Barbara Harper

Barbara Harper is an internationally recognized expert on waterbirth and gentle birth, a published author who founded Waterbirth International in 1988, with one goal in mind – to ensure that waterbirth is an “available option” for all women. During the past four decades Barbara has worked as an obstetric and pediatric nurse, midwife, midwifery instructor, childbirth educator, doula and doula trainer 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 was recognized in 2002 by Lamaze International for her contributions in promoting normal birth on an international level. Her bestselling book and DVD, ‘Gentle Birth Choices,’ has been translated into 9 languages, including a 2016 Mandarin Chinese edition. She is working on two new books, ‘Gentle Birth Wisdom’ and ‘Embracing the Miracle: The Science, Safety and Spirit of Birth.” Known for her award-winning website and online Waterbirth Certification Courses, Barbara has dedicated her life to changing the way we welcome babies into the world. She is the mother of three adult children, two of whom were born at home in water, and grandmother of a college student and a one year old.  She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is active in the community as a volunteer and a midwifery and doula mentor. Her website is