Notable Quotes
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In pregnancy, there are two bodies, one inside the other. Two people live under one skin.... When so much of life is dedicated to maintaining our integrity as distinct beings, this bodily tandem is an uncanny fact.

JOHN RAPHAEL-LEFF, Pregnancy: The Inside Story

Although the needs of babies have changed very little over the millennia, over the past decades, female equality in education and occupational opportunities has altered maternal expectations. This renders baby-care requirements discordant with ambition for many mothers, and produces heartfelt dilemmas for others.

JOAN RAPHAEL-LEFF, "New Reproductive Realities: Paradoxes, Parameters, and Maternal Orientations," Motherhood in the Twenty-first Century

Childbearing is the most consistent of human events. Male and female alike, we have all been gestated inside a woman's body. As a phenomenon, childbearing is seemingly eternal and universal, yet like no other it highlights the gender divide, the singularity of individual experience and sociocultural diversities.

JOAN RAPHAEL-LEFF, Spilt Milk: Perinatal Loss & Breakdown

Conception may surprise a woman who finds herself pregnant when she has hardly begun to think about having a baby, or had time to recover from the last one, or had even been determined to avoid pregnancy. It may be the fulfilment of a long-held childhood dream, or reversal of her child-free existence. Pregnancy may fill an aching, inner void or reflect a broody baby hunger, or it may constitute an unwanted invasion. It may be a first pregnancy; a second or third to extend a family; a first with a new partner; or one replacing a previous miscarriage or loss. Conception may be motivated by a compelling need to undo the past, or change the future.

JOAN RAPHAEL-LEFF, Pregnancy: The Inside Story

When adults come together to form an intimate relationship, each person releases into it unresolved issues from their trans-generational pool of unconscious fantasies. Partners are often chosen to actualize certain potentialities for each other, and the unborn baby becomes party to their drama.

JOAN RAPHAEL-LEFF, Pregnancy: The Inside Story

If contraception disconnected the age-old link between sex and baby-making, assisted reproduction has made it possible to have babies without sex. The reproductive scene is now spun of the stuff of unbridled fantasy. The primal scene shifts from the parental bedroom to a laboratory, from two lovers in bed to sperm and egg in a Petrie dish. In fact, procreation ceases to be a two-person endeavour and may encompass three or four or, with cloning, even one.

JOAN RAPHAEL-LEFF, "New Reproductive Realities: Paradoxes, Parameters, and Maternal Orientations," Motherhood in the Twenty-first Century


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