Anna’s background as a maternal-child nurse and doula who worked internationally, in and out of hospitals, and in all areas of mother-baby care, has given her an understanding of birth that few people in the world have. The wisdom and insights Anna brings includes a deep knowledge of both the psychology and spirituality of the mother-father relationship and how birth can heal or enhance their relationship, which naturally helps the baby. Her sense of innate sacredness of bringing a new human being into the world especially important. I am always thrilled to hear Anna speak and she illustrates her evocative presentations and workshops with her own brilliant photography. These unique aspects of Anna and her work combine to bring vividly alive all of the issues in birth that she speaks about.
Suzanne Arms, author, photojournalist, advocate, teacher and founder of the US nonprofit/charity ‘Birthing The Future’
I have had the privilege and honor to work along side Anna Verwaal for the last 8 years. When I began the adventurous training to be a midwife, Anna would show up to attend a birth from time to time, leaving more than a slight imprint in my mind with her years of birth wisdom. She has a depth and understanding of the subtle nuances that impact the outcome of a birth, the same nuances she is able to capture so eloquently on film. Her work as a doula and as a photographer of the sacred moments of labor and birth leave both the viewer and the participant in the birth experience forever impacted at the power available during the journey. What Anna has done for the birth movement will gratefully remain imprinted on those who avail themselves to her work.
Aleksandra Evanguelidi, LM, CPM, Clinical Director, the Sanctuary Birth and Family Wellness Center
I have had and still have the honor and pleasure of working with Anna for the past many years. Her unique knowledge, experience and perspective in the world of childbirth is unequaled. She takes women and empowers them to regain control of their natural process of childbirth and motherhood. As a counselor and practicing doula she is one of the best in the country.
Davi Kaur Khalsa, CNM, MSN
I have prayed for so long to have the spiritual support needed to help health-care providers and women become aware of conscious birthing. You are an incredible inspiration to me as a fellow Labor and Delivery Nurse and now midwife.
Joan Koval, RN, CNM
I had never heard of a conscious childbirth, yet left Anna’s workshop questioning whether we will continue to suppress our birthing practices with our lack of awareness? Learning about this has transformed my obstetrical practice.
Dr. Clare W, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, UK NHS
I am still wired from all that transpired yesterday. If there was any reason to be inside on a spectacular sunny Sunday, it was for Anna. Also, at the end of an eight hour day, not one person was rushing to leave. On the contrary, I found it difficult to leave. Thank you Anna for your insightful wisdom. I am inspired to use all that I learned from you in my work as a doula and as a psychotherapist. I have always enjoyed working with women in my practice, and now am re-invigorated to develop a specialty in working with women (and men) who have experienced birth trauma.
As Anna warned, once you become conscious, there is no going back!
And for this, I am so grateful.
Wendy D, PsyD, LCSW
As the group “empath” let me say that the energy was incredible yesterday! I enjoyed everything…even the crying! Felt so cathartic to know what/why about your own life, and to understand where we come from as individuals!
This info is sooo important for new families; I am going to figure these life-lessons into my dealings with clients & students! EVERYONE can benefit from this workshop, not just doulas or caregivers! Thank you Anna, for your amazing energy!!
I attended Anna’s workshop thinking that it would help me teach my clients to understand their babies and birth better. I came away with a much broader knowledge and life changing experience. Her insights and evidence based research taught me how our thoughts and actions in the cellular memory from our own birth can affect how we birth our babies and how we teach our students and support our doula couples. As a group, we laughed, cried and healed together. We bonded in a sisterhood that weekend and we were called to action. Our communities need Anna and her teachings. It woke me up to a new understanding of how important it is to be present with our decisions in creating and sustaining life. I am a better educator and now know how to support mothers and fathers in a way I never thought possible.
And if we heal ourselves – we have more to give others.
Care Messer CHBE, CD(DONA), mother of two
The workshop this afternoon was I’m sure one of the most important in my life. You communicated that awe-inspiring information so compellingly and succinctly that I am hungry for more. Because of your workshop today, I know my journey as a doula, and a woman has only begun to enrich my soul and the lives of those I help.
Amy P, Doula
This workshop was so informative, I have never looked at how our evolution as people is affected by how we birth our children, or how we were born ourselves. The information and footage you shared was insightful, touching, inspiring and thought provoking. It really opened my eyes and truly inspired a change in my thoughts about childbirth. My favorite part of your work is the breathtaking pictures of the beautiful new families…the inspiration is indescribable.
I find Anna riveting in her presentations, she is so passionate in the work she does and the way she shapes her vast knowledge and underlying philosophy of birth.
Stephanie F, Doula
Sending you a huge blessing of gratitude for the role of transformation and new and profound level of awareness your lectures introduced into my life! Childbirth and the magic of women’s bodies was a foreign, under-appreciated and quite frankly, until very recently when the universe aligned circumstances to specifically call forth my attention to my own womb, a completely ignored part of my life and myself!
You, through your words and photographs, have opened my eyes and my heart and now as a result I am inspired to do the same for others. Thank you again Anna as our in counter, though brief, has altered the course of my life into a direction that I would have never guessed for myself!
Lindsey M, one of the Cesarean sisters!
Way beyond all my expectations, what a deeply moving, brilliant and inspiring
Lisa D, Labor and Delivery Nurse, Doula
This workshop is a must for every doula and obstetrical care provider, Anna is so respectful of everyone’s experience.
Jake S, LM, CPM
Hi Anna, I am still trying to practice seeing things with my new glasses on.
I speak of the glasses you gave me to see things in a new light, new perspective, during our time together in September. My heart was changed. I will always think about things and look at things differently, better, more compassionately. Open to create a new path, new energy. When will I hear more details about your next visit? I look forward to bringing folks that are ready to hear your truth. Healing the Earth through birth.
What a blessing to learn about all of this before we will become parents.
John and Rose S
This is vital information in helping women make informed decisions. If more care providers were provided with this information it would encourage an opportunity to question “doing what has always been done”- and rethink our approach to birth.
Barbara C, RN, Doula
An incredible combination of profound understanding of all aspects of birth & stunning photography.
Catherine S, RN
Such a beautiful gift you gave me today! Thank you! I would not be surprised if I look back on today and see it as a defining life-changing moment. I am in awe of what you do! Thank you. I cannot wait to see you again in December.
Anna’s passion and grasp of the complete issues…on many levels…of birthing and female empowerment are so inspiring. Bravo!
Linda L, RN, Doula
Anna’s presentation of this information is exceptional. It is a holistic joining of scientific and celestial information that best explains the birth process. She has inspired me to further my studies and change obstetrical outcomes to the best of my ability as a doula and activist. I cannot recommend her workshops highly enough. I think Anna’s work is so very important for all birth providers and doulas to know.
It was a life-altering workshop for me.
Jodie H, Doula
Had to chime in as well and say how much I loved the class. It was AMAZING! Some major insight was gained on my part and will be on my way soon to do an extra prenatal visit for my upcoming client to discuss some other issues that are directly related to what was learned. Seems as though I can (at times) read my mamas/daddys and babies and now have an even clearer understanding of how important this truly is.
Tammy Leeper, CD(DONA) BS, DASC Treasurer
Hi Anna! I wanted to let you know I attended my first birth as a Doula! My life has been forever changed by our meeting and I wanted to say thank you again! Also, I was looking at your web site and noticed you will be in Toronto this year!! I hope we have the chance to meet again and I will be able to take away so much more new knowledge to bring to the women I am blessed to work with and for myself to continue to grow and move forward on this new and beautiful journey…
Thank You, Sarah B
I was very touched by what you shared and almost a year later I think it’s about time I send you a great warm THANK YOU. I’d signed up for the workshop because I thought it seemed interesting, but I had no idea that you and your photos, information and thoughts would have such an amazing impact on me. Wow!
Your workshop was a real eye-opener to me and I’d just want you to know how grateful I am for this. I was in tears on and off all the time almost (!) during these 3 days with you because it brought back memories from both my own and my son’s traumatic births. But thanks to these somewhat bewildering days I’ve had quite a healing journey ever since.
It’s really amazing how this healing journey led to me where I am today. Feeling great and expecting a baby in June! I feel so happy and blessed and I really have had a wonderful and super conscious pregnancy so far. I even look forward to giving birth again. I’d love to meet you in person again and share the full story. Any chances you’ll be around in Sweden or Denmark again soon? Preferably around the 18th of June – then I’ll be first in line to hire you as my doula!! Guess chances are quite low I would be so lucky – but please let me know what your plans are.
Well thanks again Anna for being you and doing what you’re doing! Keep up the good work! I’m forever grateful!
Take care! Lisa
I would like to thank you for your help during our consultation. Since then so much has changed with both my husband and my own thinking regarding birth. I have been reading about hypnobirthing and home births, we are planing on home birth with use of a birthing pool. I never would have thought this possible if it wasnt for our conversation! I had just assumed first baby, must go to hospital! My husband was not keen on the idea of a homebirth but luckily he is very open minded and asked some professionals during classes we attended and is now more keen than me I think! We both feel so strongly that we want the most gentle and least ‘medical’ birth as possible. I feel very privaleged to have had this whole experience, both the pregnancy and the self development it has alreay brought. And thank you once again for initiating it from our consultation. BC in GB
I hope you already know how much it meant to have your help plan the birth we wanted. We are forever in your debt. Thanks for pointing out what was right under our noses and for helping us see it.
It was so very comforting to tell you my story because you were so understanding about what I was talking about. It was truly an amazing and peaceful feeling. After our discussion it seems clear to me what I need to do at this point in my life.
In working with Anna I found out not only how deeply my own birth affected my own life, but it allowed my unborn baby to have a more peaceful birth. It also thought me to be a better mother in that I now have more compassion and understanding for myself allowing me to be that much more with my son. Thank you for giving us a wonderful start in this world together.
Danielle H, Doula
Your guidance and education has enabled me to make a strong choice for my baby and for that I am forever grateful.
Thank you for opening my heart and mind to the beautiful experience of birthing consciously. I feel a transformation in myself and a deep love and appreciation for the miracle of life.
Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for you being with us during this special time. I really relied on your experience and intuition on making decisions and am so blessed to have you there.
Renae, Livi, Ilan & Matteo
Thanks for helping Holden into the world and us on the journey. Because of you we had an amazing experience and a perfect memory. Nothing will ever equal it.
Meg, Leon & Holden
Thank you for your wonderful role as my daughter’s doula. Your coaching helped Kaila and Eric be a great team and I will always remember you with gratitude.
Angel of peace is what you have been throughout our pregnancy and birth and I know you will continue to be throughout our lives. We thank the angels for guiding us towards you.
Michael, Tracy & Livia Grace
There is no real way to thank you for being part of such a powerful and magical experience.
Lex, Lars & Josie
I just wanted to say a big thank you for your amazing support during those few crazy days of labor. You were right in there with me in every aspect and I could not have made a better choice.
We just wanted to thank you for all your help and can’t really articulate our great appreciation of your assistance during the complicated delivery of our son Drake. I don’t feel I would have had the strength to do it without you. Your encouragement, warmth and strength meant the world to me.
Melanie, Matt & Drake
What can we possibly say other than we are truly blessed to have met you and to have your help bringing Isabel into this world. Looking forward to your presence in our lives and at the birth of our future children.
Matthew, Phyllis & Isabel
We both wanted to thank you for your care and compassion during our darkest hours. You were a source of comfort and security and allowed us to struggle through as best we could. We hope to see you again soon when the tears flow for joy.
Wesley & Alexandra
Anna was recommended to us by my OB/GYN office. With her help I had a drug free normal birth after having had a previous C/section for twins. She understood I wanted to experience a birth without unnecessary medical intervention, helped educate us, answered all of our questions, helped me be successful this time at breastfeeding and even two and a half months after giving birth I could still call Anna if I had any questions. We will be forever grateful for her services.
Caroline & Steven
The first time I saw Anna’s photographs I did not know that home births were a possibility, her beautiful images changed our lives in a very wonderful way!
I clearly remember looking through Anna’s photos and being deeply and beautifully moved by what I saw. I felt very blessed and honored to be able to share these most sacred and powerful experiences of the families photographed.
Anna has a unique and very special way of capturing these moments, a way that allows a complete stranger to feel connected in a magical way to the families and births depicted.
I remember being very moved by one image in particular, the woman was sitting on her partner’s lap and they were giving birth to their little one in this way. I loved how the 3 of them were so connected and very much a part of the birth. Two years after seeing these pictures, we brought our first child Jai into the world, I too gave birth while, sitting on my loves lap! The image I saw made such a deep impression on me, and settled in my heart space and guided me to a beautiful birth.
Ever since I saw Anna’s images and experienced my own two home births I have held a strong hope that Anna would publish a book of photographs. Her images are a true gift and so inspiring and empowering.
KamGi Finch, Mother of Jai (5) & Satya (3), wife of my beloved Kyle who had such a beautiful and empowering role in the birth of our children
The photo’s you took are sooooo incredible. It blows me away and everyone is transformed from seeing the images.
Sandra, Charles & Maya
Words cannot describe how much it means to me to have those amazing photo’s of our daughters birth. They are priceless. I do not even remember you taking any.
Anna captures an intimacy with the birthing process that comes from someone who can intuitively step into the birthing moment and photographs not only that ‘connection’ between the parents and baby but also those intimate moments of birthing while it is happening without being intrusive.
The Lila Guide