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Reviewed Publisher: 
(Avery, 1992) 328 pgs. softcover, $12.95 Order by calling: 1-800-433-5523. (USA & Canada)
Reviewed Title: 
Positive Parenting Fitness: A Total Approach to Caring for the Physical and Emotional Needs of Your New Family
Reviewed Author: 
Publication Date: 
December, 1993
Starting Page: 
Page Count: 

The post-partum period has been somewhat neglected in our post-modern culture-with childbirth education and obstetrics more focused on the big event, birth, there exists a real need for after birth education for new parents. More often than not, young parents are away from extended family and on their own. Without grandparents living in the home, where can new parents tap into a wisdom tradition that serves the psychological needs of the changing family?

Sylvia Klein Olkin gives us A Total Approach to Caring for the Physical and Emotional Needs of Your New Family in her latest book. The author of Positive Parenting Fitness has brought her holistic perspective to this new book to enrich the early days and months of the new one's life.

The relevance for pre- and peri-natal psychologists is that here, in one title, exists a rare and immense resource that balances the needs of new parents and babies with psychological awareness. The distilled compassion is almost palpable, without sentimentality. Too often a book will lean more toward filling the emotional needs of baby-or the physical needs-and with a decided prejudice toward the parents' comfort first as they fulfill their nurturing function. Positive Parenting Fitness is a balanced book that has the whole relationship in mind, and is therefore, a healing and holy work.

People meeting the author's grown children often ask her, "How did you raise such remarkable individuals?" This book shares how. Sylvia Klein Olkin's practical and soul-making ideas, information and suggestions for a complete exercise program for Mom, Dad and Baby to do together is vital; it's fresh. By toning up after birth, new parents and the new arrival are more relaxed, stronger and flexible-outstanding attributes for all of life. This is especially so during the transition times of families-such as birth and death-when adjustments must be made to the new constellation of family members.

Included with yoga-based exercises are many suggestions for healing common problems after birth using massage, acupressure, herbs, nutrition, etc. Presently there are only two books I recommend on the post-partum unequivocably-this is one of them. (The other title takes into consideration homebirth. Positive parenting fitness only lacks for this oversight, yet has the broadest appeal for the mass majority of families seeking the advice of parenting experts).

I highly recommend this book to peri-natal professionals - psychologists, professors, family counselors, childbirth educators, midwives, doctors, doulas, prenatal yoga teachers, lactation consultants, physical therapists, etc. -This is also a great book for literate parents (and the babies blessed with such motivated caretakers) who want to optimally respond to their new miracle. If more parents benefited from this book, we'd soon see a generation of people committed to planetary fitness. A well-loved healthy baby will (eventually), in turn, hopefully treat Mother/Father Earth with more kindness and come to honor the Source.