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Hi and welcome to my website.

I recently completed my doula training through The Village Doula Workshop under the expert guidance of Maria Sterrenberg and Rosalia Pihlajasaari. While I have always had an intrinsic interest in pregnancies and babies, it wasn't until after the birth of my son in 2006 that I discovered I wanted to help other mothers-to-be achieve a memorable birth exerience. I believe that the continous support of a professional childbirth companion can turn an otherwise daunting task (they don't call it labour for nothing!) into an empowering and fulfilling experience. Whichever route you may choose, be it a home or hospital, natural or Caesarean birth (or regardless of what actually happens since labour is by nature unpredictable), my goal is to help you achieve a positive outcome, thus allowing you to have a safe and satisfying childbirth.

I hope you enjoy the site and find the information here useful. Please feel free to e-mail me (by making use of the form on my Contact page) if you have any queries.

Wishing you a complication-free pregnancy, a smooth transition to parenthood and a happy, healthy baby.


© 2008 - Anitra Davel - All rights reserved
Design & Hosting by Steinie

The name Doula (pronounced "doo-la") is derived from a Greek word referring to a woman in the service of another. A Doula – more commonly known in South Africa as a birth companion – not only offers physical and emotional support during childbirth, but also in the prenatal and postpartum phases.

In labour the Doula does not replace the doctor or midwife but complements the medical team by staying with the mother, constantly assessing and responding to her needs. The Doula offers continued assistance, encouragement, comfort and reassurance to enable the mother to have the most satisfying birth experience possible.

At no time does the Doula reduce the role of the father but only enhances his support of the labouring mother. While the Doula guides the couple she also maintains support for the father in times where he may also feel anxious or concerned.

Click to watch the video "What is a Doula?" (Filesize: 8.2mb)

Many thanks to Kirsti Kreutzer for permitting me to use her excellent video on my website!
© 2008 - Anitra Davel - All rights reserved
Design & Hosting by Steinie

Whether you are planning a home or hospital birth, you should know that research has shown that when faced with the uncertainty of labour having one on one support results in shorter labours, fewer complications and healthier newborns. In fact, a worldwide study showed a:

50% reduction of Caesarean rate
25% shorter labour
60% reduction in epidural requests
30% reduction in the mother’s need for medication
40% reduction in forceps delivery

(from: Mothering the Mother - How a Doula can help you have a shorter, easier and healthier birth by Marshall H. Klaus, Perseus Press, 1993)

During a hospital birth no physician or midwife stays in the room continuously and nurses generally have to split their time between several patients and obviously come and go according to shift changes.

Having a Doula may be the only way to ensure continuity throughout the birth process.

If you are serious about having a baby without drugs, then a Doula is your best ally and, if you do have an epidural or need a Caesarean section, a Doula can make the whole experience less stressful and more satisfying.

A Doula does not make decisions for the labouring couple but supports them through the decision-making process and provides them with balanced information so that they can make informed choices at a time when rational and objective thinking can be difficult.

Even in a home birth, when the midwife is present constantly, the Doula can be indispensable supporting the labouring mum and dad, taking charge of any household or family issues that arise and leaving the midwife free to concentrate on the medical concerns.

© 2008 - Anitra Davel - All rights reserved
Design & Hosting by Steinie
After completing my BA (Law) degree at the University of the Witwatersrand (1993), I realised that I did not want to pursue a career in law and then studied Musical Theatre at the now renamed Tshwane University of Technology.

After graduation, I entered the world of the theatre and have been seen performing in major productions on stages across South Africa, including the Civic Theatre in Johannesburg, the State Theatre in Pretoria, Artscape in Cape Town and the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein. Those productions included among others Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS and the ever popular The Buddy Holly Story. No stranger to the Grahamstown and Oudtshoorn Arts Festivals or the Barnyard Theatres countrywide, it came as rather a surprise to discover that the theatre was not my true passion.
Anitra as Doortjie in Brollocks en Bittergal Anitra as Sillabub in CATS

I have always been drawn to babies and pregnant women - even going so far as to extend my aerobics qualification to include teaching pregnancy and postpartum classes, which I do on a regular basis at Tina Otte's Family and Child Centre in Randburg. However, it wasn't until after the birth of my son Cian in 2006 that I recognised that my path lies in being a catalyst to help other women achieve a positive and memorable birth experience. I was lucky enough to manage a vaginal birth in a hospital and those first precious minutes with my baby were the most treasured moments of my life.

Looking back, however, I realise that there were times in my labour that having a Doula or birth companion would have made the entire process so much easier and less stressful. And I know Cian’s dad would have appreciated some support too! In the first few days after the birth, he seemed more exhausted than me!

I believe that every woman should be empowered to reclaim what is intrinsically theirs, something which we seem to have forgotten: the right to own their birth experience.

I would be truly honoured to be a part of yours.

Anitra Davel
© 2008 - Anitra Davel - All rights reserved
Design & Hosting by Steinie


Please contact me for a quotation as my rates are influenced by various factors.



© 2008 - Anitra Davel - All rights reserved
Design & Hosting by Steinie
© 2008 - Anitra Davel - All rights reserved
Design & Hosting by Steinie
The South African Doula DatabaseEarth BabiesBirth SupportMom's UIF AssistPNDSA
WOMBSConscious Birth
Birthing in AwarenessHomebirth UK
La Leche League - ResourcesMidwifery  Today
Childbirth InternationalSA PreemiesHealth 24
© 2008 - Anitra Davel - All rights reserved
Design & Hosting by Steinie