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Before You Conceive: The Complete Prepregnancy Guide

Our children are our immortality, our link to the waves of generations before us, and those to come after us. They simultaneously connect us to the earth and the sky, revealing to us both our reality and our dreams, focusing our life’s energy.

To say that having a baby is one of life’s richest, most rewarding experiences is a cliché that is nevertheless true. There is just nothing else quite like bringing new life into the world--the waiting, the wonder, the magic of creating enduring bonds of intimacy and sharing and love.

Moreover, the families we create to sustain us are often the only things that take the hard edges off the rest of our experience. And many women and men, looking back over the span of their lifetime and accomplishments, point to the birth of their children as the focal point around which their whole lives revolved, the zenith of what really counted when all was said and done.

Aside from our own birth and death, childbearing remains the one remarkably unchanging aspect that transcends the barriers of language, geography, politics and religion. In some ways, it is also our link to other species, for we are no less fierce in protecting our young than are other animals.

Childbirth is, quite simply, the most essential, elemental thing that many of us will do; something central to the very texture of our being. Yet most couples approach this momentous, natural event with a near complete naiveté, with only the vaguest idea of how to minimize risks and maximize outcome for the healthiest, happiest, best children we can bring into our lives.

For such an overwhelmingly important area of our lives, pregnancy, across the board, is stumbled and bumbled into. Even planned pregnancies often involve little more than deciding when the time is right, stopping methods of birth control, then waiting to see if the woman’s period does or does not come.

Unplanned pregnancies can create upheaval and panic with people scrambling after the fact to accommodate the reality in one way or another.

In either case, significant opportunities are lost to offset birth defects or possible obstetrical complications. Before You Conceive offers a safer, saner way to go about things, offering the real possibility to positively affect our children’s lives for this generation and all subsequent generations.

"Prepregnancy planning is an idea whose time has come. This book is a 'should read' for those women and couples thinking about pregnancy who want to prevent problems and plan for an optimal result." -- Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D., Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Chinese translation 2006