Conceiving Happiness

I first met Jan Roberts on a sea-kayaking adventure, paddling with a group of fellow adventurers out to camp on a remote and deserted tropical island. I was impressed by Jan's joyous spirit, passion and zest for life. Jan is also incredibly knowledgeable and successful.

Jan is a qualified Pharmacist and Clinical Nutritionist, as well as the co-author of a best-selling series of books on the natural way to better babies, better pregnancy, better birth & bonding and better breastfeeding. Jan has worked with corporate women, events managers, natural health clinics, day spas, fitness centers, professional associations, support groups and individuals, to provide education, programs and products that support preconception healthcare, optimal fertility, general overall wellbeing and healthy ageing. She is passionate about her work and is a role model for all her programs. Jan is often a frequent guest on radio, television and Internet chat shows.

It was a delight to catch up once again with Jan and speak with her about Health and Happiness.

According to Jan, the beginnings of happiness are laid in the earliest stages, going right back to conception and development in the womb. “There's no doubt in my mind that some folk come into this lifetime with a personality blueprint that is better geared for happiness than others. To some extent we're hard-wired for a basic level of happiness or unhappiness. I realize that might sound fatalistic, but in saying that, I also believe we all have the potential to live happier, more fulfilled lives and at each moment in our lives we can actively choose happiness or unhappiness. That's really the soul's journey, which involves letting go of past hurts and grievances, living in the moment without judgment and also accepting that life is not designed to be an endless pleasure cruise.

As Jan explains, happiness can't be a constant state. “You have to honor that. Life is not about being on a constant Valium trip. Life presents us with challenges and it's about stepping back and learning from it and then letting go of any negative emotions. Hanging on to unhappiness and negativity will certainly lead to disturbed mind/body pathology and physical disease. Hanging on to past hurts consumes mental and emotional energy and compromises physical integrity.” You have to let go and focus on your strengths and values.

Jan's life's work revolves around producing a healthier, happier next generation. “While the optimal physical health of prospective parents (prior to conception) is a prerequisite for the optimal physical health of their children, I also believe that optimal emotional health established in early infancy can lay very firm foundations for happiness and joy in later life. At the very least those firm foundations are the best insurance against a life lived in the Slough of Despond when things get tough, or when genetic blueprint conspires against the attainment of happiness.”

So what does Jan think are the important actions and health strategies that people need to be aware of to enhance their children's happiness?

Establishing optimal emotional health in infancy requires some very committed parenting practices – and sadly, these are practices that are in danger of becoming extinct. In my view, if we are to establish the groundwork for an emotionally healthy adult, one who will have the greatest potential for choosing happiness over unhappiness, the key foundation strategies that contribute to that emotional health include the following

  • Conscious conception
  • Healthy, full-term pregnancy (without diagnostic screening)
  • Natural birth with sympathetic attendants (minimal medical intervention)
  • Enhanced bonding/no separation/early breastfeeding
  • Infant carried close
  • Family bed
  • Child led-weaning
  • Fulltime parent at home

So it's about putting in place the foundations for happiness early in life and then working with your own foundations and biology to actively choose happiness. As Jan points out, while conceiving happiness is vitally important, so too is a positive focus on health and wellness. As she says, “at each moment in our lives we can actively choose happiness or unhappiness,” so use the tools and techniques you are learning from this book and choose happiness!

To listen to an 'mBIT Interviews with Remarkable Brains' interview I did with Jan, visit: Better Babies, Conception and the multiple Brains

For more information about Jan’s books, products and ideas visit:

or you can check out Jan's books here: