Leial de Wet, SBD

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Certified Birth & Bereavement Doula® serving Pretoria, South Africa

SBD Doulas® are accessible to you through our open group or through our CONNECT app.

 

Leial started her new journey on 14 August 2002 when she and her first born experienced a traumatic birth that changed both their lives.  Very unexpectedly, little Matthew passed away later that night due to asphyxia – lack of oxygen during the birth earlier that day.  Though she has been through many hardships in life, the death of Matthew was by far the most significant and painful experience.  “No one knew how to help.  Everyone tried to protect me by making decisions for me which ultimately led to many regrets.  I was a new mommy with empty, aching arms, and all I have is a photo of my baby that was taken in his coffin, and a footprint”.  It has been many years of ups and downs but Leial has been offering guidance to other parents after loss since then, guiding others to bond with their baby and gather memories to last a lifetime.  “When your baby dies, you often don’t know where to turn or what to do.  People around you try to protect you by doing what THEY think is best for you, but this is your time with your baby.  Your baby was a part of you and bonding and creating memories at this time are so important”.  Leial has also been involved in training nurses in the hospital environment on how to help parents enduring the loss of their baby from miscarriage to infant death.  Creating memories and spending time with your baby is something that Leial finds very important in validating the short life of your baby, and finds that by doing this, there may be fewer complications during the grief process, which is really a life-long process.

Leial is working together with other parents to set up standardized processes within hospitals and help equip everyone who is in contact with bereaved parents, with tools to help them guide parents at the time of birth and death of their baby, from early miscarriage to infant death.  This is done through workshops as well as encouraging Stillbirthday Bereavement Doula Training.  There are also other important projects in the early stages which she hopes to be launched during 2014.

By creating a more positive experience for bereaved parents, and educating the community about pregnancy and infant loss, together we can make a difference in the short lives of our babies and the new life and journey of many “orphaned” parents in our country.

 


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