The Sacred Birth Space

 

There is something so sacred and intimate about a birthing space… your birthing space. The place you choose to birth your baby. No matter where you choose, whether it be your home or at the hospital or a birthing centre, that space becomes your sacred place. It is the place where you will bring your baby into the world. Where you enter into parenthood. This moment is the most transformative and intimate moment in your life.  So how do you keep your birthing space a sacred place when hiring a Birth Photographer?

 

Keeping the birth space as a scared place for you and your baby is important and easy when working with the right birth professionals. 

 

“ I want birth photos? But…..we had planned on it only being just my partner and I ……..my birth partner doesn’t know if they will be able to be themselves or show their true emotion if there is a camera present…….I don’t want graphic photos being captured…..but I want you to capture my entire story.”

 

These are all common things I have heard time and time again. So let’s pause and take a moment to talk about hiring the right person and how that ties in with keeping your birth space a sacred place…

 

When booking Birth Photography, hiring a professional Birth Photographer, someone with experience in the birthing room and the birth process, is key to keeping your birth space a sacred place.

 

Birth Photography is an incredible way to capture your birth story however, it is also important you are hiring a birth professional and not just someone who has decided they want to “test it out” or just “like birth” and therefore have decided to call themselves a Birth Photographer……this does happen and it does make a huge difference in your birth experience. The people you entrust to come into your birthing space should be birth professionals or someone you trust and will work with you to keep your birthing space a sacred place. 

 

I have heard other people say, “You don’t have to be a professional birth photographer to take birth photos,” and while this is true there are many aspects to birth photography that many people, new mothers included, simply may not think about. So I’ll explain…

 

As a birth professional I have been present for several births. I am not only a Birth Photographer but a Doula as well. A Doula can be described as a birth coach. Someone who has been trained to work with other birth professionals such as OBs and Midwives. Someone who understands the birthing process through and through, right from fertility/infertility to prenatal care to comfort measures during birth to the stages and phases of labour and postpartum care for mom and baby. Someone who walks alongside you during your journey into parenthood. 

 

“Why does it matter? How does being a Doula help with Birth Photography?”

 

When you hire a Birth Photographer who is also a Doula you are not just hiring a photographer, you are hiring a birth professional who knows how to act in the birthing space. Someone who knows what is appropriate and not appropriate for the birth space. Someone who knows how to keep the birth space sacred and will help you keep it sacred. Someone who journeys with you from the moment you hire them not just the moment you go into labour. Someone who will be able to step in and help if an extra hand is needed. I cannot express enough how important this is when keeping the birth space a sacred place. It is important that whoever enters your birth space will not bring on any added stress.

 

I have been to several births and witnessed babies born prematurely, walked with victims of sexual assault, witnessed hospital and home births, medicated and un-medicated births, babies born and then given up for adoption, couples who have struggled with infertility as well as birth complications. I have also attended a birth as a Birth Photographer and when severe complications with mom and baby arose I ended up assisting the midwives with whatever was needed until both mom and baby were stable again. However, many of these birth situations required my Doula training; knowing what to do and how to deal with the different emotions and feelings that the mother and birth partner may have be feeling  depending on their circumstances. For example, it's very common for fathers to worry about showing their true emotion when a camera is present. Knowing how to be a fly on the wall so you are not interrupting the bond between mom and her birth partner as they welcome their baby into the world is part of being a birth professional. It is very rarely I attend a birth and do not use my Doula training even if it is something as simple as being able to determine when mom is in early labour or active labour just by asking a few simple questions. 

 

 

“Kayla took photos during my labour of our newest little. Her experience as a doula is an amazing asset because she was such a calming presence in the room. I was nervous beforehand of what it would be like having someone else in the room..and taking pictures! But I hardly even knew she was there except when she peacefully offered me words of encouragement. She even ended up being an extra pair of hands for the midwives! I don't know what we would have done without her and I am so incredibly thankful for the beautiful photos she captured of our daughter's birth. What an amazing gift to see the other side of labor! Thank you Kayla!”

 

As you can probably already see hiring a birth professional plays a huge role in keeping your birth space a scared place. 

 

When it comes to babies and birth the more experience and training the better! 

 

So let’s quickly jump back to  the first comment and address some of those concerns…

 

“ I want birth photos? But…..we had planned on it only being just my partner and I ……..my birth partner doesn’t know if they will be able to be themselves or show their true emotion if there is a camera present…….I don’t want graphic photos being captured…..but I want you to capture my entire story.”

 

As a birth professional I understand all sides of wanting to share your birth story, even the uneasy feeling of someone capturing unflattering images of you while you deliver your baby. This is exactly why we do an in person consultation before you book! This allows us to get to know each other better and discuss your birth plan as well as go through a birth questionnaire to help me better understand the exact style of photos you are looking for. Everything is tailored to fit your family and the focus you would like for your birth story.

 

So if you are wanting Birth Photography and looking to hire a Birth Photographer ask them a few of the following questions to ensure they are right for your birth space:

 

  • How many births have you attended?
  • What kind of training do you have when it comes to the birthing process?
  • How familiar are you with the birthing process and the stages and phases of labour? This is an important one!! Knowing this information can make the difference between getting the right shots or missing moments and sometimes even missing the birth!
  • Have you photographed a birth with complications before?
  • Do you have experience with both home birth and hospital birth?
  • Are you familiar with some of the local midwives? If your photographer has attended home births in your area they should now be familiar with the midwives in your area. 
  • Are you familiar with all of the hospital rules and regulations? 
  • Which hospitals have you photographed at before?
  • Are you a parent? (While this may seem like a personal question; having had a hospital birth and a home birth myself really does affect how you understand the birthing process and empathize with mom and the birth partner)

 

All of these questions are really important in helping you get to know your Birth Photographer and gauging whether they are a birth professional or simply a photographer. 

 

And remember….

 

The birth space is yours and yours alone. Protect your sacred place and hire a birth professional. Your birth story is YOURS and only YOURS!

 

 

 

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