There is a lot of unknowns right now with COVID 19, but one thing stays the same. Doulas are vital members of the birth team. Here is the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses official statement supporting this. Our goal has always been health and safety for you and your baby. San Francisco recently announce that spouses, partners and doulas will not be allowed in the delivery room. This is NOT okay and the risk that it places on mothers and babies is unacceptable. Locally this is not currently the case. Thankfully! If you are being faced with this the best thing you can do is TALK TO YOUR PROVIDER BEFORE you go into labor. Having a doula supported birth reduces your chance of C-section by 25-39%, decreased occurrence of low APGARs at 5 mins by 38%, decreased risk of dissatisfaction with birth experience by 31 %, reduced labor time by an average of 41 mins, and an increase in spontaneous vaginal birth by 8-15%. All these factors contribute to a shorted hospital stays that can return you to the safety of your home. Unfortunately because of restricted visitor numbers at some hospitals some families previously planning having a birth photographer are not longer able to do so. This service is can be therapeutic for moms who may feel disconnected for the details that make up their birth. This is one of many benefits to having a doula that is also professional birth photographer. I am still able to support families in this way in addition to my doula duties. Doulas don't just provide support in birth, we also provide support during pregnancy and postpartum. This informational, emotional and physical support is crucial especially in times of stress. Prenatally we can support you with evidence based information and resources to make informed decisions such as, ways to address common pregnancy complaints, exploring alternative prenatal care and birth options, give you the tools to labor at home and reducing your time in hospital, listen and help address concerns that you might have, supporting your nutritional needs, supply needs and more. In the postpartum period we support your breastfeeding needs, support your emotional needs in this transitional phase, support your informational needs and last but not least you nutritional and supply needs. This postpartum support show an increase of breastfeeding initiation rates (breastfeeding and immunity), decrease in postpartum depression.
This post is not about my ability to work, I am thankful to already do a lot of out of hospital care. The heart of this is my concern for the well-being of families that are expecting. If you are need of services, resources for or looking for alternative prenatal or birth options in El Dorado County and the Greater Sacramento Area please let me know.
We are down right lucky if you ask me...
The Greater Sacramento Area is pretty lucky to have a diverse collective of midwives. Finding the right care provider is so important and with so many to choose from, you can interview the midwife that is perfect for you and your family. The thing that gets me is how many people don't know that midwifery care is even an option. It's not just an option for prenatal care, its also an option for gynecological care. Say what? Yes, you read that correctly.
Honestly it wasn't until I was pregnant with my first I had even experienced Midwifery Care. As a low risk pregnancy, I was given the option to see a CNM through Kaiser. I accepted the option and the remainder of my prenatal care I was seen by my midwife. The experience with my midwife made me fall in love with the midwifery model of care. She never made me feel like the next patient. She got to know both my husband and I, and really took an interest in our questions, concerns and general life. For us this was the best option for us at the time.
In hospital midwives are a great option for our community, but it is not the only one. Our area also has CNMs that attend homebirths and birth center births and LM, CPMs that attend homebirths. I'm not kidding when I say we are so lucky to have a wonderful group of midwives to choose from. Each midwife is amazing in their own way. Thank goodness they aren't all the same. The diversity of care providers means there is an opportunity for families to find the care provider that is right for them. That care provider that is perfect for some families might be an OBGYN and that is wonderful because they had an option for find the person that they felt most comfortable with to receive quality care.
With all this please just look at your options and choose what is best for you and your family.
Resources to explore:
Midwives Collective of Sacramento
Midtown Nurse Midwives
The Birth Center
California Birth Center
It is truly and honor to be included in this compilation celebrating fathers. I have had the great privilege of meeting some absolutely amazing fathers in my years of documenting and supporting families. Happy Father's Day!
Sacramento Birth Photographer, Placerville Birth Photographer, Folsom Birth Photographer, Roseville Birth Photographer, Davis Birth Photographer
Let's be honest, labor is hard work.
You wouldn't run a marathon without eating or drinking, would you? No, because that would be insane. Well labor is a marathon of hard work, regardless of how long it might be. It's important to fuel and hydrate your body properly. If not, you and your baby may begin to show signs of it. Here are some nutritious and hydrating foods and drink for your labor.
Eat, drink and birth merrily!
It's really more than a day...
With my job I obviously am celebrating birth and with that the treasures that birth photography brings more than just once a year. I have the great honor of witnessing so many little ones as they make their appearance.
"The experience of birth is vast. It is a diverse tapestry woven by cultural customs, shaped in personal choices, affected by biological factors, marked by political circumstances. Yet the nature of birth itself prevails in elegant design of simple complexity. "
Like the quote says " The experience of birth is vast." This statement is so true and every time I lie to myself that there is some sort of consistency of the process, its like birth is laughing in my face. Recently in a matter of a two week span a 5 births wrote their own very unique stories. Yes there was late nights, missed bed time stories, but each one I witnessed was so perfectly it's own. The story lines swerved from their expected plot numerous times, leaving birth teams to wonder and realize we are not in control.
How is something so simple, yet so complex at the same time? It just is. And I honestly think sometimes it's best to just leave it at that sometimes. Let it be and follow the lead. Adapt to the curves in the road. Have your tools packed of course, but let life lead you.
Professional birth photography is an investment. I get that and that is why I work so hard for my clients. For me birth photography isn't just something "fun" to do. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do. This love and passion is what drives me even after 24 hrs at birth. When you hire a professional, you get more than someone just there for the feel good moments, but for the hard times too. Here are just 5 for the perks to having a professional on your birth team.
This is a big one. Being on call is not something to be taken lightly. Birth is unpredictable and being on call requires me to be able to drop everything an leave for hours and sometimes even days. My phone is on and with me 24/7, I drive separately from my family, all my plans are tentative and my babysitter list is a page long. I take on call very seriously. It breaks my heart when I heard about parents who are left at the last moment by someone who thought photographing would be "fun" but end up deciding its just too much of a hassle to be on call. They are a left scrambling to find someone, when they really should be enjoying they have to together before they a great and wonderful change to their lives.
Even with all the precautions I take while on call I fully understand the unpredictability of life and that is why I have professional back up. My backup is someone I trust completely, because I know they are just as serious about being on call as myself.
Birth is not a new experience or environment to me. I am not saying I am an expert by any means. But I do know how to walk into a birth environment and work with what is presented to me. Really dark room? I can just turn on all the light then. Um no. The birth environment is not mine to control. It is all about mom. I also know when to put aside the camera and just be human. I feel like understanding and compassion go hand in hand. Sometimes what a mom needs is a hand to hold, not a picture.
RECIEVING YOUR IMAGES
Because this is my job and not a hobby, delivering your gallery on time is very important to me. Even with 3 babies born within 22 hrs of each other and then 2 in 24 hrs later that month, all my galleries were delivered on time. It is such a joy being to deliver these perfectly written birth stories and hear about the emotions parents felt as their revisit their little one's arrival.
BE FULLY INVOLVED IN YOUR MOMENTS
Having a professional document your story allows you and your support people time to be fully involved in the intense, emotional, peaceful and precious moments that make up birth. Be there emotionally. Be present physically. Be hands on (if that's what momma want). Be engaged. It's really hard to do a double hip squeeze with only one hand, I'm just saying. Stare into your newborn's eye, not at them through a screen.
Sacramento Birth Story
The forecast of rain, changed plans and made something magical happen.
As a photographer there are some locations that have you dreaming about your next session. The location that had me day dreaming weeks was a worn out mill on the California Delta. When I presented the idea of this location to my clients, they were thrilled with the idea. Falling in love with the textures and light, just as I had. Unfortunately, the weather had another idea. As our session approached, so did the storm clouds. Ultimately we decided that it would be best to move our maternity session indoors, in the comfort of their beautiful Sacramento home. As Sunday arrived, the storm clouds receded and gave through to a beautiful May day. It looked like the our original location would have been just fine, but you know what? I am so glad we had changed plans and captures this momma's true beauty with the details that help make up her world.
So glad the weather forecast rained on our parade and pushed us indoors. In my opinion there isn't much that is better than real life, real beauty and real stories.
I look forward to capturing the rest of the beautiful journey to motherhood.
Sacramento Maternity Session
It was just 2 weeks before this momma's due date when she contacted me about documenting her upcoming birth story. We met the next day to get to know each other a little and discuss important details.
Just a week after booking I was sitting in the waiting room of Kaiser Roseville waiting for another client to get admitted, when I got a text saying she was starting to have patterned contractions. I knew that the next 24 hours were going to be interesting. Baby N was born early the next morning and Baby M decided to stay in his nice little womb a little longer. It was around 8pm I got the call saying things had picked up and they were headed to The Birth Center. On my arrival I found mom laboring nicely and enjoying some last little moments with her sweet daughter who soon be replacing her title of Momma's Baby with Big Sister.
It wasn't long after things really became intense.
Her sweet husband never left her side and together they rode the waves of contractions knowing each one brought them closer to meeting their son.
Meeting your new best friend for the first time is pretty exciting.
Oh the womb swept hair of a newborn.
Welcome to the world Baby M!
This birth story was captured at The Birth Center in Sacramento, Ca
Midwife: Ruth Cummings, CNM
This lovely doula taught me what it means to be a doula on so many levels. Her kindness, compassion, knowledge and joy are inspiring. I have had the great opportunity to work along side her for countless births and when I was pregnant with my second, I could not image having anyone else as my doula. Her skills as a doula are invaluable to a laboring mother and partner, but her skills as a massage practitioner makes her that much more equipped to help clients relax and find comfort in the labor process. Jacinda is truly passionate about the mothers of El Dorado, Sacramento, Amador and Placer County having the best support emotional and physically through their pregnancy, labor and postpartum period. If you are looking for a doula, I highly recommend checking out this Placerville area doula!
I have the wonderful opportunity to witness the birth of babies and mothers on a regular basis. It really is one life's great moments. A moment that is truly once in a lifetime. Hope you enjoy this stunning collection put together by my friends over at Birth Becomes Her.
Mother of two crazy little girls. Photographer of life with a true love and passion for birth.