Doula Services

Shakti Births is based in Centurion. We provide labour and birth doula support to expecting parents in Gauteng.

what is a birth doula?

A birth doula is a non-medical, professionally trained birth companion who provides birthing parents and their partners with informational, physical, and emotional support throughout pregnancy, labour, birth, and the early postpartum period. Our role is to provide unbiased support to you in your decisions, so that you can have the birthing experience you envision. 

Informational Support

Thanks to her knowledge, experience, and training, a doula is able to give you evidence-based advice on pregnancy concerns and other various issues relating to birth – from techniques to cope with labour and birth, to postpartum recovery, to breastfeeding and general care for your newborn. A doula will develop a relationship with you during your pregnancy, through prenatal appointments and cellular communication, and will assist you with the information you want or need to develop your birth plan/wish list. She will prepare you and your partner for the labour and birth you envision and deserve, and if she is ever unable to help you with a specific challenge or information herself, she will immediately refer you to the right professional. She will provide you with info during your labour and birth to help you make decisions that are in your and your baby's best interests, and will always support you and your choices – no matter what – as she knows that what one needs most during childbirth is to be loved and supported and to feel as though one has control over one's body. Your doula is like your best friend for labour and birth – your 'vaginal Gandalf' – the one you contact when you don't know who else to talk with!

Physical Support

Some well-positioned counterpressure, a few soft words of encouragement, rebozo sifting, dabbing lip balm on your lips, suggesting a new position, offering you water while your partner catches a quick nap, a gentle massage ... The list of ways in which a doula assists you physically is nearly endless, and will often look completely different for each birthing person. She will show your partner how best to support you and will provide them with the opportunity to be fully present with you as you bring your baby into the world, not having to worry about all the little practical things. Did you empty your bladder? Did the candles blow out? How about a cooling fan? The main aim of the physical support your doula provides during labour and birth is to ensure your utmost comfort and safety, no matter how that may look. Perhaps your baby has chosen to be born earlier than expected, and you need some last-minute essentials to be bought from the shop? You guessed it ... Your doula is going to get in her car and go and get them for you – or will stay with you while your partner goes. She is a mom herself, and she knows what is really essential. The word "doula" originates from Greek and literally means "in service of women", and this meaning shines through best during times of physical assistance.

Emotional Support

Your emotional wellbeing is of paramount importance to your doula. The continuous presence of a doula serves to reduce your anxiety and increase your confidence in your power and ability to give birth. When you have a doula at your birth, you are assured of a positive, calm presence who will be behind you every step of the way. Through various methods, your doula reduces your fears and reminds you of your inner strength. She can take pressure of your partner and will serve as a buffer for the intensity that frequently accompanies labour and birth. One thing you must know about a doula is that you can never offend us! There is next to nothing we have not seen or heard. We are also there to support you through the rollercoaster of emotions you face after birth – from tears of joy, to confusion over what your body is doing, to the anxiety of adjusting to care for a new little human.

“When a woman gives birth, she has to reach down inside herself and give more than she thought she had. The limits of her existence are stretched. There is a moment when every woman thinks, “I can‘t do this.” If she is lucky, she has a midwife, a doula or her mom to whisper in her ear, “You are doing it.” As she does it, she becomes someone new: a mother.”

Pam Udy

Benefits of a Doula

Cochrane Review, 2017

Advantages of a Birth Doula

Doula services

Tamryn Schmahl, the birth doula behind Shakti Births, completed her training through Women Offering Mothers Birthing Support (WOMBS). She is also a member of Doulas of South Africa (DOSA), and is a registered birth doula service provider with Discovery Health, Momentum Medical Scheme, and Fedhealth. Click here to read more about Tamryn.

We provide birth doula support in the Gauteng area and surrounds, including, but not limited to, Centurion, Pretoria, Midrand, and Johannesburg. Our birth doula packages include:



The Father, the Mother, and the Doula

When I started my doula work, I often found that the mothers really wanted a doula, but the father was hesitant; he worried about whether I would take his place and he wouldn’t be able to help. Nothing is further from the truth, so I wrote this little piece to explain just how the doula works with a couple.

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I Wish We Could Afford a Doula, But …

What if I told you that you can afford a doula?
A doula is an integral member of your birth team. Whether you are planning a hospital birth with aaalll the pain meds you can get your hands on, a homebirth with nothing but water and essential oils – or any other sort of awesome birth in between – a doula is going to be one of the most valuable investments you can make, for one of the most important days of your life.

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I am trained as a birth doula with Women Offering Mothers Birthing Support (WOMBS) and as a HBCBE with HypnoBirthing® International. I am also a member of Doulas of South Africa (DOSA), and I am a registered birth doula service provider with Discovery Health, Momentum Medical Scheme, and Fedhealth.

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