Who am I?

Ruth Ehrhardt

I am trained as a Certified Professional Midwife (NARM), a doula (WOMBS (ZA) / Paramanadoula (UK)), and a Helping Babies Breathe and Helping Mothers Survive facilitator and master trainer.

Originally born in Switzerland, I moved to South Africa with my South African-born mother and younger sister when I was eight years old and have lived there ever since. My mother Carol, bought a protea flower farm an hour outside of Ceres ( a small town, approximately 2 1/2 hours from Cape Town) and accidentally ‘fell’ into catching the babies of the local farm labourers who called for her because she had ‘healing hands.’ My mother was the midwife for my first birth.

The mother of four home birthed children, I trained as a WOMBS doula with Irene Bourquin in 2009.

I completed the Paramana doula course with Dr Michel Odent and doula Lilliana Lammers in London in 2010 and studied Advanced Midwifery with Ina May Gaskin, Pamela Hunt and the Farm Midwives in 2011.

With colleague Lana Petersen, I started Home Birth South Africa in 2010,  a web database for those seeking information and advice on home birth in South Africa. Together, we also run the Cape Town Home Birth Gatherings, a quarterly gathering for those seeking information and support on home birth in Cape Town and surrounds.

I am part of the team that organises The Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Conference, which is aimed at sharing and collaboration between South African birth professionals and the women they serve for the purpose of promoting and supporting safe pregnancies and births.

I am the author of The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour, a book based on the work of Dr Michel Odent and which explores the hormone oxytocin and the environmental factors that affect it. The book is available in English, Italian, Russian and Portuguese – with many more translations on the way!

I am also one of the directors of The Compassionate Birth Project, a project aimed at addressing the abuse being experienced in South Africa’s labour wards.

I currently work with midwives Lana Petersen and Caitlyn Collins and am registered as a traditional midwife in South Africa.

I live in Scarborough a small seaside village near Cape Town, South Africa.