With chapters written by a dozen prominent members of the obstetrics and gynecology faculty at Columbia U., this comprehensive guide encompasses an enormous amount of information on conception, pregnancy, and delivery. The book is intended to supplement a woman's relationship with her obstetrician, giving her another resource to turn to. Its 300-plus pages include discourses on such topics as choosing a health-care team; infertility; genetic counseling; physical examinations during pregnancy; high-risk pregnancies; and the process of labor and delivery, both normal and complicated. Although the perspective is medical, psychological and social factors are considered as well. For instance, the initial chapter on planning a pregnancy provides a useful list of questions prospective parents should ask themselves before deciding to have a baby. Points on nutrition, exercise, sexual activity, and the role of the father are also covered. An excellent discussion of ""what is safe"" examines exposure to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, vaccines, radiation, and toxins and hazards in the workplace. The text explains technical details clearly but impersonally, lacking the warmth and enthusiasm of some other books on this topic. Such a major compendium may offer more material than some women care to deal with, but should appeal particularly to scientific-minded readers and those who like to have an authoritative reference at hand.