At Birth Buddies we believe strongly in the ethos of ‘giving back’.
We feel very privileged to have had access to the best antenatal, birth and post natal care and facilities available in our country. This allowed us to plan our births exactly the way we wanted them to be, and we were therefore able to have had wonderful birth experiences.
Our primary goal is to be able to provide beautiful and cherished birth memories for our clients … but what about those less fortunate than us?
Sadly, the reality is that most women in South Africa don’t have access to the facilities we do, and don’t have the many and varied options we do. However these very women are the ones that need the support the most, due to being in various sad, and often very traumatic, circumstances.
For this reason, we have chosen to support a few charitable causes by helping to bring the benefits of a doula assisted birth to those moms that really need it. We therefore provide volunteer doula services at Mowbray Maternity Hospital – a local government hospital, where an average of 7000 babies per year are born. Many women here labour completely alone. They are almost always scared, some terrified. It is awesome to be able to offer help and support to these ladies, and to see a groaning, fearful mass on the bed transform into a strong, capable and empowered birthing woman, allowing her body to do what it knows how to do. We try to pop in to help at Mowbray whenever we can, but at least once per month.
In addition to this we are also providing donations to a local charity Sisters Incorporated, which supports young, abused and abandoned mothers. These donations are in the form of time, money and/or clothing, toiletries, food and supplies. We will gladly accept any donations you would like to contribute to this cause, and will pass them along.
A Home for Abused Women and their children and single pregnant girls. Offering a home, a heart and a hand…because we care.
Founded more than 40 years ago, this old memorial home with many years of history in its walls and happiness in its foundations, was established to assist young pregnant women. Since then times have changed and we have now opened our doors to women and their children who find themselves victims of rape, physical or emotional abuse and other domestic violence abuse. Occasionally we also assist Social services by housing teenagers who are on detention order.
Set in the quiet shadows of the southern suburbs, we work hard to ensure that this is a safe place to live and that all who may enter will feel accepted and cared for…
We help by meeting with the young pregnant girls and helping to educate them about their pregnancies. Explaining what is happening, and how they need to care for themselves, as well as educating them about labour, birth, post-partum care, and child care (where relevant). Not all of the girls are able to keep the babies and some will be offered for adoption. Many of these women have been abused and need special care an empathy.
We then volunteer on standby to be called out when one of the girls goes into labour. We take them to the hospital and stay with them as their doula until they have given birth. Loving, supporting and encouraging them. We help them to relax and breathe through contractions, explaining to them what is happening, and what is going to happen throughout. Basically helping to make the labour and birth as comfortable as possible. We then stay with them after birth either helping them to care for and breastfeed their babies, or consoling them if they are not keeping the baby.
We also take photos of their birth and babies for the moms, and give them copies of the photos to keep.
We believe that these women are most in need of doula support, and do what we can to ensure that they receive this support at a crisis time in their lives. If they do keep their babies we hope that the encouraging and support start we have given them will help them on the way to be caring and compassionate parents. For some it is the only time they will have been unconditionally loved and cared for. It is the start of their healing process, and we hope that we can help with this journey.
Please contact us if you would like to help us to continue to support this very worthy cause. Any ideas, suggestions, offers of help, or donations are gratefully accepted.
Recent News – Nov 2007:
Doing the doula work we do is really rewarding. All of it. But the best part has got to be the volunteer work we do. Sure it’s tiring, very emotional and doesn’t help to pay the bills, but there is nothing that compare to that feeling that you made a difference in someone’s life. That you helped someone who had nothing, have that much nicer, kinder and gentler experience. It is so worth it.
Our local doula organisation – WOMBS – is coordinating and effort to prepare gift bags to donate to MM hospital, to give to the needy new moms in the days and weeks surrounding Christmas. We think it’s a brilliant gesture and are happy to help with it.
Here are the bags we are donating…