Mama progressed quickly to a 9cm as I got a call from dad and darted out my front door.
Thankfully, I made it to the hospital in time. I walked in to check on mom and she was doing her thing, laboring like it was no issue.
9cm, and she was asking me about the traffic on my drive into their city’s hospital.
I loved all the sentimental things they brought into their room. The jersey belonged to dad, and big brother’s photo was there too <3
Mom labored so beautifully for her baby boy. Doing just what her body asked her to do.
Baby was born a little startled and had to be taken to the nursery. That boy’s mom was right there holding his hand as he was born and his daddy never left his side.
You can see the joy and relief on mama’s face as she finally gets to hold her son in her arms.
D & L – Thank you for asking me to be your Ada Oklahoma Birth Photographer! It was a privilege to get to photograph the birth of baby I. You make a beautiful family and it’s been a joy getting to know you <3
Before you had a baby, you probably didn’t give much thought to how to be a good visitor to a new mom. You just thought, “Hey, my friend had a baby! I should go over and see the precious little thing.” And that’s totally understandable. But once you’ve had a baby yourself, you see things a little differently.
Whether you’ve had a baby or not, here are seven ways to ensure you are an awesome visitor to a new mom.
1. Make sure you’re invited
Some moms don’t want visitors for the first few days or weeks. And that’s totally ok! Respect their decision by checking in with them before you just drop by. (And that means a text message – don’t call!) And if you don’t get an answer? Take it as a no. And don’t feel hurt by it. New moms are just trying to survive, and sometimes that means texts go unanswered for a while. Give her a few days and try again.
2. Bring food when you visit
Seriously, bring food. Preferably something the new mom actually wants. You can find out what she wants when you text her to make sure you are welcome. And if she says no? Insist on bringing something anyway. Tell her you won’t show up empty handed and you prefer to bring something she wants. But if she really says no and you don’t know what to do, bring something anyway, even if it’s just a coffee or treat.
3. Don’t insist on holding the baby
Some moms don’t mind passing off their little bundle of joy to their friends and family, but others may prefer to wait awhile. If you really want to hold the baby, ask politely and accept whatever mom says!
4. Make yourself useful
If new mom doesn’t mind you holding the baby, offer to do it while she takes a shower/goes to the bathroom/does anything that she can’t do while taking care of her baby. And if she doesn’t want you holding the baby? Offer to help out another way. Wash the dishes in the sink, fold the laundry piled on the couch, take out the trash. Find some way to help out while you are there.
5. Don’t overstay your welcome
Entertaining visitors can be exhausting and even overwhelming for new moms. Don’t overstay your welcome, especially if there are other visitors at the same time. Most people don’t want to come out and ask you to leave, but juggling the demands of a new baby is hard enough without an audience.
6. Don’t bring your kids with you
Unless you have another tiny baby, leave your kids at home. While your bigger children are absolutely adorable, a new mom probably doesn’t them running around her house, bringing in their big kid germs. And you probably don’t want the headache of keeping your kids calm and quiet while you try to visit with your friend and see the new baby.
7. Take the hint
If a new mom says “he must be hungry”, and she doesn’t start trying to nurse him right then, that’s probably her polite way of asking you to leave. Especially if she’s breastfeeding! It can be hard to figure things out in the beginning. It can be an elaborate ordeal to get the nursing pillow just right, get the baby settled in and latched correctly, and she probably doesn’t want to do it with you watching. Offer to get her a drink or anything else she needs (like a phone charger!) then see yourself out.
I left off the basic rules: always wash your hands and NEVER visit if you or your kids are sick, but those are self-explanatory right? The important thing is, be as good a visitor as you can be! Being a new mom is hard enough without having to be a host as well.
Working in the birth industry, it’s easy for me to take doulas for granted. But the truth is, many moms don’t hire doulas because they either don’t know about doulas or they don’t think they need one!
After years of photographing births of every type, I’ve learned that doulas are incredibly helpful no matter how you give birth. However, most mamas who give birth at home are already aware of the benefits of a doula. So for all you moms who plan to give birth in a hospital, here are 5 reasons to hire a doula!
1. Doulas are dedicated to one person: YOU
If you give birth in a hospital, you likely won’t have the undivided attention of anyone except your partner. Doctors and nurses come in and out to check on you, but they aren’t there to help you through each contraction. Doulas stay by your side through it all, often offering tips and tricks they’ve learned over the years.
Even if you have an incredibly supportive partner, you might end up separated at some point. Especially if you have a C-section or if there are any complications with your baby. Often your partner will go with the baby, leaving you on your own. If you have a doula, you have someone by your side the entire time. (Even if everything goes perfectly, your partner may need to eat something or use the bathroom! They can switch off with the doula so you have support all along the way.)
2. Doulas are your advocate
Doulas will help you fight for what you want (within reason). Though they can’t give medical advice as they
ren’t medical professionals, they’ll stand up for your wishes. That might mean helping you explain to the doctor that you want to try natural techniques to speed up labor, or advocating for you to the hospital staff that you really are ready for the epidural. They can also help you make more informed decisions by providing you with important information about procedures your doctor or midwife is suggesting.
3. Doulas aren’t your partner
Yes, your partner is probably supportive and wants to help you. But your partner is probably going through some pretty intense emotions too! They’ll do their best, but they’re not experts. Doulas are trained to take care of you. They are the experts, and they’ll do whatever you need. That means you don’t have to worry about making them mad or hurting their feelings. They’ve seen it all before! Your partner on the other hand, may not be quite so on top of things.
4. Doulas support your partner
While your doula is focused on you, they are also supporting your partner. They can show your partner how to help you more effectively. They can answer questions your partner has. And by being your primary support person, they allow your partner to experience the birth without feeling overwhelmed. This is especially true when moms have long or difficult labors. Your partner needs to be able to care for themselves to be able to be there for you, and doulas give them the ability to do that.
5. Doulas help lower birth risks
It’s a fact that having a doula decreases your risk of an emergency C-section. Studies have also shown that women who use doulas have shorter labors, were more likely to not need pain medication, and their babies have high Apgar scores. No one is entirely sure why doulas affect birth so much – at least scientists aren’t sure. As someone who has been around doulas, I can see what a profound effect they have!
If you’re expecting a baby, whether it’s your first or your fifth, consider hiring a doula! It’s more affordable than you think, and they are such an asset to have.
There are many doulas here in the Oklahoma City area, including at the Thrive Mama Collective! Don’t be afraid to call around and interview more than one doula. Since they will be your primary support, you need to find the right one for you! Today’s post only covered labor and delivery doulas, but you can also hire postpartum doulas for help after the baby arrives! Basically doulas are great for every occasion
Man, first baby for 2017… and she wasn’t playing around! I’d been texting with mom all day as she was in early labor. With a history of quick labors, we decided I should get there sooner than later.
I arrived at the hospital right when mom and dad arrived. She was in serious labor, but still smiling and talking and laughing in between contractions.
Hilarious story about big brother … when we got to the hospital, the nurse said she needed to check mom (check her dilation). This guy asked, “What does that mean?” (he asked the BEST questions the whole time) and the nurse responded, “Well, I need to check and see where the baby is.”
Without missing a beat, he pointed to his mom’s belly and said, “Um. I think the baby is in there.” Haha! Working hard, pushing with her body while her team waited patiently.
It’s a girl!
It’s amazing to me how quickly they change in that first hour of life.
K & I – thank you for asking me to photograph this sweet girl’s birth! It was a privilege and such a fun way to kick off 2017
I’m now booking well into Summer 2017, so please contact me ASAP if you’re interested in birth photography