News & Updates

Ask a Childbirth Educator (March 2022)

‘I’m keen on an active birth, can you tell me more?’

An Active Birth is a term first defined by Janet Balaskas, although birthing actively is actually nothing new in the history of giving birth.  It was apparently King Louis XIV who insisted that his wives should lie down on a table, so he could get a better view of the birth!  Before then woman generally birthed in upright positions.  

Active birthing is more than just moving around freely during your labour, it is also about empowering you as a woman and pregnant person to follow your body’s urges, and to accept and trust your body during this amazing time. 

When you are free to move about, you are in control.  When in control of the labour the experience is less frightening. There are also many physical benefits to active birthing, such as having gravity on your side, less pain is felt, the pelvis is left free to move and adjust as the baby descends, more oxygen to baby during labour, more effective contractions, easier to push, less risk of tearing, and the list goes on. 

Many people who are active in their labour often report having a more satisfying birthing experience. 

You might be surprised to learn that your pelvis opens an extra 28% if you’re upright and slightly squatting – almost a 1/3 extra space for baby to pass through!  Yes please! 

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