BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY / isn’t just images of a lady’s private parts. It isn’t just an overly eager Instagramer that wants to share her birth with the world. It isn’t just a bunch of images that people get made up into an album for their coffee table.
No, some birthing mothers specifically ask for photographers not to capture their female anatomy. No, not every single woman that has birth photography is happy to share it online. No, people don’t generally make an album out of their birth photos for their visitors to look over while sipping on their lattes. Birth photography is a tool. Birth photography is a healing method. Birth photography is sacred.
I think the biggest misconception about birth photography is that it’s just a bunch of photos of a lady in a lot of pain, her vagina and a heap of blood and a baby who needs a bath… I get that it isn’t for everyone. I’m not saying it should be mandatory and that every single birth needs to be documented. All I wish is for the people who write it off straight away, without any thought or regard, is to be able to calm down for one minute and listen to the benefits of birth photography and what impact it has on a mother when she looks back at those images.
For some women, who are lucky enough to have a straight forward birth without any complications, birth photography is used as a tool for women to piece together their experience. They see images that provoke emotions and pieces in time that they had honestly forgotten about. I often hear women who have had birth photography say “I had forgotten about that part!” or “I didn’t even know that happened!”.
Birth photography can also be a great way to help stimulate milk production! It is proven that looking at photos of your baby while feeding or expressing, that your milk will flow easier. I used to do this while feeding both my babies and it is pure magic. Birth photography obviously is also used for women to reminisce and reflect on the day. Don’t you scroll back through your images sometimes and check out all your old photos? Don’t you look back at your wedding images and all those emotions come flooding back and it’s like you’re in the moment again? Why is it so weird for a women to look back at the time she brought her baby into this world and feel all that love and emotion again?!
What about those trying days… much like I am having at the moment. One teething 8 month old and one head strong 2.5 year old that isn’t listening and is testing me to my absolute limits… When I go to bed at night, looking back through photos of them, helps me to reconnect with the love I have for them. It helps me to forget the shitty day I have just had. It helps me to rejuvenate and regather my thoughts before I start the new day, where I most likely will be at my limits again and want to put my children in the bin. Photography is a powerful tool. How can anyone argue that!?
Now… for the women whose birth doesn’t go to plan. For the women who experience trauma. For the women who don’t get to take home a healthy baby… Birth photography goes to a whole new level. A level of therapy. A level of reassurance that they are worthy. A level that has and continues to help so many women break the cycle of postnatal depression. For some women, their birth experience is full of decisions they never imaged they’d be making. Inductions, Epidurals, Forceps, Caesarean Sections, Emergency Procedures… Women make these decisions under an enormous amount of pain and therefore the experience can be very fuzzy for them. For these women, birth photography can be a very powerful tool for them. To overcome incredible sadness, to overcome trauma, to overcome self-doubt.
And what about the mothers and fathers who don’t bring home their little bundle? Who go into labour knowing they will be bringing a sleeping baby into this world? Can you put yourself in their shoes for a minute? Can you imagine bringing a baby into this world… and not having one. single. photo. Not having any images of their sweet little face? When I put myself in the shoes of people who have lost children… my whole body gets heavy. My heart sinks to my feet. And yes, I get it. It still isn’t for everyone. People grieve in soooo many different ways. But if you still think birth photography isn’t for you… can you at least be compassionate enough to understand WHY people feel it is important for their birth experience?
Birth photography is slowly becoming more popular… and since diving into the industry, I have had many discussions with people about the topic. And I suppose that is what has prompted me to write about it. I am frustrated. I am over the people who don’t want to be open minded about it. Who don’t even give it two seconds of thought. Who write it off as “weird” and can’t get passed their own fears. Birth photography is an amazing thing. And I am so proud to be providing such a service to women. Hearing that I have helped heal women’s struggles and doubts is hands down the most amazing thing I have achieved in my career so far and I will forever be grateful for the women who allow me to be a part of their birth journey.
So… I ask you.. If you have taken one thing away from this word vomiting blog from me today… I hope it is to just take two minutes out of your day to empathise and understand why people choose birth photography. You certainly don’t have to agree with it. But just be a kind and understanding human. And respect the decisions of birthing women. <3
Scroll down to see some images from my latest birth that I attended on New Years Day! What a way to bring in the new year!!!! 😍 Please note: The birth itself is not shown due to client's wishes. See.... I told you not everyone wants their lady bits all over the internet...😉