Why should we hire a birth photographer?

Birth is a beautiful, real experience that is life changing.  I love capturing it from start to finish.  Having a birth photographer there will allow your partner to fully be part of the experience while leaving the capturing of these precious moments to me.

When do you arrive for the birth and how long will you stay?

We will go over this in more detail during our prenatal visit but basically I come when you are in active labor.  I understand labor is different for every woman and that is why there is no time limit on birth photography.  I usually stay for about an hour or so after baby is born to capture the start of your family life together.

Do we meet you ahead of time?

Yes we do! I am a huge fan of coffee (and tea), so lets get together and talk about birth and what you are desiring and how I can be apart of it all.  I can bring some of my work and we can chat.  If you decide this is something you would like we will set up a short (more formal) meeting to put the details down on paper. We will put your due date on the calendar and then we will chat about payment. If you are having a homebirth I like to come meet at your home so I can see the space you will be birthing in.

What do we need to prepare?

Not a whole lot.  You have plenty to prepare for when it comes to the birth of your child.  I do have a contract that needs to be signed. And if I will be doing maternity photos then your homework is to find a cute outfit that shows off your sweet belly bump.

What happens if the baby comes really fast?

It does happen sometimes! So let me know as soon as you can that you are in labor.  I will do my best to throw my stuff in the car and zoom (safely) down the road. I haven’t missed one yet but it could happen.  In this case, your balance can be transferred to a Fresh 48 session.

What happens if things take a really long time?

Birth is birth…it is unpredictable.  You don’t need to worry about me.  I have been doing this for quite some time.  I can go for a walk, cuddle in a corner somewhere and read my kindle or step out and give you some quality family time.  I am there to capture it all and it doesn’t matter how long it takes!

You are a doula, do I need to be trying for a “natural birth?”

Not to sound like a broken record but birth is birth and I love being a part, however that looks like for your family.  You know what is right for you and your family and I will always respect that.

What do you bring?

I bring my camera gear, my water bottle, some snacks and a book.

What happens if I have to have a cesarean birth?

Every situation is different.  I would love to capture everything I can.  Sometimes it’s the anticipation of it all and then those first moments when the family meets him/her for the first time, the first bath, the weight and height measurements.  You will need to check with your health care provider to find out if I would be allowed to be with you in the operating room.

What will you do with my images?

Well when I get home from the birth I will go through them as soon as possible and email you one or two that you can share with family and friends.  I will then edit the rest and upload them to a private viewing site for you to see them all.  With your consent I will make a blog post using a few from your birth.  I want you to know that I will not use your images without your permission.

What is a fresh 48?

This is for families that want the first hours of their sweet newborn’s life capture without having labor and birth documented.  Or maybe the first time an older sibling is meeting their new baby sister or brother.  I will come to the place of birth within 48 hours of birth and capture your sweet baby and your family together.  This is not a newborn session, I do not bring props or blankets; I am there to capture your first day as a family.

How does it work if I hire you as my doula and photographer?

As a doula I will spend a lot more time with you and your partner then when I am hired as just a birth photographer.  We will spend time talking about what you envision for the birth, ways your partner can support and encourage you and relaxation techniques.  As a doula I believe in helping create the space for you to have the birth you desire and support you in anyway I can.  As your photographer I will capture these moments we have discussed during our prenatal meeting.   If you are curious about how I am able to do both then lets get together for coffee and chat!

What is a doula?

The Greek word doula means “women caregiver”.  Today, a doula is a trained and experienced labor companion who provides the woman and her partner continuous emotional support, physical support and assistance in obtaining information before, during and just after childbirth.

Why use a birth doula?

Whether you are having your baby in a hospital, birth center or at home with a doctor or midwife a doula can be a valuable asset to the birth team.

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals     (see http://www.dona.org for more information)

“While the doula probably knows more than the partner about birth, hospitals and maternity care, the partner knows more about the woman’s personality, likes, dislikes and needs. Moreover, he loves the woman more than anyone else there. The combination of partner and doula, along with a caring staff gives the woman the best chance of an optimal outcome.”

-Penny Simkin, author of The Birth Partner

What does a doula do?

My role and duties as a doula change with each birth.  Here is are some things I do as a doula:

  • Assist in the creation of a birth plan
  • Suggest and discuss different comfort measures, laboring positions, and relaxation techniques
  • Teaches birth partner how they can be supportive and play a leading role in the birth
  • Provides continuous support for the laboring mother
  • Offers information about the birth process
  • Helps with initial breastfeeding
  • Visits postpartum to talk about the birth
  • Has a lending library of books and local resources

What is my husband/partner’s role if we hire a birth doula?

Having a doula and your partner means you have a birth team. It means your husband/partner can go to the bathroom, grab a bite to eat or text family that is wanting updates without worrying about leaving the mother laboring alone. It means you can fully take part in the birth of your child at a level you are comfortable with. It means that maybe you can be there emotionally support the mother while I am massaging her back or the other why around. As your doula, I am there to support both of you and help create a loving space to birth in.

What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

Birth doulas do not perform any medical tasks. Birth doulas cannot evaluate the mother or baby for health problems, do not take blood pressure, monitor the baby’s heartbeat, do vaginal exams or administer medication. They may use massage, counter pressure, position changes, hot or cold packs, aromatherapy, visualization and other measures to help their clients during labor.

A midwife’s role at births is to be the primary care giver. She monitors both mother and baby for potential health problems and performs duties such as vaginal exams, suturing, blood pressure, heart rate, and overall evaluations of the health of the mother and baby. A midwife has been trained to attend births as a medical professional as well as provide a level of emotional support to the mother.
The priority of the midwife, doctor or nurse is to tend to the physical health of the mother and baby, while a birth doula’s priority is the emotional health of the mother, her partner, and their baby. Birth doulas DO NOT replace professional medical care.

When do you come during labor?

I come when you feel you need me. I like to know when labor has started and we will stay in contact throughout early labor and when you are feeling like you are ready for me to come I will come.

What do you cover in the prenatal meetings?

I cover a whole realm of things. These meetings are about getting to know each other as well as preparing for the labor and delivery. We will discuss your desires for the birth of your child, what helps you relax, positions during labor and birth, the cycles of labor, comfort measures, breastfeeding and more.

I plan on using medication, can I still benefit from using a doula?

My role as a doula is to support and inform you and your partner.  If your labor and birth includes medication I believe you still need support and encouragement.  We all have our unique needs and we can discuss during our prenatal visits your wishes and needs for your labor.