Have you noticed there’s been a recent spate of newly pregnant celebrity mums offering up advice as to how bring up children? Culprits include the insufferable Gwyneth Paltrow, who regularly endorses celebrity chums such as Stella McCartney (jeans for £700 anyone?) And with other converts to lifestyle blogs (blags?) including Blake Lively and Jessica Alba, it’s a wonder us normal types can’t get out of bed without a bit of celebrity advice.
The latest recruit to telling us all how to properly parent our children is actress Alicia Silverstone, but whereas previous bloggers have simply offered advice, Silverstone is practically dispensing medical facts, unfounded as they may be. With no medical qualifications to her name as far as we know, this actress claims to know what is best for every mother on the planet, by dint of merely having her own baby, a boy named Bear Blu. Now, dismissing the fact that no one should give advice to other mothers when they can’t even provide a decent name for their offspring, Silverstone’s book ‘The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning’, has attracted criticism for offering weird and bizarre tips for the new mother.
The actress, whilst using scientific terms such as ‘chichis’ and ‘hoohas’ for vaginas, and ‘food house’ for stomach and ‘baby house’ for womb, seems to dismiss other established scientific evidence. She advises against vaccines for children, quoting one case where a friend’s baby was ‘never the same’ after the injection. And warns that parents who force their babies to sleep in a cot, or rather ‘barred in box’ as she describes it, are guilty of neglect.
She also boasts to know the cure for many 21st century ailments, such as PMS, insomnia, allergies, breakouts, weight struggles, thyroid condition, lupus and even multiple sclerosis, which is simply to eat a vegan diet. Whilst she also poses the untested theory that tampons made with inorganic cotton can cause infertility.
Silverstone’s unusual parenting skills were first bought to the public’s attention when she uploaded a video clip of herself chewing her baby’s food before passing it over to him out of her mouth. Other nuggets of advice include eating a diet consisting of just plants and eliminating all dairy and meat products. And it’s not just her advice that has irritated the public; it is the easygoing way in which she has written the book that got up a lot of people’s backs.
One writer, Carolyn Robertson, who blogs on the BabyCenter website, writer said: “I don’t doubt the importance of eating well, be it during pregnancy, postpartum or just in general, and I’m sure Alicia has insight into the vegan lifestyle. But… she shows a profound lack of understanding, and perhaps even empathy, for moms who truly struggle to conceive, to birth, to breastfeed, and to adjust to motherhood. Alicia’s breezy prescription, which basically amounts to ‘stop stressing and eat plants’, seems to seriously underestimate the reality of these struggles.”
Whilst Melinda Johnson, a lecturer in nutrition and health at Arizona State University, told The Telegraph: “Much of the advice given out by Ms Silverstone is plain untrue and, quite frankly, bizarre. Case in point is her choice of words ‘toxic sludge’ in regards to consuming dairy – a powerful visual image, but complete nonsense. This type of advice breeds a general unease and fear surrounding food in general, which is not helpful.”
As for reviews on the Amazon site where her book is being sold, opinion appears to be divided, with some loving the book, and others commenting on the ‘anti-science claims’, with one reviewer begging the site to ‘Stop printing this dangerous tripe’.
‘The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning’ by Alicia Silverstone is available on Amazon for £13.99