Birth should be magical, beautiful, and empowering.
But sometimes, despite all the best intentions, all the right plans, and all the support possible, things go wrong. When your birth doesn’t go as planned, it can be heartbreaking. And sometimes, it can even be traumatic.
That trauma can come in a myriad of ways, but what matters is that it’s real. It can affect how you feel about your birth experience – and sometimes even affect how you bond with your baby.
What I’ve found in my years of experience as a birth photographer is that the photos I take can make a difference in the moms who experience birth trauma.
I’m there to document the experience.
To capture the ups and the downs.
To let you see the look on your face when you held your baby for the first time.
Being able to see physical proof of that day can start your healing process.
When a woman experiences some sort of trauma during birth, it can be hard for her to remember the good parts.
To remember the laughter and shock when the doctor announced that she had a son, not a daughter like she was expecting.
To see the moment her partner saw his baby for the first time and the love in his eyes.
To see that she really did smile as she held her baby close, breathing it all in.
Looking back at the pictures from a traumatic birth can help you reclaim your birth story, which is one of the 10 ways to heal from traumatic birth as suggested by Suzanne Swanson, a psychologist.
The pictures can help you process the birth from a more objective perspective.
They can help you remember how helpful your partner was and how hard your doulas fought to make sure your wishes were heard.
In addition to having pictures from the birth itself, a birth photographer can often follow your baby to the NICU or nursery to capture all the firsts you might miss out on as you stay in your room to recover or undergo additional procedures.
The photographer can capture the first little yawn you missed, the official weighing and measuring, and even the first diaper change – things that many moms miss even if they don’t have a traumatic birth experience.
While I wish that no woman ever had to experience trauma in birth, I’m so grateful that what I do can play a role in helping her heal and look at her birth story a different way.