about myself

Hello and welcome to my website. I'm Anny Ongena, the woman behind Amma Doula; proud mother of a fine son and yaya completely smitten by his son. Versatile, that's how I can describe myself; my family and upbringing are mixed, my background is diverse, my interests are broad and deep, my skills are multiple and my insatiable curiosity is the guiding principle in my life. So I am many things in one. But professionally I am a Doula and Yoga teacher.

Interest for others, empathy, caring and tending for others, group spirit and the importance of community is in my African genes. I inherited this from a lineage of strong women; my mother, grandmother, aunts etc. I have always wanted to work in a profession in which I can combine these aspects of myself. This way it feels natural for me to put my energy and love into my work. And as I feel a strong connection with other women, I like to dedicate my work to women. Because when women empower and inspire each other, magical things happen. And that's how Amma Doula came to life.

My values; know that anti-racism is very close to my heart. I consciously strive to create a respectful, inclusive environment and to support racial, gender, religious, ethnic and socio-economic diversity. Every woman/mom is worth having a doula by her side. I am a global citizen who embraces all cultural backgrounds. I welcome everybody and all can count on my unconditional support and loving care.

Also good to know is that I speak Dutch, English and French fluently. I live in the center of Antwerp but work in different regions; let's say within a radius of +/- 30 km around Antwerp. If you do not live in my region, but would like to benefit from my services or care, well, contact me regardless. We will figure it out together.

 

Now that you've discovered who I am, I invite you to learn more about my work and other services as well .

Looking forward to our encounter.

With warm greetings,

what can I as a doula do for you?

 

As a doula, I feel the need to contribute to the return of the positive mindset around pregnancy and birth as a normal, natural and joyful celebration of life. And to help you; the woman who becomes a mother, your partner who becomes a father or mother and your baby's entry into this world a little smoother, softer, warmer. I am committed to this with my heart, soul and two helping hands. Pregnancy makes you vulnerable but also powerful. It can be a period of personal 

 

growth if you experience it consciously. Birth is a transformative life experience, one that you will never forget. Although there is an unpredictable aspect to childbirth, you can certainly influence your birth experience to make it as positive as possible. Because to have a positive birth experience, it takes so much more than just good intention; preparation. I am here to prepare you AND your partner as best as possible, to face the birth day with confidence and positivity. partner prepare as best as possible to face the day of birth with confidence and positivity.

 

I am a member of the Flemish Federation of Doulas. In addition, I also offer the wonderful course  HypnoBirthing® – The Mongan Method, and I'm at your disposal for various pre- and postnatal care.

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What is a doula?

From the beginning of time, the woman who becomes a mother has been nurtured, cared for and assisted during childbirth by other women from her family and community. Unfortunately, this beautiful tradition has not been kept alive in the West. But provided that in the West the woman who becomes a mother also needs support and care, the roles of the nurturing women have been professionalized. This is how the beautiful profession of a doula was born. A doula is a birth worker.

A skilled and experienced woman who guides moms-to-be/couples and prepares them emotionally, physically and mentally for childbirth. She offers reassurance and comfort. You can address her with all your questions and doubts. She is involved in the entire pregnancy. And that is precisely why during childbirth her presence feels familiar and safe. Then her most important task is to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible and to assist the woman and her partner in labor from beginning to end.

A doula is well-trained, professional, integer and respects a code of ethics. Each doula has her own approach, way of working and range of services. As an independent care provider, she often is in contact with medical care providers from the maternity hospital or independent midwives and gynecologists. Sometimes a close collaboration arise, as their services are complementary. It is important to know that a doula, unlike the midwife, obstetrician or gynecologist, has no medical background or qualifications and therefore does not provide medical assistance. Hiring a doula is a meaningful addition to medical care, not a substitute for it.

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Why hire a doula?

There are many reasons to hire a doula, and the reasons differ per woman/couple. But it is certain, hiring a doula has many advantages. The support, care and approach a doula offers clearly differs from what other caregivers offer. In Belgium, women usually give birth in a hospital. In most cases, the moms-to-be have to share the attention of one midwife, because there are several births taking place in the ward at the same time. birthing on the ward. 

In that case, the presence of a doula as a confident is certainly desirable. Her presence has a reassuring effect on the birthing woman, so that labor runs more smoothly and medical resources are less likely to be used. The doula's presence is also a great support for the partner. A doula is not bound to shift hours. She stays by mom's side until her baby is born, however long it takes! And only takes leave when the new family feels ready.

For women who opt for a home birth, the presence of a doula is an added value as well. Provided she will be at mom's side at the start of the birth process, and the midwife usually only arrives at a later stage. Here too, the doula's presence is a great support for the partner. Numerous scientific studies on the doula effect show markedly improved physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and baby. Doulas thus have a positive impact on the well-being of the whole family. Hiring a doula may be one of the most beneficial and important decisions you will make during your pregnancy.

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for whom?

  • You are pregnant, or wish to become pregnant.
  • You want to give birth with full confidence.
  • You seek more than a average pregnancy course; you seek personal support and attention, focused on your personal needs and development.
  • You want to learn how to create the right conditions for a positive birth experience. Whether at home, in the hospital or birth house. Whether it will be a natural or a medicalized birth.
  • Your pregnancy triggers a lot and feels overwhelming. You are in need of someone who offers emotional support too.
  • You want to learn how to get the most out of this unique period in life.
  • You desire a deeper connection with your pregnancy, your baby and your partner.
  • Your (birth) partner wants to learn how he/she can optimally support you during pregnancy and the birth process. 

 

  • You want to find out what best suits you and make clear choices for the birth of your baby.
  • The Belgian healthcare system is unknown to you.
  • You are going through pregnancy alone. You want a birth partner; someone who supports you in your unique story.
  • After a previous (negative or even traumatic) birth experience you want to approach and experience it differently this time.
  • You want to enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest and be optimally prepared for the birth of your baby, the period after (postpartum) and your aspiring motherhood.
  • There are medical indications or special circumstances and you want to know all options.
  • Everything is fine and you think it could be even better with a doula by your side.

Just about every woman/couple can benefit from the care and support of a doula. Regardless of whether the pregnancy goes smoothly, or whether special circumstances arise. Whether it's a first pregnancy, a second, third… or tenth. Wether it's a natural birth, medicated birth or a birth via c-section. Regardless of where you choose to give birth to your child; in a hospital, birth house or at home.

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for partners

Hi partner, nice that you're interested as well and you've come here. Here I would like to address you. Because where, not so long ago, the partner still waited in the hallway while the woman was giving birth, many partners now sit at their wives' side and sometimes even in the birth bath during labor. 

As a partner you have a fundamental role and you are an essential part of the pregnancy and soon also of the entire birth process. You are the most important, closest and trusted person to your wife. Her rock in the surf. And not to forget; you too will become a mom or dad (again). Although it may not seem or feel like it yet, your baby is already here! 

That is why I would like to show you how you can actively participate in pregnancy and birth. But also how you can look after your wife's and baby's interests. Because I'm not taking over this role from you. When you are involved, afterwards you will really feel that you have done it 'together' which will only amplify your relationship and the bond with your child.

Know that, as a doula, I'm here for you too. You can also reach out to me with questions, doubts, for extra clarification, tips and tricks, etc. Because no matter how you look at it, having a child has an impact on both of you. I am happy to support you 'together' in the transition from pregnancy to parenthood.

Eva & Nick Espinosa
Anny assisted us in the beautiful home birth of our daughter Violet. Anny’s gentle and caring energy was a tremendous support. Not only for me, but also very much for my husband Nick. We both loved the visits to prepare the birth and had a very open communication about our wishes for the pregnancy and birth experience. She was always very prepared and we were very grateful for the exercises we got from Anny to practice at home. Whenever we had questions or doubts about something, Anny would not hesitate to respond or to research the matter and contact other practitioners to be completely sure about what we were asking. We felt very safe and supported having Anny always there to help us figure things out and make us feel empowered to have the home birth we were hoping for.
Nele; single mom of Lea
Getting pregnant was the best decision I ever made. Engaging Anny to assist me certainly fits in the list of 'good calls'. I wasn't sure what to expect and only got more. Loving, patient, understanding, professional and also funny (not unimportant), are just a few adjectives to describe Anny. Thanks to her, this intense process, with the birth of my daughter as climax, became the most beautiful experience of my life. I would do it all over again! Thank you Anny
Thais & Sam De Decker
Dear Anny, thank you for all the help and guidance before and during labour. May other women have the luck of having you around them to live a beautiful birth experience like mine. I also wanna thank you for the lovely words and beautiful stone. What a well thought gift and sweet message you left us. Having you with us on this journey has been an absolute pleasure. Best wishes from our family to yours.
Capucine & Stijn
I contacted Anny at 35 weeks. Overwhelmed by the approaching date of birth, I could no longer relax. Completely panicked, I feared that I would sabotage my desired home birth.

Already during our first prenatal session we came to the essence, I had found my focus, I felt relaxed and regained confidence. The prenatal sessions were also a time to align with my partner and practice techniques together that we never got around to before. Now I was really looking forward to giving birth and felt really ready!

During birth, Anny's presence completed the picture of my perfect birth team. She made the difference with small suggestions at the right time. Her energy is so cheerful, warm, and soothing. Thanks to Anny I could stand in my power. I believe women are made to give birth instinctively, but Anny gave me that extra something I needed to fully rely on it.
Victoria P.Y.
Anny does an amazing Bengkung belly binding!
After the birth of my son Koa, it was exactly what I was looking for to help my healing. Once in Anny's hands, I could fully enjoy some 'me time' and her sweet vibes made this amazing ritual complete. I 100% recommend Anny's Bengkung belly binding to all moms!

Much love, Victoria P.Y.
Hawa & Aäron
I woke up to a new sensation. Anny was there about 45 minutes later, she entered the room, and her calm presence was immediately contagious and helped enormously to concentrate.
The fact that I knew what was happening within my body - thanks to the prenatal doula sessions and Hypnobirthing course - I was able to keep breathing well and relax deeply.

5 hours after the first surges I gave birth to our beautiful daughter 'Aïda'. In my cocoon surrounded by my partner and birth dream team. Everything went as we had hoped and visualized. It was clear to us that Anny as our doula, with her calm experienced energy, was definitely the right choice.
Marie & Raphaël, HypnoBirthing parents
Dearest Anny. We really enjoyed your HypnoBirthing course, your insights and positive, gentle energy. We have experienced tangible growth. Feeling confident and prepared we look forward to the birthday of our first child. We are soooo grateful to you!

xo xo
Dorine, mom of Kamiel
I was very impressed with the belly bind that I got to enjoy. It made me feel ‘empowered’. It also helped me deal with the emotions I had been feeling lately. I therefore advise ALL new moms to book a Bengkung belly binding ritual with you. A beautiful gift to help you be a mom in your purest form, mom care given by a top doula.

Xx Dorine
Marie & Raphaël, HypnoBirthing parents
During labor I lost all sense of time, I was in a kind of trance, connected to my body and my baby. My partner encouraged me to breathe down and I instinctively pushed along to gently birth our daughter. I caught her myself and placed her on my chest. The most beautiful moment of our lives! She didn't even cry. And I didn't have a single rupture.

It really was the birth we dreamed of; a HypnoBirth. Even the gynecologist and midwives were impressed :)

Meanwhile, the three of us are paving our way. Cléo, our daughter, is wonderful and beautiful and perfect, haha, we enjoy and learn every day. How beautiful life is!
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