Meet Charlene

Charlene Yared West
Relax Into Birth Online
* Journalist (Bachelor of Journalism Degree, Rhodes University, 2003) *

* HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator (Marie Mongan Method, 2012) *
*Birth Doula (WOMBS, 2012) *
* Pregnancy and Postnatal Massage Therapy (Sunshine Colour Academy, 2013) *
* Professional Clinical Hypnotherapist *
(Diploma in Hypnotherapy with Psychotherapy, Essex Institute, 2016)
* Postpartum Doula (WOMBS, 2019)*
* Placenta Encapsulation Specialist *
(Organic Birth, Placenta Encapsulation South Africa, 2019)

When I fell pregnant with Leonardo at the end of 2010, I really could not envision any other birth besides a caesarean birth, but through literal signs along the way, education and encouragement, I changed from planning an elective caesarean in hospital to having a homebirth with an independent midwife and doula in attendance.

Enter Leonardo: Literally! At 02:26 on a Spring morning in September 2011, he swam into my arms with a lot of effort and strength, a power which I didn’t know my body was capable of. My birth story was a good one and I had an unmedicated home water birth with Angela Wakeford (who joined the team of Birth Options after my birth) and I can say wholeheartedly that it was the single most life-changing and transforming event of my life. I became obsessed with all things birth and then shortly afterwards, went on to become a HypnoBirthing practitioner, birth doula and Professional Clinical Hypnotherapist. The work had captured my heart and my soul – and I had to follow the calling to work with birthing women, mothers and their babies.

My experience as a Professional Clinical Hypnotherapist and my eight years of working as a birth doula gave me all the tools I needed to create the Relax Into Birth online course. I have attended just over 300 births and have learnt that every single birth is different, that there is no such thing as an unnatural birth, even when the baby is born abdominally and that mothers need good mothering when they birth their babies.

My aim at every birth is to mirror exactly what the mother needs in any given situation, so that the experience she has is a positive one. My experience has taught me how important it is to educate and support mothers through their pregnancy, labour and birth so that they know they have options available to them to make informed decisions at every point on their birthing journey.

Each mother has a birth story to share – may her journey to birth and beyond be an empowered one.

“I am so excited to offer the RELAXintoBIRTH programme to expectant mothers, designed as an add-on to the existing midwife antenatal classes they’ve attended or as a stand alone relaxation for birth course. This class is not only affordable, but also gives mothers the opportunity to experience a more comfortable birth experience using deep relaxation techniques, no matter what turn their birth takes.”

My son, Leonardo: my inspiration, who changed my path the day he was born in 2011.