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New Active Birth: A Concise Guide to Natural Childbirth [Paperback]

Janet Balaskas
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Dec 1990
"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" covering 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. It offers revised and expanded prenatal and postnatal exercises with step by step photographs. It presents a detailed up-to-the minute section covering every aspect of Active Birth at home and in hospital and the Active Birth Movement. Janet Balaskas is the founder of the Active Birth Movement. The mother of four children, she trained with the National Childbirth Trust and is a counsellor for childbirth.


Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons; New rev. ed edition (21 Dec 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722525664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722525661
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Publisher

Every year the number of home births is increasing – Active Birth is not a trend it’s a definite social change and women want to know about it.
Active Birth is increasingly practiced in UK hospitals. Birthing pools are standard – and over half in the UK are supplied by Active Birth.

From the Back Cover

'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.

A detailed up-to-the minute section covering every aspect of Active Birth at home and in hospital and the Active Birth Movement.

Janet Balaskas is the founder of the Active Birth Movement. The mother of four children, she trained with the National Childbirth Trust and is a counsellor for childbirth.



Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars every mum-to-be should read this! 12 April 2009
By amymcc
Format:Paperback
I got this out at my library when pregnant with my second child and i thought it was so good and wanted to keep it that i bought it from here.
Although i had a 'normal' birth with my first child, for me it was not a positive experience that i hoped for. I had not prepared myself beforehand and did not expect to not be able to cope with the pain. I belive it was my fear and the drugs i was given that made it worse. Second time around i knew i wanted it to be different. I found out about Janet Balaskas and the Active Birth Centre when looking into natural childbirth. This book is excellent, it gives you the facts on everything to with childbirth and makes you realise that us women are made to give birth - naturally. It emphasises the fact that its being active in labour and birth that is important even if intervention is needed. It gave me the confidence to listen to my body and go with it, using my mind to cope with labour. I truly believe that this book helped me achieve the birth i wanted. I had my daughter at home (not planned) with no drugs for pain relief. It was an amazingly positive experience and i feel privileged to have had that. I would recommend this book to all mums-to-be and those having more children too!
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all pregnant women! 21 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My reading of New Active Birth totally influenced my approach to the birth of my daughter in September 1999. It gave me the confidence to give birth in the way I wanted to knowing that I was doing the right thing even though it went against convention. I found this book readable and concise with excellent reseach. Without it I'm certain that my experience of giving birth would have been much less pleasurable.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate preparation for an easier birth. 10 Jan 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Janet balaskas helps the pregnant woman to understand how movement and natural birthing positions such as squatting helps us to cope with birth and help avoid intervention. Uses yoga based excercises to help you through pregnancy and birth, and postnatally. Covers homebirth, hospital birth,and topics such as breastfeeding with photos. I am finding it extremely useful and would recommend it whole heartedly along with Sheila kitzingers new pregnancy and childbirth.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Bible when pregnant 19 July 2009
By valval
Format:Paperback
I have had this book for years and it has been a great help for the birth of 3 of my children. I was able to have them without epidural thanks to their advice on coping with the pain. I only wished I had it for my first baby!
Pictures are quite realistic and dads look like they come straight out of a Hippie camp but it doesn't matter. The content is so useful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A very informative, interesting, useful and concise book on giving birth actively. Every pregnant woman should read it. It has instilled me with greater confidence in my own body. I hope to give birth using all the knowledge I have gained from reading this book over and over again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, positive and clear 28 Dec 2009
By Luna
Format:Paperback
I liked the book. It helped me to understand the different stages of labor. It is also very useful for your partner as he can understand better his role.
Very good if you want to do some exercises to prepare you for labor.
It doesnt make you feel scared at all.

I 100% recomend it.

I will also recomend you to buy Michel Odent book Birth REborn, lovely book, its like telling you a story, very uplifting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good and easy to read 10 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
I found this book very easy to read and informative. I didn't get it until in my final trimester but I would reccomend also buying it earlier. If you are interested in using natural postures to encourage an easier birth I would definately recommend it as it is full of practical suggestions. The biggest thing I have gained from it is that I should be confident in my own body to do what it's made to do - fingers crossed it works!!

Generally I am really please with the book and have found it really great!!

My only critisism is that I wish they had updated the later sections though as they haven't done so for some time and it doesn't mention the more modern options of birthing centres etc which offer you what this book says they should - which you would have thought they would be pleased about!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book 2 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a great book and has given me a lot of confidence building up to the birth of my first baby.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative for men and women
Helped prepare me for what my wife was about to experience but felt a bit dated with stats from the 70's and 80's
Published 7 days ago by BOB
5.0 out of 5 stars must have for any mum to be
Brilloant book... must have for any mum to be!!!
Published 1 month ago by firefly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for natural birth
This is a key book for anyone wanting to understand Active Birth and how to use natural techniques to have a positive experience. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dolly200
4.0 out of 5 stars good prep
Good techniques, very good ethos and advice, but thought yoga section too long/unnecessary. Would be better suited as a separate/follow-on book.
Published 8 months ago by lucie speakman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a great book for mums who want a natural birth, I used this book when I was pregnant with my first child many years ago and now for my second, I found the yoga exercises... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jay9
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, especially for a first time Mum!
Im currently sat here one day overdue and looking forward to trying out the methods I read in this book! Read more
Published 14 months ago by Natalie Jane S. Preston
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read before giving birth
An excellent, informative book which is easy to follow. Explains clearly the mechanics of child birth, and why being active and working with your body and gravity is less painful... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Angharad Stokes-Rhys
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
I bought this on recommendation.
It's a little bit dated, but the theory still applies.
I found it quite insightful and I enjoyed reading it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by JM
5.0 out of 5 stars Most helpful natural birth guide
This was the only book I read cover to cover while I was pregnant. It explained thoroughly the benefits of active birth from medical and physiological stand points but still very... Read more
Published 17 months ago by AO
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite militant but a very useful source of information
An excellent guide in preparation for a home birth. It is a bit too militantly against the now standard hospital option but if you can ignore the propoganda there is tonnes of... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Yvonne
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