Barbara Harper

Barbara Harper is an internationally recognized expert on waterbirth and gentle birth and a published author.

She founded Waterbirth International in 1988, to ensure that waterbirth is an “available option” for all women.

During the past four decades Barbara has worked as an obstetric, cardiac care and pediatric nurse, midwife, midwifery instructor, childbirth educator, doula and doula trainer, craniosacral infant specialist and has used her vast experience to develop unique seminars which she teaches within hospitals, nursing schools, midwifery and medical schools and community groups worldwide.

She founded the Gentle Birth World Institute to teach workshops, promote safe birth practices and especially skin to skin immediately after birth.

Barbara has taught workshops in 65 countries. She was recognized in 2002 by Lamaze International for her contributions in promoting normal birth on an international level.

Barbara first started traveling to China in 2002. Her bestselling book and DVD, ‘Gentle Birth Choices,’ has been translated into 9 languages so far, including the Mandarin edition released in 2016. (The DVD is available in Hungarian here:

Her next book, “Gentle Birth Wisdom,” will be published in Chinese, Spanish and English this year. Barbara has dedicated her life to changing the way we welcome babies into the world.

She has three adult children, two of whom were born at home in water, one grandson in college and one newborn grandson. She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is very active within her Jewish community as a volunteer and she gives her time as a midwifery and doula mentor.

Her website: