Birth Photography Part 2: Five Reasons to Hire a Birth Photographer

In my last post, you met my friend Julie. I talked about my collaboration with Julie Peterson Photography and our newly added package, the Supportive Birth Story, which includes our combined services of doula support and professional birth photography. I mentioned a little bit about who Julie is, and how incredible her work is... but perhaps you're still wondering specifically how a birth photographer can enhance your labor and delivery experience. Here are 5 reasons you should consider the idea:

1. Birth is a major life event

Weddings are probably the most popular occasions for which you regularly see people hiring photographers. Why? Because it's a big day - and one people typically want to be able to look back on and share with others forever. Likewise, the birth of your baby is a day of great celebration! It deserves to be remembered with the same joy and beauty.

2. Your memory during labor isn't very reliable Whether your labor blasts by in a few short hours, or goes on for days, at some point in time for most women, you'll enter into what I like to call Labor Land. This is the place women go when they are deep in labor and all they can do is focus on their contractions, and their ability to retain any clear memory of what happened is lost. Of course you'll remember the overall feelings and major turning points of your experience, but why not remember the in-betweens and get the whole thing in a gorgeous chronological format?

3. It frees up your support person to care for you

In the movies we often see an excited dad with a camera or video recorder, anxious to capture the baby's grand entrance into the world. While the gesture is nice, leaving this job up to partners pries them away from giving their full attention to the needs of the laboring woman. And what partner wants to be taking pictures right when the baby emerges into the world? What if he/she wants to help catch the baby? Can't do that and take pictures at the same time! Having a photographer takes the pressure off of partners to do it all and allows them to fully engage in the day's events.

4. The details tell a beautiful story all by themselves

Capturing the little moments is part of what makes birth photography such a gift. The fetal monitor, recording your little babe's heart beat; the birth ball and massage rollers and ice chips that helped keep you comfortable during labor; the affirmation flags you hung to keep you positive; the iPod playing your most relaxing songs. Even the moments of struggle can be remembered with appreciation, like when you felt utterly exhausted yet looked so strong and radiant. And of course the details that complete the biggest of moments, like the look on your partner's face when he meets his baby at last; or the relief on yours when you finally place that baby on your chest. These moments are priceless.

5. It's a visual gift to give to your child

One day your little baby is going to be having babies of his/her own. And even before then, it might be a real encouragement to them to be able to see for themselves how birth happens - and how amazing and courageous their mother was when she did it.

Images by Crystal Hayes; Julie Peterson Photography; and Voice Birth Options

Birth photography allows you to indulge in the amazing opportunity to capture this hugely joyous event - and the professional touch will make looking back an absolute delight.

Did you have a birth photographer at any of your babies' births? What reasons would you add to the list to have one present?

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