Making Babies : The Science of Pregnancy

David Bainbridge

Published by Harvard University Press, 2001
ISBN 10: 0674006534 / ISBN 13: 9780674006539
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Synopsis: Drawing on past speculation and present knowledge, reproductive biologist David Bainbridge conducts us through the forty weeks of a human pregnancy, from conception to breastfeeding, explaining the complex biology behind human gestation in a clear and unassuming manner.

Making Babies sets the latest findings in pregnancy biology in a challenging evolutionary, historical, and sociological context, proving that when it comes to drama, pregnancy has it all: sibling rivalry, a battle of the sexes, and a crisis of gender identity. Along the way, Bainbridge revisits some of the key puzzles about pregnancy: What's sex got to do with it? How does the fetus hijack its mother's immune system? What is the point, if any, of morning sickness? Just how does a fertilized ovum develop into eight pounds or so of baby, with ten fingers and ten toes? Does the baby or the mother control the onset of labor, and why is it such an ordeal for them both?

Entertaining and informative, Making Babies shows how the study of human pregnancy can help us understand our genesis as individuals and our evolution as a species, and provide insight into who we are and why we behave as we do.

Review: While it's a safe bet that most readers know where babies come from, it's equally likely that they don't know the whole story. Reproductive biologist David Bainbridge fills them in with Making Babies, a witty and intriguing look at an experience so essential that we all go through it at least once. It would be all too easy for the author to get caught up in the intricacies of hormones and anatomy that have evolved from our egg-laying ancestors, but he softens the details with insights and examples from throughout the animal kingdom. Expectant parents might not like being compared to red deer at first, but most will warm to their shared experience. Examining big questions like "Why have sex?" and "How does the fetus change the mother?" is daunting, but Bainbridge guides the reader through the issues with confidence and humility. It's no substitute for a birds-and-bees chat, but Making Babies is perfect for those who want to deepen their understanding of what happens next. --Rob Lightner

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Title: Making Babies : The Science of Pregnancy
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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