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Reviewed Publisher: 
Rochester, Vermont, Healing Arts Press. 337 pages. ISBN: 0-89281-827-1.
Reviewed Title: 
Parenting Begins Before Conception: A Guide To Preparing Body, Mind, and Spirit For You And Your Child (2000)
Reviewed Author: 
Publication Date: 
March, 2001
Starting Page: 
Page Count: 

This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in a holistic preparation for parenthood.

Beginning with an explanation of the child as a multidimensional being with a physical, etheric, emotional, mental body, and the soul as the spiritual, immortal part of being, Luminare-Rosen creates a rationale for acknowledging the whole person both body and soul.

Through her "PreSeeding Birth Program" parents learn how to prepare for conception and the prenatal period mentally, physically and spiritually. She invites them to create their own plan by supplying a worksheet and a comprehensive list of physical, psychological, and spiritual goals to choose from. Parents are asked to explore their health, finances, physical environments, personal and career concerns, medical options (traditional and alternative) to ensure optimal physical health for themselves and their unborn child.

Next, parents are urged to create emotional well being. Research tells us that babies experience their parents emotions during the prenatal period. Relaxation, meditation and healing childhood wounds ensures the best environment for the emotional growth of the child.

A list of questions to help parents explore dysfunctional patterns with their parents, partners and self is provided. Parents are encouraged to acknowledge and begin to resolve these issues so they are not passed on to their child. Luminare-Rosen teaches parents how to create a genogram (a psychological family tree) so they can see which of their family patterns were passed on from one generation to the next. This tool is helpful in elucidating patterns of abuse and addiction as well as pointing out family strengths.

Luminare-Rosen also stresses the importance of feeling ready to tackle the responsibility of parenthood and urges those who are chronically ambivalent about having a baby to seek professional help. As a counselor specializing in the emotional issues of pregnancy, I think this section is extremely important and a wonderful model for parents wanting the best preparation for psychological wholeness for themselves and their babies.

Luminare-Rosen's conceptualization of the spiritual dimension is what makes this holistic model unique. She gives parents an understandable and concise explanation of how the soul makes its appearance in the material world as well as a theoretical model of the interrelationship of spirit, soul, and personality. Her research spans the last 20 years and includes the ancient scriptures of the Kabbala, Taoist, Vedic and Theosophical texts. These teachings are firmly rooted in the belief that consciousness exists before physical existence. This transpersonal perspective is included in her holistic health care model and reminds parents that they are dealing with their child's soul not just the personality.

Esoteric teachings that strengthen the spiritual connection of parents to their children are interspersed throughout the book. LuminareRosen reminds parents of the important role angels play during the prenatal period and beyond. According to these ancient teachings there is one special angel that oversees the prenatal process, other angels that assist during birth and a guardian angel that stays with the new soul from birth to death. Included in the topic of postpartum adjustment she speaks to mothers about the importance of being conscious of their thoughts and feelings and how they impact their baby. The esoteric tradition refers to this connection as a "Madonna Cloak", a protective psychic garment that radiates from the mother around the child. This is a beautiful image to help parents understand the conscious connection between themselves and their child. She also presents parents with an "astrological, archetypal and affirmation chart" and a rational for using astrology as a way to attune to a child's soul development.

Luminare-Rosen is a counselor and educator who specializes in holistic approaches to preconception, prenatal health care and parenting. She also directs The Center For Creative Parenting in Marine County, California, where she has worked with thousands of parents assisting them in preconception planning and conscious parenting. She tells her own preconception story of preparing for her little girl Kylea, as well as the stories of others to inspire us to embrace parenthood as a sacred responsibility and spiritually enhancing experience.

Luminare-Rosen brings together old teachings with new, the scientific with the spiritual, the practical with the esoteric and creates for us a comprehensive, holistic model for parenting children in this new millennium. Her ability to clearly conceptualize, highlight and integrate the spiritual dimension of preconception, pregnancy and parenting helps us remember what is most essential in ourselves and our children and gives us an inspirational and indispensable guide to parenting.