Do you need a birth plan?

I have a love/hate relationship with birth plans so we thought it would be a great topic to bring to our weekly chats about everything pregnancy, birth and beyond. In this episode we chat more about why birth plans became popular and the importance of using the right language when creating one so that what you are really creating is a birth day wish list. Essentially everything that you do leading up to your birth is part of your birth plan and involves preparation – which is the part that I love. The more you prepare, the better the plan.

Drop us a line if you have any questions. We love feedback and if there is a subject you’d like to hear us natter about then let us know.

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Let’s talk about waterbirth…

Waterbirth is known for its pain relieving effects and the benefits do not stop there. Water helps the mother to be buoyant and gives her added capacity for mobility. The water softens the tissues as the baby moves down the birth path and provides the baby with a gentle landing, as it transitions from the amniotic waters into the waters of the pool. The soothing effects of water cannot be denied and we chat all about this amazing option for labour and for birth at home or at hospital, to help you make your mind up about it and decide if you would like to try it for your birth experience.

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When should I call my doula?

Charlene had a call from a client in early labor on the morning of recording this episode so we thought it would be a great topic to chat about. Despite the call, we still managed to record this episode and have a few cups of tea and a chat before it was time for Charlene to head over to be with her and the baby was born later that evening.

So in this episode we discuss:

  1. When should you call your doula?
  2. Should you call your doula or your midwife first?
  3. Should you let the hospital know you are en route?
  4. Is it different if you are having a home birth?
  5. Is it possible to call too late?

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Is a baby ever to big to be born vaginally?

This week we had a great question from a listener who is concerned about the size of her baby. She sent us a one liner message asking “Is a baby really ever too big to give birth to vaginally?”

As always, we consider both facts and opinions and explore the different perspectives of doulas, midwives, birthing mothers and obstetricians.

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Is induction of labour always necessary?

In this episode, we cover the topic of induction as requested by a listener on our Relax Into Birth PLUS mom’s whatsapp group.

“Dear Charlene and Karen. I am 39 weeks tomorrow and this morning at my routine checkup, my doctor recommended that I come in for an induction of labor on Thursday. Part of me is like ‘hell yes, let’s get this baby out pleazzzze’, but there is another part that is wondering whether my baby needs a few more days inside? Is he ready? And actually – am I? I have definitely noticed that I am getting more frequent Braxton Hicks and I am feeling a lot of heaviness in my pelvis, but besides that, not much at all. If I go in on Thursday, I could be home by the weekend with my precious baby boy? Should I go for it? Looking forward to your thoughts on induction. Thanks, Anon”

Is induction of labour always necessary, or is it (sadly) sometimes scheduled out of convenience, fear, impatience or discomfort? Listen in for the ins and outs of this topic, as well as learn about some natural forms of induction that can get the bun in the oven keener to come earth side. If you are keen to join our whatsapp group of preggie mamas, please slide into our DMs and let us know. Also, look out for our Relax Into Birth PLUS online antenatal course, covering extensive Hypnobirthing techniques, as well as the physiological side of labour and birth. See you there!

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What does Bait and Switch mean?

This was an uncomfortable topic to tackle. Unfortunately bait and switch tactics are common, especially in South Africa. The conversation was started by a query in our private Preggie-mama Whatsapp group which got everyone sharing their experience and encouraged us to open the discussion on our podcast.

In this episode Karen and Charlene attempt to look at it from all angles rather than making it an “us against them” situation and share some useful tips for red flag conversations and how to manage them.

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Guide to Essential Oils during pregnancy

If you’ve been wondering about using Essential oils during pregnancy, your’e going to love this episode with Gayle Friedman from Sunshine Health in Cape Town. Gayle is founder of the Sunshine Colour and Health Academy and Registered Member of Allied Health Professions Council of SA and WOMBS. Gayle has been in the Health Care Field for over 30yrs and has experience as a qualified Aroma Therapist, Reflexologist, Colour Therapist, Pregnancy Therapist, Doula (Child Birth support) and Yoga Teacher for pregnant women. Gayle offers support comfort and care, using her expertise and experience as a mother of 3, to guide woman & their partners on their beginning journey into parenthood.

An essential oil is a concentrated aromatic oily liquid containing volatile chemical compounds extracted from different. parts of plants for instance, leaves, barks, seeds, flowers and peels. They can be obtained by expression, fermentation, effleurage. or extraction but among all the methods, steam distillation and.plants herbs gums to enhance body emotions mind and Spirit.

They can be described as the hormone of the plant and they directly affect the Limbic system of the brain via olfactory nerves, lungs and skin.

Gayle shares how to use them safely and effectively.

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In labour, when should I leave home for hospital?

In this episode, Karen and Charlene chat about when the best time to leave for hospital is. Many parents start their journey of childbirth at home – and initially, labour in the home space and then eventually, at a certain point, leave home for hospital to continue their labour there. When is the best time to leave home for hospital? The answer to this question is quite complex – and there is no one-size-fits-all.

If you are planning a hospital birth, take the time to listen in, as this information is for you – and will help you navigate the decision about when to go to hospital. What happens if your waters break at home? What if you lose your mucus plug at home? What if it’s the middle of the night? We answer these questions and more.

Connect with pregnant mamas from around the world and join our Relax Into Birth PLUS whatsapp group here.

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Talk to me about episiotomy & tearing!

In this episode, because we love it – we talk about a natural footling breech twin birth, weekends away in the mountains to recharge and last but not least, we answer a mom’s question about tearing and episiotomies. We cover the full spectrum from what an episiotomy is, when is it necessary to perform one, when tearing is better than an episiotomy, how to avoid one and how to heal up the perineum after birth. Filled with expert tips and advice, we aim to remove your fear from this topic and help you understand what you need to know before you birth your baby!

Resources mentioned in the podcast:
*Check out this link about your role and your doctor’s role in protecting your perineum during birth:
*Read up more about how to use an epi-no – and check out the video on this page:
*Postpartum Perineal care info:
Check out my
@relax_into_birth Insta reel on this very topic:
You can thank me later! Here’s a quick guide and recipes to help heal the perineum for the Postpartum Mama.

💜Spray bottle for the loo:


-100mls Witchazel

-4-5 tablespoons of sea salt or Epsom salts

-1-2 drops or high quality lavender or tea tree essential oil

Spray the area every time you go to the bathroom – to assist the healing process.


A pdsicle is a frozen pad, made for nicks, tears or episiotomy. It is so soothing can help with bruising of the area. It is also helpful for post caesarean birth to place over the dressing.

What you will need:

-A spray/squeezie bottle

-1 cup Raspberry tea

-¼ cup of hammelis (witch hazel)

-3 drops Lavender Essential Oil

-3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

-A tube of single ingredient aloe vera gel / hammelis gel

-1 to 2 packs of 12 absorbent maternity pads

-A butter knife that you have sterilised in boiling water


1. Make the tea and pour it into your spray/squeezie bottle once cooled.

2. Add the drops of essential oil to the bottle.

3. Lay your pads out, face up on a table on top of a clean towel / linen saver.

4. Spray the solution of tea, witch hazel and oils onto the pads quite thoroughly.

5. Squirt a little of the gel onto the tea-soaked pads and then spread like butter onto each pad.

6. Fold pads in half and place into a clean freezer bag / lunchbox and freeze.

7. Use as desired.

Do not use one pad for an extended period of time. Change as needed.

💜Sushi Noori aka Seaweed: This is an amazing natural product too. Get a pack of sushi noori and

use the sheets individually.

Take one sheet, fold it in half, wet it under water and place on top of

a dry pad. This has immense healing capacity.

💜Soak in a sidz bath of salt or Epsom salts daily until all healed up.

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Giving Birth in Dubai with Midwife Cecile de Scally

This week is the first in our interview series where we speak to birth workers making a difference around the world.

Cecile and Karen trained at Addington Hospital in Durban, South Africa in 1980 something (yes! they are “that old”…) and then years later, they met up when they were both workingin the Middle East. They both hold a vision of restoring normality to birth through effective prenatal education, so Karen and Charlene could not wait to catch up and find out what she’s been up to and pick her brains about all things pregnancy and birth in Dubai.

More about Cecile de Scally

Cecile de Scally, also known as “baby whisperer” is an experienced South African trained midwife, who qualified in 1990 and has more than 25 years’ experience in prenatal and postnatal support and education.

Cecile offers educational support to parents, providing prenatal classes, HypnoBirthing workshops and baby/toddler feeding and sleep consultations

Cecile’s main focus is Mother and Baby services, offering educational support and advice for new parents and sleep support for parents of new babies as well as toddlers.

With Cecile’s wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise, she assists families to make informed decisions about their pregnancy, birth and baby.

To book a consultation or prenatal workshop with Cecile, please email:

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