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Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child [Paperback]

MD Victoria Maizes , MD Andrew Weil

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Book Description

Feb. 5 2013
From an internationally recognized integrative physician, a thorough guide to fertility that encompasses all aspects of female well-being to help women prepare their bodies for easy conception, pregnancy, and the delivery of healthy babies.

The increase in environmental toxins, processed foods, and stress, as well as the advancing ages at which couples seek to have children, have made it more difficult for women to conceive. In Be Fruitful, Dr. Victoria Maizes, an expert on women’s health and the executive director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, delivers all the information women and their partners need in order to conceive with ease and confidence, and to bear healthy children.

Warm, friendly, and hands-on, Be Fruitful offers a comprehensive self-assessment to help identify any potential physical, emotional, and practical roadblocks that may interfere with conception, as well as clear and easy-to-follow dietary, supplemental, and exercise recommendations proven to increase optimal fertility. Dr. Maizes details how nutrition, mind-body practices, elimination of environmental toxins, and traditional Chinese medicine can all contribute to a successful pregnancy.

Unique in its integrative approach, Be Fruitful acknowledges that wellness comes from caring for the entire person—not just the physical body—a crucial factor for the countless women trying to conceive and committed to transforming their overall health.

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“It's clear from the very first chapter of this power-packed guide on maximizing fertility that a hands-on clinician, brainy scientist, holistic thinker and compassionate, thoughtful woman is offering up the very latest and best that integrative medicine has to offer. Be Fruitful is an eminently readable, warm, encouraging, practical book bursting with a wealth of consequential information, backed up by clinical research and epidemiology. It is destined to become a well-worn, gratefully used reference book for anyone interested in fertility, whether professionally or personally.”
--Belleruth Naparstek, LISW, BCD, author of Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal; and creator of the Health Journeys Guided Imagery series.

Who knew that low fat milk might lower your fertility, while hypnosis could boost it? I found Dr. Maizes' well researched book to be a treasure trove of this kind of valuable, but rarely discussed, advice. Be Fruitful is the perfect read for anyone seeking a happy pregnancy and a healthy baby." (Daphne Miller, MD, author of The Jungle Effect and Farmacology)

"For some of us, the road to motherhood is strewn with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In Be Fruitful, Dr. Victoria Maizes has given us a superb, well researched guide to help transform our obstacles into health and life-affirming opportunities." (Julia Indichova, author of The Fertile Female: How the Power of Longing for a Child Can Save Your Life and Change the World)

“Women interested in protecting and maximizing their fertility will find this book filled with up- to-date facts that are easy to put into practice. I will recommend this book to my women patients in their late teens and early twenties to help them maximize wellness and fertility years before they start trying to have children. This is a must have book in my integrative medicine medical reference library.” (Roberta Lee, MD, author of The Super Stress Solution and Vice Chair, Department of Integrative Medicine Continuum for Health and Healing Beth Israel Medical Center)

“Be Fruitful is a must read for any woman currently attempting or planning for a pregnancy. Dr. Maizes is a leading advocate for Woman’s Integrative and Preventative Healthcare and her book provides practical, proven strategies for improving the chances of becoming pregnant and as well as enjoying a successful pregnancy. The importance of pre-pregnancy planning cannot be overstated. As a Reproductive Endocrinologist, I see daily how the positive influence an integrative approach to healthcare can benefit patients. This is a book I will ask all of my patients to read.” (Carmelo Sgarlata, MD, Reproductive Science Center of San Francisco and former President of the Bay Area Reproductive Endocrinologist Society)

“A well-rounded approach to ensuring a successful pregnancy. Maizes provides a wealth of practical advice and a comprehensive self-assessment test covering contraception, nutrition, diet and exercise, environmental factors and spirituality. Solid and wide-ranging prenatal advice for women of all ages.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Clear, comprehensive, and compassionate, this is one of the most important books in maternal health to appear in recent years.” (Larry Dossey, MD author of Reinventing Medicine and The Power of Premonitions)

"I cannot think of a more compassionate yet knowledgeable companion to accompany couples on their journey toward parenthood than Victoria Maizes. Her warm, friendly manner and her thoroughly integrative approach to fertility will give women and men the confidence and the practical advice they need to conceive with ease." (Linda Sparrowe editor-in-chief, Yoga International Magazine and author of The Woman's Book of Yoga & Health)

"A hopeful and encouraging map mothers-to-be can follow to increase the liklihood of achieving optimum health before conception and beyond. This straightforward resource clearly explains the fertility benefits of combining the best of conventional and alternative methods." (Publishers Weekly)

"Whether you’re at the stage of dreaming about starting a family in the future or frantically weighing your hormone treatment options, you need to read Be Fruitful. This friendly but concise guide can steer you toward your own personal well-being sweet spot. [A] thorough and inspiring book [that] manages to be comprehensive without being overwhelming." (Yoga Journal)

“Many women dream of becoming pregnant, but few ever stop to think about the possibility of having trouble with it. While there are no guarantees, it makes sense to do everything possible to boost the chances of baby-making. Victoria Maizes’s Be Fruitful is just the guidebook to prepare you—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Maizes is that all-too-rare medical professional, a family physician trained in Western medicine who values the power of alternative medicine.” (Alive Magazine)

About the Author

Victoria Maizes, M.D., is executive director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and a professor of medicine, family medicine, and public health at the University of Arizona. An internationally recognized leader in integrative medicine, Dr. Maizes lectures worldwide to academic and community audiences on women’s health, aging, nutrition, and cancer. The co-editor of Integrative Women’s Health, the 2010 Oxford University Press textbook, she was named one of the world’s intelligent optimists in 2009. For more information, please visit

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable book! July 20 2013
By Jeanne - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an incredible and comprehensive book which is written with both expertise and compassion. I highly suggest that every woman who is preparing to conceive a child and/or who struggles with infertility purchase this book. I had been struggling with secondary infertility for three years when I stumbled upon this book. Through a combination of acupuncture, assisted reproductive technology (medicine, not IVF), and strategies that I learned from this book, I finally became pregnant! While each individual case of infertility can vary, I truly believe that this book can be an invaluable resource to every couple dealing with the heartache of infertility. Thank you Dr. Maizes for writing this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing resource for all women (and men!) planning a pregnancy Aug. 23 2013
By Jessica - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Before I read this book I felt a bit lost in all the diverse and sometimes conflicting information available on this topic. While I'm more than willing to draw on conventional medical approaches if that's what it takes eventually to conceive, I want to go in knowing that I have already tried everything possible through diet, supplements, stress management, and elimination of toxins to maximize fertility, to maximize the effectiveness of conventional medical treatments, and to ensure a heathy pregnancy and baby. Dr. Maizes puts all this information in one place, providing clear explanations, tons of practical advice, and many links to other helpful resources along the way. She writes with compassion, enthusiasm, and, most importantly, expert authority. She analyzes the available scientific research critically and draws on vast clinical experience, both her own and that of her community of practitioners. While the focus is very much on approaches to health that are usually ignored in conventional medicine, she also does a great job of explaining what the conventional approaches to infertility are and how to go about deciding when and how to use them. I really enjoyed the chapter on Traditional Chinese Medicine; it's a topic I knew little about and had kind of dismissed until now. The ones on Ayurveda and spirituality were a bit beyond my personal comfort zone, but I think it was good for me to be challenged in this respect.

I think every woman (and man -- yes, there's a lot of stuff in here for the gentlemen as well) should buy this book if you're planning a pregnancy, whether or not you've experienced difficulty conceiving. Many of the recommendations go well beyond fertility and are also helpful for women who are already pregnant or really anybody who wants to improve their health. No health care provider has the time to give you the depth of information contained in this book. Thank you to Dr. Maizes for writing it and to my nutritionist for recommending it to me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great read Oct. 20 2013
By Tina - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for women looking to better understand how to be fertile before TTC. Very thankful to the friends who recommended it to me. Read this book and got pregnant very soon after!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book! Dec 20 2013
By Heidi - Published on
Be Fruitful helps woman understand in a clear and concise way about fertility and the overall health for women while they are still in childbearing years. Our population is an indicator of the health and Dr. Maizes' has advice that will have a profound effect on our future for woman in childbearing years. I have recommended this book to all my friends, coworkers, and anyone I hear is above 30 and would like to have children regardless if they are having difficulty.

About 9 months ago I recommended it to my dogs vet, who was 37 and having difficulty getting pregnant. Just like many of us, life school marriage and divorce played a roll in her life. She got remarried and realized time was catching up with her. I recommended this book and was happy to learn a little over a month ago. Although of course we are not entirely of the circumstances. She said that she could not have been without this book. She implemented suggestions from the book into her own life and realized where she was with her own health.

I have also recently bought this book for 3 people for Christmas, I am sure they will love it.

This book is a must get!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Dec 22 2013
By Leslie McGee - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Be Fruitful lives up to its subtitle: an essential guide to maximizing fertility and giving birth to a healthy child. Victoria Maizes covers a lot of material - nutrition, supplements, environmental factors, conventional medicine, as well as a fine review of alternative medicine approaches to fertility challenges. I was especially impressed with the chapter on environment, which provides a thorough and scientifically documented overview of how chemicals can impact fertility, and yet provides practical and hopeful guidance to minimize that impact.

I was also deeply moved by her chapter on spirituality. It is a wonderful gift for a physician to bring scientific rigor to a topic, and also write with deep compassion about the pain and loss experienced by infertile couples. She brings practical, compassionate guidance for the spiritual and emotional journey. This is a terrific book: engaging, scientific, and filled with heart.

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