And by girls, I definitely mean girls. Any of you out there of the male persuasion may want to skip this entry. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
TLC Book Tours recently sent me The Body Scoop For Girls: A Straight-Talk Guide to a Healthy, Beautiful You by Dr. Jennifer Ashton. Dr. Ashton is an OB-GYN specializing in adolescent care and she is totally cool. And by cool, I definitely mean I want to be just like her when I grow up. She has taken a bunch of awkward topics (Puberty! Menstruation! Hormones! Sex! Drugs! Eating Disorders!) and has made them (dare I say it?) fun to read about. And it isn’t just fun, it is one of the more informative books I have ever read. I only say that because I actually made it through the entire book in one sitting and learned a lot of things I didn’t previously know in the process.
I was very happy to get to review this book as I am the mother of three daughters. Sometimes these awkward topics come up in our household, and I certainly expect them to come up a lot more often the closer they inch towards adolescence. I have purchased American Girl’s The Care and Keeping of You, which is an excellent book for girls that are Bria’s age, but The Body Scoop for Girls is the perfect follow-up when girls have grown out of that one. It will definitely help me to address the aforementioned awkwardness with tact, and hopefully, Dr. Ashton-like coolness.
I was thrilled to see that Dr. Ashton advocates waiting until at least age 18 to have sex, if not older. While my religion teaches to wait until marriage, I understand that much of the world just doesn’t see it that way. Dr. Ashton says it is not her job “to tell you what to think from a moral, spiritual, emotional, social, or religious standpoint,” but she can tell you many good reasons to wait from a medical standpoint, and that is her job. I appreciate her viewpoints, and hope that they, along with our religious teachings, will help my daughters make the choice to wait.
I was also very happy to see her cover topics that aren’t usually seen as gynecological. Things like depression, drug use and eating disorders are all covered tactfully and informatively. It’s obvious she really cares about the well-being of her patients and readers, and I appreciate that. It’s also clear that she sees the connection between physical health and mental health, which again, I appreciate.
Finally, I was downright ecstatic to see that she devoted an entire chapter to PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). If I had actually been diagnosed as a teenager instead of only a few years ago when I was 33 years old, I think things would be a lot different with my health and well-being. Wikipedia says only 5% of women suffer from this syndrome, but Dr. Ashton cited a source that claims the number is closer to 26% of the female population affected. Wow. If that is true (and I believe it is, due to the staggering amounts of women I come into contact with that share this diagnosis) then we would all do well to familiarize ourselves with the symptoms. Again, if I had had a list of these symptoms in front of me as a teenager, I most certainly would have gone into a doctor to be tested for it. Dr. Ashton also says it seems to be genetic, which is all the more reason for me to be extra vigilant as my daughters pass through puberty, since there is a high likelihood that they will struggle with this as well.
All in all, this is a wonderful book for teenage girls. I don’t know how many would read it cover-to-cover the way I did, but it would still be a great reference book to have on the shelf. At the very least for mom to be able to deal with the awkward questions in a Dr. Ashton-like way.
Reviews of books like these make me actually EXCITED for Savvy to hit her teens. Very informative! Thanks!
I should look into this. I am terrified for my girls to grow up!
Both of those books look like excellent tools, for women of ANY age. I've been told to be screened for PCO recently and I'm thinking I need to become more educated about it.
Thanks for reviewing this book. I love knowing, even way beforehand, what books are good to read with my daughter…someday…which is coming all too quickly.
Thanks for this review! I'll definitely look it up.
Several of my friends throw a "Coming of age" ceremony for their girls when they begin puberty. I've always loved that idea and look forward to doing the same with my 2 girls some day.
PS: My older sis has PCOS. I agree with Ashton, I think the numbers of women effected are higher, too.
I am on my way to get this book. Thanks for the review. It sounds like exactly what I have been looking for in a long time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Great review!
Excellent review. I reviewed this book, and shared it with my two daughters, who took part in my review. 🙂
Thank you for telling us moms about this. I have three little girls as well.
I will have to look into getting this book…I never knew about the American Girl one, but I looked and our library has it so I will be picking it up soon to start the talks with my almost 10 year old! I can't believe she's this old already!
I'm going to have to check out the American Girl one and this one, too. Thanks, Lara.
And, (totally off topic) we had to have been at BYU at the same time then, since Heather started after me and left for her masters before I finished mine. Did I already know that? I think I assumed you were enough younger than me that we didn't cross paths. Hmmm…now I'm wondering. What year did you graduate? I got my masters in 95.
I have a PCOS sister who may be giving birth as we speak (I mean, as I write).
Cool recommendation. Thanks.
My oldest hit puberty long ago and I bet she would love this book. Thanks for the review!
OK, so no girls for me but I may get this just for myself. There are alot of things that you just don't realize may be something. So thanks for the information.
Even without having daughters I would be interested in reading this book just to get the great info from it. Good review, L.
Great review… my little girl is only six, but I know the time will pass quickly and I will find myself faced with awkward questions very soon!
Wow, she sounds ALMOST as cool as me. 🙂 Wouldn't it be great if we could find REAL doctors for our teenagers like her? 🙂
Maybe I will read that book, in like 8 years. You can pass it to me when you're done with it. 🙂
Thanks for this review!! Sounds like a great book. It's fantastic that she devoted an entire chapter to PCOS. I know at least 3 other women who have it — I would agree that the number is much higher than 5%, or even 25%.
Lara, fantastic review!! I want to be cool like Dr. Ashton when I talk to my girls but I just can't imagine pulling that off. Thankfully the book will help.
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing The Body Scoop as part of the book tour. We really appreciate it.
I need that book! We've just started broching the puberty topics with the twins. Thanks for the heads up!
Oh- and I have a mild form of PCOS. Not sure if it contributed to our fertility problems (others have it in my family and are hyper-fertile) since we were mostly male factor but it's nice to finally see it being broadly known and treated.
Oh – now that I'm having a girl, it's time to put this book into my mind for the future…
Since I have 2 girls this book looks like it would be great for me to read and have around.
Well, looks like I may never need this book in my lifetime.
But, I'm sure I could have used it as a teen myself.
Hmm, I'll have to read that one. Anything sex-related was a very taboo topic in my household. At least with my mom anyway. And, as a teenage girl, I certainly wasn't going to approach my dad with any questions I had! And, it wasn't that she wouldn't talk about it, it was that she was extremely embarrassed to talk about it, so none of us ever wanted to bring it up with her. Um, getting "the talk" from your GYN before you get married is a rather embarrassing experience!
I definitely want to have a more open relationship with my kids. I think I owe to them considering the society they are growing up in! It's nice to have a resource to turn to. But, I'm wondering when to even start the discussion. Laci goes to school next year, do I wait till she approaches me with questions? Maybe – since you've been through it a time or two – you can share some suggestions with me via email? I'm open to any advise!
That sounds like a terrific book! What a great resource.
If YOU learned more about these issues from this book, I am sure that there are many more of us moms – or all females in general – that can be better informed about female issues. I think I will find and read both of these books.
Thanks for the tip. It sounds like one I'm definitely going to need to get.
This sounds like a great book. I work with high school girls fairly often, and one thing I noticed is that they're often more likely to open up about personal things and ask questions when there's a neutral party to talk to (since I'm not their mom or their regular teacher, I'm more likely to just listen than lecture them on issues like sex). And that's what this book feels like; it seems like it would be a great resource not only for moms but for teenage girls, since it offers information without getting preachy. Thanks for the recommendation!