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Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally Paperback – Mar 15 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Paperback, Mar 15 1992
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press; Revised Edition edition (March 15 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558320385
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558320383
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Active Birth contains a wealth of information for pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period. -- Midwest Book Review

Janet Balaskas revised edition of Active Birth is an inspiring book. She is writing to the lay public, to women anticipating a birth. However, this well written, informative and energetic book should be read by health professionals as well. -- Family Medicine

From the Back Cover

n an active birth, a mother moves about freely, finds comfortable positions for labor and delivery, and seldom needs drugs or obstetrical interventions. In Active Birth, Janet Balaskas teaches mothers to develop all of their bodily resources for giving birth, to follow their own instincts, and to take full control of their childbirth experience. Active Birth includes: Fully-illustrated exercise for a comfortable, energetic pregnancy, Massage for pregnancy and labor, Ways to create the ideal setting for an active birth in the hospital or at home, Positions for labor and birth, for maximum comfort and efficient contractions, The latest information about water birth, and how to plan one, Exercises for recovery and relaxation after birth, Helpful tips for partners and birth attendants.

Active Birth will inspire and instruct those who want to give birth through their own efforts by following their own instincts. -Penny Simkin, author of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

An empowering approach to labor and birth. -Barbara Katz Rothman, author of In Labor and Recreating Motherhood

Clearly written, carefully documented, and copiously illustrated, this new edition celebrates the inherent wisdom on womens birthing instincts. It also serves up a complete course of preparation to guide those of us who need to be reminded just how natural childbirth can be. -Adrienne Lieberman, author of Giving Birth and Easing Labor Pain

A revolutionary book, helping women to get off their backs and find their feet in birthing. -Rahima Baldwin, founder if Informed Homebirth and author of Special Delivery

This book strips away the false complexity of modern obstetrics. Read this book. Claim its wisdom. -Roberta Scaer, co-author of A Good Birth, A Safe Birth

Janet Balaskas captures the psychological essence of giving birth and the spirit of active participation so important to a womans self-esteem during pregnancy and delivery. -Gayle Peterson, Ph.D., author of Birthing Normallyand An Easier Childbirth

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has really turned my whole perspective about routine births in North American hospitals around. Being pregnant with my first baby I wanted as natural a birth as possible (don't we all?), but had no idea about how bad giving birth in a reclining position actually is for you and your baby. This shocked me given the amount of babies that are delivered this way today in standard hospitals. Equipped with great, easy to follow yoga-based exercises for pregnancy, birth, and the days following birth, this book has helped me stay active in the last few months of my pregnancy and has opened my eyes as to what is better for my body when I give birth. The only con was, being a Canadian resident, non of the extra resources listed in the back were of use to me.
If you are looking for an all-natural birthing experience, and for tips on how to listen to your body during the birthing process (not the doctors who force you to push when you're not ready), this book is definitely worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
I recommend this book for all pregnant women- whether you are determined to have a natural childbirth, know for sure you will use drugs, or somewhere in between. After reading this book, I am less scared of the childbirth process.
The book is wonderful. It explains some positions that can help in childbirth, and that will make contractions more effective (and offers good explanations as to why) and has a section of pregnancy yoga so you are prepared to use those positions. There also is a section on how to cope with pain.
As far as the pictures in the book go- if you are offended by the childbirth process and pictures depicting it, then you may not want to get this book. These are natural pictures of women having babies. Yes some are naked, but I don't find them offensive at all.
I *know* I will use some kind of painkiller during childbirth, but I am determined to go as long as I can without them. This book makes a very stong and logical case for being active during labor and delivery. I didn't feel that the author put down anyone who preferred a hospital birth - there's a chapter on how to have an active birth in a hospital. She did make strong points against using drugs in labor, but again, I didn't feel she was totally against using them- she said that there are some cases where the benefits of painkillers may be worth the risks. I definitely didn't get a sense of "hospitals and painkillers are evil" like I have with other birthing books. Another birthing book you may want to look into that doesn't have that attitude is "Birthing Partner."
Again, I cannot recommend this book enough. It offers a lot of knowledge and reassurance for pregnant women.
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Format: Paperback
I was induced, but with the information and techniques I learned from this book, I was able to still have an unmedicated birth. I was able to keep my induction from turning into a C-section, kept myself relatively comfortable, and birthed my child within a few minutes of pushing.
My sister-in-law was in much better shape going into her pregnancy, and she couldn't believe that I was able to do the things I did without running out of energy or strength. I didn't even begin these techniques until I was a month away from my delivery!!!
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Format: Paperback
I wanted detailed information about how to use various supported squat positions to give birth, but had trouble finding a book that did anything more than say "squatting is best..."
This book delivered big time! Not only did it give detailed pictures and written instructions for how the woman can squat, it also told exactly how the partner can physically support the different squat positions, and why they work best for birth. I feel like now I can go to my caregiver (I am birthing in the hospital) equipped to explain why I wish to give birth in the position that feels best to me, instead of flat on my back with my feet in stirrups as I did last time. The only thing about this book that was a little "freakish" to me was the photos from the early 90's of naked hippie women and their partners during bith. While the photos were helpful in and of themselves because they further illustrate the positions, it was a little off-putting to see a man with a giant afro holding his partner... :)
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By A Customer on Dec 1 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book in preparation for the birth of my first. In addition to Lamaze instruction, I found this book to be very informative in describing techniques to help prepare me for the birth itself. It outlined pain management techniques, which seemed practical. The technical and scientific explanations of how the body changes during pregnancy and birth and made me feel very comfortable with the birthing experience. The only thing it didn't really touch on was cesearean delivery and how to be actively particapating in this procedure or what to do afterward in terms of bonding while being separated from the baby. I never got to use the active birthing techniques as my son was delivered 6 weeks prematurely through an emergency cesearan, but I felt that I was prepared for the active birth experience I wanted and felt very confident about it after reading this book.
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By A Customer on March 6 2003
Format: Paperback
Like many first-time pregnant women, I've felt overwhelmed and a little unsure of myself. Reading this book was completely inspiring. It's "empowering" in the most literal way--Balaskas lays out compelling, in-depth information that shows you how to trust your body's natural physiology, and reminds you that we are absolutely built to do this! Everything in the book encourages you to learn how to prepare for the positions and methods that will most contribute to a healthy and wonderful experience for you, your partner, and the baby. I've been telling everyone about this book. It has made me feel wonderful about the whole childbirth process.
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