I’m Rachel, a wife and mother of two. My journey as a birth professional began in 2015, while taking Bradley Method classes. The birth of my first child, Evie, was a beautiful, powerful and transformative experience. I knew that I would eventually leave my career to become a doula.
In 2017, we moved to South Africa, where I worked with Her Voice non-profit organization empowering women from Kayamandi township. I finished my training as a doula and soon after designed the Ubomi Project, which means "life" in isiXhosa. Through the Ubomi Project, I taught classes on nutrition, childbirth, breastfeeding and infant care. It's hard for westerners to imagine a place where women can die from preventable diseases (like mastitis or infections), but this was and is the reality of many places around the world. Education in these contexts is life-saving. Women were able to receive doula care in the local public hospital if they completed all the required workshops. In a community known for gender violence, and where childbirth is wrought with fear and trauma, we were able to see women redeeming the experience of childbirth, walking into motherhood with confidence and support!
My greatest honor was working with two local indigenous Xhosa women, Phathiswa and Nomhlobo who asked me to train them as doulas. I taught them about childbirth; they taught me a lot about life. Through partnering with other agencies, they also completed courses on trauma counseling and breastfeeding.
Unfortunately, covid-19 happened and my work with Ubomi was cut short. We relocated back to the USA in 2020. But Her Voice and the Ubomi Project continues! Nomhlobo and Phathiswa are still serving in Kayamandi, helping vulnerable women in their community.
READ MORE at http://www.hervoice.co.za/
You can donate! (Even $5 USD goes a long way!)
I believe all women should be allowed freedom of choice and access to evidence-based care in regards to the birth process. This is not the reality of many women around the world. Women should have access to compassionate and culturally-sensitive services, regardless of her financial means including the type of provider/location she chooses: home birth, birth centers, and hospitals. For me, this means offering sliding-scale payments and discounts for cases of financial hardships. This means being involved in advocacy at local, national and international levels.
I work closely with my clients to listen well, help them understand their choices, and help them advocate for their goals.
Every person is different, and every birth is different. I love getting to know them and their families, and supporting them through the journey through pregnancy and into parenthood!