It was another fabulous year for birth across Canada. Women are becoming educated about options available to them in the birth room and more families are choosing to hire professional birth photographers. Likewise, more photographers are choosing to photograph births and are spreading inspiring birth stories in their cities and provinces. Popular trends in birthing rooms this year have included dad's catching their babies, more family centered cesareans that encourage immediate skin-to-skin in the OR and the use of clear drapes so mom's can see their baby's birth. Enjoy looking through this collection of images that show us just how incredible the birth journey is.
Canadian Birth Photographers currently lists 120 photographers that specialize in capturing birth stories through photos and film. Find a birth photographer near you by clicking here.
She dreamed of having her baby in water even though she didn’t know anyone who had birthed at home. After a very long labour she made it happen with sheer determination. Witnessing how her birth and the pictures she has of it have given her strength for her new life with her baby makes this my favourite picture of the year. This is part of an ongoing project which I began this year photographing young moms choosing to give birth with a local midwifery clinic. | Cat McAteer
Canadian Birth Photographers Share Gorgeous Birth Photographs in Response to Cesarean Text Exchange.
An Open Letter to the Media, the Public and Cesarean Mamas
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.
Birth is an incredible journey that usually encounters a range of emotions such as bordom, frustration, sadness, elation, joy and relief. Here are some of the years best images captured by members of the Canadian Birth Photographers. Enjoy looking through the year's most interesting birth moments and be sure to comment and tell us your favourites.
Through strength and determination this momma achieved her daughter's birth, the way she dreamed. Renting an Air B n B, her husband drove 3 hours with her labouring on all fours in the back of the family minivan, in order to deliver her baby with the support of a midwifery team comfortable with an HBAC (Home Birth After C-Section). Rose Jora was born in the water, and caught by her daddy on a rainy day in October. "You can only control so much but you can influence almost everything." | Coastal Lifestyle Photography