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Review: Pregnancy and Fitness

Cherry Baker's book is a wonderful, detailed, but never daunting guide to body health in pregnancy.

Posted: 27 September 2006
by Sarah Lawson

Pregnancy and Fitness by Cherry Baker

A useful and realistic book about safe fitness in pregnancy
Not much to fault
Features: Detailed chapters covering the body and its needs during pregnancy, the kinds of exercises you can do, eating advice and info on the kinds of physical problems pregnant women might face
Price: £14.99 RRP
Contact: A&C Black

Usually fitness books in pregnancy are either happy clappy volumes that concentrate on the excercise, or mind-boggling tomes filled with doctor-speak. Cherry Black's new book is an excellent, detailed book you can either read through or dip into.
It doesn't make judgements about one perfect way to have the 'ideal' pregnancy body, and instead offers advice and background information on all kinds of physical needs and interests.
Baker is married, with three children, and has been an exercise teacher for over 20 years. She has trained, and worked with pregnant women for the past 15 years. She also taught through her own pregnancies.
Her background includes being a qualified weight trainer, pre- and post-natal specialist and a Modern Pilates advanced practioner, so she really knows her stuff!

The main parts of this book break down into 'Your Body During Pregnancy', 'Cadiovascular exercise and fitness programmes during pregnancy', 'Resistance training and body conditioning during pregnancy', 'Healthy eating during pregnancy', and an appendix including reference information on physical problems in pregnancy, a bibliography and useful addresses and websites.
Within these parts there are shorter chapters on various areas like the way in which hormones affect your body in pregnancy, gym work if you're a beginniner or a regular, the pros and cons of yoga, pilates and weight classes, the value of the food groups in your diet, and stage-by-stage advice on what kinds of exercises are safe to do as your body changes shape through the pregnancy.
Boxes, tips in sidebars, diagrams and photographic illustrations all help to pull out the information so that the reader doesn't feel overwhelmed.
The result is an easy to read book that holds all kinds of valuable information for any pregnant woman, not just the gym maniacs! And whilst we don't all look like the model mum-to-be in the images, the case studies included remind us that we all have different needs and levels of capability during these important months.

The ThinkBaby verdict

An inspiring fitness guide rather than a guilt-trip experience!
Usefulness: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Value: 4/5

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