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South African Birth Stories
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South African Birth Stories

Author: Megan & Julia

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In each episode of this podcast, a woman tells her story of giving birth in South Africa. Women tell their stories from conception to the postpartum period, with a particular focus on the labour and birth. Please visit the website www.southafricanbirthstories.co.za for more information
11 Episodes
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When Dee-Ann fell pregnant with her third daughter she planned for a home birth until she found out her baby was breech. Dee-Ann talks of her journey to find a care provider who would support her to have a vaginal breech birth. "Breech birth is not for everyone...but I do believe informed decision making is."Enjoy!
Sivonne's positive and enthusiastic attitude towards birth really comes across in this episode as she tells her two birth stories. During her first, she changed caregivers at the last minute. Then with her second she made more informed decisions and knew exactly what she wanted. Sivonne fought for the birth she envisioned by equipping herself with lots of research and trust in her own body. Sivonne tells a great story, I'm sure you will enjoy it! 
Sam shares a really interesting and emotional story of her son Olly's birth. When she experienced contractions at 34 weeks she was turned away from 2 nearby private hospitals and found herself receiving care at the public hospital without the support of her husband (who was operating a game drive). Sam shares about Olly's ICU stay and finishes the episode speaking about a subsequent miscarriage.This is a raw and emotional episode, so if you are feeling sensitive than maybe give this episode a miss for another time.Please watch out for part 2 of Sam's story! 
In this episode, Taryn shares her two birth stories. Taryn totally embraced the idea of natural birth, she knew she wanted to go down the vaginal unmedicated route. Taryn successfully gave birth to her first son and then fell pregnant with twins which she had always longed for! Despite various opinions that lead Taryn to think that her only option was a c-section, along with her faith, support of her husband, doula, midwives, and OBGYN she was able to bring her twin boys into the world vaginally. This is such a positive and inspiring story which I'm sure you will really enjoy. 
In this episode, Megan shares about the birth of her son, Ezra. After a year of trying to fall pregnant, Megan and her husband decided to seek help at a fertility clinic. They started on a journey of IVF and fell pregnant 1 year later. Megan planned for an unmedicated vaginal birth but ended up having a c-section. She speaks in-depth about the experience of having a c-section and how confronting being in theatre was. Enjoy!
Brooke is an American living in Cape Town. When her contractions began they were already 3minutes apart and in some disbelief, she called the midwife. There was no time for her husband to set up the birthing pool so Brooke birthed her daughter in her bathtub. Brooke never thought she would have a home birth as it's not that common in America, however, she is so thankful she did. Please visit the website for resources about breastfeeding. Enjoy this story!
Leani shares the births of her 3 beautiful children. Her first being quite different to her most recent which was at the beginning of the Covid-19 Lockdown. Despite being from a small town, Leani was able to achieve her ideal birth with the birthing team she wanted. We hope you enjoy this episode. 
In this episode, Helen shares the birth story of her daughter Hannah. Helen had a vaginal, midwifery lead birth at Vincent Pallotti Private Hospital in Cape Town. Helen tells a beautiful story and I'm sure it will speak to many women who have given birth and those still preparing for birth. Enjoy. This episode is brought to you by Julia Wurts. Julia is collaborating with Megan to bring you South African Birth Stories! 
Megan tells a beautiful story of how an unexpected pregnancy early in her marriage went on to be a very positive home birth experience. The Birth Options Team facilitated a home birth for Megan. Along with her husband (Gerry) she negotiated the opinions of her family members with thorough research and a hospital back up plan. It is very uplifting to hear such a positive birth story. Enjoy!
*Please note: Bridget's audio has an echo making it difficult at times to hear, but it is definitely worth a listen*Bridget had never seen a birth before and was only told negative stories of birth from her friends and family. When she was admitted into the hospital at 38 weeks for high blood pressure and a 'big baby' on ultrasound she was induced. Bridget ended up having a Cesarean section. Out of all the experiences she had at the hospital she describes the epidural as the most painful. Michelle her beautiful daughter is now 1 year old. Bridget hopes for a VBAC for her next! 
In the very first recorded episode of South African Birth Stories, Jess describes her intense childbirth experience in 2018.  She was startled by her waters breaking at 34 weeks gestation and was unprepared for the sequence of events and interventions to follow. She describes how valuable having a doula by her side was during the high-pressure moments. Jess is now pregnant with her second child and provides insight into the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown on her pregnancy. This birth story will resonate with many women... enjoy! 
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