Our Active birth workshop is led by  advanced childbirth educator and senior yoga teacher, Suzanne Swan.  Suzanne has been teaching for twenty years and her experience affirms that having the partner involved in the birth process, working hands on as a team with the mother, promotes a positive birth experience and enhances family bonding.

This intimate antenatal class (eight couples only) explores practical ways to assist the labouring woman at birth.  The attention is on the partner's participation during the labour and how the birth itself is as much a team effort as the conception. It covers practical mind-body techniques not taught in other hospital classes (ie. breathing, massage and birth positions) and focuses on an undisturbed physiological birth, describing the benefits of an active birth for the mother & baby. 

This workshop complements hospital antenatal classes  and is also an excellent refresher for parents. There is evidence that childbirth education that incorporates complementary medicine techniques such as acupressure, visualisation and relaxation, breathing, massage, yoga techniques and facilitated partner support is an effective and viable way of managing pain and avoiding interventions (Levett et al. 2016 Australia)

"Birthing is both an internal and a learned experience. Women benefit greatly in birth with this self-knowledge and with a partner and/or support team* who help her work with her body. When a woman experiences the love, attention and touch of her partner during labour she will easily relax and these feelings are passed to the baby." - Suzanne Swan, yogababy founder.

During the workshop we practice:

  • Preparation pregnancy exercises for pregnancy & birth

  • How to balance the pelvis late pregnancy & in labour to optimally position baby

  • Massage and acupressure techniques to enhance labour

  • Use of movement to reduce the effect of stress

  • Use of breathing techniques to relax and release inner tension

  • Use of sound to connect with a woman's strength and power

  • Relaxation and visualisation skills to enhance the natural hormones of labour

  • Proven natural forms of pain relief

  • Releasing fears & creation of positive affirmations

  • Active Birth positioning for 1st & 2nd stage

  • Decision making model for dealing with different birth scenarios

  • Effective partner support strategies

Dates: Sunday 8.30am-5.30pm

  • 17th November (waitlisted)

  • 15th December

  • 12th January, 2020

  • 1st March, 2020

Venue: Yogababy studio, Auchenflower, Brisbane

To book your Active birth workshop

Step One: Choose your workshop date  below to register and pay $360 per couple. It is recommended you attend between 32-38 weeks. *refer to cancellation policy.



Try our Active Birth  Bundle with discount

You can attend a weekly Active birth yoga class covering the eight Active Birth Skills (Relaxation, Affirmations, Optimally Positioning Baby, Visualisation, Breathing, Vocalisation & 1st/2nd Stage Birthing positions) that you practice with your partner in the Active Birth Workshop.  The yoga classes give you more practice and in-depth study of the Active Birth Skills. 

Comparing workshops

For information about the difference between our Active Birth Workshop and other courses, see our Workshop comparison.

To increase the potential of achieving an active birth it is recommended that the pregnant mother also attend as many of  the Active Birth Yoga classes towards the end of her pregnancy to practise the birth skills presented over this weekend.

*Couple/Partner/Support team

Your couple/partner/support team can include:

  • Birthing mother and father

  • Same-sex couples

  • Single mother with support person/doula

  • Mother and daughter (birthing)

  • Birthing mother, father and support person/doula (additional $50 for third person)




I love working with women/couples who have prepared with Suzanne, as I did last night. Makes the world of difference!
— Elaine, Midwife
Thank you for helping us shift our focus and achieve an amazing birth experience, we appreciate it so very much.
After a traumatic and out of control delivery with our child (resulting in an emergency Caesar) we were aspiring for a much more calm birth of our second. Attending the workshop was about arming ourselves with techniques to aid in optimal positioning for delivery as well as embracing a positive approach to labour and ideally having a vaginal birth. We walked away from the workshop feeling empowered and confident for what was ahead and we also felt so much closer and truely connected in what we hoped to achieve.
During the labour we used many of the techniques we learnt at your workshop and my husband and I worked so closely and intimately in such rhythm, I was completely shocked that within hours our little darling arrived happy and healthy after a peaceful drug free birth.
— Bridget and Brett
Your workshop was inspiring, empowering, informative and full of heart, it gave me the confidence to completely trust my body and the process of life
— Jesse and Kim
I just wanted to say thank you for the yoga classes and the active birth workshop. Both of these helped give me and my husband the information, tools and confidence to have the kind of birthing experience I really wanted - natural, drug free, exhilarating, thoroughly satisfying. My girl was born with waters still intact, after an 8 hour labour, most of which we spent at home. She was born in hospital in the shower, where I was kneeling with my elbows on a swiss ball, my arms straight and hands holding onto a grab bar on the wall. In all, I spent 20 mins of the labour on the bed. The whole experience just blew me away, and the recovery has gone extremely well. Your classes played an important part in making us feel empowered to be clear and firm about what we wanted, which the hospital staff respected. In fact, they seemed to quite enjoy the experience!
— Workshop participant
I’d like to say thank you for all your guidance during the classes and at the active birth class for dads and support people. Both Sus and I credit her easy and fast labour with all the preparation she did with the Yoga Baby classes and the Active Birth workshop. In addition to the physical benefits and preparation she undertook, Sus was very calm and mentally prepared as much as she could be for the labour. We were both able to fully enjoy and experience the birth without drugs or intervention. I have no doubt that the lack of anxiety about the labour, as a result of your classes, was a huge contributor
— Simon
Thank you for all your support during my pregnancy, you really put your heart and soul into what you do.
— Workshop participant
We wanted to pass on our heartfelt thanks for hosting such a wonderful workshop on the weekend. We both benefited greatly - and my husband told me afterwards it was the first time he had been made to feel a valued and important part of our pregnancy and birthing journey. Thank you again so much for enriching this experience for us.
— Karen
Your workshop gave me complete confidence in my ability to achieve a natural, active birth.
— Workshop participant
Thank you so much for an informative workshop on the weekend. Both Shaun and I enjoyed it and have taken away some useful skills and tools to help us navigate the birth of our little one in the coming weeks. Your knowledge, calmness and approach to the course made it that much more enjoyable and memorable.
— Workshop participant
We wanted to thank you for a really wonderful active birth workshop. We both got a lot out of it and were impressed by how practical and user-friendly the information was. Our birth preparations feel much more like a team effort after spending the day together in the active birth workshop and we’re really excited about what lays ahead.
— Rob & Lauren
Our midwife commented on how in-sync myself and my husband were, and how much strength I drew from him. Thank you for giving him the confidence to support me using a variety of different methods
— Workshop participant
The Active Birth Workshop was a very complementary day to the ante-natal classes at hospital. I feel much more prepared for the pre-labour and birth now. Ante-natal classes were five x 2.5 hour sessions which highlighted what could go wrong with birth but offered very little in practical advice. The workshop has given me much more confidence and a greater understanding of my role and how to be more effective in the role. Thank you very much!
— Father to be

Active Birth or Managed birth?

This article by Janet Balaskas, founder of the global Active Birth movement, clearly describes our approach to birth.

Active Birth is nothing new, and yet when Janet Balaskas founded the Active Birth Movement in the early 1980s, it began a revolution. A decade earlier, many hospitals around the world had adopted what was called ‘Active Management’ of labour—a highly technological approach, which favoured medical control over labour and birth.

Active Management was intended to standardise labour times to a maximum of 12 hours per woman. To achieve this, routine medical interventions were applied—induction of labour ; epidural; and the attachment of sensors to provide continuous electronic monitoring of the foetus.

As you might have guessed, ‘Active Birth’ was chosen as a deliberate play on words—to contrast with ‘Active Management’ – giving the power of birth back to the mother. But Active Management was only the latest example of the over-medicalisation of childbirth. For hundreds of years, advanced nations had been steadily transforming birth from a natural process into a medical procedure. To find women firmly in control of birth, you had to look back to the 17th Century.

In the early 1600s, European women were in control of how they gave birth. They delivered their babies in upright positions, attended by other women in the secluded and familiar environment of their homes, according to knowledge handed down the maternal line. Midwives carried birthing stools from house to house, with many families passing them down the generations.

This maternal tradition had many advantages. Giving birth upright (by standing, kneeling, sitting on a birth stool or squatting) opens the birth canal, makes contractions more effective, and allows the mother to work with her body in harmony with gravity. It has also been discovered that a darkened and private birth environment stimulates hormonal responses and involuntary reflexes that lead to a better experience for mother and baby.

But in the 17th Century, traditions began to change. Forceps were invented and not long after, European women began to labour lying back, under the instruction of male physicians. Some scholars claim the position became popular after the French King Louis XIV demanded that his mistress give birth on her back, so that he could get a good view.

From there, control over childbirth was gradually prised from women’s hands. The role of the midwife was diminished, and labour was manipulated to suit the birth attendants—but not necessarily the mother or baby.

When Queen Victoria’s child was delivered  in 1853, the social elite of London followed suit, and birth became almost completely passive - “not only lying down, but unconscious” as Janet Balaskas says.

When she founded the Active Birth Movement, Janet made it her life’s work to spread the message that “nature knows best”. She saw that routinely imposed medical interventions were often counterproductive for women having a normal labour—causing a cascade of avoidable complications. She recognised birth as a profoundly sophisticated physiological process, with its true beginning at love-making and conception, and its true end at the child’s growing independence from the mother. Finally, she realised that our scientific understanding of this process is incomplete—and that therefore, it should only be disturbed when truly necessary.

Birth can unfold spontaneously and magnificently—if only we let it! At Active Birth Australia we are dedicated to helping women reclaim their right to an Active Birth.