One of the single session classes I offer is specifically about Active Birth. I received a question asking what I mean by active birth. Active birth is an approach to birth that emphasizes movement and the use of gravity to help during labor and birth. It is a way of “describing normal labor and birth and the way a woman behaves when she is following her own instincts and the physiological logic of her body. It is a way of saying that she herself controls her body while giving birth, rather than being the passive recipient of a birth that is managed by her attendant.” I incorporate some of the ideas into any class I teach, because I feel like it is an essential component of preparation for birth.
The term active birth was coined by Janet Balaskas, the author of the classic birth book Active Birth and the founder of the Active Birth Centre in London. She specifies that active birth is “nothing new,” but is instead a term for describing normal woman-directed labor and birth.
Active birth is in direct contrast to “active management” of labor.
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