Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally

by Janet Balaskas

Paperback, 1992



Local notes

EC Parenting


Harvard Common Press (1992), Edition: Revised Edition, 272 pages


It's time to empower yourself and just say no to giving birth passively. This is the book that has revolutionized childbirth, turning birthing mothers from subdued and passive "patients" to active and empowered owners of their childbirth experience. Janet Balaskas started a movement of women who refused to give birth lying down and she has been teaching women about "active birth" ever since. She emphasizes the importance of movement during labor, the wide range of options and positions for delivery itself, and the many natural alternatives to heavy sedation and other medical interventions. Her book is eminently useful whether you are planning to give birth in a hospital, a free-standing birth center, or at home. If such options as water birth or hypno-birthing are appealing to you, this is an essential book; at the same time, it is non-judgmental and encourages you to give birth in whatever manner and position you see fit. It covers: Exercises for pregnancy, to prepare you optimally for childbirth Massage and yoga during labor Labor and birthing positions that maximize your comfort and encourage efficient contractions  Essential tips for birth partners, spouses, doulas, and other attendants Relaxation and recovery exercises, for the postpartum period Janet Balaskas shows you how to prepare for and experience a truly natural, joyful, and empowering birth. … (more)


Original language


Physical description

272 p.; 6 inches


1558320385 / 9781558320383

User reviews

LibraryThing member SquirrelTao
This is the most helpful writing on childbirth that I have ever read. There is detailed information about various positions for laboring and what their advantages are.
LibraryThing member HomeBirth
In an active birth, a mother moves about freely, finds comfortable positions for labour and delivery, and seldom needs drugs or obstetrical interventions. In Active Birth, Janet Balaskas teaches mothers to develop all of their bodily resources for giving birth, to follow their own instincts, and to take full control of the childbirth experience.… (more)
LibraryThing member howifeelaboutbooks
The only pregnancy book I've read in the past nine months. My midwife loaned it to me, saying it was one of her favorites. I put it off for a long time because the cover alarmed me, but once I started reading, I felt so reassured. It has great tips on how to breathe and move during pregnancy and labor. There's so much to learn about how to stand and move during contractions and labor, instead of just laying in a bed like the hospital wants you to. I know giving birth is still going to be painful, but I feel much more confident that I'll be able to control myself a bit more, and at least focus the pain into something more positive.… (more)




(27 ratings; 4.2)
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