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Radiant Motherhood



Radiant Motherhood

A Book for Those Who are Creating the
Future



By
Marie Carmichael Stopes

Doctor of Science, London; Doctor of Philosophy, Munich;

Fellow of University College, London; Fellow of the

Royal Society of Literature and the Linnean

Society, London



G. P. Putnam's Sons

New York and London

Gbe "Knickerbocker press

1921



COPYRIGHT, 1921

BY
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS




Printed in the United States of America



DEDICATED TO YOUNG HUSBANDS AND
ALL WHO ARE CREATING THE FUTURE



434550



PREFACE

THIS book is written for the same young people
who inspired Married Love. Many of my readers
have asked me to write such a book as this, and
I sincerely hope that it will not disappoint them.
Many, many people have contributed facts which
have helped me to write it. The book, however,
is pre-eminently the work of my baby son and his
father, whose beautiful spirits have been, and will
be, through all eternity united with me in a burn-
ing desire to bring light into dark places.

M. C. S.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE LOVER'S DREAM , . . . i

II. CONCEIVED IN BEAUTY . . .10

III. THE GATEWAY OF PAIN . . .21

IV. THE YOUNG MOTHER-TO-BE: HER

AMAZEMENTS .... 37

V. THE YOUNG MOTHER-TO-BE: HER

DELIGHTS . .... 44

VI.- THE YOUNG MOTHER-TO-BE: HER

DISTRESSES . . . -49

VII. THE YOUNG FATHER-TO-BE: His

AMAZEMENTS . . .58

VIII. THE YOUNG FATHER-TO-BE: His

DELIGHTS 65

IX. THE YOUNG FATHER-TO-BE: His

DISTRESSES .... 70

X. PHYSICAL DIFFICULTIES OF THE

EXPECTANT MOTHER ... 80

vii



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PACK

XI. PHYSICAL DIFFICULTIES OF THE

EXPECTANT FATHER . . .104

XII. THE UNION OF THREE . . . in

XIII. THE PROCESSION OF THE MONTHS . 125

XIV. PRE-NATAL INFLUENCE . . . 144

XV. EVOLVING TYPES OF WOMEN . .162

XVI. BIRTH AND BEAUTY . . .179

XVII. BABY'S RIGHTS . . . .191

XVIII. THE WEAKEST LINK IN THE HUMAN

CHAIN 204

XIX. THE COST OF COFFINS . . . 225

XX. THE CREATION OF A NEW AND IRRADI-
ATED RACE 233



vm



Radiant Motherhood



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD



CHAPTER I

THE LOVER'S DREAM

So every spirit, as it is most pure,
And hath in it the more of heavenly light,

So it the fairer bodie doth procure
To habit in, and it more fairly light,
With cheareful grace and amiable sight.

For if the soule the bodie form doth take:

For soule is forme, and doth the bodie make.

SPENSER : A n Hymne of Beautie.

EVERY lover desires a child. Those who
imagine the contrary, and maintain that
love is purely selfish, know only of the
lesser types of love. The supreme love of true
mates always carries with it the yearning to per-
petuate the exquisite quality of its own being, and
to record, through the glory of its mutual creation,
other lives yet more beautiful and perfect.

i



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD

Existence being such a difficult compromise
between our dreams and the material facts of
the world, this desire may sometimes be thwarted
by factors outside itself; may even be so sup-
pressed as *to :he invisible* iir the conduct, and
unsuspected, in .tlie wishes of ."the lover. Yet the
desire to link : their 'lives : with* the future is deeply
woven into the love of all sound and healthy
people who love supremely.

It is commonly said that most women marry
for children, and not out of a personal love, and
there is more truth in this saying than is good for
the race. To-day, alas, many women cannot find
the perfect and sensitive mate their hearts desire,
and they hope in any marriage to get children
which will mitigate the consequent loneliness of
their lives. Sometimes they may, to some extent,
succeed, but far less often than they imagine, for
that strange and still but little understood force
"heredity" steps in, and the son of the tolerated
father may grow infinitely more like his physical
father than he is like the dear delight his mother
dreamed he might be.

Few girls have not pictured in day dreams the
joy of holding in their arms their own beautiful

2



THE LOVER'S DREAM

babies. No man of their acquaintance, however,
may seem fine enough to be their father. Until
she has been crushed by experience, or unless she
listens with absolute belief to the depressing
information of her elders, each girl believes that
her own intense desire for perfection will be the
principal factor in creating the beautiful babies of
her dreams. Often it seems as though this power
were granted, for women sometimes bear lovely
children by fathers in whom one may seek in vain
for any bodily grace or charm.

The century-long working of economic laws
based on physical force, the remnants of which
still affect us, has resulted in man generally having
the selective power, and tending to choose for his
wife the most beautiful or charming woman that
his means allow ; hence, hitherto, on the whole, the
race has been bred from the better and more
beautiful women. This has undoubtedly tended
to keep the standard of physical form from sinking
to the utter degradation which we see in the worst
of the slums, and in institutions where live the
feeble-minded offspring of inferior mothers who
have wantonly borne children of fathers devoid of
any realization of what they were doing.

3



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD

From these avenues of shame and misery, how-
ever, I must steer my line of thought, for this book
is written pre-eminently for the young, happy, and
physically well-conditioned pair, who, mating
beautifully on all the planes of their existence, are
living in married love.

Whether early in the days of their marriage, or
postponed for some months or more out of regard
for his wife's body and beauty, the hour will come
when the young husband yearning above her,
sees in his wife's eyes the reflection of the future,
and when their mutual longing springs up to ini-
tiate the chain of lives which shall repeat through-
out the ages the bodily, mental, and spiritual
beauties of each other, which each holds so dear.
Perhaps in lovers' talk and exquisite whispers they
have spoken of this great deed on which they are
embarking, and each has voiced that intense
yearning which filled them to see another "with
your eyes, your hair, your smile," living and radi-
ant. The lovers dream that they will be repeated
in others of their own creation, always young,
running through the ages which culminate in the
golden glories of the millennium.

The dream is so wonderful, the thought that
4



THE LOVER'S DREAM

it pictures in the mind so full of vernal beauty,
light, and vigour that, were facts commensurate
with it, its result should spring all ready formed
from between the lips of those who breathed its
possibilities like Minerva from the head of Jove.

It seems incredible that such splendid dominant
designs to fulfil God's purpose should be hindered,
and made to bend and toil through the hard
material facts of the molecular structure of the
world, and that it is only many months afterwards
that the first outward body is given to this dream ;
and that then it is in a form not strong and danc-
ing in lightness and beauty, but weak and helpless,
with many intensely physical necessities which for
months and years will require the utmost fostering
care, or it will be destroyed by material effects,
hostile and too strong for it. Yet such is the
limitation of our powers of creation. And under-
neath the intense passion of love and all its rich
dreams of beauty is the slow building, chemically
molecule by molecule, biologically cell by cell,
against obstacles the surmounting of which seems
a superhuman feat.

Lovers who are parents give to each other the
supremest material gift in the world, a material

5



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD

embodiment of celestial dreams, which itself has
the further power of vital creation.

In my book, Married Love, I speak to the normal,
healthy, and loving, in an endeavour to help them
to remain normal, healthy, and loving, and thus to
perfect their lives ; so in this book I do not intend
to deal with those whose marriages are mistaken
ones, or with those who do not know true love.
I write for those who, having made a love match,
are passing together through the ensuing and sur-
prising years, and, incidentally, doing one of the
greatest pieces of work which human beings can do
during their progress through this world, and that
is creating the next generation.

In nature, the consummation of the physical
act of union between lovers generally results in
the conception of a new life. We share the physi-
cal aspects of mating and the resulting parenthood
with most of the woodland creatures. How far
many of the lowlier lives are conscious of the
future results of their mating unions is a problem
in elementary psychology beyond the realm of
present knowledge. But that parenthood is the
natural result of their union is to-day known, one
must suppose, by almost all young couples who

6



THE LOVER'S DREAM

wed. I am still uncertain how far the two are
conscious of this in the early days of their union,
when every circumstance encourages that supreme
self-centredness of happy youth. Much must de-
pend on the age, and on the previous experience
and education of the two ; much also on their rela-
tive natures. A profoundly introspective and
thoughtful man and woman are more liable than
others to be speedily aware of the many interwoven
strands of their joint lives, and to live consciously
on several planes of existence simultaneously.

The supreme act of physical unions, as I have
shown in my book, Married Love, consists funda-
mentally of three essential and widely differing
reactions, having effects in correspondingly differ-
ent regions. There is (a) the intimately personal
effect on the internal secretions and general vital-
ity of the individual partaking of that sacrament;
(b) there is the social effect of the union of the two
in a mutual act in which they must so perfectly
blend and harmonize; and (c) there is the racial
result which may lead to the procreation of a new
life.

In the early days of the honeymoon, personal
passion and the concentrated delight of each in the

7



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD

mate is probably more than sufficient, in all its
rich complexity, to fill the consciousness of the two
who are thus united in a life-long comradeship to
form that highest unit, the pair. But, as educa-
tion and the conscious control of our lives grow,
the young pair who are so blissfully self-centred as
not to remember, or not to be aware of the racial
effects of their acts are probably decreasing in
numbers. Among the best of those who marry
to-day, the majority only enter upon parenthood,
or the possibility of parenthood, when they feel
justified in so doing. The young man who pro-
foundly loves his wife, and who considers the
future benefit of their child, protects her from
accidental conception, or from becoming a mother,
at times when the strain upon her would be too
great, or when he is unable to give her and the
coming child the necessary care and support.
That myriads of children are born without this
consideration on the part of their parents applies
to the commonalty of mankind, but not to the
best.

Often to-day the betrothed young couple will
speak openly and beautifully of the children they
hope to have, while others, equally full of the

8



THE LOVER'S DREAM

beautiful dream, feel it too tender a subject to
put into words, and may marry without ever hav-
ing given expression to the possibility that they
will generate through their love, yet other lovers.



CHAPTER II

CONCEIVED IN BEAUTY

She, as a veil, down to the slender waist

Her unadorned golden tresses wore,

. . . half her swelling breast

Naked met his beneath the flowing gold . . .

Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed . . .

Nor gentle purpose nor endearing smiles

Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems

Fair couple linked in happy nuptial league.

. . . Underfoot the violet,

Crocus and hyacinth with rich inlay

Brpidered the ground . . . here in cool recess

With flowers, garlands and sweet smelling herbs

Espoused Eve dekt first her nuptial bed

And heavenly quires the hymenean sung.

.... Into their inmost bow'r

Handed they went; and eased the putting off

Those troublesome disguises which we wear,

Straight side by side were laid, nor turned

Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites

Mysterious of connubial love refused . . .

Here Love his golden shafts employs, here lights

His constant lamp . . . here reigns and revels.

And on their naked limbs the flowery roof

Showered roses which the morn repaired. Sleep on

Blest pair.

MILTON : Paradise Lost.

IN the ancient Sanskrit, there is a work dealing
minutely with love, and with the different
forms its expression takes in different types of
people. This has been modified, added to, and re-

10



CONCEIVED IN BEAUTY

written by many later authors, and under various
names works based on this are to be found in the
Sanskrit and translated into various Indian dialects.

In these volumes much that is curious, and to
Western nations, absurd, is to be found; but also
several profound observations which appear to be
based on truths generally ignored by us. One of
the interesting themes of these very early writers
is a recognition and a description of the character-
istics of the best and most perfect type of woman,
the "Padmini." In addition to describing fully
her physical appearance and characteristics, it is
observed that she being a child of light and not of
darkness, prefers the supreme act of love to take
place in the daylight rather than the dark.

In this country, owing to our artificial, over-
burdened, and over-strained lives, the physical
union of lovers is almost always confined to the
night time. Indeed, crowded as we are in cities
and suburban districts, solitude in Nature is im-
possible; for most seclusion is only known in a
closed room after dark. The Sanskrit writer of the
sixth century, however, takes love more seriously
than we do, and he describes how, for the sacred
union, serious preparation of beauty should be

ii



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD

made a room or natural arbour decked with
flowers; and for the supreme expression of love,
(that is the love between a pair each of the highest
and most perfect type), this should take place in
the light of day and not the darkness of the night.
Even in our present degraded civilization, there
are some who do realize the sacredness and the
value of the bodily embrace in the fresh beauty of
nature and sunlight. There must be many, and
I know of several beautiful children who were con-
ceived from unions which took place under natural
conditions of light and open air radiance. The
naturally best time for conception is the summer,
when our air is mild and sweet enough for true love
in Nature's way.

In an empire where woodland or seaside solitude
is not obtainable by lovers for this their most
sacred function, the distribution of the population
is gravely wrong. It will, however, probably for
some time to come be difficult, for those who desire
such a profound return to natural rectitude, to
obtain the necessary security of seclusion amid
beautiful surroundings, and it will, therefore, in
all probability, long remain only possible to most
lovers to ramble together in nature, and then later

12



CONCEIVED IN BEAUTY

to follow the usual course of uniting within their
room.

We do not know enough about ourselves or the
results of our actions, under our present conditions,
to realize to what extent the hour of conception
modifies the quality of the offspring. We only
know that the child of lovers beautiful in mind and
body, the child ardently desired by them, whose
coming is prepared with every beauty which it is in
their power to obtain, is often well worth all the
outlay of love and thought. Certainly among
those personally known to me who have followed
the rather exceptional course I indicate, the child-
ren are remarkable for both physical beauty and
exquisite vitality, balanced with sweetness and
strength of mental and spiritual qualities.

There is an old and, in my opinion, valuable
view (although it has not been "scientifically
proved") that the actual hour of conception, the
condition of the parents at the moment when
the germs fuse, is one of vital consequences to the
child-to-be. Scientific proof of this will be, of
course, extraordinarily difficult to discover, but,
indirectly, there do appear to be some actual data
in favour of the converse, namely, that temporary

13



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD

unhealthy states of the parents result in the con-
ceptions of children so inferior as to be markedly
and seriously anti-social. Forel says: 1

The recent researches of Bezzola seem to prove that
the old belief in the bad quality of children conceived
during drunkenness is not without foundation. Rely-
ing on the Swiss census of 1900, in which there figure
nine thousand idiots . . . this author has proved
that there are two acute annual maximum periods for
the conception of idiots (calculated from nine months
before birth), the periods of carnival and vintage,
when the people drink most. In the wine-growing
districts, the maximum conception of idiots at the
time is enormous, while it is almost nil at other
periods.

It is, of course, not always possible to arrange
the hour of the union which will lead to concep-
tion. And, further, even when the hour of the
union is arranged, nature, to some extent, controls
and may modify conditions before conception.
Sometimes the fertilization of the egg cell by the
sperm cell takes place in the hour of the bodily
union of the lovers, sometimes this inner pro-
cess is delayed by hours or days. 2 Conception is

1 Sexual Question, 1908.

3 Forel, Sexual Question, p. 96.

14



CONCEIVED IN BEAUTY

possible in most women at almost any time dur-
ing the years of potential motherhood; yet there
do appear to be several factors which lead to
the potential fertility of a woman varying very
much from time to time. Some women, for in-
stance, appear to be liable to conceive only for a
certain number of days in each month, and these
are in general the two or three days immediately
following the monthly period, and the day or two
immediately before. With other women, however,
unions on any day of the month may lead to con-
ception, but this depends possibly, not only on
the woman herself but on the vitality and probable
length of life of the sperm cells of her husband.
This also varies very greatly in individuals. The
longest time which the individual sperm has been
observed to remain vital after entry into the
woman is seventeen days. 1

Hence it will be realized that a union arranged
to take place under ideal and perfect conditions,
perhaps on a holiday into wild and inspiring soli-
tudes, although it may result in the entry of the
sperm into the womb of the woman, yet it may not
lead to the actual fusion of the sperm and egg cell,

'See Bossi, N. Arch. d'Obstetr. Gynocol, April, 1891.
15



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD

and to the consequent conception until some days
have passed.

Strange it is indeed in this world, in which so
much scientific and laborious observation has been
devoted to all sorts of irrelevant and trivial sub-
jects, that knowledge of the actual processes of our
own fertilization and conception and of the extent
of the significance to the future generations of the
mode and condition of the union of the parents, are
almost totally unknown to scientists or doctors,
and are disregarded by the majority of the public.

A recent memoir in the French Academy of
Science 1 dealing with statistical figures (going
back in France, at any rate, so far as 1853) proves
that there does seem to be a definite seasonal in-
fluence on the power of conception.. Taking the
births for the whole year, it is found they are not
equally divided throughout the months, but that a
notable maximum of births is found in February
and March for most of the countries in the northern
hemisphere, the actual maximum of births being
from the I5th Februarv to the I5th March, and

1 Charles Richet, "De la Variation mensuelle de la Natalite,"
1916, Comptes rendus Acad. Sciences, Paris, pp. 141-149 and
161-166.

16



CONCEIVED IN BEAUTY

thus indicating that the maximum of conceptions
took place between 5th May and the 5th June.
Richet quotes Bertillon as having established the
fact that this maximum of conceptions does not
depend on the chance that brides like to be married
in the spring, because an identical maximum is
found in the illegitimate birthrate. Richet gives
many tables of figures, and maintains that the
maximum corresponds both in the town and in
the country, among the rich and the poor, and
among the married and the unmarried, and is,
therefore, in his opinion, an actual physiological
function :

C'est que les conditions physiologiques de la matura-
tion de T ovule et de sa fecondation ne sont pas gale-
ment favorables dans toutes les periodes de 1'annee.
Par suite d'une ancestrale predisposition, au moment
du printemps, chez la femme, comme chez la plupart
des animaux, mais moins nettement que chez eux, la
maturation, la chute et la fecondation de 1'ovule se
font dans des conditions meilleures et plus assurers.

The corresponding maximum for the southern
hemisphere arises between August and October.
This natural tendency to produce children accord-
ing to the season is, to some extent, altered by the

17



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD

conscious and deliberate control of parenthood,
which all the more highly civilized countries now
find that their better citizens are exerting.

This natural time for conception will, however,
tend not to be thwarted by those who are con-
sciously regulating their lives, because from
almost every point of view, the summer is the best
time in which to experience the joys of love. As
the spring is the best time for a baby to be born,
the thoughtful mother-to-be will try, other things
being equal, to arrange that its birth should take
place in the verdant spring, both for her own sake
and for that of the child. The weeks of recovery
after the strain of the birth are more easily and
happily spent lying in the warm sunshine of a
spring or summer garden than in the chill of the
winter months, and even the actual expense of the
birth is reduced when it takes place in the warmth
of the spring or early summer, when fires and the
labour they involve will be saved.

The child too has warm air to surround it on
its first introduction to the outer world after its
long period of warmth and protection within its
mother, and when in a month or two it is able to
kick about on the grass, it benefits directly from

18



CONCEIVED IN BEAUTY

the rays of the sun and also from the sun-warmed
earth.

Various notable men and women, and, in par-
ticular, the famous Dr. Trail of America, have held
that the actual hour of conception is the one of
fate, and that the moods, feelings, and conditions
of the parents in that hour work more vital magic
then than they can do in any succeeding days or
weeks. Instinctively, one would like to feel that
this is so. Indeed it will take much to disprove
it, although it is a theme which it is at present
impossible to prove, and it must remain always
only a personal bias, until thousands of people who
view marriage aright, will consciously observe and
record many things, and contribute them to some
thinker who will tabulate, correlate, and understand
them.

Whether the hour of conception affects the child
directly or not, the memory of an ardent and
wonderful experience, in which the pair of lovers
consciously surround themselves with beautiful
conditions, and deliberately place themselves
through their love at the service of God and
humanity in the creation of the next generation,
must give a vitalizing and joyous memory of both

19



RADIANT MOTHERHOOD

throughout all their lives. This memory being
especially connected with the dear child of that
union must, therefore, have in this indirect way at
any rate a positive racial value.



20



CHAPTER III

THE GATEWAY OF PAIN

As when desire, long darkling, dawns, and first
The mother looks upon the newborn child,
Even so my Lady stood at gaze and smiled
When her soul knew at length the Love it nurs'd.
Born with her life, creature of poignant thirst
And exquisite hunger, at her Heart Love lay
Quickening in darkness, till a voice that day
Cried on him, and the bonds of birth were burst.


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