Positive Birth in South Africa: This is Jackie Downs


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.

Jackie Downs is a student Midwife studying at Wits University, she works mostly in Hilbrow Johannesburg and has been in the birthing profession for three years now.

Jackie Downs Doula Midwife south africa photographed by Leah Hawker

“As a midwife I would like to offer all women a more caring, and a safer experience when they are giving birth. In labour they seem to me to be at their most vulnerable. They deserve much more care and love than what I see them currently getting at the public institutions where I work. “

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

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