Healthy Baby Book

Carolyn Reuben, Author Jeremy P. Tarcher $8.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-87477-679-9
The fear of bearing a child with birth defects is a real one for many prospective parents. And though Reuben, a medical writer and a self-described ``older'' mother, does not want to scare her readers, she explains the many factors--medical, chemical, environmental--that can wreak havoc with our chromosomes or a developing fetus. Fortunately, the risks associated with many birth defects and genetic disorders can be prevented, so Reuben emphasizes the importance of genetic testing and counseling. She also makes numerous suggestions (some practical, others less so) for how to live as hazard-free a life as possible. For example, she advises pregnant women to test their drinking water and ask local bottled water companies to provide analyses of their own products, and then to compare the two. But some of her counsel, by her own admission, is controversial--as are some of the studies she cites. For example, one study asserts that the more negative a pregnant woman's attitude toward her job is, the greater her risk of giving birth to a low-birth-weight baby--regardless of the physical labor demanded by her job. Reuben also recommends that in order to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death, the new mother should breast-feed her infant whenever the baby demands it and take the child to bed with her. She provides an appendix of the most common birth defects; some readers may wonder why she chose to include lactose intolerance, which is prevalent in many ethnic groups and is not often viewed as a birth defect. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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