LIFE BEFORE BIRTH by Ashley Montagu


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Based on an earlier (1962), more technical work, this cautionary discussion of prenatal influences is intended for prospective mothers in the interests of reducing prematurity and producing sturdier infants. Social scientist Montagu, using medical science for a social purpose, indicates the importance of the right nutrition, indicts all drugs (not only thamilomide- even aspirin), smoking and anesthesia. He also discusses the age of the mother (before 23, wait; after 35, the risk increases); the effects on the child of certain functional conditions (diabetes, etc.), the RH factor, contagious diseases, radiation, fatigue, strong emotion and even loud noises. Some of this may seem too restrictive (and Dr. Alan Guttmacher in his Foreword while approving the intent, also recommends that you rely on your own doctor); occasionally it seems carelessly written--Montagu repeats not only himself but some of the evidence cited. No one however will quarrel with the objective.

Publisher: New American Library