Elizabeth Noble, author, presenter, teacher, and advocate for mothers, babies and families, passed away last week after spending time in hospice care. Elizabeth was a highly respected physical therapist and internationally recognized expert on, and an advocate for, the normal physiology of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Born and raised in Australia, Elizabeth received degrees in physiotherapy, philosophy and anthropology before she moved to the United States in 1973. In 1977, Elizabeth founded the Section on Women’s Health for the American Physical Therapy Association. In 1979, Elizabeth also founded the Maternal and Child Health Center in Cambridge, MA, along with Cambridge Physical Therapy. She was the director of these organizations until 1990.
Elizabeth Noble authored eight books; Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year (her most well known), Having Twins and More, Childbirth with Insight, Marie Osmond’s Exercises for Mothers to Be, Marie Osmond’s Exercises for Mothers and Babies, Primal Connections, The Joy of Being a Boy, and Having Your Baby by Donor Insemination. Many of these books have been translated into several other languages.
Elizabeth created several multimedia productions (videos, DVDs and CDs) that included Inside Experiences, Channel for a New Life, BabyJoy: Exercises and Activities for Parents and Infants, Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year and Marie Osmond’s Exercises for Mothers-to-Be and Pelvic Power.
Elizabeth authored several articles, chapters and forewords and was a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, and Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology. A former Director of the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health, she has served on the boards of many organizations such as ICEA, The Toronto Birth Center, Center for Loss in Multiple Pregnancy, and Dancing Through Pregnancy®.
Elizabeth was the creator of “Instructor Training in Prenatal and Postpartum Exercises” a three day course geared for professionals. She presented this frequently all over the world.
Some of her well known lectures and presentations included:
- Optimal Health
- Say What You Mean!
- Pelvic Power: An Evening Public Presentation
- Pre- and Perinatal Origins of Mental and Physical Health
- Preventing Professional Burnout: Personal Growth for Maternity Care Providers
- Hands-on Pelvic Assessment & Treatment
- Prenatal Preparation
- Empowerment Challenges for Expectant and New Parents
- Psychophysical Aspects of Pain in Labor
- The Pregnancy Playshop: Weekend Childbirth Intensive for Expectant Parents
- New Dimensions in Support for Childbearing Year
- Childbirth Preparation and Unfulfilled Transitions
- Reproduction and Birth in A Technological World
- Marching Backward: The Malaise in the Natural Childbirth Movement
- The Power of Knowing: Psychological Strategies for Expectant Parents and Maternity Care Providers
- Tapping the Unconscious Mind
- Inside Experiences: Guided Recall for Birth & Before
- Reproductive Technology
- Anonymous Donor Gametes and Genealogical Bewilderment
- Multiple Pregnancy
- Fetal Surveillance and the Nocebo Effect: Recommendations for a Normal Pregnancy, Vaginal Birth Optimal Outcome.
- Pre and Perinatal Loss of a Twin
- Bonding with Multiples
- Sharing Space: Twinship Experiences in the Womb
Elizabeth’s dear friend and colleague, Nancy Wainer, CPM, had this to say about Elizabeth Noble:
Liz was quite unique- well-educated, well-read, well-traveled, well-spoken, opinionated (because she was educated!) and feisty. She was extremely articulate and was most dedicated to mothers and babies.
Liz took excellent care of herself – her diet/nutrition was excellent and she exercised regularly. She was mindful. She had so many things she wanted to accomplish in her lifetime, both professionally and personally. It seems so unfair to those of us who knew her that she was stricken with this dreaded and painful disease, cancer, and that she succumbed this past week. For the past decades, she has been a driving force for mother and babies and and natural living (having had her own home birth in a tub outside on a beautiful day at her’s and Leo’s lovely home in Harwich) and was knowledgeable about so many aspects of birth that made her a true pioneer/trail blazer. She was cut out of a very special mold and her absence will be surely be felt in our circles. Her list of accomplishments are a mile long, and should have been another full mile. Rest in peace, dear Liz… rest in peace.
The Section of Women’s Health (APTA) recognized Elizabeth by establishing The Elizabeth Noble Award, given yearly to an APTA member in good standing who has provided extraordinary and exemplary service in the field of women’s physical therapy.
Many in the birth world are very familiar with all of Elizabeth Noble’s many contributions to mothers and babies and had the deepest respect for her significant accomplishments. Her voice and her knowledge cannot be replaced and will certainly be missed. All of us at Science & Sensibility and Lamaze International offer our condolences to the Noble family.