The importance of maternal behaviours of sows for reproduction performance is undisputed, especially in free farrowing systems. Previous investigations have shown that the reactivity of sows shown in behavioural tests is associated with maternal care and reproduction performance. The aim of this study was to describe the relationship between quantitative and qualitative results of a voluntary human approach test in an arena, and the behaviour of gilts in the peripartal period. For this purpose, the peripartal behaviour of 16 gilts from four organic farms in Austria with free farrowing systems was examined and analysed in relation to the results of an approach test in an arena and reproductive performance. Peripartal behaviour was video recorded and analysed using continuous behaviour recording. The findings show that while there are relationships between quantitative results of the approach test and peripartal behaviour, a link between qualitative outcomes and peripartal behaviour was not found. Gilts, which showed a faster approach to the test person, were more restless. I.e. they stayed close to the test person for a longer period, were less calm and showed less nest building behaviour before birth. These animals also showed more changes in position, lay down more often, and rested for shorter periods in a lateral position in the postpartal period. These behavioural patterns led to a higher crushing rate of piglets, and to higher mortality rates in general. These results must, however, be interpreted with caution due to the small sample size of 16 gilts. So far, implementing an approach test as a selection tool for gilts in the breeding stage cannot be recommended. For more valid results, further research using larger sample sizes is needed.