Waterbirth International began in 1988, in Santa Barbara, California, by a concerned group of women and men who wanted to “ensure that waterbirth is an available option for all women.” From a humble beginning in the living room of Barbara Harper and Harry Kislevitz, to the ripple effects of women birthing babies in water today, the core mission remains the same.
Waterbirth International has been and will continue to be a leading voice in seeking gentler, kinder, and easier ways to welcome babies into the world.
We accomplish our mission through programs designed to educate parents and professionals about the Gentle Birth model of maternity care.
This model of care includes the use of warm water immersion for labor and birth, and has the benefits of improving birth outcomes and substantially reducing the costs of health care.
We provide resources, consultations, in-service education, workshops and conferences for professionals worldwide to assist with the integration of waterbirth protocols in hospitals, birth centers and home birth practices.
We offer vibrant online or in-person education, workshops for birth practitioners or parents. Our Waterbirth Certification and Education Workshops have been taken by over 5000 birth professionals worldwide.
What is Gentle Birth?
Gentle Birth is an evidence-based model of maternity care, developed by practitioners worldwide, which incorporates current research on the psycho-neuro-physiology of the mother/baby pair and the consciousness of the fetus/newborn .
Gentle Birth respects and supports the innate childbearing process of both the mother and the baby. Gentle Birth Facilitators understand the importance and significance of an undisturbed and supported birth experience. The brain of the new human being entering the world develops through sensations in the environment. The mother’s thoughts, feeling, and emotions affect the fetal blood flow and brain wiring..
Gentle Birth uses integrative health care practices to promote wellness during pregnancy and throughout the birth. Gentle Birth is responsive to the unique physiology unfolding in the mother and baby and follows the dictum, “First, Do No Harm,” when considering all interventions.
Rooted in a strong sense of “pure service,” Gentle Birth Facilitators place the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of the mother-infant pair, above all other system considerations, and they uphold the right of childbearing women to exercise full autonomy in their care decisions, while still working collaboratively.
Gentle Birth Facilitator trainings have been given in many parts of the globe for the past decade.