Friday, December 2, 2011

A "real" woman giving birth normally

National Geographic is currently holding their 2011 photo contest and there has been a few birth photographs submitted.  These photos aren't new to me - I've seen them before. I love birth photos and are drawn to them. I believe birth is a beautiful thing and when I saw this picture titled, "I Love You Baby!", on Pinterest months ago I immediately pinned it to my board and checked out the rest of the photographers website.

I Love You Baby! by Lynsey Stone Photography
I had never really seen birth photography before this year. The more I see it, the more I think about having a photographer at my next birth. I would have loved to have in-the-moment pictures like this during E's birth. Afterall, it was one of the most life changing and amazing highlights of my life. 

As amazing as I believe these pictures are, I know there are people out there that believe they are disgusting or believe they aren't a great depiction of birth for as many reasons that they can rhyme off. The usual haters. It really bothers me. It bothers me just as much as the people that complain about breastfeeding in public and breastfeeding photography. People just don't know what normal is anymore. 

I came across this article on Babble, titled "One of the Most Strikingly Powerful Birth Photos I've Seen", about the photo contest and the picture above and unfortunately I read through to the comments. Why must people be so negative and judgemental? Especially other mothers?

There are comments stating that the Mother in the picture would be more believable as a "real" birthing woman if she looked more than 20 weeks pregnant and not all skin and bones.  I suppose if she was overweight it would be more believable? Real women come in all shapes in sizes. This one happens to be in great physical shape. Commenter's also question whether the photograph is fake because everyone seems to be in perfect camera position. A sign of an amazing photographer and a normal birth I would say. Haters say that the Mother is not in a "normal" birthing position so the picture is unbelievable.  Lying on your back in a hospital bed is NOT NORMAL!

There are many more hateful comments and thankfully many commenter's correcting the uneducated. Hopefully it will help them realize how truly amazing and normal birth can be. If you click through to the photographer's website and the site listing the birth story you will read that this was a planned unassisted homebirth. 

How "real" can she get?

11 comments:

  1. I bet you she looked more pregnant BEFORE THE BABY CAME OUT! Good grief. I refuse to read the comments on posts like that now because of all the haters, it's ridiculous. I also think that photo is amazing but there is no way I'd let anyone take a photo of me during birth ;)

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  2. "why must people be so negative and judgmental? Especially other mothers.... Lying on your back is NOT NORMAL!".

    Thanks for being negative and judgemental about MY birth experience.

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  3. I had a c-section for S because she was footling breech and the anesthetist was a wonderful woman who took video footage as she came out! I watch it regularly because it is how my little girl entered this world and it is amazing to be able to watch it and relive that feeling of love that washed over me the second I heard her voice for the first time. I chose not to share it with the world because it is a personal moment that I only share with those that I want to but all the power to women who want to show the world this amazing experience in life!

    I also have many photos of me breafeeding because it is the most natural thing that a woman can ever do for and with her child and I experience some of the most amazing moments with my daughter while she is breastfeeding...moments and memories that I want to remember!

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  4. Lara - you're right. If you check out the rest of the pictures of her birth you will see her very large belly - before baby came out!

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  5. Anon - I'm sorry that you find my statement judgemental but I was only stating a fact. It is not physically and naturally normal to push a baby out while lying on your back or have a baby surgically removed. That's all. I'm not at all stating that you should be ashamed or feel judged for birthing this way - it's just not how nature intended this process.

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  6. Krista - that is amazing. What a beautiful keepsake and gesture from your anesthetist. Hubby took pictures once baby was out and placed on my chest, but I wish I could reply the birth over and over again. Such a magical moment!

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  7. I'm going to admit, I did question at first whether it was real, because her hair-do looks like she just came from the salon. But hey, if you have a professional photographer at your birth, wouldn't everyone want awesome looking hair? No judgement here :)

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  8. oh, and I pushed on my back as well, but I DIDN'T enjoy it. I think I would have avoided a lot of tearing if I'd been on my hands and knees, as my baby came with a nuchal hand (a hand up at her face). Pushing on your back can be effective in some cases - especially flat on your back with legs in the air. If a woman's having trouble getting baby "around the corner," this can make a difference. But generally, I agree, pushing on your back is not the best for your poor perineum.

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  9. I love her hair and bra - she really pulled off a great shoot :)

    I pushed on my back too...while I tried to sit up the nurses told me to lie back! I will be trying different positions next time :)

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  10. I witnessed and photographed my first birth this summer and it was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I would do it again in a heartbeat! During my first c section the anesthesiologist photographed the entire delivery including them pulling ds out of my belly. They are incredible images and I love that it meant dh could be with me and all three of us are in the photos together.

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  11. I really regret not having my last birth photographed. It was so wonderful, and she was my last baby... we don't have any photos until she's about half an hour old and to be honest my DH isn't much of a photographer ;) If I had it to do all over again, I would definitely have a photographer there. If any of the photos are too intimate or you just don't enjoy the more graphic shots, you don't have to show them to anyone.

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