education and training for parents and professionals

For over 30 years we have pursued our mission to ensure
that waterbirth is an available option for all women in all birth settings.


for professionals

Waterbirth International is the only organization providing water birth education and training for parents and professionals. To date, more than 15,000 people have become certified in safely using water in all stages of  pregnancy, labor and birth through our insightful programs. Whether you are a couple interested in exploring natural water birth,  a midwife or doctor who wants to offer water birth to clients, or a hospital that wants to integrate the use of warm water immersion on your labor and delivery unit, this course is for you. Our Waterbirth Certification and Education Courses are available online and through in-person workshops. Courses include: 

  • Introduction to Waterbirth: Benefits and Risks of Warm Water Immersion

  • Assessing Blood Loss After a Waterbirth
  • Rethinking Second Stage: Letting the Baby Out Versus Getting the Baby Out
  • Using Water for Breech Babies: A Variation of Normal
  • The Miracle of Waterbirth: A Special Course for Parents
  • The Steps to Getting a Waterbirth in my Local Hospital
  • Blissborn Childbirth Education Teacher Training Course
  • Provider Blissborn Training: Instant Hypnosis at the Bedside
  • Blissborn Childbirth Education Classes for Parents
  • Birth as a Healing Journey: Explore the Inner Work of Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
  • Birth Guardian Workshops: Exploring the Principles, Practices, and Inner Work Which Create a Gentle Birth.

Check out our courses page for more information about additional and upcoming courses and to sign up for online or in-person classes. 

Have questions about our courses? Contact us and we will get back to you promptly.  




    Home water birth has become  known for its hands-off approach to giving birth. As more women become aware of the benefits of using a deep bath for water labor, demand grows for natural waterbirth as a viable option to traditional labor and delivery methods. Since 1988, Waterbirth International has upheld the right of childbearing women to exercise full autonomy in their care decisions. 

    Gentle birth practitioners prioritize the emotional, physical, and psychological well-being of the person giving birth and the infant who is being born above all other system considerations. Thanks to the efforts of Waterbirth International founder Barbara Harper, waterbirth became a global movement. Now, many women demand it as an option, even from hospitals which have been deeply rooted in birthing experiences that involve invasive and often unnecessary medical and surgical intervention. 

    Waterbirth, also known as gentle birth, is a birthing method that encourages labor and delivery in a tub of warm water. You can use a deep bath or birthing pool and have your water birth at home, hospital, or in a birthing center that supports water birth. Some women labor in the birthing pool and give birth outside of the water, while others choose to labor and birth while sitting in waist high water.. A trained doctor, or midwife helps you through the process of giving birth in water. 

    The theory behind water birth is simple: the birthing mother births her baby into an environment that is similar to the warm fluid protected space of the womb. Birthing the baby in the water is not the goal of laboring in the water. However  it is less traumatic for infants. The goal of using water during the birth process is to increase the comfort, peace, and relaxation of the mother so that she can easily “let her baby” out if she choses to stay in the water at the time of birth.  


    Natural water birth has many benefits. A more relaxing birth experience is the primary reason most women opt for giving birth in water. Other advantages to water birthing include:

    • It promotes a more relaxing birth experience. Immersing yourself in a warm bath is an efficient way to reduce anxiety, lower your blood pressure and increase your comfort. 
    • It can shorten labor. Warm water helps contractions progress more smoothly, which in turn can shorten your labor. Its buoyancy also allows freedom of movement for mothers as they shift from one position to another during labor. 
    • It lessens the need for pain medication. Water labor can help improve blood flow to the uterine muscles, making labor more comfortable. 
    • It boosts the connection between mother and baby. With increased comfort levels, some people report feeling more present and bonded with their babies through the birthing process. 

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