Birth & Postpartum doula, Professional Clinical Hypnotherapist, HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator, Pregnancy & Postnatal Massage Practitioner, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, Freelance Journalist, mother to Leonardo.
Charlene has been a doula for a decade since the birth of her son, which launched her passion into birth work. Since her own transformational birth experience, she has supported over 300 women on their birth journeys, walking with them every step of the way. "Each birth is a gift. Each birth is a story in its own right and I strive to empower women to have a better birth, no matter what turn it takes," she says.
"I have learnt that every single birth is different, that there is no such thing as an unnatural birth, even when your baby is born abdominally - and that mothers need good mothering when they birth their babies.
When she fell pregnant with her son, she could not envision any other birth besides a caesarean birth, but through literal signs along the way, education and encouragement, she changed from planning an elective caesarean in hospital, to having a homebirth with an independent midwife and doula in attendance. A complete 180!
"Enter Leonardo: Literally! At 02:26 on a cool Spring morning , he swam into my arms with a lot of effort and strength, a power which I didn’t know my body was capable of. My birth story was a good one and I had an unmedicated home water birth and I can say wholeheartedly that it was the single, most life-changing and transforming event of my life."
Charlene went on to become a HypnoBirthing practitioner, birth doula and Professional Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Her experience in these fields gave her the tools she needed to create the Relax Into Birth Online School. It is the first proudly South African Online Birth Preparation School teaching women and their partners Hypnobirthing techniques and deep relaxation methods for a more comfortable and manageable birth experience at home or at hospital, for natural or caesarean birth.
Her aim at every birth is to inform parents of their options, educate, empower and mirror exactly what the mother needs so that the experience she has is a positive one.
Professional Nurse & Midwife, Prenatal Yoga Instructor
Midwife and Prenatal Yoga Instructor, Karen Wilmot has been supporting families around the globe for over a decade in person and online as the Virtual Midwife. An adventurer, traveller and entrepreneur, she has worked around the world and continues to find new and challenging ways to improve health care for women during pregnancy and birth using online technology.
Karen qualified in South Africa as a Professional Nurse & Midwife in 1990. An adventurer, traveller and entrepreneur, she combines her love for travel with her goal to restore normality to birth.
Her career has enabled her to work on a diamond mine in South Africa, in a small village in Mexico, in a military hospital in Saudi Arabia and with the Royal family of Oman. Karen is a pioneer in the Middle East where she established the first private community service in Oman between 2009 - 2015, supporting expat women during pregnancy and birth. During this time she deepened her study to include yoga, breath work and mind body therapies. In 2016 she was instrumental in opening the first center for Mother and Baby wellness in the Gulf region.
“I left the hospital system in 2009 because I had a vision of creating change. At least 80% of the women I met in the labor room were not prepared for the challenges of pregnancy and birth and yet they had no way of finding the support they needed. While it is true that women have been doing this for millions of years, they did not have to navigate a system that supports policy and procedure over women’s choice. I support choice and believe that knowledge is power. I strive to find the balance between modern understanding of hospital culture and the innate knowing we are born with. My programs are designed to embrace the uniqueness of every woman and guide couples to make informed decisions."