Sabine Otten
Place of Birth: Home birth, Constantia
Birth Date: December 31,2015 New Year’s Eve


After I fell pregnant with my South African friend Denzil, we both wanted to experience the birth together in South Africa and as naturally as possible.

With support from our families, it didn’t take long to book appointments with the Birth Options midwives and Doula Charlene to help us create the best possible chance of a homebirth in South Africa.

I come from a medical background and am a doctor living and working in Germany where the concept of Doulas are not well known. It wasn’t easy to explain to my German colleagues and friends why I wanted to try a homebirth with a Doula and a Midwife in South Africa. However, with the support of Charlene and my own deep trust in myself, I knew this would be the best option for my baby and for me and that I would be able to deliver my child without further medical assistance and epidural anaesthetic.

My biggest issue and lingering fear was imagining what the pain would be like during labour. I was also afraid of facing any complications.

Three weeks before the birth we met Charlene for the first time. In her company, I felt immediately safe. She is a warm, calm and very gentle person. She listened intently to our story and I was pleased that it  was possible for us  to join her Relax Into Birth course.

The hypnobirthing theory, exercises she suggested and her Relax into Birth CD helped me to prepare my body and mind for the labor.    

I’m so glad that I could experience the birth of our son like we did. During our five hour and very intense birth process, I was surrounded by five people I trusted in and Charlene was an amazing and supportive member of this team.

They supported me and helped me to stay calm and relaxed after each surge and reminded me of breathing techniques I had practiced. They helped me to change my birth positions when necessary and lead me through the whole process, with my baby. Until the end, they all gave me the feeling of being strong, self confident and empowered. Every woman should feel like this.

With Charlene I had my perfect Doula for our perfect home birth. From the very first interview, her Relax Into Birth course, during my labour and birth and the home visits before and afterwards, it was a wonderful choice to have hired Charlene. I would always choose to do it the same way.

Now I know that emotional, mental and physical preparation provided by a doula like Charlene is a powerful tool and is as important as the independent midwives and medical back-up team.   

Sabine Otten, Home-Birth