Janet Balaskas

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Janet Balaskas is an author, founder of the Active Birth Movement,[1] and childbirth educator. She is perhaps known best for her advocacy of active birth where the woman is free to move during labour, rather than being placed into stirrups or the lithotomy position. She coined the term active birth [2] which she explained in the first of her books Active Birth published in 1983.[3][4]

Born in South Africa she is currently the Director of the Active Birth Centre in London, UK.[5]



  • Active Birth. Unwin, London, 1983, ISBN 0-04-612033-5
  • New Life - the book of exercises for childbirth. Sidgewick & Jackson, 1983
  • The Active Birth Partners Handbook. Sidgewick & Jackson, 1984
  • The Encyclopaedia of Pregnancy and Birth (with Yehudi Gordon). Macdonald Orbis, 1987
  • Water Birth (with Yehudi Gordon). Unwin Hyman, 1991
  • New Active Birth - A concise guide to natural childbirth. Thorsons, 1991, ISBN 978-0722525661


  • Janet Balaskas, Sophie Hoare, Lyn Durward, Jo Garcia, and Caroline Langridge, "Birth Rights: Radical Consumerism in Health Care," Critical Social Policy, v. 2, n. 5, pp. 62–65 (1982)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See Kerreen Reiger, "Telling Tales: Health Professionals and Mother's Constructions of Choice in Childbirth," Sociological Sites/Sights, TASA 2000 Conference, Adelaide: Flinders University, Dec. 6-8, 2000 (note 1).
  2. ^ Childbirth Choices Guide: Janet Balaskas - Active Birth Laura Stavoe Harm
  3. ^ Christiane Northrup, Tori Hudson (1999). Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 0879837888.
  4. ^ Susan Seneman, "Rebirthing Midwifery," New Directions for Women, v. 22, n. 4, pp. 7 (July-Aug. 1993)
  5. ^ Seven ways to survive pregnancy The Guardian (August 12, 2006)

External links[edit]