Doula Services

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

what is a doula?

A doula is a non-medical professional who provides parents with informational, physical, and emotional support throughout pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period. 

Our role is to provide you with unbiased support in your decisions, so that you can have the birth and postpartum experience you envision and deserve. 

what is a birth doula?

Tamryn Schmahl of Shakti Births thoroughly explains the role of a birth doula.

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 and the postpartum phase – from what to pack in your hospital bags, to techniques to cope with labour and birth, to walking you through what you can expect with a scheduled caesarean 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 wish list and postpartum plan. She will prepare you and your partner for the labour, birth, and postpartum experience 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, birth, and postpartum period 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 and early parenting is to be loved and supported and to feel as though one has control over one's body and life. Your doula is like your best friend for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period – 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, moving your bags to your maternity ward, preparing a postpartum sitz bath, holding baby while you take a shower ... 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 and care for them in the early days, 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? Were the dogs fed? Which baby bum cream to use? The main aim of the physical support your doula provides during labour, birth, and the postpartum phase 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 and look after your newborn. When you have a doula, you are assured of a positive, calm presence who will be with 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 off your partner and will serve as a buffer for the intensity that frequently accompanies labour, birth, and the early days as a new family. 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.

Doula services

Tamryn Schmahl, the founder of Shakti Births, completed her birth doula training through Women Offering Mothers Birthing Support (WOMBS) and her postpartum care provider (PPCP) training, based on Dutch kraamzorg methods, through Midwife Cafe. 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 doula support for both vaginal births and caesarean births, as well as postpartum care, in the Gauteng area and surrounds (including, but not limited to, Centurion, Pretoria, Midrand, and Johannesburg). Our doula packages are customisable. Please contact us for a full list of packages available. An example of what is included:

Benefits of a Birth Doula

Cochrane Review, 2017

Shakti Births supporting birthing mother

“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

client love


I am trained as a birth doula with Women Offering Mothers Birthing Support (WOMBS), a postpartum care provider (PPCP) with Midwife Cafe, and a HBCBE with HypnoBirthing® International. I am also a founding member of Consciously Connected, a member of Doulas of South Africa (DOSA), an expert for BabyYumYum parenting portal, and an endorsed doula at Life Genesis Maternity Clinic. I am a registered doula service provider with Discovery Health, Momentum Medical Scheme, and Fedhealth.

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