Options Series – Birthing In A Government Hospital

Welcome and thank you for listening!

​​In the next episode of the ‘Birth Options Series’ we will be talking about giving birth in a Government Hospital. For many women this is the only option available for them, and it really can be a good experience. The better prepared and empowered you are, the better you can ‘own’ your birth and have a positive experience. Our special guest is Kirsti Steenekamp, a registered midwife who is working in a Government Hospital Setting, and she explains everything you need to know in order to give birth in a Government Hospital setting and how you can empower yourself to have a good, natural birth experience.

Kirsti started her midwifery journey in an academic hospital in Johannesburg where she experienced first hand the incredible strain the doctors, midwives and nurses are working under which often led to exhaustion, apathy and burnout of the health care team. She also witnessed the abuse, neglect and trauma inflicted on birthing mothers by the ones who have taken a pledge to protect and care for them. Knowing that change starts with yourself, she started to unlearn old, damaging practices and to educate herself on natural birth. Fast forward five years later and that journey is still ongoing although now in a different, smaller government hospital. She is now actively (and at times loudly) advocating for mothers’ rights and teaching evidence-based practice to midwifery students and colleagues alike. The system is still as gruelling as ever but light, albeit faint, is starting to break through.

Although Kirsti loves attending to any mother in labour, she feels especially drawn to assisting and creating a safe space for teenagers, victims of sexual and domestic abuse and substance abusers. It is also her dream to open a birthing house where any woman, regardless of her background or socio economic status, can birth safely and naturally.

Apart from being a midwife, Kirsti is also a wife and mother of two toddlers and several fur kids. She loves food, trail running, horse riding and playing on the beach with her kids, Ruben and Josie.