Janet Balaskas
Janet Balaskas is an author, founder of the Active Birth Movement, and childbirth educator. She is perhaps best known for her advocacy of active birth where the woman is free to move during labour. She coined the term "active birth" which she explained in her book Active Birth published in 1983 (republished in 1991 as New Active Birth).

Born in South Africa she is currently the Director of the Active Birth Centre in London, UK.

New Active Birth will help you and your partner prepare for and experience an Active Birth. Naturally, throughout time and the world over, women have chosen to walk, stand, squat, lie - to move their bodies freely and actively to find the most comfortable positions for labour and birth. It is only we in the west who have the extraordinary notion that a woman should lie on her back in a position that defies the laws of nature and gravity.

With this book you can learn to develop all your body's resources to deal with the instinctive experience of childbirth. It is also for partners, teachers, midwives and everyone involved, to help mothers get up off the delivery table and to bring back some of the common sense which has been overlooked by modern obstetrics.

New Active Birth
is the new and revised edition of Janet Balaskas' pioneering and acclaimed Active Birth:

Over 180 clear black and white photographs and line drawings throughout.

Fully updated and extended with new information - includes sections on Water Birth and Recovery After Birth.

Revised and expanded prenatal and postnatal exercises with step by step photographs.

For further information about this book and to learn more about the work of Janet Balaskas, please visit the Active Birth Centre website.
When my wife and I discovered in November 1984 that she was pregnant with our first child, it was my wife who did all the work of understanding the experience through reading a stack of books on pregnancy, birthing and babyhood since, to be honest, I was pretty much happy to stay clueless about the whole thing. I was still clueless when my wife told me she wanted a "natural birth" (aren't all births "natural"?); and then she was talking to me about somebody called Janet Balaskas and having an "active birth". I don't recall now how I responded to that novel idea - perhaps with, "Whatever you think is best" or something like that - but, in the fullness of time, my wife did indeed have an "active birth", at the Royal Hospital for Women's Birth Centre in Paddington, Sydney, when our daughter came into the world a healthy and happy baby and I was there in the room throughout to witness an event of such awesomeness it will always remain with me as a warm and delightful memory of an amazing and life changing day.

So, in a way, it was Janet Balaskas who initiated the non-mainstream parenting that has been a feature of my life ever since.

Parental Intelligence