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The Art of Giving Birth

The Art of Giving Birth

With Chanting, Breathing, and Movement

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.
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  • Healing Arts Press | 
  • 112 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781594772764 | 
  • January 2009
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Read an Excerpt

Zen in the Art of Giving Birth

Letters from Women


Dear Mr. Leboyer,
In June 1998 my first child, Maximilian-Raphael, came into the world, eight weeks after I met you and attended your seminar, learning the Tai Chi Chuan exercises and singing the notes to the sound of the tambũrã.
After the birth of my son, I wrote to you to thank you. I told you that in the last weeks before giving birth, I had the courage to look my fear in the face, right in the eyes, and lo and behold, this fear was no longer there. After that, there was only an ocean of life and love.
Right before the new millennium, I felt the... see more

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About the Author

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 is a graduate of the University of Paris School of Medicine where he served as Chef de Clinique. He lives in Switzerland.

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