Posts Tagged "Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Conference"

Embracing Traditional Midwifery

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in Writings

Embracing Traditional Midwifery

Here is the video from my talk at the 2015 Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Conference where I shared my journey and path to midwifery.    

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Where you are, you Shine from Your Corner…

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Writings

Where you are, you Shine from Your Corner…

Where you are, you shine from your corner… Those were the words that Karen and Nomvula sang to us at the beginning and at the closing of The Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Conference. And so true. As we work away, feeling often so alone, in our little corners. Working with mothers and babies and tears and loss and birth and life and everything. It is so good to be reminded that actually we are not alone. That there are many of us who feel the same way who are doing the same work, believing the same things, in our little corner. Wow… Like an amazing birth, I think I still need to process everything that took place this last weekend. Powerful. I look forward to seeing the photos and reliving the talks through the footage we filmed. By Saturday night my face felt quite parched from all the tears I had shed. Each story shared so beautiful and courages and vulnerable and real. Thank you to everyone who came and shared and was there and held space. The people who came in buses and planes and cars from all over the country to be at this gathering of tribes. Thank you. And don’t forget: Where you are, you shine from your corner…...

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The Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Confernce

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Writings

The Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Confernce

Have you ever been to the Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Conference? Well, if you haven’t and you are passionate about all things pregnancy and birth related, and live in, or near Cape Town (although people do travel from further afield to attend), you really really should come. What is the CT Midwifery and Birth Conference and what makes it particularly special? The conference began in 2013 when a bunch of women, got together and decided that they had had enough of the situation around birth in South Africa (the ridiculously high caesarean rates in the private sector and the abuse of labouring women in the public sector to name but a few). The CT Midwifery and Birth Conference was born and we were pleasantly surprised to find that many other people felt the same way and crowded little Erin Hall so that it was full to bursting!   One midwife who attended said that the conference felt like a home birth. It is all about sharing and collaboration. It is about hearing the stories of all of those invested and affected in the services provided. Mothers. Fathers. Families. Midwives. Doctors. Doulas. Birth Activists. Lactation Consultants. All those affected and invested – especially those on the receiving end. The next conference (our third) will take place on the 30 – 31st of October 2015 at the Observatory Community Centre. For more info and for the full programme and list of speakers, have a look here: Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Conference official website And here is the direct link if you want to book your ticket: Get your tickets...

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My Book now Available as Paperback and for Kindle on Amazon

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Writings

My Book now Available as Paperback and for Kindle on Amazon

In 2010, my sister in law Ellie¬†asked me to attend the birth of her first child in Edinburgh. I was most honoured by this request and, of course agreed immediately. I was reading a lot of Michel Odent’s articles at the time, and was feeling very inspired by them, and began doing some research on what his thoughts and feelings were around doulas – I was pleasantly surprised to find that he had done lots of writing on the subject AND offered a doula course of his own! My heart raced as I realised that he was offering a course for three days before I was due to be with Ellie! Talk about synchronicity! So, after ten years of pretty much being a full-time breastfeeding, stay at home, homeschooling¬† mother, I travelled to the UK and attended Michel and Liliana’s Paramana doula course in London. How do I describe the experience? Well, first of all, I was late! I got lost on my way there and arrived to a circle of about twenty women and Michel Odent (so weird to see someone so familiar in the flesh for the first time). They had all just finished their introductions. I was asked to say who I was and where I was from. As I said, “South Africa,” everyone roared with laughter and I got a fright. Seems there was a person from each humanly inhabited continent besides Africa present. For the next three days I said nothing much, I just wrote and wrote and wrote – the feeling was like a lightbulb had gone in my brain and my soul was being washed with a soothing balm. Everything shared and said made so much sense, I wanted to be able to share it with the world! Back home and I recommended Michel Odent’s books to everyone but his flowery writing and tendency to go off on tangents more often than not confused people. “Why is he advocating for polygamous and polyandrous communities?” Someone asked me after I had lent her a copy of Birth and Breastfeeding. Had he?¬†! I thought. “Why is he going on about cats?” someone else asked. “Why is he going on about leaving women alone while labouring? That would totally freak me out!” Clearly the message I was trying to bring across was not necessarily coming across – how could I let people know the essence of what he was saying? The parts they really needed to know? And so, slowly, the seeds for The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour, were sown. It was in 2011, nearly a year later, when I was asked to attend the birth of Paula, who lives on a farm near Nieu – Bethesda in the Eastern Cape, that I had the chance to finally gather and summarise my thoughts on the subject. I travelled there with my family and it was whilst sitting in a little cottage in the semi-desert of the Karoo, waiting for Paula’s birth, that The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour was written. I sent the finished copy to Liliana and Michel, who both were very happy with it and even asked if they could use it to give to the students of their doula course. Since then, it has been sold to interested people all over the world and all pretty much through word of mouth. I have given it to medical students and left it lying around hospitals in the hope that a mother, or a midwife or doctor would find it and find the information useful. I give a copy...

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