About Janet Balaskas

Janet Balaskas is the founder of Active Birth. Her innovative ideas have inspired parents and birth professionals worldwide. Obstetricians and midwives have a high regard for her work, and many have adopted her methods.
She began her work as a pioneering birth educator and author in the late 1970’s and founded the Active Birth Movement in the 1980’s and published the Active Birth Manifesto. To this day Janet is a leading voice in the global campaign to transform birthing practices. The core work she does with parents and professionals, is now available online through live streaming.

Janet’s has written many ground-breaking books and has recently published a new film – She is the mother of four grown up children and one stepdaughter and has six grandchildren. You can read more about Janet’s personal journey, her published films and books, her campaign for women to become active birth givers and her Professional Training on this website.  

The Active Birth Centre was founded by Janet Balaskas in the early 1980’s. Her vision was to create a local oasis for pregnant and new mothers and their partners and babies, with a programme of empowering classes and courses.  Her dream was to create a dedicated  centre where the importance of the beginning of life –  the primal years, was honoured and took its influence out into the world. Having been a physical centre in North London for four decades,  the Active Birth Centre became an on online forum during the pandemic. This was a revelation for Janet,  which led to the discovery that her work could be accessible more more widely. Janet is skilled in delivery through this medium and inspires a sense of community and contact. 

Janet is a pioneer. Her innovative ideas have spread throughout the world inspiring parents, birth educators, yoga teachers, midwives and doulas. Obstetricians have a high regard for her work and many who encourage natural childbirth, continue to be enthusiasts and supporters. While she remains a leading voice in the global campaign to transform birthing practices, the core work she still does and loves is offered through live streaming and is accessible to all. She leads classes and courses, and runs training courses in teaching and practising Active Birth for professionals.

Janet is a remarkable teacher and has taught across the world.  Her  unstoppable drive to give parents choice in labour and birth, and to provide the guidance and information to enable them  to confidently follow their instincts, has fuelled the global spread of Active Birth.

I am sure I’m not the only woman to feel completely overwhelmed with gratitude for everything – and everyone – you have inspired with your work over the decades. Every time I read or heard something that enlightened me or changed the way I felt about birth & parenthood for the better, all roads seemed to lead back to you and your innovations. Just a few months ago, I was one of those ridiculously well-educated but utterly-clueless-about-birth 21st-century, 30-something professional women who assumed I would march into hospital demanding an epidural and every single drug going. The couple of months before my son was born saw a complete epiphany take place in me, and it’s changed me forever, I’m sure of it. You played a huge part in that. So thank you from both of us, and from the bottom of my heart.

Clemency, London