Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood

Pre-Conceptive care, the key to a healthy outcome.

By Irish Midwife and Ante-Natal Teacher Nancy Murphy.
Available to buy in leading bookshops nationwide.

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Features of the Book

Pre Conceptive Care

Despite optimal ante natal care by doctors and midwives optimal health of both mother and baby can only be achieved by the mother taking equally good care of her own health, before and during pregnancy. Pre conceptive care enhances the health of prospective parents creating the best possible environment at the point of conception and in turn influences the health of their children and future generations.  


Pregnancy is a time of infinite change which involves immense physiological and psychological upheaval and adjustment as the woman adapts to the early and subsequent changes in her life. In medical and scientific terms the majority of pregnancies develop similarly. Yet each pregnancy is different (even in the same woman) and each woman will give a different account of her own experience.


Women who are well prepared for labour generally have a more optimistic demeanor towards childbirth and have a better experience and outcome than those beset by anxiety and fear of what can go wrong. This coupled with optimal pre conceptive and ante natal care maximises the potential of a healthy pregnancy outcome for both mother and baby.


The ability to create life is the ultimate human achievement unequalled by any other. Nurturing and nourishing your new baby is happiness and joy in the extreme. However, motherhood is a complex mix of challenges, demands, worries and fears but is equally rewarded by contentment, happiness and joy. Every mother has an innate instinct to mother her young that is primitive and unique and each mother learns to trust her instincts in caring for her baby.

Overview of the Book

Although pregnancy and birth is a perfectly natural process it is seldom naturally perfect! It can be said with certainty that inadequate preparation for pregnancy and birth is a major factor in the cause of complications which can be modified by preparation or conversely aggravated by lack of this.
Factors associated with an unhealthy diet, stress, anorexia, bulimia, obesity, lack of exercise, sexually transmitted infections (STI s), effects of alcohol, smoking, drug abuse, over medication of “across the counter drugs” causes wear and tear on the body’s resources, adversely affect health and impact on fertility and pregnancy outcomes.

Chapter 1

Pre-Conceptive Care

The pre conceptive phase is a window of opportunity to establish health status and determine concurrent risk factors to mother and baby and in so doing facilitate positive health and lifestyle choices in order to achieve a healthy pregnancy outcome.

Chapter 2

Changes That Occur In Pregnancy

Many changes occur throughout pregnancy which causes disturbances and discomforts. Identifying common symptoms and knowing how to alleviate these helps the mother cope with the various demands of each trimester.

Chapter 3

Ante-Natal Exercise

Antenatal Exercise prepares the woman physically and psychologically for pregnancy, birth and the post natal phase and enables her to work with the natural changes of pregnancy in terms of exercise and relaxation as well as achieving long term benefits.

Chapter 4

The Art Of Relaxation

Of the many reasons why women attend antenatal classes the most significant one undoubtedly is “to learn the breathing technique for labour”. In my experience this class generates the most positive feedback.

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Nancy Murphy

Nancy Murphy


Nancy Murphy, native of Boyle, County Roscommon is a mother, general nurse, midwife/ante teacher and clinic nurse manager of the Women’s Health Clinic in Newcastlewest, County Limerick. She penned her first book ‘Self Preparation for Childbirth in’ 93, and a second edition in ’96.

This book -‘Preparing for Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood’ was influenced by the changing characteristics of women’s lives and their and expectations of pregnancy. Women no longer live simple lives and while not disregarding the benefits of socio economic development and education, women may lose ground in other areas.

The aim of this book is to provide high-quality information easily understood in the current climate of ethnic and social diversity and in so doing guide prospective parents to make positive lifesyle choices in order to achieve a healthy pregnancy outcome.