My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs. My links above are all new and current.

I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

Readers enjoy your feedback and Reviews (82!) on amazon. Kindle Version Available!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Permission to Mother Feedback

I am reposting some of the feedback I get here. I'd like to have a back up to I also get some feedback via e-mail (from non-bloggers) that I'd like to share with consent. Fell free to post comment. It's not just for me!


Permission to Mother said...

By Kerry Amato (Vero Beach, FL) -

This book offers a unique perspective on mothering, breastfeeding, modern medical viewpoints and instinctual parenting. I really enjoyed the fact that Dr. Punger shared such personal details of her life with the readers and how life experiences compare with medical school teachings.

Permission to Mother said...

By Anne K. "Anne K." (Bethel, Alaska)

I received this book in the mail on Friday afternoon and had it finished 2 days later. This book is very easy to read and Dr. Punger does an exceptional job telling about how she came to believe what she does. This book gives wonderful information about breastfeeding, home births and doulas. Anyone with questions about these should read this book!

Permission to Mother said...

By G. Biegner (Ft. Pierce, FL) -

We are lucky enough to have Denise as our pediatrician, so I did not really think I would learn anything new from her book. Boy, was I wrong! While I already practice many of her reccommendations, her wonderful read of a book convinced me to take my toddler to the dentist (uninsured, money is always an issue). I also recently had an experience with some unsupportive in-laws, and going off to read her book really bolstered my resolve. I think this book offers even more for the parent or parent-to-be who is unsure of what is the right parenting style for their child. She takes you through her whole thought process as she goes from medical standard procedure oriented to a child oriented philosophy. Her forthrightness and honesty about all the ramifications in her family and professional life really make the book personal and so much more real. I can not reccommend the book highly enough, and it will be my standard present for all future baby showers.

Permission to Mother said...

By J. Hernandez (Prescott, AZ) -

Hooray! A book with positive birth stories!!! There are so few out there. If you are pregnant or thinking about it and feeling scared about anything related to having children, READ THIS BOOK!

I loved everything about this book. What stands out the strongest is its honesty at all levels...from the quotes by the author's small sons (honest as only children can be) to the sharing of her own experiences in a way that is not blaming but straightforward, to the inclusion at the end of her husbands experience of the pregnancies and births of their first two sons.

I was also pleased by the shear number of topics covered. Many books address only pregnancy up to birth or only postpartum or only attachment parenting or only breastfeeding....this has it all tucked neatly between two covers, with great photos, entertaining stories and practical advice and information.

Permission to Mother said...

By Alanna Rubin "Alanna Rubin, LM" (Palm City, FL) -

I just received my copy of Permission to Mother and am so excited to be able to share the book with my pregnant clients. I am always trying to empower the women I see and this book birth reaffirms my belief that birth is safe and better left undisturbed. This is a great book because it covers pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum in an enjoyable intimate format. I highly recommend this book!

Permission to Mother said...

By Carrie B. Thompson (Scotia, NY) -

Denise Punger's book arrived in the mail today. I opened it up and first devoured the photos. They are diverse, heartwarming, and you can see and feel the emotion in these women with their babies, and the feel the joy in their pregnancies. Then I started reading, I laughed, and cried, remembering my own birthing experiences. Any person planning on giving birth or supporting someone giving birth, should read this beautiful book with an open heart and mind. It will change how you feel and hopefully help guide you to having the birthing experience and bonding with your baby beyond what you can imagine. This is not your typical pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding book, it absolutely goes beyond the standard of care to the exceptional.

Permission to Mother said...

By Courtney Girdwood "TheGirdy8" (NJ) -

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.

Permission to Mother said...

By D. Cuti "loving parenthood" (Teasure Coast, Florida) -

So I finally get a chance to really post about the book. I actually got my book rather quickly. I skimmed around in the book at first, then I read the suggestion to read cover to cover. I finally got a chance to do this... and I did not sleep until I had done so because once I started I could not put the book down!
Reading your book was like a healing process for me. I started out being really sucked in by curiousity about how you came to be the doctor that you are. I was intrigued and enlightened by the experieces and feelings you described through your years of medical school and as a practicing doctor before you yourself became a parent. I think it is amazing you are so brave by allowing yourself to be so vulnerable to your readers. I think the number one reason I have always disliked doctors so much is because I always felt like they hide behind their plaques and came off as being almost in-human. You are absolutely an exception to this rule and I commend you and thank you for your honesty.
Then I read on in the book and emotions overwhelmed me. I felt like I was right there with you experiencing your birth experiences as they were happening. It was so validating for me as I related so well to how you described your first birth experience with William. And it was encouraging to read that I too may someday be able to heal the wounds that are definitely still bleeding because a good birth experience is possible and empowering!

Permission to Mother said...

By K. Nelson Sella (Florida, USA) -

This is a must read for every woman who would like to mother her children to her fullest potential. It left me feeling proud that I had worked hard to continue nursing my daughter even when the times were tough, and it inspired me to truly birth the way that I want to next time. Thank you Dr. Punger.

Permission to Mother said...

By Lauren A. Annen - See all my reviews

A book like Permission to Mother is long overdue. As a new mother, I found this book engaging, eye-opening and enlightening. It was refreshing to read Dr. Punger's perspective on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting. Finally, a physician who tells the truth and looks out for the mother's well-being! Warmth and intuition abound greatly throughout the text, encouraging and empowering women to mother their children from the heart. All mothers, especially expecting mothers, who embrace this book, will learn what pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood should be all about. I am now better prepared for the birth of my next child.

Permission to Mother is an essential read not only for mothers and mothers-to-be, but for their partners as well. My husband enjoyed reading my copy and it was the only pregnancy/birth/parenting related book that he actually picked up and really read. He was intrigued by Dr. Punger's honest insights into motherhood and all it encompasses. I was proud to see him reading it!

Permission to Mother said...

By Rebecca J. Rivera -

I devoured this book the same day I received it. It is so good. It made me feel good about nursing my youngest for so long with no support. This book will inform you as well as entertain you. In addition it will change the way you see pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing. It will make you think, "I have a choice in all this." I thought I had to do exactly what my doctor said, even when it was not best for me or my babies. The author is a real person and that is conveyed as well. I will be buying this book as a gift for pregnant woman in my life.

Permission to Mother said...

By Mary L. Rainer "Marymom" (Fort Pierce, FL USA) -

Dr Punger's book gave me important information in story form that kept me turning the pages -like no other birth, breastfeeding and mothering book - A staple must have for expecting and new mothers, childbirth educator's and midwives' loaning libraries!
Mary Rainer

Permission to Mother said...

By Cat "Birthing shouldn't be a Disease! :]" -

Permission to Mother has REALLY helped me move on from my past birth. The book and photos made me think about doing something in regards to being a doula myself ... helping women birth the way they really want to.

Permission to Mother said...

By Mary K. Poore "Mary and Misty" ("with the boys") -

I have just one grown up daughter and you think you know everything about childbirth, but you don't. Women are so afraid of birth, but this book is so informative and empowering.

It was so cool to read about the birth of Dr. Punger's sons. I've read many of Dr. Punger's individual articles over the years. Compiled together in a full-length book made the story so much more interesting. Each chapter got deeper as Dr. Punger adds another twist and new personal insights on themes that weren't covered when I read the articles seperately years ago.

Permission to Mother said...

By Bernadette Clark "RN" (Port St. Lucie, FL USA) -

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.

Permission to Mother said...

Great book!, April 12, 2008
By Lisa Bell (Florida USA) -

Permission to Mother by Dr. Denise Punger is a book for every woman. Dr. Punger clearly and artfully relates society's cultural norms surrounding birth, breastfeeding and mothering through her own experience. She recalls her introduction to the process and meaning of birth and how medical interventions during the birth process make it difficult for a woman to appreciate her unique role in the continuity of life in her womb to her arms. Many women simply accept the medical intrusions (and a few succeed with the constraints of the hospital regimen). Dr. Punger realizes that the dignity and purpose of motherhood is more than being a passive patient and that a mother should be supported in her biological and spiritual capacity rather than be subject to interventions that can make her job more difficult.

She reveals the beauty of motherhood and of the support other women can offer in the process of birth. Breastfeeding continues the mother's nurturing of her child, guiding the infant's transition into the world. She reveals that breastfeeding is the normal way to feed and emotionally support babies and should be the standard promoted by all doctors. Dr. Punger supports the wisdom of motherhood with biological and medical evidence.

Dr. Punger respects the beauty of the human body and soul and how it is made for the transmission and nurturing of new life. As a doctor she respects and encourages women in appreciating their natural abilities and does not force unnecessary medical interventions. She recognizes situations when medical intervention can support and aid the normal process instead of restraining and interfering with normal processes. By supporting feminine intuition with medical research, this book enables women to fully treasure motherhood.

And finally, Dr. Punger weaves her own experience as a mother and physician throughout the book. She shares her journey as a mother with stories of her own children and husband and her own spiritual growth. I especially like her response to her son when he asked why she had him if it hurts. She replied, "Because the pain is just for a few hours, then I get to love you forever."

Permission to Mother said...

From Sophy Vanegas -

Denise Punger's book is great! She mentions her children and makes them sound 'real.' It was entertaining to read the witty comments they had.

Permission to Mother said...

Refreshingly Honest, April 9, 2008
By Michelle L. Calandro (Fort Pierce, FL) -

Dr. Punger combines personal experience and education to draw you into her fun and informative book. Once I started reading I could not put it down.

Permission to Mother said...

More Then Wonderful....., April 7, 2008
By Maxine Thomas "Realtor®" (Orlando, Florida)

We have entered a changing world. When my babies were born I was told when you put that precious baby in your arms, you will forget about the labor pain.

In Permission To Mother, Dr Punger expresses and with eloquence shares her feelings on the childbirth experience, and the Mothering Journey from deep in her heart with words from her soul. She not only believes that an empowering birth experience improves a mother's emotional and physical health, but with words of love shares how the birth experience can have a profound impact on the way a Mother raises her children, and how she relates to her partner, family and friends.

Permission to Mother is an essential read not only for mothers and mothers-to-be, but for their partners as well. The words of this book are meant to inspire, uplift and touch your life. Dr. Punger's honest insights into motherhood and all it encompasses, answers many questions from a medical and personal perspective in an easy to read format.

Seems like only yesterday that you were born, the memory of that moment will forever linger on despite the fact that I thought that I had to do exactly what my doctor said. You have a way about you that is definitely your own. I was so proud to read this book.

Forever and Always,

Permission to Mother said...

By Sandra Gonzalez "mydoula" (Jensen Beach,Fl) -

for new mothers and veterans alike. Written by an M.D. but given as a testimony to the struggle that comes with mothering from the heart. In a world that undervalues natural childbirth, misinterprets attachment parenting and offers a lack of support for those of us that choose to do so, this book is a welcome friend. I have known Dr. Punger for many years now and have seen her dedication to her calling. Numerous clients have been helped by her dedication to empowering others in their quest of breastfeeding, and mothering in general. Without fail I will get calls back from them thanking me for the refferals, these mothers find the support and understanding that is so lacking in modern medical practices. With this book women world wide will now have the opportunity to be enriched and validated in their roles as women and mothers.

A great book for all mom's, and all who have the privilage to serve them.

Permission to Mother said...

great mom book! sister-to-sister honesty for expecting & current moms, April 7, 2008
By Cynthia Abbott MD (atlanta, GA)

Permission to Mother is a great book written by my dear friend and roommate in medical school. Denise Punger MD has always been "alternative" and she and I share many common interests. She "pushes the limits" in just about everything she does, questioning and making everyone question. She is confident and vocal about it.

I highly suggest reading this book, especially if you are in the birth & breastfeeding stage of life, whether you're working or stay-at-home mom. It was great for me to read even after that stage, as every mom can relate to her choices and experiences. I lived through much of it with her through phone and email! It blew me away, she did such a great job!

Cynthia Abbott MD
Dermatologist, Atlanta, Georgia
Mother of 4, including a set of twins born without c-section and nursed til age 2

Permission to Mother said...

Different kind of doctor, April 5, 2008
By Z. Defelici (Florida) -

First I have to say that I don't like doctors. I think all they can do (what they were taught at school) is to prescribe antibiotics and cut. So it was really unusual to read about a physician who would have a home birth. And this Dr. Punger also uses herbs, natural products and always looks for alternatives. Now this is the doctor I would really trust.
Her book is great! I finished it a week ago (for the second time) and it keeps coming back to me. That's my definition of a good book - if it makes me think about it and I can't get it out of my mind - that's it! I keep thinking about my past birth, my breastfeeding and all the mistakes I did and what I will do different the next time. I am sure my future experience will be much better thanks to this book.
Thank you, Dr. Punger. I wish there were more doctors like you...

Permission to Mother said...

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

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

Permission to Mother said...

I got your book and read it. I couldn't put it down especialy the first half of it. I liked the book a lot and it gave me strength to keep nursing through the pain. It also inspired me to be a better mom, and nurse till my son is one maybe longer.

After reading the book I wanted to call you and talk to you like you were my best friend. I felt so close to you and wanted to share my stories with you about my births and my brestfeeding history. Again thanks.

D.M., Florida (via email)

Permission to Mother said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Permission to Mother said...

Hi Denise,

My name is Linda Ertl. I am a pediatrician/IBCLC in Connecticut. I just read your book cover to cover this evening after returning from 3 very rewarding housecalls for nursing moms/babies.

Thank you so much for such a great and very personal book!!

I am a mother of four. My eldest is 8 years old and my youngest is turning 2 on May 5th. I am feeling such pangs for another newborn. (Essentially I'm having a hard time moving on the the next phase of life!!)

I enjoyed your book so much...I think we have a lot in common in our experiences with our babies and our styles of raising our children....although kudos to you for home schooling.

Similar to you, I also delivered a "vaginal breech." She was my first-born, and I had a very enlightened and capable OB who honored my request in a hospital setting (so that the c/s room was readily available!!).

I really just wanted to say thank you. I will re-read this book often, and I will suggest it to many moms in my practice!! Your book is wonderful!

~Linda Ertl, MD, IBCLC
Burlington, CT

Permission to Mother said...

Parts [of the book] were enormously powerful and comforting, and honestly, getting me emotionally ready for the next pregnancy. I remember thinking "I can do this again!" My intuition says your work is groundbreaking and will provide a lot of guidance to moms, particularly those raising sensitive children. I am contemplating this for use in some way in my 8-week pregnancy course. L, Clermont, Florida

Permission to Mother should be studying said...

"I really appreciated her view on how women who choose to go unnassisted in their births are usually very well prepared and understand what they want out of birth. I always seem to feel like no one gets that part. The part of the book that touched me the most 'I think' was her letter to her son. Dr.Punger is a woman that really has a heart for babies and it clearly shows by how this book was compiled. ~Tash

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