Birth Stories:

Natural twin birth ... Oliver and Abigail

Doula Dads say this:
Frans Swanepoel "When we have our second baby I will fly you from wherever you are to be our doula.”
Kevin Fyvie "I would pay triple the amount to have Ginny at our next birth of our baby."
Graeme Farley "I would definitely use Ginny again and trust her implicitly with our daughter and my wife."


Birth story of a natural twin birth at medi-clinic in Pmb.

Oliver Lloyd and Abigail Julie Swanepoel were born at 18h30 and 18h50 on the 28th July 2012.

Photo: Love sleeping next to each other



Having twins naturally required a great deal of research. The parents wanted to make the right choices. For example which hospital would be prepared to allow it, and which gynaecologist would be happy to birth the babies. They were both lying vertex which was important .They were fraternal twins which also meant that they were non-identical twins.  This means that they did not share a common placenta.

Fraternal Twins (commonly known as "non-identical twins") usually occur when two fertilised eggs are implanted in the uterine wall at the same time that is when the mother releases two eggs and both become fertilized by two different sperms. The two eggs form two zygotes. and these twins are therefore also known as dizygotic.

Dizygotic twins. like any siblings. have a very small chance of having the exact same chromosone profile. but most likely have a number of different chromosones that distinguish them. Dizygotic twins may be a different sex or the same sex. just as with any other siblings. Like singleton siblings. they share 50% of their DNA.

Studies show that there is a genetic basis for fraternal twinning ;that is. non-identical twins do run in families. However. it is only the female that has any influence on the chances of having fraternal twins as the male cannot make her release more than one ovum. Your likelihood of having fraternal twins is dependent upon the woman carrying a fraternal twin gene and can also be affected by heredity. race. marital age and number of children previously born. Two-thirds of all twin births result in same sex fraternal twins and one-third are different sex fraternal twins. About two-thirds of all twin births are fraternal.


Julie’s first born is Dominic and he was born naturally with no medication or interference and weighing a healthy 4.2kg.  I was his doula and Julie was a super mum who just got into the zone and birthed her baby with each stage quietly listening to me.  We had a super bond and I try and always keep in contact with my doula babies so it was very exciting when Julie rang me to say she was expecting twins and that she wanted me to be her doula again and a natural birth if possible!

This would be a first twin birth for me as well as the gynaecologist (in private practice) and the hospital where Julie was having them.  The twins behaved well in the womb and she carried them till 35 weeks with no problems.  At 35 weeks I got a call to say that her mucus plug was out and we were then on telephone on a regular basis.. Standby!!!  No twins,  the days rolled by and each day I was a little happier knowing that best place for them was in the womb with their mum.  After 12 long days Julie was asked to go into the hospital to check on the babies and she was 5 cm dilated but her cervix was posterior and a little thick.  The gynaecologist asked her to remain in the maternity ward as a precautionary measure as she thought that the birth might be very quick.  I visited Julie and she said she felt like a fraud lying in bed with no contractions!

The gynaecologist said she would not interfere with the twins in any way as she was worried that any interference would cause them harm resulting in a c.section.  We all waited and on the Saturday 13h00 I got the call from Franz to say that her waters had broken and I was to come down to the hospital.  Time flew and her gynaecologist came along and she had an epidural as a precautionary measure in case the second twin needed to be turned once his sister was born.  Labour progressed without a hitch and at 17h30 Julie was ready to push.  Little Abigail was born at 18h31 very easily she was actually just breathed out....  she was healthy weighing in at 2.956kg.  She watched me while Julie got ready for the next twin and I looked after her.


Oliver did just what the gynaecologist feared and went straight into a transverse position with his hand down.  This was a first time that I had ever seen any emotion on the gynaecologist s face when she inserted her hand he had held it!  There was a tear which was so emotional.  Between the midwife on a step ladder and the gynaecologist they managed to turn him and he was birthed 19 minutes after his sister. Weighing in at 2.980kg and did not even need any oxygen.  The paediatrician was there to see if they needed any help but he gave them both the thumbs up and could not believe how healthy they were.  Both head circum was 33.5cm and length 53cm and 54 cm.  Julie managed to do skin on skin with them and breast feed them together within the first 30 minutes of their births.



What a fantastic birth to be part of and I am so proud of Julie as she listened to everyone and did everything that was asked of her.  The twins came home after one night in hospital and I helped Julie with them for a week just getting them into a routine and giving Julie the time with Dominic and helping her get enough rest and sleep to feed these gorgeous babies.  They have gained weight and sleep for a full 3 hrs in between their feeds.  It is fabulous to watch the twins connect with each other. They touch hands and feet.  He loves to put his hand against her face and they never wake each other up by doing this.  I spent many a hour watching them. I am in awe of the bond that they share at this early age.

Photo: Dominic with his brother

Oliver with his big brother Dominic.


For first time mums I would recommend that you have a doula for the first few days. Having time to enjoy your baby without fear and exhaustion helps promote no prenatal depression.  Even for a few hours during this time where you can rest and regain your strength.

Postnatal depression (PND) is a common problem. For a long time it was thought that about one in 10 mums suffers from PND. It's now thought that as many as one in four mums are affected by it. 

PND can sometimes be confused with the baby blues. If you get the baby blues, you will feel miserable, weepy, tired and tense during the first few days after giving birth. This is thought to be because of huge hormonal changes in your body. With the right support, you should feel better within a few days. However, PND, unlike the baby blues, is an illness. It's unlikely to go away without treatment.


Special memories  -  Julie and Franz thank you for sharing the birth of your twins.

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What I Do

I am living my dream while working with mums and babies. I see mums when they are 34 weeks pregnant and then go to their homes once they go into labour. I stay for the full duration of the labour and after the birth I assist them with breast feeding. I do another visit after the birth to see that all is well and to help where I can.  Mums are always welcome to call me in the event that they have any questions, whether before or after the birth. I am passionate about my work as a doula and I care and love all the families with which I work. Once you have been present at a birth you feel part of the family and it’s wonderful to hear news of the new baby’s life as he or she grows.

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