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.