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How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor
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How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  558 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, renowned pediatrician and author advises parents on home treatment and diagnosis of colds and flus, childhood illnesses, vision and hearing problems, allergies, and more. PLUS, a complete section on picking the right doctor for your child, step-by-step instructions for knowing when to call a doctor, and much more.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 12th 1987 by Ballantine Books (first published 1984)
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Jun 21, 2012 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
Wish I had heard of this book while pregnant. As first time parents we wholeheartedly trusted our pediatrician and doctors because of fear basically. No more. This book is eye opening and empowering for parents. Even though it's outdated, this guy was ahead of his time - advocating home birth, cloth diapering, cosleeping and the truth about vaccines. Oh, and the revolutionary idea that fevers are good and shouldn't be lowered routinely. Must read!
Apr 19, 2011 Janel rated it it was amazing
Not so much for the up-to-date information, as this book is quite outdated...but I took the most valuable thing possible from this book: When it comes to my child's health, I am his advocate and protector. This book took doctors down off their pedestal for me and helped me to realize that I know what is best for my child and that I am an expert when it comes to what is right for my child. It was eye-opening, as a new parent, to learn that I had the answers and that it was ok to do things "my way ...more
Jan 26, 2010 Ginger rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
The title of this book seemed suspiciously familiar, when I read it in my syllabus. As I started reading I realized it is one of the many books my Mother-in-Law lent me as a young mother over 25 years ago. When I started out, I took #1 to the doctor constantly with ear infections and other illnesses. By the age of three, she was totally immune to antibiotics and still sick. I was at a loss. With the help of a few naturally minded friends and my MIL, I adopted Dr. Mendelsohn's attitude that the b ...more
Sep 05, 2007 polly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents
This book is a good reference manual for parents who want to take a proactive approach to their children's health. The author, a pediatrician, discusses everything from accidents to ear infections to antibiotics.

A few words of caution, before I praise what is good:

1. This book is old. It is, therefore, rather outdated on some subjects, including vaccinations (which he calls 'immunizations'). The DTP is no longer used in the US, we have new vaccines (Hib, Prevnar, varicella...), etc. However, th
Rose Voltaire
I had the excellent good fortune to see and meet Dr. Robert Mendelsohn many times in the early and mid-1980s. I read this book when it was 1st pub'd, and I bought several copies, had them autographed and gave them as gifts at baby showers.

The chapter re: treating childhood diseases that are believed to be treated by vaccinations is very responsible. Parents need to know if they DO NOT vax their children, recognizing and treating a disease as measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, diphtheria, pertu
Mar 30, 2008 K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: parenting
I loved this book. I've been wanting to read it for years and finally ordered it and read it within a few days of receiving it. It is very readable and understandable.

I really loved Dr. Mendelson's candor about the medical profession, pediatrics especially. He cleared up some questions I had about vaccines and childhood illnesses and had some super great information on things like strep throat and ear infections.

It was written in 1984 and I wondered how "dated" it would feel and I think that a
Apr 11, 2016 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I bought this book after having my first child-- 9 years ago! (5 kids later.... this book has been well-used! LOL) I think this book offers parents peace of mind! I have pulled it off my bookshelf many times "re-remind" myself about certain things. =) When my accident-prone son ran into the wall and got a big old goose-egg on his forehead, and I was wondering if that was cause enough to run to the doctor... or when my daughters complain of growing pains or tummy aches... and I wonder if I need t ...more
Jennifer Margulis
Nov 14, 2013 Jennifer Margulis rated it it was amazing
I don't know what compelled me to re-read this book from cover to cover in the last few days (besides insomnia and needing a break from Vanity Fair), but I'm glad I did. I read it for the first time 14 years ago when my daughter was only six months old. Dr. Mendelsohn's fearlessness, honesty, bluntness, and smarts empowered me back then to take charge of my family's health. I took a healthy baby to the pediatrician, was made to wait almost an hour, and then was told she had an ear infection (she ...more
Mar 25, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
Interesting book...unfortunately a little outdated, but I found his philosophy and insights very helpful.

This book was written in the early 80's, and one thing I found fascinating was how many of the things concerning pediatric care, which he warned about then, have come true. We now have an enormous vaccine schedule, our children are handed several prescriptions each visit we make, and our role as parents (as knowing what is best for our children) has been replaced by legislation and laws, etc.
Jan 28, 2011 Jaimee rated it really liked it
Some of the information is a little outdated, but it is refreshing to hear a pediatrician talk about using common sense and letting nature take its course instead of constantly prescribing medications. He presents information in an easy to read manner and is comfortingly non-alarmist when it comes to most ailments and injuries. I especially like the "quick reference guides" at the end of each chapter, which allow you to find answers quickly when dealing with a situation. Though most of the infor ...more
Jul 27, 2009 Mylinda rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
Okay, so I don't have any children. I read medical records all day and have noticed an increase over the years in testing and surgeries that in the past have not been warranted. This book talks about the medical profession (pediatrics specifically but could apply to other specialties as well) and what really is the driving force behind medications and all those tests - essentially the bottome line is $$. Interesting read. Since I already limit my interaction with the medical community (yes I hav ...more
Mar 07, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, health
The original doctor-complains-about-mainstream-medicine book for me. He's quite a character. He even advocates the old fashioned spoonful of brandy for kids with a cold. But the premise that we turn to medicine too often and can take care of much of our family's health on our own, with simple remedies, and that often doctors make things worse, is very much true. In my opinion. ;)
Dec 06, 2008 Willow rated it it was amazing
If you are interested at all in being the one responsible for our childrens health this is a must for your resources!!!!! When everyone's telling you fear based opinion it's always so refreshing to read the truth and get the facts.
"He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind."
Gianni Adragna
Jun 03, 2014 Gianni Adragna rated it really liked it
This book is excellent. I have only one problem with it. It was written 30 years ago (that is why I give 4 stars). Most of the things I have learned sound applicable irrespectively of the fact that the science of medicine and medical practice may have changed during the last 30 years. However on some issues I would definitely love to read something more updated. One example over all, the names of drugs that he points his finger at, I am sure names have changed and it may be that some of them hav ...more
Kristina Maltby
Aug 03, 2009 Kristina Maltby rated it it was amazing
This book was great! It makes so much sense and is a rational view to healthcare. This should be required reading!
Feb 08, 2008 shannon rated it really liked it
This book takes you through a variety of common things that could happen to a child and gives you reason to trust that the body is amazing. For the most part with sickness comes natural healing. I'm a little tired of taking my children to the doctor for them to tell me what I already know. There's really nothing that can be done for a viral infection except allowing the body to heal itself. Yes, yes I know I can give them Motrin for the pain/fever. Wait...fevers are a good thing and should be al ...more
Kerissa Taylor
Jan 18, 2016 Kerissa Taylor rated it really liked it
This was one of my required readings for school and I enjoyed it. A lot of information coming from a former tip pediatrician in his day. It was when he began teaching medicine that he started to question what it was he was actually teaching compared to reality adn what is best for our bodies namely children.

He can come across strong and a bit negative, but his information is extremely important and useful.
Roslyn Ross
Apr 05, 2016 Roslyn Ross rated it it was amazing
This book has saved me from countless trips to the doctor. It has saved me from anxiety. It has saved my son from antibiotics at least three times.

My grandfather was an MD. He gave this book to my mother when I was born. He said the medical industry was headed in a bad direction and to never trust doctors who went to medical school after the late 70's.

Jul 05, 2015 Justme rated it it was amazing
I read this upon becoming a new mother. Eventually I loaned out my copy, bought another copy & gave that away, and now have a new copy to keep on my shelf...and my child is nearly grown!
I can never thank Dr. Mendelsohn enough for helping me deal with the many issues that arose, in a calm & competant manner. Through the colic, scary high fevers, unrelenting diarrhea, gushing head wounds, broken fingers, allergies & worry, worry, worry...I had Dr. Mendelsohn & Susan Weed to provide
Jun 16, 2012 Cyn rated it it was amazing
I sincerely wish I'd known about this book when I was expecting my children back in the 90s.

Fortunately, my son was spared the brutality of circumcision, but I made many other decisions about him and my daughter that I wish I could change; decisions that were based solely on full faith in doctors, thinking - erroneously - that they always know best. How foolish of me.

*Some* of the information in this book is a bit outdated (it was printed in the 80s, and the author died not long afterwards) - H
Amy Garrett
Oct 09, 2014 Amy Garrett rated it really liked it
Great book to have if you don't want to run to your pediatrician for every little thing! Full of useful and helpful info! I borrowed it from my midwife, but i fully intend to buy a copy for my bookshelf!
Michelle Corder
Jun 15, 2016 Michelle Corder rated it it was ok
The book is definitely out dated. There are some interesting points, but in general I would not recommend it. The topics skim the surface and dont really dig deeper with facts or details.
Dec 03, 2011 Abigail rated it liked it
First off, this is an outdated book. So a lot of the facts could have changed over the last couple of decades.

I am skeptical of the anti-vaccine information but would like to read more from the other side to see how they refute Dr. Mendolsohn's claims (or if they can?). While I think he's a little over the top in his characterization of pediatricians ("the most dangerous kind of doctors"...really?), his basic philosophy of trusting your instincts as a parent was nice to hear. I especially liked
Nov 21, 2012 Jeniann rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
This is a book written by a pediatrician that interestingly somewhat mocks some of the things that pediatricians do. As an example, he points out that measuring children's size by percentile based on numbers that were established in the 1950s isn't really a very useful measure. I didn't agree with everything he said in this book, and some of it I would have to research further to know if I really believe it, but in any case, it gave me a new perspective on things and got me thinking about what I ...more
Jun 08, 2015 Stella rated it it was amazing
I really loved the idea of this and I am buying a hard copy because I want to have it around to be reminded.
Having said that, I just managed to keep my sick child with fever for about five hours and then I caved in and gave him paracetamol (which is ok even according to dr. Mendelsohn if we really really feel like we have to do something)
All his advice totally makes sense to me - and yet, somehow, when it comes to our own children, so hard to follow.
Must practice.

Although - I really wouldn't d
Magdalena Saito
Jan 22, 2014 Magdalena Saito rated it really liked it
Shelves: natural-medicine
I enjoyed how he gave methods of treating the simple, non threatening, casual complaints at home, and what to expect. like having a pediatrician remind you that grandmothers methods were actually pretty good.
Aug 26, 2009 Angela added it
Okay, that title sounds strange but I truly loved this book. It shows us how far we've come that we go to the doctor for little colds. I used to take my kids to the doctor all the time, but I've had my eyes opened a bit by this book and some other books about alternative medicine. My family and I are healthier that we have ever been, because we have decided to take our health into our own hands. Like this book, if you have visited the doctor in the last year with a cold please read this book.
Feb 23, 2009 Christine rated it it was amazing
I learned:
*that fevers serve a purpose and that making it go away can make matters worse.
*that you shouldn't go to the Dr. for every little sniffle and why
*That many procedures done to children are unnecessary at best and are often harmful or worse.
*that there are in fact times when going to the DR. is necessary and how to make that distinction.

I review specific areas when I have questions. It has become a great resource for me as a parent
Aug 09, 2011 Tharn rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
Great book, even if many descriptions of doctor's behaviours apply more to the USA where overconsumption of drugs and people being just considered as products more common than here in Europe.

It helps a lot to put into perspective when the child suffers some ailments tough, and to stay relax & zen when those happen, knowing at the same time the important things to notice and when a visit to a professional is advised.
Chrissy Daly
Sep 17, 2014 Chrissy Daly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books

Very practical point of view in all ailments of children's health. Some of his views are a bit extreme and out dated but the base of his message is solid and admirable. You as a parent can make better decisions for you child's health than you doctor sometimes. He is trying to Put the power and confidence back in the hands of parents. Definitely recommend it to have on hand at least for reference.
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