Positive Birth in South Africa: This is Janine Doerheit


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.

Janine Doerheit is a doula who works from the CBD to the deep South in Cape Town. She’s been in this profession for 2 years now and specialises in hypnobirthing and is a qualified paramana doula.

Janine Doerheit -Birth South Africa - Portraits by Leah Hawker

“Something I try and instill in my clients is the effect that the mind has over the whole labour and birth process. Most of us focus very strongly on the physical preparation, be it yoga, exercise or correct diet, however almost all of us put hardly any effort into the mind/body aspect. We all know the sayings; “you reap what you sow”, etc but are not fully aware of how much the stories in our minds control our birthing experience.
The mind is our most powerful tool and when we have control over our mind and are able to switch it off, to disengage the neocortex (our thinking brain), when we are able to well and truly relax, we will be able to birth with ease. This applies to alleviating our fears and anxieties too, which are mostly unfounded. If we are fearful or anxious we create tension which hinders the birthing process.”

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

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