Place of Birth: Constantiaberg Mediclinic
Birth date: September 19, 2014
My husband and I hired Charlene to be my doula for our scheduled cesarean birth of our 3rd child. I had been very nervous about the upcoming birth and recovery, despite (and because of) my two previous cesarean births. The surgical events that brought my children into the world had been uncomplicated but also disempowering and didn’t feel like birth.I never considered hiring a doula for a cesarean birth until I met Charlene at a Positive Birth Movement meeting, and speaking with her made me realise I had choices and things could be different. She stood bedside us and even went ahead of us as we navigated around hospital policies to ensure the birth we wanted.
The home visit the night before our cesarean was incredibly calming as we went through the cesarean hypnobirthing script together. Even with my toddler running around, Charlene’s gentleness and calming presence succeeded in helping me into deep relaxation.
The next morning Charlene met us at the hospital and gave me an aromatherapy foot and leg massage while we waited to go into theatre. Her presence made a big difference for both my husband and I. We were much more relaxed and positive with her there than we were before our previous cesarean births, where the waiting had been marked with tension and anxiety. The aromatherapy oils made a marked difference in the paying theatre as well, and helped me to relax as well as give a feeling of making the birth our own.
After the birth Charlene guarded our space in recovery to ensure a gentle start to breastfeeding (another big difference from past experiences). The follow-up appointment at home was a beautiful opportunity to debrief, share my joy, and feel pampered and cared for as Charlene provided a listening ear along with more fabulous aromatherapy reflexology massage and a divine head massage.
I would recommend Charlene to anyone for the birth of their child- no matter how you plan on bringing your child into the world, it makes such a huge difference to have someone on your side who is entirely focused on providing support and a positive experience for you no matter what turns the birth takes. If we ever have a fourth child we would love to have Charlene at our side again.