Review by Bruce Bower
Gestation isn’t destiny, but a person’s physical and emotional future do start to form before birth. In her up-close look at the first nine months, Paul deftly intersperses a scientific tour of how fetal environments influence later health and well-being with personal glimpses of her second pregnancy.
A picture emerges of scientists seeking prenatal insights that have the potential to improve babies’ lives — but also to freak out expectant parents. In that vein, Paul, a journalist, candidly describes her own science-fueled fears that eating raw fish and getting too stressed during pregnancy will harm her unborn child.
Early in Paul’s pregnancy, she talks to David Barker, a physician who about 20 years ago noted a link between low birth weight and heart dis