History of WBI

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History of WBI 2017-02-07T16:41:42+00:00


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Waterbirth International was founded in 1988
to make Waterbirth an available option for all woman.

Our History

In order to accomplish the incredible vision of waterbirth becoming a common practice in all parts of the world, changes must be made in the way we treat women in labor and the way we welcome new human beings into this world. Waterbirth International (WBI) has been working non-stop for three decades providing education, training, video programs, articles, consultations and referrals for parents and practitioners. There have been major accomplishments since our humble beginning as a 501-C-3 nonprofit organization. We are very proud of the fact that we have assisted with the installation of birth pools in hundreds of hospitals and birth center in the US and other countries around the globe, including Canada, Mexico, Spain, Israel, Taiwan, China, Turkey, Egypt, Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua and India.

We also assisted over 6000 with portable pool rentals and sales for water labor and waterbirth. Parents, midwives and doctors come to us for information and reassurance. Countless more couples have watched our videos and DVDs and shared them with family, friends and providers. All of this has helped change the consciousness of birth and parenting.

Waterbirth International is now a privately owned company and no longer operating under the auspices of Global Maternal/Child Health Association.  WBI is now only focusing  on education, training, mentoring and consulting. Barbara Harper, the founder and current director of Waterbirth International, will continue in the role of leading and directing the educational workshops while more people are trained to teach and interact with hospitals.  The goals are still the same – to ensure that waterbirth becomes an available option for all women and to change the way we welcome babies into the world.  We are proud to have been active during the 1990s in projects in the former Soviet Republics, bringing over 1 million dollars worth of donated medical supplies and clothing to nine different sites in four countries, including, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. We are actively educating doctors, midwives and nurses in all parts of world on the principles and practices of Gentle Birth, which include the use of warm water immersion for labor and birth.

12356868_10207145873861672_4351326262946484680_oWe began teaching a one or two day seminar for birth providers and birth support professionals in 2009.  The Waterbirth Certification Workshop has been taught in many cities in the US, Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Egypt, Israel, Holland, Germany, India and many other countries.  One workshop in Beijing had over 500 midwives in attendance.

We will continue this important work all over the globe.

Truly International


We now offer the full Waterbirth Certification Course online in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.

The workshop covers all the most current research, recognizing and preventing emergencies in waterbirth, pool set up, infection control, establishing a research protocol and much more. If you are interested in sponsoring or attending a workshop near you, click the button below to send us a message.

For more information