Why I Became A Birth Doula
“Although birth is only one day in the life of a woman, it has an impact on her for the rest of her life.”
Justine Caines, from her book ‘Birth Journeys – Positive Birth Stories to Encourage and Inspire’
Your childbirth experience should be as calm, comfortable and positive as possible. So, to help you with your essential birth preparation, I have created My Birth Boutique – a community and network of other women, mothers and professionals who offers a select range of birth services and products specifically chosen to help you achieve a happy, healthy and holistic pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum.
Whether you are looking for a professional birth companion (a doula), birth preparation classes, prenatal exercise classes, items for your baby or something to make your pregnancy, labour and birth extra special, you’ve come to the right place! We are based in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town but our services are available to families living in most areas including the Atlantic Seaboard and Southern Suburbs.
Please contact us if you require more information or if you can’t find what you’re looking for – we would love to help you.
I am a W.O.M.B.S* – trained Doula and Executive Committee Member, mentoring trainee and new doulas at New Somerset Hospital and through private workshops. I also teach prenatal Satyananda yoga and am in the process of completing my childbirth educator training with the ICEA.
A Doula’s role is to provide physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and her family before, during and after childbirth. There are many proven physiological and psychological benefits that come into effect when a birthing mother feels safe, relaxed, informed and supported. Doulas are specially trained in the birth process and know just how to help make this happen. For more on how this is achieved click here.
I have been married for fifteen years and have four children. My journey into motherhood and the knowledge and empowerment gained through childbirth has led me to become a Doula. I have a passion for helping women and their husbands or partners achieve a positive and satisfying childbirth experience. If you are interested in reading a little bit more about my journey, please read on…
I was always sure of one thing – I wanted to be a mother.
My favourite and most memorable childhood Christmas present was ‘Jonathan’, a new-born baby doll. It was the closest thing to a real baby you could get. His prem-sized ‘real’ baby clothes were changed umpteen times a day, he was regularly showered with baby powder and was fed and swaddled dotingly for a number of years.
So, despite the unexpectedness of my first pregnancy, motherhood felt ‘right’ to me and the birth of our first son brought nothing but joy and happiness to our life. The subsequent birth of our daughter seven years later, followed by the birth of our second son two years after that, was met with equal joy; and being a mother was all that I imagined it would be (and a whole lot more, but that’s another story in itself!)
I had three very different birth experiences; my first in hospital, my second at home with two midwives in attendance and my third also at home, unassisted but in the presence of my husband and dear, somewhat anxious (understandably) mother. All my experiences were positive, although with each birth I learnt a bit more, and I now have a thorough understanding of the many aspects which influence and affect a woman during this pivotal time in her life. Updating here to add that, after the birth of our fourth baby in 2018, I can confirm that one never stops learning about birth and how unique and powerful each experience is for all involved in this beautiful process of growing and becoming.
Over the years, as my babies turned into toddlers and then began school, I found myself constantly reflecting back on my birth experiences. I came to realise what a profound impact birth has on a woman’s psyche and self-esteem. I felt and still feel empowered, capable and in control of who I am and what I can do, and a positive, successful journey into motherhood has been a huge influence on this.
Included in my revelation was the realisation that the reason I have been successful and have kept my head above water, soldiering on through the tough territory that accompanies motherhood, is that I have always had an unwavering support network around me and that it was securely in place even before the arrival of my first baby. Whether it was my husband, my parents, my midwife, GP or health visitor, there was always someone there with me encouraging, supporting and guiding, and making me feel that I was doing just fine.
It took me three births of my own to begin to fully understand the dynamics of childbirth and how important it is, to be informed and supported by the appropriate person and I began to wonder… ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful to stand a chance of having a birth that is right for you, first time around?’
I believe most woman would answer ‘yes, definitely, for sure etc’ to the above question and this why I decided to train formally as a doula – so that I could help women achieve the truly liberating, empowering, self-affirming experience childbirth can be. I believe every woman, regardless of age, race, culture, or circumstance, has this right, and by making birth better, outcomes for babies are better too.
Having a doula with you every step of the way can make this a reality and the benefits, as I have experienced, continue long after the birth itself. It has become my life-purpose to help as many women and families as I can, have a healthy and positive childbirth experience, celebrating their new baby and all the promise that a new little life brings.
Please read more about the benefits and the role of a doula on my ‘Doula’ page to understand how the professional support of a birth companion complements the support offered by that of family members and caregivers.
I wish for all moms out there, the most rewarding of birth experiences whatever your choices may be.
W.O.M.B.S *Women Offering Mothers Birth Support
Positive Birth in South Africa – posted on the The Softer Sex
An article by Tarryn Walton
Giving birth to three children in the UK, has highlighted the startling difference in approach to childbirth between South Africa and England.
My aim is to help educate women in terms of their choices in childbirth, encouraging them to believe and trust in their ability to birth their babies with as little interference and medical intervention as possible. Read More . . .