This new book by Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée presents the various transformations which occur within the mother and developing baby during pregnancy. Beginning with Suwen chapter 1, which describes the unfolding of female fertility, Elisabeth then looks at descriptions of the pulses during pregnancy.
A month-by-month description of pregnancy is given drawing specifically on the Zhubing Yuanhou Lun, the Mawangdui Manuscript and Sun Simiao. Two later texts, the Qipolun and the Luxingjing, are particularly interesting because they present alternative and more unusual images of the developing foetus, and speak of the presence of the spirits (hun, po and shen) in the foetus.
These ancient teachings are still valuable today for our understanding of the transformations of blood and qi which take place during the ten months of a pregnancy. The material will be of great help to those working with pregant woman or simply interested in the process of pregnancy. Together with its companion volume, The Essential Woman, Elisabeth Rochat has given us an two indispensable guides to the classical Chinese perception of women’s health and fertility.