Teaching Prenatal Exercise: Part II - Exercises to Think Twice About


  • Pamela Shrock R.P. T., M.P.H.,

    1. Pamela Shrock, R.P.T., M.P.H., is a National Teacher Trainer for the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics, and teaches expectant and new parent education. Address: 8845 Forest View Rd., Evanston, IL 60203.
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  • Penny Simkin R.P. T.,

    1. Penny Simkin, R.P.T., has a B.A. degree in English Literature and is a Registered Physical Therapist. A childbirth educator for the past 11 years, she has served on the Board of Directors of the International Childbirth Education Association (1972–1978), and is presently on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Parents and Professionals for Safe Alternatives in Childbirth. Address for reprints: 1100–23rd Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98112.
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  • Madeleine H. Shearer R.P.T.

    1. Madeleine H. Shearer is a registered physical therapist and editor ofBirth and the Family Journal. She taught childbirth education privately for 10 years and for the Berkeley Maternal and Infant Care Project for 2 years. Address inquiries to the author at 110 El Camino Real, Berkeley, CA 94705.
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ABSTRACT: Three physical therapists with widely varying views of exercise in pregnancy have pinpointed those exercises and positions which are the subject of controversy. They caution against certain thigh adductor stretches, all contorted and uncomfortable positions, any maneuver that causes the back to arch, such as “bridging,” and strenuous abdominal strengthening exercises such as the curl-up, the sit-up and double straight-leg raising. They discuss pros and cons of “mobilizing” pregnant women's joints, treating back pain, squatting, and positions that might cause an air embolus.