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Interviews & Conversations Projects Women I've Shot

Positive Birth in South Africa: This is Sydney Grove


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.

Sydney Grove is an advanced midwife , specialises in neonatel nursing science, has a degree in nursing, education and health. Sydney has been in his profession for 40 years and has delivered too many babies to count. He now works in the birthing industry in service management and covers the whole CBD and peninsula.

Sydney Grove -Midwives & Doulas of South Africa - Portraits by Leah Hawker

“I am a male feminist doing advocacy for women in labour.
I believe that women should not be indoctrinated into intervention in labour unless strongly indicated.
I believe in informed consent and pro-active informed decision making.
Any women in labour and even during pregnancy should feel special and made to feel sacred.”

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

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Interviews & Conversations Projects Women I've Shot

Positive Birth in South Africa: This is Lana Petersen


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.

Lana Petersen has been a doula for 12 years and is currently an apprentice midwife. Lana works mostly in the Southern Suburbs.

Lana Peterson -Midwives & Doulas of South Africa - Portraits by Leah Hawker

“Women don’t know enough about the various options around birth in this country. They don’t do enough research around those choices and they are losing touch with the very thing that makes them uniquely feminine….The learning from and supporting of each other around pregnancy and birth has been taken away from the home and the community and hence the deep seeded fear women have about their bodies and birth.”

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

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Interviews & Conversations Projects Women I've Shot

Positive Birth in South Africa: This is Aneesa Rasool


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.

Aneesa Rasool is a a doula, an infant massage and a hypno-birthing practitioner. She’s been in the birth, maternity and newborn world as a professional for 4 years and works predominantly from Blouberg and the West Coast areas.

Aneesa Rasool -Midwives & Doulas of South Africa - Portraits by Leah Hawker

“Most women have no knowledge or lack the knowledge of their maternity rights. Woman have the right to receive maternity care that is appropriate to her cultural and religious background, and to receive information in a language in which she can communicate. To receive all care in privacy.”

“Many women have an unrealistic expectations of their body postpartum and this is where they need better support.”

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

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Interviews & Conversations Projects Women I've Shot

Positive Birth in South Africa: This is Ruth Ehrhardt


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.

Ruth Ehrhardt is midwife and a doula, she’s been in working in birthing for 8 years now , and 4 years as a midwife. She specialises in out-of-hospital births. She works mainly in the South peninsula area.

Ruth Ehrhardt -Midwives & Doulas of South Africa - Portraits by Leah Hawker

“The births are incredible and there are too many that stand out but one of the things I love is how time seems to suspend itself at a birth…how the world almost has to groan to a halt to make space for this woman and her baby.”

“I do feel that part of women’s disempowerment in this arena stems from a lack of a sense of autonomy and ownership of their own bodies. So we really need to begin work with young girls and women.”

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

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