you were wondering, “boob foods” are foods that promote healthy breastfeeding for mother and infant.

The writer is clearly a very positive person, and was lucky enough to enjoy a relatively problem free pregnancy. Not everyone is as lucky, and if there is anything the book could have done better, it would have been more coverage of potential unwelcome side effects of pregnancy.

On the whole, Mama Glow is an upbeat book full of positive ideas and practical tips. If you take away nothing else from it, it is worth trying to remember that when your “to do” list gets too oppressive, make yourself a “to be” list instead (and include happy, centred, and optimistic)!

Buy now at Amazon