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New Active Birth: A Concise Guide to Natural Childbirth Paperback – 21 Dec 1990

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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  • New Active Birth: A Concise Guide to Natural Childbirth
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  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
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  • Birthing from within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
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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.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
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 clear and easy to understand for those of us without such background. I ended up giving birth in water but all the physical positions and breathing exercises during contractions were useful and helped with the delivery of my baby. I recommend highly to all those wondering about natural active birth.
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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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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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Format: Paperback
Well worth reading. I'm awaiting my second child and felt this book filled in many gaps in my knowledge about the birth process. However the main positive element of this book is it's ability to empower and motivate couples to feel in control during the birth. The book does feel dated (all though still relevant) and I think it is one sided and should be read alongside other information about less straight forward births. Good luck with your births!
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