Yesterday I was listening to the Birth Photographer Podcast by Lacey Barrett, an Australian birth photographer and doula, she was interviewing Em Winch, Australian photographer and website designer. They were discussing why Birth Photography is something that all women should be having because they are not going to remember all the little details that happened throughout the day! Em said,
“You’re going to forget this experience, I don’t want you to forget this, I can help you and document this whole thing and give you this incredible experience that you can look back on when you’re having a crappy day, or you’re exhausted because baby’s not sleeping, or you’re at the end of your tether and you don’t know what you’re doing. You can look back at this and have this incredible transformation and you can realize that you’re a freaking super woman and what you’ve done, you brought a human into the world! You can refer back to that and reclaim your super power each and every time you look at this.”Em Winch, Birth Photographer Podcast
This podcast episode, along with my experience during a recent birth photography session, led me down a Google rabbit hole trying to find out what actually happens to your brain when you begin laboring. I noticed that the mommy I was photographing had trouble all day long trying to think of words she was wanted to say and had some memory issues, even repeating things that she had said earlier in the day! It seemed very strange! I wondered if it was just the stress and excitement of the day or if there was something chemically going on. I read two articles and both say that your brain does a lot of changing when you go into labor. It actually shrinks! And when it shrinks you lose some “grey matter” and it stays gone! Which sounds scary, but it’s a good thing, the articles say, because it makes you a better mother by fine-tuning the connectors in that pinkish-grey tissue containing cell bodies and nerve synapses. They said it might help new mothers “decode” different coos and cries to know what their baby needs! How amazing is that?!
So here is the moral of the story. Your body is creating a human and it is changing forever for the purpose of caring for this tiny human for the rest of your life. You are amazing! Between all of the science that goes on in your brain when you go into labor and all the focus on the job at hand, this day will be a blur! During the long days ahead you might forget your husband/wife/partner holding your hand, encouraging you and cheering you on. You might forget your amazing will and determination to meet the new love of your life.
Labor and delivery photography, or birth photography, is one of those things that is not all over social media, and people generally worry that having their labor and delivery photographed is too taboo. Women feel nervous about telling their husbands/wives/partners that they want this, they worry about what their family will think, and they tell themselves it isn’t worth the money to document this day. But I am here to empower you and tell you you can speak to your husband/wife/partner and you can express what you want and why you want it! You can tell your family this is my birth journey and this is my choice. You are worth the money of documenting this experience! This is once in a lifetime!
Just like your birth plan, birth photography will be whatever mom wants it to be. You are in control. If you want photos from the waist up, that is your choice. That might be a good compromise for the other parent if he/she is against birth photography, it doesn’t have to be graphic! But capturing the emotion on your faces when you meet that baby and see his/her face for the first time is priceless. And you can relive that moment forever through photo albums, digital albums, and prints! Life moves so fast. If we don’t document these moments they’re just gone! Imagine having these images to look at and remember for the rest of your life. To have them to share with your children as they grow, and then to share with their children and so on. What an amazing legacy to give your family!
If you’re interested in the articles I read here they are:
And the podcast I listened to was here, episode 8: