The Art of Giving Birth: With Chanting, Breathing, and Movement

Excerpts & Samples

By Frédérick Leboyer

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Frédérick Leboyer

Frédérick Leboyer
Frédérick Leboyer, M.D., was the first physician to challenge society’s beliefs about awareness in the newborn, revolutionizing the course of prenatal care and the way babies are introduced into the world. A retired obstetrician who attended more than 10,000 births, he  More...



A guide to help women find the joy and confidence needed for successful childbirth

• Provides breathing and vocalizing exercises for use during pregnancy and labor

• Contains inspiring stories from women who successfully applied these techniques

• Includes a 26-minute CD of tambura music to accompany the singing exercises

Giving birth is a veritable “explosion” of joy. The baby arrives when the life force surges up so strongly in the woman that it breaks all limitations in order to spring forth. But in our modern culture, women often do not feel empowered to give birth by themselves. They want the “experts” to handle the birth for them, out of fear of the pain or the possible safety risks to them or the baby.  

Dr. Frédérick Leboyer, author of the groundbreaking book Birth without Violence, which looks at birth from the baby’s point of view, now explores the birth process from the mother’s perspective. Through the heartfelt letters of women sharing their experiences, which are accompanied by his advice and commentary, he reveals how women can develop the skills needed to create a successful and joyful birth.

Dr. Leboyer stresses that proper breathing is the most important component for women going through childbirth. The breathing should come from the lower belly and the exhalation should be accompanied by a musical tone. Without this musical dimension, breathing is merely a physical exercise. Dr. Leboyer found that by using the music of the tambura, an Indian stringed instrument whose tones represent the embodiment of universal harmony, women are transported to a place of inner peace. The Art of Giving Birth includes breathing and singing exercises and gentle movements to be practiced throughout pregnancy and during labor. Also included is a 26-minute CD of tambura music to accompany the exercises.

“Frédérick Leboyer was the first physician to bring an enlightened perspective on birth to parents, physicians, and nurses.”
Suzanne Arms, author of Immaculate Deception

“Frédérick Leboyer, whom I met in 1984 while researching water birth, is a legend in his own time, and we have been blessed with this book--a book that will show mothers that giving birth is so much more than just the emergence of a baby. It includes wonderful, unique letters from women that illustrate each point in the book. Every woman who is pregnant or considering pregnancy, and everyone in the maternity care profession, should carefully digest his words.”
Barbara Harper, author of Gentle Birth Choices and founder of Waterbirth International

"Short and easy to read, Dr. Leboyer's book provides both encouragement for the expectant mother and practical labor relaxation skills."
Jennifer Vanderlaan, reviewer, Feb 09