Janet Balaskas (with foreword by Yehudi Gordon MD) “The Water Birth Book” is an extensively researched commentary and “How To” guide that evolved out of Janet and Yehudis 1990 text “Waterbirth”. This newer text could well be the definitive guide to labour and birth in water for professionals and consumers alike. The book is thoroughly researched with up to the minute information regarding water birth in the UK, Australia and USA. Janet Balaskas has accrued some 25 years experience in active and water birth and her influence in midwifery in the Western world is extensive. Looking at all aspects of water use in labour and birth, she begins with the history of water birth and includes details of the physiological benefits as well as the potential risks. Chapters include typical advice for preparing for birth and motherhood as well as “How water can benefit you during labour and birth”, “Midwives and water births”, and “Medical backup for water births”. Of particular note is the workplace safety advice for midwives and the sections on assisted delivery and pharmacological pain relief for mothers. This book really is a one stop shop. The delightful photographs of women in pregnancy and birth that head each chapter are inspirational. This is a useful guide for prenatal preparation even for mothers who do not intend to use water in labour. Extensive use of quotes and case studies gives readers a holistic impression of what to expect when birthing in water and on land, and even in the eventuality of a medically managed birth. When I first opened my envelope containing this book I was ecstatic. My three children were water born with a midwife at my local birth centre. I lobby for water birth “privileges” at my local hospital and, as a yoga advocate for some ten years, Ive read almost everything written by Janet Balaskas. How could I not love this book? It will come in very handy in my work. A large sized paperback, my copy of “The Water Birth Book” is already dog-eared and worn. Since Im sure this book will get lots of use and be passed hand to hand over many years, I welcome a hard cover version and think it would be worth the investment to have a slightly more rugged format for the library shelf. And Im not complaining, but could they not locate a suitably inspiring picture for the rather understated blue cover? Hopefully it will be noticed on the bookshelf on the basis of its authors renown.