Customer Review

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars informative but a little didactic, 15 Feb 2001
This review is from: The Secret Life Of The Unborn Child: A remarkable and controversial look at life before birth (Paperback)
I thought this book had some really interesting things to say and it taught me a lot I hadn't known about the gestation period of a baby. However I did think that the book was quite emotionally loaded. By stressing what harm you can do to a baby if you are feeling stressed or under pressure yourself I felt it could put an added burden onto a mother's shoulders. Pregnancy is often a difficult and emotional time for a woman and it's bad enough feeling bad yourself every time you break down or get angry when you wouldn't normally, without having to then think that your child could be suffering as well. I think it is admirable that the author is trying to put across the point of view of the child but I think that there needs to be more balance and understanding of the mother's position too.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Dec 2008 03:19:21 GMT
Tolstoy says:
I found this book incredible. It was like my baby speaking to me from the womb. At last, here was someone who had looked into a newly conceived being and discovered that he or she has 'a life' from very early on. It taught me to relate to my child in utero and that, if ever I was feeling stress or pressure, to talk to my baby and explain. I disagree with Mrs Wheatley that it gave an added burden: it gave me a way out as realised I didn't have to do it on my own - my baby was there with me helping me understand!

I listened to what the author said in regard to a baby's intelligence in utero and described in minute detail everything I saw and did in life, whether it was seeing a chiropractor or sitting in a child. I believe, as a direct result from this, that I received a little message when I was 5 months' pregnant. It was; 'I am a boy. I have blonde hair and blue eyes and am very intelligent.' It's true - he was and he is.

If you do nothing for yourself during this pregnancy, get this book; stretch your mind and bond with your baby.

Posted on 22 Nov 2012 09:50:37 GMT
I am currently reading 'Life Before Birth' by Dr Arthur Janov which you might care to take a look at. Your review is thought provoking, especially your comment that the author writes from the point of view of the child. This is actually quite profound. If we, for example, were able to return to our own early childhoods and feel it, we might discover some pretty ghastly truths about the environment that we were subjected to. All parents-to-be start off with good intentions I'm sure, but their own neuroses surely get the better of them eventually.

There might be a subtle truth in both these books. Not everyone should become a parent, which goes against the grain if you are God fearing and oppose abortion. It is true that pregnancy can be a difficult time, but children are remarkably resilient creatures, and lately I've become only too aware of the significance of breastfeeding in raising oxytocin levels in baby, and its power to quell pain and to normalise a situation that could get out of hand, like for example when the baby has his/her inoculations. Five minutes on the breast and it's as if it never happened.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 07:45:37 GMT
Mr Cattermoul, I have read Life Before Birth. Both these books are interesting. I read them a long time ago when I was expecting my first child, fourteen years ago. Sometimes there are circumstances when however hard you try, you cannot give a child these experiences you speak of. I had to have emergency c sections with all my children, and was hospitalised for a fairly long time afterwards. My milk did not come through with my first child. My second child hated breast feeding, and I am sure you will sniff at this, but an army of midwives and two weeks of anguish post birth as my baby got hungrier will testify to this, and I was so ill after my third child I could not breast feed. I appreciate what you say about feeding calming them, but sometimes you don't get to have things the way you would wish. Sometimes you have to make do with doing the best you can under difficult circumstances. I agree that children are resilient, and I think what matters most is giving them a sense of security and tangible love. That makes up for a lot.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 11:02:29 GMT
Mrs Wheatley, the mere fact that you have read both books makes you, in my view, quite a remarkable woman. In addition to 'Life Before Birth', Janov has written many books, all of which are full of insights and rare glimpses into the human condition. His 'The Feeling Child' is for me, possibly the most important book I've ever read. It made me aware of so many things about early childhood that I would never have cottoned on to had I not read the book. In a sense, Janov has become my religion. We need to give our children the wherewithal to remain in touch with their feelings. Janov is therefore forever emphasizing we must circumvent the left brain (the thinking, analytic one) and concentrate on the feeling side-get to the heart of what makes us feel bad through feeling and not talking. He also emphasizes the role of love. See 'The Biology of Love' is a marvelous book. Anyway, I bet your kids are real glad you're their mother, and that's the only thing that matters, it's how you love them that counts.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 17:56:51 GMT
Thank you.
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