Are you Yin?
All mothers will know of the various little changes that go on in their lives when they become pregnant. Menstruation ceases, sometimes there is irritability and restlessness, the taste-buds change and there is a yearning for foods out of season. The breasts start to become bigger and the nipples tender to the touch. Morning sickness at this time is a Yin characteristic.
Bleeding during pregnancy is an indication that the blood capillaries in the uterus and the womb have become swollen by too much liquid and fruit and have exploded; it is a sure sign that the tissues are weak throughout your entire body, for if they were truly healthy they would be able to expand and contract without breaking. Weakness of the tissues is Yin and will be passed on to the baby in the womb. Miscarriages and premature feelings that the mother experiences during her pregnancy will be passed on to the child, whether they be laziness, irritability and aggressiveness or peace, tranquillity and happiness. It is in the mother's own hands to ensure for herself a happy and healthy child, by ensuring that she is happy and healthy too.
Further Yin signs are long, agonising labour pains, caused by muscular contraction, and a long delivery time (four to six hours) and painful birth. Breech births (where the feet come out first) and Caesarean operations (cutting through the walls of the abdomen to aid the delivery) are very, very Yin.
What an enormous responsibility parents have for the future health of their unborn children! This applied not only to the mother but also to the father, for if he drinks alcohol or takes drugs, this can affect the sperm and can radically affect the child during ovulation. If he loses his temper and upsets the mother while she is carrying, this too can have a detrimental effect on the unborn child.
Are you Yang?
It takes about two and a half years to grow one layer of skin tissue, so if you want your blood and skin to be really healthy and to be able to have a baby completely naturally, with ail the goodness within it that only nature can give, then start preparing for pregnancy at least three years in advance.
When you know that you are pregnant, make sure that your diet is absolutely in accordance with the guidelines of Ch'ang Ming, and don't break one single rule during the time that you are carrying. Also ensure that you have a quiet, restful, tranquil and happy time during the period that your baby is inside your womb, for love breeds love, and your baby will grow according to your own shadow.
You will find that you will have a very easy time during your pregnancy—no morning sickness, no unnecessary yearnings, no bleeding and hardly any inconvenience—and for most of the time you will feel so good that until the last few months you will scarcely notice that you are carrying. You will find that you carry your baby for the full nine months and part of the tenth month; so your baby will get the maximum benefit that you can pass on to it. Ideally there should be no sexual intercourse at all during the time that the baby is being carried, but if there is mutual consent then it may occasionally be possible between the fifth and seventh months. The man, however, should be very careful and very gentle, and should not lie on top.
For the average Westerner the labour period lasts between eleven and sixteen hours, but for those on Ch'ang Ming it is eight to ten hours at the most, and when the time comes for delivery it is found to be painless and free of difficulties and lasting less than two hours (for those not on a Ch'ang Ming diet it usually lasts four hours or more). The head will be ready to come out first when the right time comes. The baby born of Ch'ang Ming parents will generally weigh about six pounds, which is complete goodness in a small package; the baby born to Yin parents, by contrast, will weigh rather more, the excess being made up of surplus fluids and toxins. Because of the extra weight of the Yin baby, the Yin mother (whose natural tendency is towards contraction) will find giving birth particularly difficult.