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Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year: A Guide to Health and Comfort Before and After Your Baby Is Born Paperback – September 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0964118317 ISBN-10: 0964118319 Edition: 4 Revised
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Editorial Reviews

Review

.. a classic since 1976. Like good wine, it has become enriched with age... improves with each revision. -- BookMarks, International Childbirth Education Association, Minneapolis

An encyclopedia of information so well written...difficult to put down once started...it leaves no question unanswered. -- Family Journal

An encylopedia of information so well written that it is difficult to put it down ...leaves no question unanswered. -- Family Journal, Jan-Feb 1982

Elizabeth Noble is a writer and teacher extraordinaire. -- Jane Frahm, PT, Past-President: Section on Women's Health, American Physical Therapy Association

Essential Exercises undoubtedly presents the role of physical therapy during pregnancy and postpartum in the most complete fashion. -- Raul Art, MD, Author: ACOG Guidelines for Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period, Exercise in Pregnancy, and Pregnancy and Exercise

It has become a classic...like good wine... enriched with age, as Noble improves it with each revision. -- BookMarks, ICEA Bookcenter, Minneapolis

Noble stands out dramatically as one of the few women who have significantly improved the health of childearing women... -- Doris Haire, President; American Foundation for Maternal and Child Health

This book has faithfully served clinicians and lay persons by providing sound, practical information relating to the childbearing period. -- ADVANCE for Physical Therapists

From the Publisher

This classic, in print for 3 decades and regularly revised, has helped more than 200, 000 childbearing women understand the changes that their body undergoes during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. The design of the book is unique, addressing the various muscles and functions of the body with detailed explanations of the appropriate exercises and their modifications and progressions. Noble has taught prenatal and postpartum exercise to women, and health care providers for 40 years. She is the "grande dame" of body awareness, remedial positions and movements during the childbearing year.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: New Life Images; 4 Revised edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964118319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964118317
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By rselliott@sprintmail.com on September 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am a physical therapist who has used this book as a basis for my "Prenatal exercise and Body Mechanics" Class. I have recommended it to my patients and to other professionals who teach prenatal classes. The author adds a unique perspective by inviting women to "think outside of the box" and take responsibility for their bodies before, during and after their pregnancy. The partner exercises are very well received by my patients (our hospital averages 300 births per month). I am also the mother of 21 month old triplets and I used the book as a personal reference and guide throughout my pregnancy. The book helped me to understand and appreciate just how fortunate we are as women to be able to bear children. The author's detailed description about the pelvic floor and the emphasis on the importance of the exercises is information that should be shared with young women BEFORE their pregnancy. I have been surprised by the number of my patients who have never heard of Kegel exercises or who have no idea they have a pelvic floor! A great book to pass along to all women!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an unfortunate mix of great information and important exercises combined with organization so poor it is difficult to read. I have found a lot of useful information on keeping my pelvic floor and abdominal muscles in shape, but it has been a real struggle to synthesize this information. The author jumps from prenatal to postnatal exercises within the same chapter, in a way that makes it difficult to figure out a systemtic exercise routine. She redeems herself somewhat with an appendix in the back that lists prenatal and postnatal exercises in order, with a reference to the page number. But it is still difficult to sit down and read this book from cover to cover. I haven't found a better book on exercise before and after childbirth, but I suspect there might be one out there.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lewis Mehl-Madrona on October 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth's book is a classic in the childbirth field. Her book is the sourcebook for prenatal exercises. I also appreciate the introduction to holistic prenatal care that she provides. Hypnosis is highly effective during pregnancy as studies have shown, Her writing on communication with the unborn baby taps into the most modern research on this topic. Elizabeth Noble has her finger on the pulse of what will be really important in prenatal care for the 21st Century. I recommend this book most highly.
Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M,D, Ph.D. Medical Director Center for Complementary Medicine University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By oaklandfamily on August 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although this book has some really interesting points on abdominal exercises (although the other reviewers are right about the poor organization; and, there are typos and visually the pages are very cluttered), it absolutely does not offer an overall fitness program. It's much more like a physical therapy program focussed on abs and pelvic floor. So, if what you're looking for is supplemental exercises to add, it may be fine for you, but I'm going back to the drawing board to find a more all-purpose pregnancy exercise book. Plus, I think I can handle more than three or four crunches (I think she says you can do "up to five").
Also, be aware that the author has a judgmental streak. I may agree with some of her digs at the medical establishment (I was delighted, for example, to hear her pooh-pooh the idea that lying or exercising on your back will cause supine hypotension), but when she aims her barbs at women with bad posture, for example, it seems counter-productive (I could do without the screaming jagged "NO!"s next to the pictures of incorrect posture).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By TheChiliChick on April 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
After reading some of the negative reviews, I felt compelled to write my own. In my first pregnancy, I did find the book hard to follow in some places (and yes it could be organized better), and I did not use it. Now in my second preganacy, and in hindsight I greatly regret not taking the time to actually read it and use it. I have searched for other books, and have found some that seem better organized, however, all of the other books seem based on MS Noble's but less complete, and do not really promote exercises which will not increase pelvic floor problems. This book is designed to protect the pelvic floor, and repair it (instead of surgery). So no, do not expect to break a sweat or find and intense work out (of which high body temp is bady for baby's brain anyway). If you are looking for something with a 5 second simple sound byte for instructions, this is not the book for you. Such as in life, some of the really good things require thorough explanantion and a bit of your time. Ms. Noble's book was one of the first like it, is still the base reference for most others, and will truly teach you how to protect your abdomen and pelvic floor safely. Unlike some other books, which have exercises that will actually increase abdominal recti seams. So, if after pregancny you do not want a saggy abdomen, a uterus hanging down, and not to pee when you sneeze- this is the book for you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Delisle on April 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I didn't realize that there was a more recent edition of this book until today! I have been reading the 1982 edition in preparation for my third pregnancy. The 1982 edition is wonderful so I am very much looking forward to getting the most recent edition. I saw a reference to the new edition in The Mommy Guide which prompted me to order the new one. In the Mommy Guide the author, Elizabeth Noble, is quoted as saying that abdominal isometric exercise should begin within 24-hours after giving birth in order to take advantage of the short window of time where your muscles in this region are still flexible and you may be able to shorten them. Has anyone tried this? Anyway, it is wonderful to have the insight of a physical therapist when it comes to using your body during pregnancy and postpartum.
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