The Active Birth Workshop is a 4 hour workshop for those expecting a baby. We start with explaining the physiological process of childbirth in human language for a better understanding of what is about the happen. With this information you will be able to make up your own personal birth plan if you wish to do so. We will demonstrate the advantages of upright positions during birth and practise them together. You will learn some breathing excercises and we will show you some visual material. After the workshop you and your partner will feel more empowered and confident about your upcoming birth experience. Fill in the contact form for more information about dates & prizes.
Active Birth is…
Janet Balaskas, founder of the Active Birth Movement
- A way to prepare the body and mind to activate your physiology’s natural birth-giving abilities
- A celebration of the miraculous unfolding of the natural process of pregnancy and birth
- A philosophy and a movement that has empowered women to choose how and where they deliver their baby
- A common-sense, evidence-based approach that is supported by midwives and doctors, and taught in NHS hospitals and birth centres
Active Birth has evolved as our understanding of the incredible process of birth has developed. But three ideas have been present since the beginning: encouraging mothers to use instinctive upright birthing positions; stimulating natural hormonal responses during labour; and empowering women to make their own choices about their births.
ACTIVE BIRTH is not new. It is simply a way of describing how women the world over have always behaved during labour and birth throughout history — Janet Balaskas ‘New Active Birth’
1. Going with Gravity
In an active birth, a woman is not confined to a bed. She is free to move during labour, and to give birth spontaneously in a position of her choice, according to natural birth giving instincts. This instinct is strengthened during pregnancy as a woman learns to trust in her body’s natural ability to give birth. Active Birth preparation, often with your partner, helps you to become more confident.
In an Active Birth you will choose your own way to move, and to be still, depending on how you feel and how your labour is progressing. You will instinctively find your own way to make your labour more comfortable, and to help your body to align with gravity during your baby’s descent through the birth canal. This in turn will send a better blood and oxygen supply to the uterus and baby, making birth easier and helping to prevent complications.
2. Learning to Release Birth Hormones
When you are in labour and giving birth, your body produces an ‘internal pharmacy’ of birthing hormones, including Oxytocin and Endorphins, ‘the love hormones’. These regulate the birth process, stimulating the involuntary muscular responses of your body. They also promote attachment and love—in other words, bonding between you and your baby. This dual capacity of the birthing hormones to influence muscular and emotional responses simultaneously is Mother Nature’s blueprint for survival.
When you have the freedom to move and can labour in a peaceful and private place where you feel safe, undisturbed and unobserved, you are able to release very high levels of Oxytocin and Endorphins. This makes the birth process faster and easier, as natural relaxants stimulate good reflexive uterine contractions and help you to transcend pain and experience pleasure.
Learning how to encourage this natural production of birth hormones will help you to ensure that birth is efficient and the bonds of love between you and your baby are established from the outset. This primal relationship at the time of birth when you and your baby are transfused with love hormones forms the foundation for the baby’s capacity to love. It is the prototype for all future relationships.
Active Birth recognises that the ability to birth is instinctive. Our ‘body centred’ approach invites you to awaken this awareness during your pregnancy. As you begin to understand the innate ability to give birth that is common to all women, your confidence will grow. Any fears or anxieties will turn to relaxed and joyful anticipation.
3. Your empowered, educated choice
Active Birth places you at the centre of your pregnancy and labour – not your birth attendants. By educating you about the physiology of birth, Active Birth gives power and control to you – the birthing mother. You will discover that pregnancy is not a medical condition, and that most woman are able to give birth without medical intervention. As a result, you will be confident in making the key decisions about your own birth.
This releases the potential for you to give birth physiologically and naturally, and for you and your baby to benefit from the release of hormones that are present in ‘every facet of love’ (Michel Odent).
This is one reason why many parents choose Active Birth and why, even in special circumstances, it’s always best to stay as close to nature as possible and to restore the physiological connection between mother and baby, so the production of love hormones can continue through holding, breastfeeding and close contact in the weeks and months after birth.
I have the highest regard for Eve, whom I met when working in Turkey. She attended my workshops for several years both in Turkey and in London and very soon became an assistant, because her skills and teaching ability were outstanding.
She has brought the influence of Active Birth to her locality with transformative effect. I have complete trust in her integrity and I know her understanding of Active Birth is excellent. She is able to communicate this very well to others and to inspire professionals she has worked with to embrace the philosophy and practise. Being a mother herself she has a deep empathy for the parents she works with and has excellent results with her work.
Janet Balaskas Founder and Active Birth Director of the Active Birth Centre