We know that giving birth is difficult and that we should prepare for this. The first thing that usually comes to mind is how to deal with the pain, but frequently the most difficult part is choosing to change your original birth wishes. These photographs capture the tender moments of birth from all over the world, including water births, home births, breastfeeding by new mothers, and touching support from partners.
“The wisdom and compassion a woman can intuitively experience in childbirth can make her a source of healing and understanding for other women.” – Stephen Gaskin
Birth work is justice work. How a woman experiences childbirth impacts her identity and confidence as a mother. Empowering births create healthy mothers, children and communities. Where should maternity care be given? The home- your sanctuary.
When you aren’t sure how to help, just be available. Be there for her to lean on, to anchor to. I always say that I bring skills & experience, but partners bring intimacy & familiarity – something that I can’t even begin to manufacture. Never forget that YOU may be the greatest comfort and the most needed thing in the room.
We sigh with satisfaction and relief because it feels good. When you are relaxed and secure, you sigh several times per hour without hardly noticing. When you sigh, your shoulders drop and the muscles in your neck and face relax. This important function does not occur when you are stressed or scared. In today’s hectic society, bodily aches and pains are common. This is because stress blocks the body’s natural system for relaxation, recovery and rest. After the contraction has finished, it can be hard to get rid of any built-up tension. By sighing after each contraction, you can neutralise the tension and relax the body. By doing this, you also create a downward movement which automatically makes the body more relaxed; you are using the body’s inbuilt, natural system for relaxing.
Have you experienced moments during labor where you rested or fell asleep? It is absolutely normal for your body to take a pause during labor, giving you a chance to rest, recover, and prepare for the next surge or in between transition and birth! This pause in labor is not failure to progress, but an opportunity for your body to do exactly what it’s suppose to do- bring your baby into your arms!
Yes, of course I love capturing the first moments of the baby’s life. But I REALLY love capturing the connection between the mother and father working together to bring their baby earth side.
After some time on the toilet (us birth workers fondly call it the “dilation station”) where she instinctually moved to right before her water bag burst rather dramatically, she started making the sounds that we all love to hear… The primal sounds of a baby that just engaged the fetal ejection reflex. She dropped to her knees on the bathroom floor. I encouraged her to lean into those feelings and to not be afraid because that sensation was her BABY!!