Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year
by Elizabeth Noble

This marvelous book's third edition is better than ever! Long acknowledged by birth educators as the most useful and popular exercise treatise, Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year now provides a new exercise regimen for birth classes: partner exercises.

A common complaint of mothers-to-be is that exercising alone is boring. Another common cause of discontent is the lack of prodding they get from their partners to do prenatal exercises. Noble has outlined a series of 10 simple, yet beneficial exercises for partners to do together. The beauty of these is how well they fit into teaching about labor conduct itself. Beginning with a supported squat after a brief warm-up period, the set includes back-to-back positions and two forward stretch poses designed to help the parents discover their ability to surrender into muscular release.

While still retaining its conversational flavor the book improves on previous editions with new material about the muscular groups women must focus on. New trends and teachings are reflected in the text. It is written at an excellent level for either lay or professional readers. Adding the partner exercises at the beginning of each weekly prenatal class will benefit everyone: moms will get extra exercise and enjoy the educator's prodding of the father; the dads will laugh together (and tend to groan and resist more than the ladies in the forward stretches!) and see their peers helping their ladies, and educators can gauge parents' physical flexibility discreetly while knowing that more exercising is going on at home between classes. This is a very useful book!

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