Positive Birth in South Africa: This is Gayle Friedman


The Gate-Keepers: A Portraiture Project

This is a portraiture project, documenting the “gatekeepers” of a growing movement regarding positive birth experiences in our country.  My aim: to promote those who are enabling women to identify with their power and femininity and therefore normalize birth and the body.

These are their stories / anecdotes / opinions about what they do and how they see it…accompanied by my portraits and some general information on each sitter.

Gayle has been in health care for over 30 years and been a doula for 8 years. She specializes in color therapy and is also a qualified aromatherapist, reflexologist and yoga instructor. She works in areas between the Atlantic Seaboard, CBD and Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.

Gayle Friedman Doula South Africa photographed by Leah Hawker

“I myself have had three home births but I choose to work in actual medical hospitals because someone has to hold the spiritual, psychological, emotional space for women to relax, feel safe and calm so that their brain/body can do what it knows- Let go, breathe out and let babies be born.”

 “If I could see some statistics change? It would be for South African women to have more vaginal births.”

• (I invite more participants to join the project, you are welcome to email me for more information).

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