A child's life does not begin at birth, although we are in the habit of reckoning his age from this event as a beginning. We are almost justified in saying that the child's life does not begin. We could trace it back, generation after generation, through a long, unbroken line of germplasm to the very beginning of human life on this earth. However for practical purposes, and as an individual child, as distinguished from the ocean of germplasm, we must reckon the child's beginning from the time of conception--from the time the ovum of the female is impregnated by the spermatzoon of the male. It is then that the formation of a new being begins and shortly after this the first some plasm and the first special organs are produced.

The child that is now being formed in the mother's womb is to a great extent at the mercy of the mother. Nature has thrown every possible safeguard around the child and, if it becomes necessary she will sacrifice the mother in the interest of the child; but, in spite of this, so great is the child's dependence upon the mother, that it is largely what she makes it.

Over 20,000 women die in childbirth in this country, yearly. Many more die from conditions connected with childbirth. This indicates a deplorable physical condition of our women. How can such women give birth to healthy offspring?

In the year 1916, there were 75,000 deaths in babies under one month old, in 70 per cent of the population of the United States. There is a yearly occurrence of 100,000 still births, which are not recorded in the death record. These deaths and still births are largely due to the deplorable physical condition of out mothers and to the lack of the proper care during pregnancy.

Need I emphasize that sickly and maimed mothers cannot produce healthy children? A mother's responsibilities are "greater in this respect than most of them realize or are willing to fulfil. Indeed my experience with mothers has convinced me that I am writing this book for the few. The great majority of them will not heed. It used to be said that if a prospective mother were properly informed of her duties and responsibilities and given the necessary knowledge of how to care for herself during this period, her mother love and mother instincts would prompt her to do those things which assure health and strength to her child and refrain from those things which injure the child.

Time and experience have proven this view to be false. A woman does not have any more will power or self-control when pregnant than at other times. Pregnancy does not make her any the less indolent or lazy; indeed, pregnancy is often used as a pretext for indolence. The indulgent young woman is no less so after she becomes pregnant. The smoking woman does not give up smoking during pregnancy. Only the exceptional woman is equal to the work of being a real mother, either before or after the child is born.

Women who are regarded as leaders of society, ethical, religious and literary leaders and teachers, as much as the ignorant masses, disregard the rights of their children and do not give them the prenatal care they deserve. They are too often given to the cultivation of sensuality, satisfying morbid appetencies and eating, drinking and smoking, and in acting upon the silly superstition that her desires or "cravings," whether wholesome or unwholesome, should be indulged to prevent marking the child.

That woman who is not willing to sacrifice these and other unwholesome indulgences for the sake of her child's health is not worthy our respect. Many of these very mothers take pride in not considering their own needs, except to violate them; and affect a spirit of maryrdom when it seems to be a choice between their own real or the infant's supposed needs. But all of this is made unnecessary by the fact that the child's needs are best served when those of the mother are perfectly supplied. Too many of these "sacrifices" that the mothers make for their children, both before and after birth, are injurious to the child, both physically and morally. It behooves the prospective mother to inform herself and conform to the rules of right living.

Mother's you cannot shift your responsabilities in this matter, to your physicians. The medical program is to have you place yourself under a physician as soon as you become pregnant and go for frequent examinations and frequent urinalyses. This is not very good for mothers, although it is profitable to the doctors. The New York World, (Oct. 16, 1928), quotes Dr. Chas. V. Craster, Health Director of Newark, N. J., as saying: "We had hoped that the increasing use of hospitals by expectant mothers would aid materially in reducing the maternity death-rate. But to our surprise, since hospitalization increased the death-rate has climbed."

Dr. Whitredge, professor of obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University, says, 'Infant and maternal mortality rates are one-third higher in this country than in any other." He says that "this is due in part to the inadequate teaching and training of our men as compared to European graduates." But in some European and some South American countries, medical graduates are not as well trained as in the United States. On the other hand, the woman mid-wife is employed more in most European countries than in America. It is noteworthy that the infant and maternal death rate is much higher in this country, where physicians are used than where the mid-wife is employed.