Having a baby – What to expect?
You will hear the following vocabulary:
Daunting – an idea that seems difficult to achieve
Cope with – able to handle (i.e. He was able to cope with the challenges of university.)
Preconception – the time before a baby is made
Craving – a strong desire for something
Elation – extremely happy
Parallel – the same (i.e. Football and rugby have many parallels.)
Apprehension - nervousness
Natal – birth related
Before we begin, let’s quickly review prefixes as many are used in this passage. A prefix is a small group of letters added to the beginning of a word to change the word’s meaning. For example, if we take the word honest and add the prefix dis, the word’s meaning changes to the opposite, dishonest. Some common prefixes are:
Pre – meaning before (i.e. preconception means before conceiving)
Post – meaning after (i.e. postpartum means after giving birth)
Im, un, in, dis, mis – these are all used for expressing negatives and opposites (i.e. impossible, unintentional, inadequate, disapprove, misunderstanding)
Mono – meaning one or alone (i.e. monogamy means one husband or one wife)
Bi – meaning two of anything (i.e. bicycle – two wheels)
Poly – meaning multiple or many (i.e. polygamy means multiple husbands or wives)
Now, let’s listen to the passage:
The idea of having a child is often a daunting one and many parents can feel overwhelmed. But in today’s high-tech world, there are a number of resources available to expecting parents to help them enjoy, prepare and cope with the challenges and rewards of pregnancy and birth.
Even during the period of preconception, there are certain things parents can do to enhance the well-being of their child and discourage the chances of an unsuccessful pregnancy. For example, parents should optimize their health through exercise and nutrition and hopeful mothers should take a multi-vitamin. Communication is also important and wishing moms and dads should make every effort to avoid misunderstandings.
During the first three months of pregnancy, mothers-to-be can expect a tremendous number of physical and emotional changes. The most well-known of these include nausea, food cravings and depression. But many expecting mothers incur a number of lesser-known symptoms as well, such as water retention, acne and even temporary diabetes. Emotionally, mothers-to-be can be unstable and can quickly go from feelings of sadness to feelings of elation.
Although fathers do not share the same physical changes of expecting mothers, many emotional states are parallel. For instance, fathers and mothers may both experience feelings of apprehension and uncertainty (particularly if the pregnancy is unplanned). Talking is considered the best solution to this and parents should fully discuss their concerns with one another. Expecting parents should always employ the advice of trained natal professionals and schedule regular consultations with their fertility doctor.
Now listen to the passage again. This time, try to listen for the words with prefixes, such as misunderstanding.
Now let’s talk analyze the passage.
Listen to this sentence from the introduction of the passage:
But in today’s high-tech world, there are a number of resources available to expecting parents to help them enjoy, prepare and cope with the challenges and rewards of pregnancy and birth.
This sentence means that parents having a child know they will have problems they will need to deal with. There are many people who can help them especially now using the internet.
Listen to this sentence:
Even during the period of preconception, there are certain things parents can do to enhance the well-being of their child and discourage the chances of an unsuccessful pregnancy.
This sentence tells parents that there are some things they can do before trying to have a baby to help the baby’s health.
Listen to this sentence:
Emotionally, mothers-to-be can be unstable and can quickly go from feelings of sadness to feelings of elation.
This sentence says that a pregnant woman’s emotions can change quickly.
Listen to this sentence:
Although fathers do not share the same physical changes of expecting mothers, many emotional states are parallel.
This sentence says that fathers sometimes have the same emotions as mothers.
Now, listen to these vocabulary words.
You will use these words to fill in the blanks.
For example, you will hear:
I find the idea of having children __________.
You will say:
I find the idea of having children daunting.
My opinion is __________ to yours.
I have so much homework I can barely __________.
They took on the __________ task of climbing Mount Everest.
Your name is so loud! How can you __________?
There are a few __________ between our company and yours.
I am giving a presentation tomorrow and the idea of it __________ me.
The events that have occurred in my life _________ those of my father’s.
If you leave us now, we won’t be able to __________.
Sandra was __________ by the thought of getting married and sadly she died alone.
I can see two __________ between those restaurants: price and location.
__________ with the media is difficult for Britney Spears.