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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.