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Making Babies : The Science of Pregnancy Hardcover – September 28, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (September 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674006534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674006539
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,443,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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

From Library Journal

We often speak of the miracle of birth, but Bainbridge's book proves that the clich has substance. A reproductive biologist and veterinarian who teaches at the Royal Veterinary College in London, Bainbridge has written a fascinating account of pregnancy and birth for lay readers. He shows how pregnancy is an intimate relationship between mother and child involving cell differentiation, the immune system, and hormones. The book raises several interesting questions: how does the developing fetus take over its mother's body? Why does she not reject it as foreign tissue? Will it ever be possible to produce children without pregnancy? Bainbridge explains complex physiological processes with wit and clarity. Unlike traditional pregnancy books like What To Expect When You're Expecting, this study remains at the molecular level, concentrating on the intricate developmental process that includes pregnancy, birth, and lactation. Highly recommended for all collections. Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Incredibly informative and easy to read.
Stefanie Boros
This book is absolutely fascinating if you are interested in evolution and the biology of reproduction.
Vica
It is not a guide about pregnancy in the "What to expect..." kind of way.
A. G. Maqueo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Liz Chalmers on February 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've read many pregnancy and birth books, but this one is unique. It goes into the how and why of human reproduction in tremendous detail, starting with why we even bother to reproduce sexually. He examines what happens at a cellular level during conception and details early embryonic development. He examines the role of evolution. He does go into various examples of things that can go wrong, so it might not be the best read for an anxious parent-to-be.
One criticism: I think in his purely scientific view, he misses the mystique and spirituality of producing babies. The last chapter is particularly flawed in this way. He talks about "the tyrannies of conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding" as if these are things we would be better off without. I totally disagree.
Although deeply scientific, he writes clearly. "Making Babies" was an enjoyable, educational read. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get more information on human reproduction than a standard pregnancy book would cover.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. G. Maqueo on May 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It is not a guide about pregnancy in the "What to expect..." kind of way. It is instead a very detailed, fascinating narrative about the current state of knowledge on conception, fetal development and birth. This book satisfied my curiosity on the complex process that is procreation. I particularly liked the ease with which the narration flows. The language is simple and mostly non-technical, but it is also not "dumbed down", which is brilliant on the part of the author. As a scientist myself, I was delighted with the list of peer-reviewed journal references provided at the end. I will definitely consider gifting this book to all of my pregnant friends, although I would highly recommend it to non-pregnant ones as well.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely fascinating if you are interested in evolution and the biology of reproduction. He explains complex ideas simply and in a conversational way, without getting too technical or dumbing it down too much. Every couple pages I kept having to read portions of the book out loud to my husband because they were so amazing. The author has a clever, dry sense of humor that made it very enjoyable to read. A word of caution - It might be hard reading it while pregnant for some, because he talks about the many things that can go wrong during pregnancy. I highly recommend it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most pregnancy books follow a certain theme, but this book takes a different point of view. There's a scientific approach as opposed to how the mother is feeling and what warm fuzzies are going on. I like to think of this as the pregnancy book for men. It talks from a strictly scientific and medical approach. It's incredibly interesting and easy to understand. The author does a great job of making the book feel more personal while giving so many medical scenarios.

This book is an alternative to all of the other pregnancy books. Incredibly informative and easy to read.
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