Anne-Marie Kiwia
Baby Kiwia born on 06-03-2017 

Anne-Marie Kiwia came down to Cape Town from Tanzania to birth her baby. When I visited her prenatally, she was in holiday mode, relaxing and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city, using an UBER to get around. The next time I saw her was for the Relax Into Birth course and then after that, for her birth. That night her husband called me to come quick – ‘we think this is labour starting!’ Anne was strong, resilient and confident throughout her labour and her VBAC was wonderfully healing, as she laboured for a week when she gave birth the first time around in Dar es Salaam. I was proud to be her doula for this second birth in South Africa. Here is her story 🙂

“The first time I heard of the word ‘Doula’ was when I considered giving birth in South Africa. We live in Tanzania and had a very bad experience with the birth of my first son in Dar es Salaam.
After more than a dozen people had recommended I get a doula, I was keen to find out what it really was about – and how a doula could help me achieve my VBAC. I got in touch with Charlene three weeks before my due date and also chose a hospital that would be pro-VBAC.

I really enjoyed our appointments leading up the birth and it felt so good to have someone experienced and patient like Charlene to guide me and help release my fears which lingered from my first birth. After completing the Relax Into Birth course, I became stronger in my hopes to get the VBAC I wanted and also felt more positive about any outcome that would come my way – even if it meant another caesarean. One week after my due date my waters broke and I stayed relaxed, listening to her tracks. I stayed home until the contractions got closer together and more intense. When we all got to the hospital, Charlene had prepared the labour room with little lights and pictures on the wall. I remember thinking a few times while I was labouring that I felt like a princess as many women – back in Tanzania – could only wish for such an exclusive and positive environment to give birth in. My labor was only five hours long in the hospital and i made it without a tear and swear word 🙂

It was a successful VBAC with a Happy Ending! I think my amazing birth experience in Cape Town would not have gone so well without the positive presence and input of Charlene. People keep asking me back home how it was and all I can say it felt like a happy holiday with a successful mountain trekking trip. I was professionally guided up the mountain and i made it to the top! Thanks Charlene! xx

Anne-Marie Kiwia, Vincent Pallotti Hospital