A surfeit of detail on medical concerns in fertility, pregnancy, and childbirth--with as much attention to what can go wrong as to what might go right. Obstetrician/gynecologist Lauerson (It's Your Body) feels strongly that ""if all pregnant women were familiar with the major complications that can blight a pregnancy, and were encouraged to take more responsibility for their own health care, we doctors would benefit considerably, because a pregnancy-related complication always is most serious when it is misdiagnosed or neglected."" So he plods through planning for pregnancy, fertility, conception, early signs of pregnancy, choosing an obstetrician (the midwife possibility is virtually ignored), developments during pregnancy, preparation for childbirth, labor, and the immediate postpartum period--noting the possible problems, from genetic disorders to drug-related complications to Rh disease, plus the special problems of pregnant women with serious chronic disease. (""Myasthenia gravis, a neurological disease of voluntary muscles, might well present itself for the first time during pregnancy. . . ."") Lauerson has an eye for the esoteric research finding: how ""human placenta lactogen analysis"" may offer information on fetus well-being; the possibility that ""a stressful environment in utero alters the baby's behavior to such a degree that abnormal sexual preferences appear later in life"" (i.e., homosexuality). Marshmallow-soft ""evidence"" of this kind, combined with offhand mention of possible catastrophes (""Most anesthesiologists do not like to do caudals because they can be difficult to administer and there is always the risk of puncturing the [baby's] head""), make this a guide that's better forgotten. Stay with Howard Shopper's Pregnancy Book for Today's Woman (p. 446) for a sensitive, considerate--and no less complete--explanation of the medical issues in childbearing.