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Services - Ballito Babes Birth Centre

Specialist Experience
Private Midwife Services - Water Births - Hospital & Home
Specialist in water births at home or in hospital, Liza advocates the gentle transition of the birthing baby from
the womb into water. The benefits of a water birth to mother and child are plentiful.
For the mother, a water birth means greater comfort, mobility, relaxation and energy conservation due to increased
buoyancy, which assists in relieving abdominal pressure and promotes the circulation of oxygen to the muscles of the uterus.
This in turn provides more oxygen to the baby. Water significantly reduces pain and helps relax the pelvic floor muscles
resulting in an easier, more comfortable birth reducing the need for drugs, which may have a negative impact on the newborn baby.
The pleasant association of the birth with the child may have an extremely positive impact on the mother-child relationship and in turn the family.
Babies born in water are without a doubt born gently.
This non-violent approach to birth has many short and long term benefits.
The main benefit to the baby is a birth without trauma and pain.
The repercussions of a traumatic and painful birth for the baby may extend to
developmental problems, physical and emotional issues and a failure to bond with
mother and father due to the stress overload sustained by a traumatic birth.
Babies born gently in water are also believed to grow up into gentle adults.
Private Midwife / Doula Services - At Home
Liza Harkess is a fully qualified Private Midwife with extensive experience in home
birth deliveries.
For many, home is a sanctuary, a safe place. Labour and birth can produce
feelings of vulnerability and fear in a labouring mother and having your baby at
home can have many advantages and oftentimes be the safer option.
Liza is expert, specialist, experienced, well-equipped and organised at
home birth deliveries.
A few advantages of having a home birth include a reduction in anxiety-induced
pain as a result of familiar and safe surroundings;
Privacy - a home birth affords the labouring mother privacy allowing her to relax and focus on her body and baby and follow the natural rhythm of labour & birth;
Knowing and trusting your midwife facilitates the labour process as the mother is able to relax knowing that she is well taken care of; expectant dads and other siblings can be more involved in the process aiding the family bonding development;
Infection rates are lower at home births than that of a hospital birth;
Adjustment of siblings to a new baby is easier;
The natural body process of birth is easier when there is little to no interference; and the dedicated,
focused attention you receive from your midwife, Liza, is uninterrupted.
'The home birth offers a real opportunity to create the circumstances that you want for your birth.' Sonja Watson - Gently Born, Life & Style (Iss.10 Vol 09 06/06/2012)
Many mothers who have experienced home births have spoken of how wonderful an experience it
was and how they benefited greatly from being in the comfort of their own, familiar home, lovingly
prepared in advance for the arrival of their beautiful child. Other mothers who have had several
children with differing birth experiences also stated that there was no comparison and that they
would certainly choose to have a natural home birth over any other.
With Liza as Midwife, along with her Doula, a pre-designated area of your home is transformed,
with military precision, into a home-hospital environment and everything is carefully set out and
prepared. You'll find all the expertise and equipment you would expect and can feel confident in
the home birth process.
Of course, with your Private Midwife and Doula close at hand and with a solid backup plan in place,
if needs be, you are able to relax within the birthing process and welcome your child into the world
in the one of the most natural ways possible... at home.
Liza's additional experience with Water Births also means that she is able to set up a Birth Pool in
your home & incorporate this into your birth plan.
Private Midwife / Doula Services - In Hospital
Statistics show that the hospital is the most common place of birth in South Africa and many mothers / parents choose this option for a variety of reasons.
Should a hospital be the place of birth for your child, Liza is happy to assist in-line with your pre-determined and agreed parameters.
Liza can either partake as Midwife or Doula or Midwife with her own Doula, depending on your birth plan.
Antenatal Process / Clinic Check-ups
Liza Harkess, provides expert prenatal care to all her expectant mothers keeping a close eye on and record of the progress of their pregnancies.
The antenatal process proceeds with a 'coffee chat' allowing potential expectant parents the opportunity to get a sense of who she is, how she works and what is expected of them in an effort to establish a trusting relationship before committing to her services.
Should the parents wish to have her on board, the 'coffee chat' is then followed by a comprehensive one and a half hour antenatal check up.
Liza is meticulous and painstaking with each and every patient she takes care of and there are absolutely no half measures in the services Liza provides.
She ensures clear liaisons with the gynaecologist, obstetrician or other medical practitioner of the expectant parents depending on their personal birth choices.
Regular check-ups ensue building up to the labour and birth.
Postnatal Home Visits
For first time parents the arrival of their new baby, as amazing as it is, can be more than a little daunting.
There's the potential for the new parents to say 'okay... what do we do now?' and, understandably, feel a little lost in what they actually should do.
Whatever the circumstances, Postnatal Home Visits by your Midwife, provide valuable support to Mum, Dad and Baby.
Liza can carry out all necessary checks on Mum and Baby and, an experienced parent herself, is happy to help in whatever way she can, with excellent advice, tips and techniques for both parents.
Postnatal visits can bring you peace of mind, confidence and reassurance as Liza is able to observe you in action, at home.
Postnatal Clinic Check-ups
Once the baby has arrived, it's vital that both Mum and Baby continue to be monitored, especially in the early days, and you'll be able set up clinic appointments with Liza at any time. From checking baby's weight and measurements to checking how Mum is, postpartum, these check ups provide important postpartum support for all mothers, babies (& fathers for that matter).
Antenatal Classes
Private Midwife, Liza Harkess offers comprehensive Antenatal Education Classes to pregnant parents to educate and inform them of the safest birth options, the birth process, how to have a healthy pregnancy, birth plans, breastfeeding, parent and child bonding, the role of grandparents and all elements related to the safe birth and ongoing care of a newborn baby.
The benefits of these classes are colossal as a healthy pregnancy and safe birth rears healthy babies, children and families.
Mums & Babies Casual Morning Tea
Liza offers a weekly tea for mums and babies. These interactive group sessions provide mothers with a platform to meet, engage & interact with other mums. Regular talks are held to educate and inform mothers on topics related to parenting, coping with a new baby & the healthy development of their child. These sessions also provide mothers with the emotional support they require to continue on the sometimes challenging journey of motherhood.
'Home from Home' Birth Centre / Suite (Coming Soon)
It's been said that a Birth Centre Birth lies somewhere between a Natural Home Birth and a Hospital Birth.
It can certainly provide a more personalised experience than hospital, with a home-like, comfortable and non-technological feel thereby facilitating a more relaxed state and, in-turn, birth.
Liza Harkess is expanding Ballito Babes to incorporate a new Birth Centre.
Through adapting a large portion of a local private home into a wonderful, fully facilitated and private Birth Suite, you will be able to stay on site with your Midwife at hand in a fully prepared, birth-ready environment.
Also, note that, in case of emergencies, the closest hospital is just a few minutes away.

About Liza:
Private Midwife & experienced nurse, Liza Harkess embarked on her professional nursing career 47 years ago.
Her extensive training includes General Nursing, Midwifery, St. John's ambulance training, vaccine training
& updates, operating theatre techniques, first aid levels 3, 4 & instructors training as well as
CPR Resuscitation training.
A born leader, Liza was a general nursing gold medallist in 1968 and a midwifery finals silver medallist in 1971.
Labour Ward Chief Nursing Service Manager for 4 years, 45 bedded Post-Natal Unit Manager for 5 years,
Gynaecological Ward Sister for 2 years at Johannesburg General Hospital before being promoted to
Charge Unit, Liza Harkess has worked in a few private hospitals in KZN, St. Augustine's & Parklands hospital
to name a few.
Following many more years of nursing experience, Liza then joined SR Tracey Roake's Private Midwifery
Practice where she worked for 15 months practicing home and hospital midwifery, water births and post
natal home visits.

Liza then managed this practice alone until 2008 before opening her very own Private Midwifery
Practice in Ballito under the name, Ballito Babes.
Adding to her credibility, Liza is as fit as a fiddle having been awarded the title Best Novice Runner for the
Comrades Marathon in 1989 and is mother to three beautiful daughters and one handsome son.
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Maternity / Well Baby Clinic - Home / Natural / Water Birth
Liza Harkess (PR: 088 000 0 - 1 65727) - Midwife R/N - R/M Theatre