Birth and death are intrinsically linked. Part of a natural cycle that begins and ends in mystery. For centuries we have been birthing and dying in the home, guided by the intrinsic intelligence of our bodies and the elders around us. Then modern medicine came along and made us believe that both of these processes should be medically managed. This trend is part of a long history of ‘medicalisation’, the process by which natural human processes such as birth, puberty, menstruation, old age and death are viewed as abnormalities requiring medical intervention.
For so long the medical world, or really the world in general, has found ways to take away our power by disconnecting us from our intuition and casting shadows of fear upon natural human processes. However, the uprisings of women’s movements around the world, a return to more organic ways of eating and healing and recent trends of ‘re-wilding’ show that we, as a collective, are ready and willing to claim this power back and return to our true nature.
Reclaiming the birthing process is one of the most powerful ways for us to do this. For many, birthing at home is still a scary concept. But the question I would like to ask is why? Why can’t we support women to birth in the comfort and safety of their own homes? Why are women so afraid of birthing? It is a process which has been taking place naturally for millions of years.
My name is Chloe Holloway and I’m a 25 -year-old doula, living in Cape Town, who loves home-births. In my time as a birth companion I’ve witnessed many births taking place in the home, all of which have been incredible to behold. The relaxed atmosphere and comfortable setting allow the labour to go at the pace it needs to go and there is just a beautiful flow that everyone seems to fall into. There is so much power that can be felt and I am always overwhelmed by the divine nature of the feminine at work.
I’m much younger than most other doulas working in Cape Town and don’t have children of my own, so it’s also been really inspiring to see women my age, or a little bit older, consciously choosing to birth at home. It gives me so much hope for the future, because if young women (and men) are consciously choosing to have a home birth, which is a huge decision and initiation into humanness, then I believe that this consciousness will soon spread to every other area of life.
If you are looking to have a home birth in Cape Town firstly I would suggest finding a doula, there are so many great ones and you really just need to find a doula and a home-birth midwife that works for you, and can hold you in the way you need to be held. Secondly, I would suggest visiting a website called Home Birth South Africa which contains many birth stories, information on the home birthing events they hold and links to evidence-based research on the benefits of birthing at home.
With all this being said home births are not for everyone and I truly believe that every woman should feel empowered to birth exactly where and how she wants. Hospitals have their place and are vital in emergencies. However, the home should always be given fair consideration as a sacred and safe place to birth.
* If you would like more information on home birthing in Cape Town, or would like to speak further with Chloe then you can contact her on: