About

assalaamu alaykum,

I’m Natasha (Zaahida)

I have given birth 3 times in different settings and had my own personal experiences of birth trauma and perinatal and postpartum depression.

I can truly say that I know the far-reaching effects of the lack of availability of evidence-based childbirth information in our community, and a supportive network of like-minded birthing mothers and families and even more so, a huge gap for something that caters specifically to the needs of Muslim families.

I have taken my learnings from my births, my teaching experience and my continued studying, Islamic Studies, birth and bereavement training and various forms of personal development and alternative medicine therapies in order to fill this gap and to formulate a method to support Expectant Muslim parents in experiencing an informed birth & raising thriving and happy families.

I grew up learning about Essential Oils from my late Mom who was an Aromatherapist.

I obtained a Diploma in Arabic & Islamic Studies from Madrasatus Saalihaat Arabic Girls College, Port Elizabeth in 2009 and taught the same for over 10 years.

I have always had a fascination with Midwifery and Birth. I love taking complicated concepts and simplifying them, as well as using technology and the internet to make learning fun and interactive for adults. Since my first pregnancy, I have been researching and writing about Islam, wellness, homebirth, labour, birth, parenting tips and advice over the past 5 years. 

After having my 3rd baby at home I fell in love with birth even more, and trained as a Labour & Birth Doula through WOMBS (Women Offering Mothers Birth Support) in 2017.

I attended training in using Homeopathic remedies in the home through Dr Chiquita Vosloo from Natura, and Pharmacist and owner of Pegasus Homeopathics, Ian Wheeler.

Then later started training as a Childbirth Educator in November 2018 through the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), with Bonita Katz, former President, and was certified in April 2021.

I spent a year studying Traditional Holistic Midwifery with Ruth Ehrhardt, who is a Certified Professional Midwife and student of Ina May Gaskin & Michelle Odent, a French Obstetrician.

I later certified as a breastfeeding Peer Counsellor under La Leche League in 2022. I obtained a certificate in Basic Skills in Perinatal mental Health with the Centre of Perinatal Excellence, Australia, in 2024.

I am a member of DOSA (Doulas of South Africa), Evidence-Based Birth Professionals, occasionally assist with marketing and admin for IMASA Islamic Medical Association SA – Port Elizabeth Branch, am a committee member of SADAA (South African Doulas Association & Administration), and I serve as Director of International Relations – South Africa Representative for the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) as well as working on the scholarship committee.

My mission is to make good–quality, professional, evidence-based, family–centred information and resources more readily available.

As Featured In

Things I love ….

  • Chocolate
  • Tea
  • Lipgloss
  • Cats
  • Birth

the expectant muslim parents guide to pregnancy

Looking back and seeing how far I’ve come…

2009

Graduated from Madrasatus Saalihaat Arabic Girls College with a 5 – year Diploma in Arabic and Islamic Studies

2017

Certified as a Labour, Birth & Postpartum Doula through WOMBS (Women Offering Mothers Birth Support) South Africa

2020

Attended Perinatal Bereavement Training

2021

Obtained an Aromatherapy Diploma with Distinction through the Centre of Excellence UK

2021

Trained in 2018, and Certified as an ICCE – Internationally Certified Childbirth Educator in 2021 through ICEA – the International Childbirth Education Association

2022

Trained under Leana Habeck and Certified as a Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor through La Leche League South Africa.

2022

Started my first term as Director of International Relations – South Africa Representative for the International Childbirth Education Association

2023

Spent a year-long journey delving into an Introduction to Traditional and Holistic Midwifery called the Silent Birthkeeper, with Ruth Ehrhardt

2024

Obtained a certificate in Basic skills in Perinatal Mental Health through COPE – The Centre of Perinatal Excellence, Australia

WOMBS Doula Graduation 2017

Natura Homoeopathy for the Home training with Dr Chiquita Vosloo 2018.

Ian, Doula Naailah, myself and Miene

Pegasus Maternity Kit Training Event with Ian Wheeler 2018

ICEA Training with Bonita Katz, former President of ICEA, and Deryse van Aardt, former Director of International Relations 2018, Johannesburg.

Perinatal Bereavement Facilitator Training with Samala Kriedeman 2020

My story

Let’s backtrack a bit

12 years ago when I was expecting my first baby, I read all the resources I could lay my hands on, I knew exactly what type of birth I wanted. I knew all the tricks on natural pain relief and comfort measures.

I really wanted a homebirth.

I mentioned this to a few people and everyone was against it!

What if something happens and you don’t have oxygen or an incubator?? Rather not for your first time!! They said, “you need to be in a hospital in case something happens!” 

Being the people-pleaser that I was, I ended up giving birth at a hospital

I had a birth plan written out and I had really wanted to be upright when giving birth.

Little did I know my birth plan would be disregarded 

I wasn’t “allowed” to squat. I was told I need to lie on my back for pushing

Alhamdulillaah I was able to achieve some of my birth preferences; I was upright and moved around during most of my labour … I had my husband by my side supporting me and reciting the Quran Throughout, and shukr to my mother-in-law, I had laboured longer at home,

But I didn’t research my provider options beforehand as well as I could have

And I didn’t have someone like a doula to guide me to make better decisions or how to advocate for my birth wishes.

Nobody told me my recovery from the stitches would be so grueling, much longer than anyone cares to mention.

Some stitches came loose, I got an infection, and I was terrified of every . single . toilet trip.

I had to take things to prevent constipation and tried different remedies to heal faster and reduce pain

To be honest, years later, that scar is still sensitive at times. Such a special and intimate part of our womanhood, and we aren’t given a choice about what happens to it??

This can’t be right!

For my second hospital birth, although extremely easy, I had been shouted at to change the position I chose to push in, while baby’s head was already out, and to top it all, I was ordered to put on a hospital gown while doing all this. 

During the Postpartum period, along with grieving the loss of my mother who passed away just before I fell pregnant, I struggled with outdated information I had received about breastfeeding and newborn care.

This resulted in a restless, constantly crying baby, and in turn, a sleep-deprived and severely depressed mother, 

My 3rd time around, I had enough of listening to everyone else and ignoring my own wishes. so I made sure that I birthed at home with a midwife this time. I was able to labour as I wished in the comfortable environment of my own home, with my husband. I could squat and thus avoid another episiotomy or tearing. I was able to avoid unnecessary cervical checks. 

and I didn’t have to be strapped to a bed with continuous monitoring. 

My midwife slipped off the cord which was wrapped around my son’s neck. We delayed cord clamping, enjoyed peaceful skin-to-skin time and I could fall asleep with my husband and baby for as long as we liked…without anyone being chased away

natural pain relief and comfort measures for labour

Some valuable lessons I learnt

I needed to trust my intuition;

I had known deep down to begin with, that a homebirth with midwifery care was better for me personally And I knew my body was divinely created to eject my baby easiest when I squat…

Had I been a little bit more educated on the after-effects and disadvantages of different options and procedures,

Had I been more educated on my choices and rights as a birthing woman 

Had I been more confident in responding to fear-mongering, with the evidence as to why my choices are better for me

And had my husband and I been able to articulate, and advocate for my birth wishes,, 

Things may have been much different..

But there is a reason why I underwent these traumatic experiences  

After birthing 3 times in different settings and having my own experiences with postpartum depression, I can truly say that I know the far-reaching effects of the unavailability of evidence-based birth information in our community, even more so, a huge gap for something that caters specifically to the needs of Muslims. Alhamdulillaah I came out on the other side stronger and wiser

It doesn’t have to be this way for you. You don’t have to first go through these traumatic experiences.

My pain now became my passion and I made it my duty to to fill this gap. 

I took my learnings from my own births, my teaching experience, Islamic Studies, birth training and various alternative therapy skills to formulate a unique approach to educate, empower and support Muslim women to make their own informed decisions and to have the beautiful and empowered birthing experience that they choose and deserve

And so I began

Our Vision

  • To improve birth outcomes for all families globally despite colour, language, ethnicity, socioeconomic status. 
  • To decrease perinatal and birth trauma
  • To decrease Post Partum Depression and anxiety
  • To decrease the divorce rate
  • To promote healthy, peaceful, conscious and thriving Muslim family relationships.