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About

My name is Marie-Louise Steyn and ‘Birth Power’ is the name I chose for my business because I was so empowered through my own experiences of birth, breastfeeding and mothering. The births of my own five children (of which the last four were natural homebirths) were such sacred mountain-top experiences in my life that I dreamed about helping other women have blissful, transformative births, too. I started realizing that dream when I trained as a doula with Village Doulas in 2008. I attended my first birth in March 2008 and have been privileged to witness more than a hundred births since. I mostly work with the wonderful midwives of Midwives Exclusive http://www.midwives-exclusive.com/ at their Active Birth Unit at Femina hospital, but I am no stranger to other hospitals in Pretoria. Homebirths have a special place in my heart because they are so intimate and personal. Of course, birth does not always go as planned, and I’ve seen my share of caesarean and instrument births, too.

I have been passionately involved with breastfeeding for more than fifteen years: at first as a breastfeeding mom, then a La Leche League Leader and breastfeeding counselor. In 2009 a long-held dream came true when I qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I teach breastfeeding classes to expectant moms and other doulas and do breastfeeding consultations at home and in hospital.

I’ve always loved teaching and became involved in the antenatal classes at Stork’s Nest, Femina in 2008, where I still teach. In 2010 I trained as a Hypnobirthing facilitator, as I used a form of hypnosis for pain-relief at my last three births. Then I found what I have been searching for all along: the amazing Mama Bamba Way philosophy (developed by Robyn Sheldon, a midwife from Cape Town). I trained with Robyn as a Mama Bamba facilitator and feel so privileged to be bringing this life-changing philosophy of emotional and spiritual preparation for birth to Pretoria. To learn more about the Mama Bamba Way, see http://www.mamabamba.com/.

Creativity has always played a huge role in my life. I consider myself a ‘maternity photographer’: I photograph pregnant bellies, births, babies and growing children. Writing is another of my life-long love affairs. I have written three Afrikaans medical romances (under a pseudonym) and my breastfeeding book will be published in September in English and Afrikaans.

I consider supporting and empowering mothers, fathers and babies an honour and a sacred calling. Every birth – like every family – is different, and I am changed and enriched beyond measure each time I am invited to witness the miracle.

Blessed Birthing

Marie-Louise

 

2 responses to “About

  1. Elizna

    February 15, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Liewe, liewe Marie-Louise

    Hoe wonderlik om jou op die web raak te loop! Ek het gedink ek wou jou net gou laat weet hoe dit met ons gaan. Ek en my rooi-kop man, Stefan, het in die 2de helfte van 2010 jou voorgeboorte klasse bygewoon en op 13 Oktober 2010 (op Stefan se verjaarsdag!) is ons seuntjie, Sebastian, met ‘n nood-keiser gebore nadat ek vir 23 uur in kraam was by die ABU Femina (met wonderlike ondersteuning deur my man, Heather en Esti). Ek weet nie of jy ons onthou nie, maar glo my, jou bydrae tot die geboorte van ons seuntjie en dit wat daarna gevolg het, het ‘n baie groot impak op ons lewens gehad. Ons is baie bevoorreg om jou te kon ontmoet en verwys vandag nog terug na dingetjies wat ons by jou geleer het! Sebastian is nou 16 maande en die wonderlikste geskenkie wat ons ooit voor kon vra. Hy praat soos ‘n pappegaaitjie (sommer groot woorde en 3- of 4-woord sinnetjies!) en ons geniet ons gate uit saam met hom! Free entertainment, daily!

    Ek weet nie of jy onthou nie, maar Stefan moes verlede jaar weggaan vir werk vir 3 maande en ons was baie bekommerd oor die uitwerking wat dit op Sebastian en hulle tweetjies se verhouding sou he. Ek kan egter vandag met blydskap se dat dit baie goed gegaan het! Alhoewel hy na sy pappa verlang het (Sebastian was toe 10 – 13 maande oud) het dit hulle letterlik 5 sekondes geneem toe Stefan teruggekom het om weer die beste tjommies in die wereld te wees! Sedertdien is sy pappa steeds sy held :-).

    Ek borsvoed nog (wat ‘n ONGELOOFLIKE voorreg), maar ons begin nou stadig maar seker dit ‘n bietjie aflos met ‘n bottel met middagslapies nou en dan…net sodat ek myself ‘n bietjie los kan maak omdat ek nou weer geleidelik moet begin werk.

    Ons het ook mos intussen Kaap toe verhuis en bly nou in die Paarl. Ons het die mooiste uitsig en Sebastian gaan weekliks swemklassies en speelgroepies toe! Hy het sommer al ‘n klomp maatjies! Ons is baie gelukkig hier in die Kaap en ons uitnodiging van 2010 staan steeds, sou jy ooit wou kom koffie drink wanneer jy in ons omgewing is.

    Dankie vir hierdie mooi blog – ek lees lekker en my hart voel so bly as ek dink aan jou. Baie voorspoed met alles wat jy aanpak, mag jy nog baie mammas (en pappas en babas!) se lewens verryk.

    Liefde-groete
    Elizna Sonnekus

     
  2. doulapretoria

    February 15, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Hi Elizna, natuurlik onthou ek julle baie goed! Ek dink baie aan julle ook – ek het onlangs in Graffiti die pragtige Voetspore-boek gesien en met groot trots vir Stefan aan my kids uitgewys: “kyk, julle, hierdie oom was in MY voorgeboorteklas”. Verder het ek al baie gewonder of julle gelukkig is in die Kaap en of Stefan toe inderdaad so lank moes weggaan. Ek is so bly om te hoor dit het als goed gegaan. Dit bevestig net weer vir my dat attachment parenting werk – as mens borsvoed en behoeftes bevredig wanneer hulle steeds ouderdomsgepas is, dan is kinders baie meer sekuur en resilient. Dis wonderlik dat jy so lank geborsvoed het! En dis so lekker om terugvoer te kry – mens hoor eintlik so selde hoe dit met die ouers gaan wat in jou voorgeboorteklas was. Baie, baie dankie vir jou comment en loer asseblief weer in xx

     

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