I was watching the new series of One Born Every Minute last night on Channel 4 (UK), and the hospital in Leeds featured a new ‘active birth’ suite. I hadn’t come across this term or concept before, but it appeared to feature a number of chairs, cushions, slings and groovy lighting that facilitate a natural, pain-relief-free birth. I didn’t see a birthing pool, but there was a German-style birthing chair which was horse-shoe shaped, a woven wrap (Didymos Lisa for those who are interested!) hanging from the ceiling with knots tied in it for the labouring woman to grab hold of and use as support, a bean bag and some funky coloured lighting. Not sure how the last aspect helps with birth but it was certainly a very cosy and relaxing-looking room!
The birthing mother was encouraged to bring the baby to her own chest once birthed, blow on its face herself to stimulate breathing, and cord clamping was delayed. I wish my hospital had a suite like that!!
Since this isn’t something I’d come across before I thought I look into it and thought what I found might be useful to other pregnant ladies! This is the best info I could find on it, by the founder of the movement herself, Janet Balaskas:http://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/active-birth