Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth

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Overview

much-needed antidote to our modern, assembly-line approach to childbirth, this new book is designed as a guide for all who wish to participate in the wondrous process of bringing new life into the world. Its ideas derive from two sources: the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, with its emphasis on body, mind, and spirit, and the latest Western scientific prenatal research. By integrating the best information from these two very different perspectives, this remarkable book gives readers the tools to ensure that our ...

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Overview

much-needed antidote to our modern, assembly-line approach to childbirth, this new book is designed as a guide for all who wish to participate in the wondrous process of bringing new life into the world. Its ideas derive from two sources: the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, with its emphasis on body, mind, and spirit, and the latest Western scientific prenatal research. By integrating the best information from these two very different perspectives, this remarkable book gives readers the tools to ensure that our children are nourished by thoughts, words, and actions from the very moment of conception.Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives is rich in practical information, including strategies to help enliven the body intelligence of unborn babies by nourishing each of their five senses, as well as through Ayurvedically balanced nutrition and eating with awareness. Specific yoga poses and meditation techniques reduce the mother’s stress and improve the infant’s emotional environment, as do tips for conscious communication with a partner. Exercises prepare parents for the experience of childbirth itself, followed by natural approaches to dealing with the first weeks of parenting, from healing herbs to enhancing your milk supply to coping with postpartum depression.Inspiring, expansive, and remarkably informative, this unique book from acclaimed experts in mind-body medicine will profoundly enhance the experience of pregnancy and birth for both parents and baby.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781415923603
  • Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/22/2008
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 885,091
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra's many books have become international bestsellers and classic texts of health and spirituality. Dr. Chopra is founder of the Chopra Center for Well Being in Carlsbad, California.

David Simon, M.D., is the cofounder and medical director of the Chopra Center, and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on holistic health care. He is the author of Vital Energy and Return to Wholeness.

Vicki Abrams, C.C.E., I.B.L.C., is the director of the childbirth and yoga programs at the Chopra Center. She is an international board-certified lactation consultant, childbirth educator, doula, and yoga instructor.

Biography

The practice of holistic and mind-body medicine has long been a controversial subject among medical professionals. Some view it as a healthy and natural alternative to chemical pharmaceuticals. Others see it as a system of placebos and new-age chicanery. No matter where one stands on this issue, there is no denying the influence that mind, body, and spirit practitioner Deepak Chopra has had on the world of medicine.

Chopra's bestselling books on a variety of topics have been translated into 35 languages. His lectures, seminars, and learning materials are immensely popular, as are his television specials for PBS. In addition, he has founded his own medical center called the Chopra Center for Well Being and has won fans amongst celebrities ranging from Prince Charles to Mikhail Gorbachev to Demi Moore to David Lynch. When financier/philanthropist Michael Milken was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he claimed that Chopra's holistic methods shrunk his lymph nodes by 90%.

Chopra's interest in alternative medicine initially grew out of concern for his own health. After moving from India to set up a practice medicine in Boston some 25 years ago, Chopra succumbed to many of the stresses that plague medical professionals. As a result, he guzzled coffee, chain-smoked, and drank heavily. Once he began studying eastern philosophies by way of Krishnamurti and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, he became aware of medical practices outside of the sometimes limited western perspective. This awakening changed his life.

While Chopra is viewed as a major proponent of the role of Eastern philosophies in healing, he does not reject western medicine. In fact, what makes his approach so unique is the way he incorporates the best aspects of western medical research into his theories. This amalgamation of medical philosophies is at the root of self-help volumes like Restful Sleep, Perfect Weight, and Boundless Energy. Elsewhere, Chopra has addressed such diverse issues as reversing the aging process (Ageless Body, Timeless Mind), perfecting personal relationships (The Path to Love), and achieving capitalist goals via Eastern philosophies (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

Chopra has also become concerned with the causes of war and violence and the principles of Eastern religions, especially Buddhism, and his books on these subjects have garnered praise from such major international figures as the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Boutros-Boutros Ghali. Consequently, Chopra continues to play a significant role in world health and world politics in spite of detractors and skeptics. With an immense body of work behind him and more volumes of wisdom sure to follow, he continues to preach the simple philosophy he is certain is the key to understanding ourselves, mentally and physically: "We're not human beings that have occasional spiritual experiences, it's the other way around: we're spiritual beings that have occasional human experiences."

Good To Know

In 1999, Time magazine named Chopra one of the Top 100 Icons and Heroes of the Century.

Chopra's father was a prominent cardiologist and an anglophile who distrusted Indian philosophies and alternative medical practices.

Despite his reputation as a serious-minded intellectual, Chopra describes himself as "playful" and "carefree."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Deepak Chopra M.D.
    2. Hometown:
      La Jolla, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1946
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Delhi, India
    1. Education:
      All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Creating a Baby

The body of a woman who is to conceive Is being chosen as a channel For the expression of divinity into materiality Although ovulation is a law of nature,
Conception is a law of God.
--Edgar Cayce

When does life begin? Some spiritual traditions see the origin of life as the moment a soul intends to enter into human form. Others see the beginning as a sparkle in the eye of a potential parent who wants to have a child. While biologists and religious clergy may argue about whether or not life starts at the moment of conception, convention has it that the day a baby emerges from his mother's womb marks the beginning of life. However you define life's origin, the sacred journey of an egg and sperm merging to create a unique individual is as marvelous and miraculous as the creation of the universe itself. Spirit and molecules intertwine to manifest a new life.

The blueprint for a human body is encoded in every cell of a human being, which contains forty-six chromosomes and more than thirty thousand genes. These genes, composed of DNA, provide blueprints for the proteins that ultimately form the chemicals, tissues, and organs of a person. They are responsible for the texture of your baby's hair, the color of his skin, and to some degree, the unique characteristics of his personality. With the unraveling of the human genome, we are closer than ever to understanding how DNA influences both physical and psychological traits, as well as our predisposition to illnesses. Still, we are a long way from fully unraveling the mystery of how a few genetic words can code for the unfathomable biological diversity on this planet.

In every human being, half of the forty-six chromosomes are contributed by the mother through her egg and half by the father through his sperm. The merging and reshuffling of the genetic potential of Mother with that of Father gives rise to the amazing variety of life. According to Ayurveda, these primordial cells, known as shukra, are the essence of biological intelligence, and the most important products of a living being.

When a young woman first begins menstruating, her ovaries contain tens of thousands of potential eggs. Each month, from the time menstruation begins until menopause, a number of her eggs begin the process of development, but usually just one fully ripens and is released. Over the course of a woman's reproductive years, only about four hundred eggs reach maturity and have the chance to develop into a human baby.

The egg or ovum is the largest cell in a woman's body and is about 100,000 times heavier than a sperm. It carries enough nourishment to sustain itself from the time it is released until it is im planted in the lining of the womb. This usually takes about five days, if along the way, the egg is fertilized.

Sperm cells, which carry the father's genetic material, are generated in a man's testes beginning in puberty and continuing throughout his life. Millions of new sperm cells are created each day, the vast majority of which are never released. During ejaculation, about three hundred million tiny sperm are released in a volume of about a teaspoon of seminal fluid. Only about three million sperm pass through the vagina into the uterus, most of which become lost or exhausted, so that less than three hundred enter into the fallopian tube where a ripe egg is waiting.

For sperm, the 12 inches from the cervix to the egg is longer than a marathon and takes about...

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Conscious Pregnancy 1
Chapter 1 Creating a Baby 17
Chapter 2 Womb Ecology 43
Chapter 3 Nourishment for Two 71
Chapter 4 Maintaining Your Balance 95
Chapter 5 Weathering the Changes 127
Chapter 6 Partners in Love 151
Chapter 7 The Birthing Journey 175
Chapter 8 Nurturing Mother and Baby 235
Chapter 9 Fatherhood Fundamentals 273
Conclusion: Healing the World One Child at a Time 295
Glossary of Terms 301
Suggested Reading 307
Index 309
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