About Us

The Active Birth Centre was founded by Janet Balaskas in the early 1980’s. Her vision was to create an oasis for pregnant and new mothers and their partners and babies, with a programme of empowering classes and courses, as well as a complementary therapy clinic.  Her dream was to create a place where the importance of the beginning of life –  the primal years, was honoured and paramount and took its influence out into the world. Today the Active Birth Centre is the place she dreamed of.  Janet continues to lead the centre and is assisted by her  colleague Lynn Murphy with whom she has worked for many years. They are joined by a team of highly skilled professionals who share the Active Birth philosophy and vision: to encourage, support and inspire women to become actively involved in their pregnancy and birth so that they become the loving parents, and healthy families of the future. It is a testament to the ethos of the Active Birth Centre that most members of the Active Birth team have worked together for years.

Janet Balaskas

Founder and Director

Janet is the pioneer of Active Birth and the centre’s founder. 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 with women and couples at the Active Birth Centre in London.  Here she leads classes and courses, and runs training courses for professionals.

Janet also teaches across the world, currently in Portugal, Brazil, Turkey and Israel. Janet’s unstoppable drive to give parents choice in labour and birth, and to provide the guidance and information to enable women to confidently follow their instincts and tune into their babies, has fuelled the global spread of Active Birth. Janet is the mother of four grown up children and one stepdaughter and has five grandchildren. You can read more about Janet’s personal journey, her published books, and her campaign for women to become active birth givers and her international  trainings in Janet’s personal website, which is currently being created – as soon as it’s live we will post the link here.

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



Following the birth of her two children and the inspiration of attending Active Birth Classes with Janet Balaskas, Lynn went on to train with Janet and colleagues, qualifying as an Active Birth Teacher for Pre and Postnatal yoga and Active Birth preparation for couples in 1997.  She also trained in Developmental Baby Massage with doyen Peter Walker. She was invited by Janet, on qualifying, to teach at the Active Birth Centre were she is till this day as Co -Director.

Lynn devised our Postnatal programme at the Active Birth Centre and her training for practitioners focusus on the early months after birth, “New Baby & Me Nurture”, this training is drawn from her experience and extensive knowledge of the last 21 years, read more here.  Lynn will  also return to Brussels for a two day Postnatal Yoga training in spring 2021.

Her Family retreats in Ibiza and the UK have ben postponed until spring 2021

Lynn brings her skills and love of Yoga, Massage and Active Birth to all her classes injecting them with positivity. Helping parents-to-be prepare for birth and parenthood is at the core of her work and to further support this she works closely with her local hospital on Maternity Voices and delivers workshops for couples on Active Birth & Massage for Labour in the hospital. Looking forward till she meets them again with their babies!

Once again the yoga I did with you was a HUGE part of my labour, it really helped that I had been that day.  My labour was very calm and I felt in control the whole time and ended up having a water birth which was amazing. I really can’t thank you enough Lynn for the amazing job you do in your class, not just the yoga – your advice is spot on and you voice was with me the whole time!!  Thank you for being such a helpful and supportive part of a very important time in my life. Please keep up the good work, birth really doesn’t have to be so stressful just taking the fear out of it has let me have two positive births.

Kate, London




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