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About Karen

I grew up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, the youngest of 3 children in a busy household where my mother was a midwife and my early years were full of her stories of brave women and incredible births. Even back then the idea of birth filled me with awe.

I recall thinking about having babies from a very young age. I recall my mom finding me under the dining room table drinking milk (which I hated) and trying to breastfeed my doll. I recall visiting neighbours with babies to touch and hold and stare at them. It seems I had this baby radar thing even then, if there was a new baby in town, I would find it. In retrospect, I must have driven those women crazy, but I couldn’t help myself. Babies and the colour pink were my favourite thing.

I always knew that I wanted to follow in my mother’s footsteps and when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say “ a midwife and a mommy with one hundred babies!”

As soon as I was old enough I began my training, where I devoted myself to learning all I possibly could about pregnancy, birth and post-natal care.

I am not sure how I would have felt if someone had given me a glimpse into the future and shown me the ironic twist of my life path – for though I would bring countless babies into the world I would never have children of my own.

There was a time in my late 30’s when I stepped away from my work as a midwife.

It was during this time that I met several wise women, many of them midwives, who took me on a path of deep exploration and encouraged me to explore the meaning of a mother. It was through this process, slow and often painful, that I discovered and embraced the mother that I already am and I realised that my gift lies in my ability to be completely open and non judgemental in the birth space. I bring the wisdom and experience of every women I have had the privilege of attending to every birth I attend.

This realisation has transformed my life and my practice and allowed me to achieve the vision that I had as a child. It has driven me to never stop learning, never stop questioning and never to be judgemental. I am not able to project my own experience onto yours and I bring the wisdom of every birth I have attended into my work. It has given me the freedom to continue to travel and to be a pioneer of change in the Middle East where I spent 14 years as an expat and was instrumental in creating the first mother and baby wellness centre in the Gulf region in 2016. It has enabled me to work around the world in vastly different circumstances and learn about birth in other cultures. It drove me to leave the hospital system and unlearn everything in order to re learn it in a way that serves you and not the system and outdated policies.

My approach to pregnancy is holistic and natural, honouring women and birth, and giving the power back to you, the mother.

Contact details & bookings

During my travels I started a website called The Virtual midwife, where I offer online support and courses.