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Never Say Never

by Ricki Lake

The world first met Ricki Lake in 1988 as Tracy Turnblad in the film Hairspray. Weighing in at just over 200 pounds, the 5'3" teenager challenged what it meant to be an overweight woman in America: this fat girl got the guy, was part of the in crowd, and could sing and dance like nobody was watching. When she got her own talk show at twenty-four, Ricki had been transformed. She was a slender, mature woman whose long-running show changed daytime television forever. And when Ricki left it all behind to follow her heart and produce The Business of Being Born, we once again saw her in a new light, as a passionate advocate who wasn't afraid to stand up for her beliefs and work for change. Ricki Lake's life has been a series of rebirths--from fat to skinny, married to divorced, rich to poor, and more. In her intimate, bold, and relatable book, Ricki shows us how her unique life in the spotlight offers wisdom to anyone who has ever struggled in her own skin. She takes us behind the scenes of her troubled childhood--filled with food issues, abuse, and an unabashed yearning for a better life outside of her suburban home. She pulls back the curtain on her talk show and her early days as a "fat actress," and she shows how she reinvented herself as an author, filmmaker, and much beloved finalist on Dancing with the Stars. Ricki weathered near-bankruptcy and an extremely difficult divorce, but, as she writes, life always hands you the unexpected--so you should never say never. Much to her surprise, Ricki has dated some of Hollywood's most eligible bachelors, appeared on the cover of Us Weekly magazine in a swimsuit, and fell in love when she least expected it. And now she's ready to talk about it all. Never Say Never is an inspiring, entertaining, and down-to-earth account of one woman who defied the odds and refused to give up. By trusting her gut and following her heart, Ricki Lake turned an unconventional life into an unparalleled triumph, and this memoir stands as a hopeful, hilarious, and honest exploration of how any woman can do the same.

Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience

by Ricki Lake Abby Epstein

The national C-section rate is at an all-time high of 31 percent. Are all these C-sections necessary, or are some of them done simply for the sake of convenience? Inductions seem to be the norm, but are they always needed? Today, expectant mothers are often left feeling powerless, as their instincts are replaced by drugs and routine medical procedures. What you are about to discover is that you have a choice, and you have the power to plan the kind of birth that's right foryou-whether it is at a birth center, a hospital, or at home. In YOUR BEST BIRTH, internationally known advocates of informed choice Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein inspire women to take back the birth experience, with essential advice on: · Positive and negative effects of epidurals, Pitocin, and other drugs and interventions · Inducing vs. allowing your labor to progress naturally · The truth behind our country's staggering C-section rate · Assembling your birth team and creating your birth plan. With chapters such as "Obstetricians: Finding Dr . Right,""Epidurals: You Haven't Got Time for the Pain," and "Electronic Monitors: Reading between the Lines," Lake and Epstein will encourage you to consider whatever your doctor, mother, and best friend may suggest in a new light. The book also includes inspiring birth stories, including those from well-known personalities, such as Laila Ali and Cindy Crawford. Packed with crucial advice from childbirth professionals, and delivered in a down-to-earth, engaging voice, YOUR BEST BIRTH is sure to renew your confidence and put the control back where it belongs: with parents-to-be! Review: "Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake have taken a wonderful and constructive approach to ensuring an optimal birthing experience. Their language creates a 'climate of confidence' for pregnant women and their families, who must make key decisions about where, how and with whom to give birth in a health care system often unresponsive to our needs. This book is like a good friend giving wise counsel." --Judy Norsigian, co-editor of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth and Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves

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