The Canadian Birth Photographers believe that birth is birth. A Cesarean birth is the birth of a baby and a mother. It is usually a difficult and courageous decision made for the safety of their baby on the advice of their care providers. Sometimes a woman will sacrifice her own hopes and dreams for her birth in the process. Other times, it is a decision made to further her own birth experience. All situations are valid.
As professional birth photographers, we believe that all births deserve to be celebrated in photographs. Our job is to document the birth day honestly, with love and without judgment. In my case, I have taken specific courses and spent many hours to recognize and work through my own birth biases so that I can leave them at the door of the birth space.
However, it is also true that we have significant barriers when photographing in the hospital and in particular, the operating room. Most hospitals in Canada have some restrictions on photography and/or the number support people - especially in the OR. Sometimes we will send our cameras in with another support person. Sometimes we tell the story from outside the OR. We are able to photograph before and after but access is one of the main reasons that the public does not see as many cesarean birth photographs as vaginal births.
Now that the issue is front and center in some media, we want to take this opportunity to assure Canadian families that there is a birth photographer in your city that wants to tell the story of your baby’s birth day – regardless of where and how it happens. We encourage families planning cesareans to consider birth photography so that we can include more cesarean births on social media. Advocate for your right to birth photography in your hospital and OR. We can’t celebrate cesarean births without cesarean mamas as clients.
Check out our listings page for contact information for a professional Birth Photographer in your area.
This blog post was written by one of our members Catherine (Cat) McAteer. Cat is a documentary birth and family photographer in Calgary, Alberta. She's a lawyer on the down low, rides all kinds bicycles, wears comfortable shoes and eats of popcorn for dinner when no one is paying attention. Check her out at www.catmcateerphotography.com, on IG at @catmcphoto and Facebook at Cat McAteer Photography.