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A Primer for Parents of Preemies

PREEMIES The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies By Dana Wechsler Linden,Emma Trenti Paroli and Mia Wechsler Doron; Pocket Books, 578 pages, $24.95

August 28, 2000|SHARI ROAN

One out of every 10 births today is premature. That means that many parents are thrust into a world of medical complexity and emotional turmoil few are prepared for. This book, by two journalists who gave birth to premature babies and by the neonatologist sister of one of the journalists, is a compendium of the issues that parents of preemies need to know.

"Every day we needed more information, and the conversations with doctors and nurses were never enough," the mothers of the preemies write.

The authors address many of the information gaps that parents may encounter. The chapters are in chronological order, with those about the first few hours and days after childbirth followed by ones on taking your baby home.

In several chapters, the authors describe what the typical parent is experiencing along with what the doctor is probably perceiving, which is particularly insightful.

Readers seeking specific topics, such as on surgery for preemies or issues involved in multiple births, will find the book well-organized and easy to use.

15-MINUTE YOGA Yoga for a Busy World By Godfrey Devereux Thorsons, 188 pages, $14.95

How-to exercise books with step-by-step instructions have always perplexed me. I can't get enthusiastic about reading an instruction, putting down the book, trying an exercise, picking up the book, and on and on. It's a slow and tedious way to learn.

However, Godfrey Devereux, an international yoga star who lives in Spain, has presented a manageable way to teach ever-popular yoga in this elegant book. Providing instruction for practicing yoga at home is particularly appealing because it's important to try to do some yoga every day but very hard to attend a daily yoga class.

The book is divided into four sections that cover theory, method, practice and posture. The first half covers the benefits and principles of yoga. The second half presents five exercise routines of about six to 12 postures each. Props and difficult postures are disregarded in favor of simple exercises that are easy to memorize (so you don't need to keep referring to the book).

If you've had trouble adhering to a yoga program outside of your regular class--or finding the time to do so--try this book.

AMERICAN HEART ASSN. MEALS IN MINUTES COOKBOOK By the American Heart Assn. Clarksotter, 348 pages, $26.95

If you don't have time for an exercise class, chances are you don't have a lot of time for cooking healthy meals either. The American Heart Assn. addresses this problem without suggesting you spend hours and hours in the kitchen. "Meals in Minutes" follows the association's successful "Quick & Easy Cookbook," relying on the same recipe for success.

After a short introduction on the basics of healthy eating, you can scan 200 recipes, all of which take 20 minutes or less to prepare. The book is in notebook form, with a spiral spine and blank notes pages in the back. Nothing looks so exotic as to be either outstanding or awful. Recipes are variations of the usual American fare.

This is the kind of book that everyone in the family can use.

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