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4.8 out of 5 stars27
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Having had four children of her own, Balaskas is the person to go to to find out about active birth. You know the information she gives you has been tried and tested, by her! What I found most useful about this book were the yoga postures which she sets out that help during pregnancy and birth. I used them myself and they made a big difference to me. The pictures were easy to follow and I enjoyed it because it allowed me to practice in the privacy of my own home. Something quite important when you're the size of a small basking shark!
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on 29 April 2000
The book builds up a case for active birth very well. It avoids unresearched comments about "conventional" births so that its arguments for active birth stand on their own with no need to critsise or condemn other methods.
It offers information, support and intelligent advice and guidance - something I have found lacking elsewhere. It has given me the confidence to proceed with the home birth of my third child and is an excellent way to inform your birth helpers as to what you want to achieve.
The appraoch makes sense physically as well as emotionally and makes its points quietly and without sensational claims for it being the only way. This I respect and therefore accept the concept more readily.
Finally, it is refreshing to read a book around birth that clearly considers its readers to be able to make their own minds up based on good facts and well laid out information.
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on 19 August 2012
The book is now extremely dated - it mentions taking coins for the payphone and a cassette player to the hospital(!) - but it doesn't matter; childbirth doesn't date!

I did the yoga exercises presented in the first part of the book - aimed at opening the hips, pelvic florr etc - and found the ideas for different postures for different phases of labour very useful and informative.
There are even a few pages at the end of the book with post-natal exercises which I'm trying to do now - you can even start day 1 afer childbirth if you're well and itching to get back to exercising - if your newborn lets you have 10 minutes to yourself of course.

Recommended for being a no-nonsense, nor gimmicky guide to labour drawing on women's physical strength and anatomy.

I also read Birth Skills by Juju Sundin which focuses more on skills for handling pain. The two together are quite useful.
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on 27 November 2009
great and extremly helpful! great book!
finally you can give your birth in an active and natural way! very helpful guide to the birth.
you are getting ready and not afraid!
i have been recommmending to all my friends!
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on 28 June 2010
I bought this book when I was planning a homebirth four years ago. I gave my copy away after my daughter's birth and have just bought another copy to give as a gift to my sister who is expecting a child. This is a fantastic book not just for those who are planning a homebirth, but rather all expectant mothers who are thinking about their birthplans. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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on 30 December 2010
I discovered this book during the later stages of my first pregnancy 6 years ago. Everything in the book made sense to me and I followed the exercises and advise for the rest of my pregnancy.
I honestly think that this book helped me have a relatively painless, stress free and fast labour and delivery.
I bought this copy for my sister hoping to help her do the same.
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on 16 June 2010
This book contains almost all you need to know while pregnant and makes you feel confident to lead you birth.
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on 2 May 2012
This book is an excelent option to women who want to conduct the birth of their children, considering it as a natural process. I highly recommend it.
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on 6 June 2010
just on page 14. and this book has already made me ready for taking responsibility for the birth of my child. it has made me wonder how long women in the western world has been led astray to give birth lying in a bed. i recommend this to any woman or man who works with pregnancy and birth or to any pregnant woman who wants to be prepared and knowing about what possibilities there are when you now how and why to stay active when giving birth to your child.
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on 17 September 2012
This book is informative about the approach to birth and labour over the years / centuries. It gives helpful advice on choosing a birthing position that suits you and gives good information on conventional pain relief and the possible / probable side effects.
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