Friday, January 6, 2012

Take A Deep Breath by Nina Shapiro - Book Review w/ Giveaway

After Cort's asthma attack last month, I was excited to hear about the book Take a Deep Breath: Clear the Air for the Health of Your Child by Nina Shapiro, MD.  TLC Book Tours contacted me about doing a review and giveaway, and I felt like the timing was perfect.

The book is broken up into the ages of newborn - 3 months, 3 months - 1 year, and 1-5 years.  I found the book to be informative without being preachy, reassuring without being dismissive, and down-to-earth for the topic.  In general, I think this is because Dr. Shapiro is a mom herself, which lends her an authenticity for the parents out there reading the book.  She knows what it's like to worry about a child, to put practicality first sometimes in the face of recommendations.  She knows when to say, okay, maybe you don't have to be a total stickler with this - versus, hey, I know it's hard but this is something you've got to stand firm on.  I like that philosophy. 

Even though there is medical terminology, the book is not heavy with it, and everything is well explained.  I think there are pieces that will appeal to all parents - like what can you do when your infant has his first cold?  What if there is a rattling in the chest at some point (oh yeah, I've totally called the nurse hotline at my pedi's office over this one before!)?  What about things like RSV and pneumonia?  Are air filters necessary for newborns?  And what are the signs that my baby has stuck something up his nose?  You'll also learn in depth about all those icky childhood viruses, and what you can do to try to minimize them (you may have the urge, like me, to wash your hands about 5 times when reading this chapter). 

I was fascinated by some of the statistics in the book.  In general, the book isn't laden with statistics, but the ones it does contain are intriguing.  Did you know that over 50% of babies have an incident of wheezing in their first year (but only 1/3rd of those end up developing asthma)?  15% of kids have croup at least once before age five.  And 1 in 5 SIDS deaths occur when a nonparent is caring for a child (so make sure those caregivers know that back for sleep is best).

In light of Cort's recent illness, I was most interested in the information on asthma.  Dr. Shapiro covers some of the risk factors that can predispose a child to asthma, what a nebulizer is and how to best introduce it to your child, and the medications typically prescribed (and are they safe).  Although we know that Cort has risk factors against him, my understanding after reading the book is that his wheezing attack could have been in relation to the cold he had, and he may not actually go on to develop asthma.  So that is promising news.

The other part of the book that was near and dear to my heart was the section on the environment.  Dr. Shapiro writes of the toxins, the air quality, and understanding how EPA regulations have changed things (for the better).  I love that she has ideas for how to teach your children good environmental habits that will help them grow up to be eco-friendly adults!

My only critique of the book would be that if you are reading it cover to cover, you may find parts of it repetitive, as symptoms, assessments, and techniques are recovered with each age group.  However, you can easily just skim over it if you've already read it once, and I do see that it is necessary for those readers who might skip over one age group and go directly to the relevant one.

If you want to learn more, you can check out Dr. Nina Shapiro's Website  or follow her on twitter.

TLC Books and Dr. Shapiro are generously offering one copy of  Take a Deep Breath to Two Bears Farm readers.  To enter, just leave a comment, and be sure to include a valid email if it is not visible in your profile.  Open to US Residents only.  Winner to be chosen on 1/10/12 at noon by Random.org.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Take a Deep Breath: Clear the Air for Your Child to read and review.  All of the opinions above are my own.

32 comments:

Gloria said...

This sounds like a good book for anyone who has little ones. After a scare with my 7 month old when he stopped breathing for about 15 seconds - this sounds like a good book to read.

Sagittarian said...

Hi Lisa, thanks for sharing about this book and all about TLC Books and Dr. Nina Shapiro. I love to visit her site too! This is very helpful! Thanks again! :) Blessed day! :)

andy said...

Hi our doctor said the same about the cold and wheezing. Will only has wheezing spells firming bad colds. Have a great weekend

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This sounds like a wonderful resource! What perfect timing to get to read it!

Anonymous said...

This book would be a good book for our family. Just last Halloween, my Great grandson had a hospital visit due to breathing problems.
Jean in Memphis
jjjtatum@aol.com

Bargain GAB said...

This would be such a good book for me! My three year old was just diagnosed with severe asthma after 3 hospital stays with pneumonia. Thanks for the review!

kim@bargaingab.com

Zombiemommy said...

Hey I haven't been to your site in a couple of years, I think this sounds like a great book!

zombiemommy @ zombiemommysaves.com

junkfoodkids said...

Sounds like a really good book

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Great giveaway for a mommy with an asthmatic baby. :)

Nina Shapiro said...

Thank you, Lisa, and thanks to all of you for your kind comments. "Take a Deep Breath" has been a labor of love for me, and I am thrilled when I hear that is providing the information in an accessible way! I hope that you all enjoy it, and that it gives you piece of mind, as well as some cool information. Please dont hesitate to get in touch with me if you ever have questions or concerns. Breathe easy! Nina (www.drninashapiro.com) @drninashapiro

Valerie said...

Lisa, This looks like a great book-and one that would have come in handy when Amy was little!

I don't need this any more, but I know some mom out there will really appreciate winning it:)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I have asthma, but thank God none of my boys do--but what a great resource. I will definitely recommend it to people I know!

Sarah (Nikki) said...

it's funny how we take breathing for granted when some struggle so much with it.

the cuby poet said...

The title of your blog captured me and so I came to visit! Your boys are all lovely the little ones that is - I am sure the big one is too! My son suffered from croup s a baby which then turned into asthma but he grew out of it as he grew up. All these things are worrying at the time. Glad you found a book which helped. Bye for now I'll be back very soon.

stacymolter said...

Our always get wheezing with illness (also called illness induced asthma) but they have never been diagnosed with asthma since it's not chronic for 6+ months.

It good to hear you got some answers from the book.

I found and followed you through Mom Loop Friday!

Nina Shapiro said...

Thanks, all, for your comments! As both a mom and a doctor, i know how scary breathing problems can be, especially in little ones. Hope you all enjoy, and can breathe a little easier! Best, NS

Nezzy said...

Oh, I need to alert my DIL, The Latin Lovin' Hillbilly about this website. She and two of my granddaughters have breathin' issues.

Sound like the book is a good read too.

God bless and have a fantastic weekend sweetie!!! :O)

heathertlc said...

Sounds like this book came along at the perfect time for you! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

This sounds like a great resource for me! Both my boys have gone through some hard episodes with breathing.

Kasey said...

I would love to read this book! My older-by-one-minute-twin son has some wheezing issues already at 6 months old. I hope your little man is okay!

My Journey With Candida said...

My StepDaughter would love this book. She has become such a good mother and reads up on things like this.

Chatty Crone said...

Sounds like a great book for parents of young children. sandie

Kim said...

I hope your hunch is right Lisa, that Cort's asthma was related to the cold. This sounds like a great read.

Nna Shapiro said...

Thanks, all for your comments! It's always amazing to hear how common breathing problems are. Although i see it every day, and read the statistics, it's always startling to hear about individual kiddos that are suffering. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and I hope you all enjoy the book! Best,
Nina

Carolsue said...

At 17 months, my daughter had such a bad asthma attach she had to be airlifted to a more specialized hospital. Now, at 11, she's virtually asthma-free. I'd love to read this book.
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

trish said...

A lot of the things you say are covered in the book are the exact questions I've heard discussed in the Mommy & Me group I'm in. I don't think there's anything that the majority of moms worry about more than their child's breathing!

KaeliH said...

I would love to give this to a friend whose baby has been having some major issues! Thanks for the giveaway!
kohines at gmail dot com

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

This sounds wonderful as I have asthma. Thank you so much!

Emily said...

Emily Dorigo
lovemuffin_em@hotmail.com

stracey2010 said...

would love to have this book
stracey2010@live.com

sophieandmomma said...

It sounds very relevant to our household. I know my family is always getting on us on taking care of our daughter--but it would be nice to read a book that is not preachy but gives us facts to make a good decision as to how to take care for our child.

also would be curious to read more about germs!!

sophieandmomma said...

sophieandmomma at gmail dot com