Frederick Leboyer

Frederick Leboyer (born November 1, 1918) is a French obstetrician, best known for his 1975 book, Birth Without Violence, which popularized gentle birthing techniques, in particular, the practice of immersing newly-born infants in a small tub of warm water — known as a “Leboyer bath” — to help ease the transition from the womb to the outside world. He graduated from the University of Paris School of Medicine.

The book “Birth Without Violence” can be read here. (PDF)

An excerpt:

“Do you believe that birth is an enjoyable experience “for the baby?”
“Birth?… Enjoyable?”
“You heard me! Do you believe that babies feel happy coming into this world?”
“You’re joking.”
“Why should I be joking?”
“Because babies are just babies.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“That babies aren’t capable of intense feeling.”
“What makes you so certain?”
“Babies don’t have fully developed feelings.”
“How do you know?”
“Well, don’t you agree?”
“If I did, I wouldn’t be asking.”
“But everybody knows they don’t.”
“Since when has that ever been a good reason to believe anything?”
“True. But newborn babies can’t see or even hear, so how can they feel unhappy?”
“Even if they can’t see or hear, that doesn’t stop them from crying their hearts out.”
“A baby has to test its lungs. That’s common knowledge.”
“Nonsense.” “Well, that’s what people say.” “People say all kinds of stupid things. But do you really believe that babies feel nothing at all while they’re being born?”


  • Birth Without Violence (1975)
  • Loving Hands: The Traditional Art of Baby Massage (1976)
  • Inner Beauty, Inner Light (1978)
  • Birth Without Violence (DVD, re-released 2008 through New Earth Records)
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