Caesarean Birth Photography

Caesarean Birth Photography

Only days after the outrageous Internet article about the Birth Photographer refusing to enter the OR went Viral, here I was at 6am begging doctors and nurses to allow me to go in, not only as a Birth Photographer but also as an extra support person.

 

Standing there being told that I was not going to be allowed to enter the OR to take photos of the birth of this baby, and support this mum to be, made my heart absolutely ache. I was gutted, to say the least. I stood in the room, in front of the parents trying so hard to fight the tears from rolling down my face,(I swear I was blinking like an indicator) biting my tongue so as not to make the situation worse.

Who wrote this policy and what are they thinking to dictate a women’s right to professional photographs of the most important day of her life?

 

As a 3 x caesarean mother myself, I know first hand how important these images are and the immense healing power they serve in the postpartum period, Having had an emergency caesarean due to a life threatening condition at 32 weeks with my first pregnancy, I know all to well what it is like to have little to no recollection of the birth of your baby. I wish SO much almost everyday that we had just one image from her birth, just something to trigger a memory or anything that recorded that day.

 

 

During a natural vaginal delivery we know that the Neocortex part of the brain switches off, allowing the body to enter that primal state of purely focusing on bringing the baby down and out, Photographs serve as the perfect pieces to the overall story of a women’s birth experience, it allows her to process her entire birth, with out the gaps in her memory, it allows her to heal if there was birth trauma, it allows her to be empowered, inspired and gives her the opportunity to share her birth story to educate future generations.

It allows us to help normalize birth, all types of birth.

 

While there probably isn’t that significant brain change during a caesarean section, you are usually not an active participant in the birth process, You are most likely strapped to a bed, arms spread, numb from the boobs down, hooked up to a ton of machines. You’re most likely feeling queasy, highly anxious, and not to mention fully exposed in a room full of strangers it feels as if the whole world is watching.

If you feel comfortable enough and you have a good obstetrician (like those I have had the pleasure of working with) you may be able to have the curtain lowered to observe the birth of your baby. The baby is immediately whisked away to be checked over, while you lay there to be stitched back up, you miss the cutting of the cord, The first examinations, You miss seeing your baby covered in vernix and miss seeing your partners face while he looks and touches her for the first time… You lay there feeling alone and so overwhelmed, that it is near impossible to comprehend that you have even actually just given birth.

All of this NEEDS to be recorded, I don’t care if you birth at home, in a car, in a birth suite, in theatre or on the moon. To me having your birth story photographed is SUCH an important part of the post partum healing and recovery time and to me it seems absolutely ridiculous that hospital policies say there is to be no photographs taken during this most vulnerable time.

 

I can say that I suffered zero post natal depression after the birth of my third baby (having suffered severely after the birth of the first two) and while most might say “You’re just saying this” I truly believe that the images we have from his pregnancy and birth really allowed me to process all that I went through on that day, It allowed me to heal from my previous birth trauma because it gave me the answers to the things I missed.

 

Caesarean mothers already have so many of their rights and decisions taken away from them, this is just another one to add to that list and it has to stop now. We all threw our arms in the air and carried on because a photographer refused to photograph a Caesarean birth, because she didn’t believe it was birth, don’t you think we need to stop and think what we are doing wrong to make women think that way? Why are we as society treating Caesarean births so vastly different to vaginal births?

 

I am a professional; I have studied and worked extremely hard to perfect my craft, just like the doctors and nurses in the birth room or the OR. I have been hired by the parents to do my job in that birth space. I fully respect the role they play in the birth space and would absolutely love to have that reciprocated by those who write those stinking policies.

 

Its time for change and, I promise you now, I am going to work damn hard to make that happen.

To follow along I’d love you to connect with me on Instagram and Facebook.

There will be a petition for signing coming soon so please stay connected.

Jes

xx

The Amazing Hypnobirth of Baby Lyla

The Amazing Hypnobirth of Baby Lyla.

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The moment I met Sarah I knew that she was going to change my concept of birth entirely and that together we were going to be a force to be reckoned with in changing the face of birth in Hobart.

 

Sarah is a trained psychologist and Hypnobirth Practioner, I initially contacted her to network, To learn more about what it was she did and to see if she would be happy enough to exchange brochures for us to share with clients. I didn’t realize Sarah her self was about 30 weeks pregnant, We clicked instantly and before our second meeting I was booked in to photograph her birth.

 

During our meeting Sarah told me the birth story of her first baby, During that pregnancy she had hoped and prepared to have a Home Birth but after a long, hard labour Sarah was stuck in the second stage and was failing to make progress so the decision was made to transfer to the hospital for assistance with the delivery.

 

Sarah expressed to me how this time around she wanted to be able to give birth in the water at home, Sarah had been working really hard to visualize and focus on that moment, learning to really trust in her body and its ability even more so and regularly practiced Hypnobirthing Australia Techniques, That she teaches to her clients.

 

We kept in regular contact until her delivery day. Sarah was 41 weeks and was growing tired of waiting, I remember her saying she thought her baby might never come out, and I joked with her that clearly she had made a very comfy home in her womb for her baby.

 

It was a Saturday, at about 7am when I got the first message to say that things had been happening through the night but there was no need to rush, because they were anticipating a long labour like the first.

 

I had a full day of mini sessions booked in, and I was unsure whether to attempt to get through them or to reschedule them now incase I was to be called out, Sarah was about an hour drive from my home, So I needed to have some time up my sleeve.

A couple of hours later, Sarah messaged to say labour had stalled, but her midwife still thought it would happen today and they were going to go for a walk and get some rest in.

 

I decided to get through the morning sessions, And together with my clients made the decision to reschedule the afternoon ones, And good thing I did as I got the next message from Andrew – Sarah’s Husband at 3:30Ish, Calmly saying “Things are progressing nicely, if you would like to make your way out here when you can” Thankfully I was packed and ready to go, I jumped straight into the car and made the drive over the river, I had a feeling that things were going to happen a lot quicker then they had anticipated, I actually went to bed the Friday Night thinking Saturday would be the BIRTH day, Usually I get this feeling with my clients the night before, ( I always make sure my hair is washed and straightened when that feeling comes on as I know ill be called away at any moment) Of course there was a car broken down on the bridge which delayed traffic slightly, But I made it… Just…

As I arrived the second midwife arrived too, I knew that meant we were getting close to delivery.

 

As I entered the room ever so quietly, Doing my very best not to drop my lens cap or run into the couch, (I have a tendency to embarrass myself by drawing attention unintentionally) There was beautiful soft music playing and a gorgeous aroma burning filling the room, Sarah was in the birth pool, Her midwife gently pouring water over her back, Sarah was on all fours with her elbows up over the birth pool (which caused her a lot of pain and a very dead arm for some weeks to follow) Her husband Andrew was whispering softly positive Hypnobirthing affirmations in her ear.

 

As she rode through each surge, so peacefully and calmly It was hard to tell that she was even actually even in labour as I knew it, As she breathed her baby down and reached down to touch her babies head, a smile came to her face as if to say “I’m doing it” Sarah kept breathing, and the anticipation and excitement was filling the room, A smile on everyone’s face, Pride beaming from us all, we knew how much this was going to mean to Sarah, a few short moments later Sarah was catching her baby, herself in the water with her darling midwife and loving husband by her side just as she had hoped and dreamed about.

 

It was truly beautiful and appeared effortless, hiding behind my camera tears streamed down my face, I had only known Sarah for a short time, But I just couldn’t help be so proud of her, and feel that sense of accomplishment with her.

 

This moment, I will never forget and it gives me goose bumps every time I look at her images “ I did It” She cried with so much joy and love and strength and courage and power written all over her face.

 

Oh yes she did. She birthed her baby beautifully and it was an absolute honor to be there and capture this moment for her.

If you are interested in having a Calm, Empowering Birth, I strongly recommend you contact Sarah at www.sarahpurveypsychology.com and book into her next Hypnobirth Class!!

Why Hire a Birth Photographer?

Why should you hire a Birth Photographer?

Did you know there is actually a scientific reason why? Read on…

 

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I have been doing a little (maybe a lot) of research lately about what happens to the brain of a woman when she is in Labour and I am fascinated about what I am learning and am excited to say there is more then just the obvious reason to hire a Birth Photographer!

Have you heard of the Neocortex part of the brain? It is the part of the brain that is responsible for sensory perception, spatial reasoning, conscious thought and language.

Ideally during labour our brains should purely be in a primitive state, during this state, hormones are released that allow the uterus to contract, allowing your body to open and for your baby to move down and make his way out.
The neocortex should be switched off during childbirth. Any stimulation to this part of the brain during labour will release adrenaline, which will shut down the primitive part of the brain. As we know Adrenalin will slow labour down.
Keeping the lights low, avoiding loud noises and not doing lots of talking are simple ways to ensure the Neocortex part of the brain is switched off and the Primitive part is doing its thing!
So that is why so many women after giving birth are unable to remember those finer more emotional details of there birth, Because their brain is not in a state to take it all in!

Cue Birth Photographer! HEHE.

I can be there to make up for that, your role during childbirth is to focus on birthing your baby, you shouldn’t be thinking about or worrying about everything else that is going on in the room, That is my job, I will record the small details, what the room looked like, the expression on your partners face, I will encapsulate those moments for you, So you can relive your birth story, When you are ready to take it all in.
I just can not get enough of soaking up all this birthy goodness.

 

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Sarah, Andrew, Charlie and Lyla

We are so glad we decided to invite Jes to photograph our daughter Lylas birth. During the birth, I didn’t even realise Jes was there. She was quietly taking photos in the background with a calm and unassuming presence. When we saw the first photos she gave us the morning after the birth,  I could not believe how spectacular they were and how perfectly she had captured each emotion Andrew and I felt during the birth.. The challenge, the anticipation and absolute joy. The slideshow she put together told a beautiful story of our family together before Lyla arrived, the beauty and challenge her birth and those precious hours after, when my husband and I snuggled with Lyla and my daughter met her for the first time. We are so grateful to know you Jes and can’t thank you enough for giving us such breathtaking photographs to a day we will never forget.

No testimonial can do your photos justice Jes.

Sarah, Andrew, Charlie and Lyla

 

“Dear darling Jes, I would like to thank you for the beautiful maternity photographs and the time we have spent. It was the most exciting and marvelous moment of my life and I am so thankful that I could share the moment with you. During the labor, I felt very comfortable with you as if you were my family. You are such a beautiful, charming and talented person, and we can see your beauty and warmth of your heart in your photographs. I feel so excited to imagine that one day we talk about this special Birth Story with our BOY, Taiga.”

Koto & Sina

 

“Jess truly makes birth a beautiful thing, such a lovely person, you can tell in her pictures that she has a real passion for her work, one of the best decisions we made was to have our birth photographed. I treasure the photos of my brand new squishy little baby having his first little look at the world, and me moments that will now last forever. I recommend her to everyone.” Abbie Macdonald

“Jes is always an absolute delight to deal with during our photo sessions. She is always bright and bubbly and makes the session fun. Jes is a perfectionist and that is shown in the quality of her work, the end result is always amazing. Jes is always super organised and easy to book with. I don’t generally like having photos taken of myself, but Jes makes the process feel very natural and I have always felt very comfortable with her. We are always very excited to have our sneak peek sent to us on the same day as the photo session and Jes always delivers the final images in a timely fashion. We have loved all four of our photo sessions with Jes, and we do not hesitate to refer her to all our friends and family.”  Stacey

 

“We have been lucky enough to have Jes photograph our little family on a couple of occasions.  We are so in love with her work, that we have now made a commitment to ourselves to book in with her once a year to keep our family pictures up to date (not to mention the prints of her images make fantastic presents for the Grandparents!).We love her unobtrusive style, and that somehow amongst the craziness of two frazzled parents trying to wrangle two rambunctious boys, she can still work her magic.  I have no idea how she manages to capture the moments that she does, but I am always in awe when I get to see the results of our sessions. Talent and passion for what she does aside, Jes just has the most likeable nature, and would be able to make even the most shy client comfortable in front of the camera.  I often get asked who did our family photos because people admire the relaxed natural style of them.I would never hesitate to recommend Jes to anyone who wants to listen.” Laura Burton

“Jes is an amazing photographer who has been capturing our family memories for over 5 years. We have been lucky enough to have Jes capture many memories over the years including new born photos, wedding day photos and many many family photos I can’t recommend Jes enough she is the most amazing and talented photographer and has a very friendly and welcoming personality.” Tamika Kenny.

 

“I have had the pleasure of working with Jes in a professional capacity for over five years, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and her sweet family. Jes is a delightful combination of relatable and professional, always easy to get along with and a pleasure to work with! We have enjoyed a maternity/family shoot, newborn shoot and another family photo update many years later. We always love the photos, especially the way Jes manages to capture us in a natural way. Even my teenager Jack says the mini-sessions we have had have been fun and enjoys speaking with Jes. I like that we can relax and be our silly selves around Jes and that is definitely part of the magic. I am really happy to recommend Jes Jackson for family photography sessions and know anyone who works with her will be using her services for a long time, I know we will!”

Bec Williams

 

“You have been so great to work with and you listened to what I wanted and gave us beautiful photos. Thank you. You have been so great to work with, you listened to everything I wanted in a shoot and delivered perfectly! You gave us beautiful photos that we love as well as everyone we show them to.

Emily Boulter

 

 

“Our experiences with Jes have been a pleasure to say the least!

She is professional, but relaxed and down to earth and ever so patient with our little ones.

She captures those beautiful moments perfectly!

Highly recommend this lovely lady!”

Laura Childs

 

“We have had a maternity session, newborn session and a mini shoot. Each time Jess showed amazing skill and adaptability. Even a cranky toddler didn’t phase Jess or her beautiful photos! We would highly recommend Jess.”  Bec Ferris

 

 

“Our photos shoot with Jess from itty bitty was amazing! We have 3 very active boys so this sort of thing can be very stressful. But Jess has so much patients and was able to capture such beautiful natural photos making us feel so comfortable they are gorgeous and we will certainly treasure them and be back for more in the near future”  Stacey Benson

 

“Jess truly makes birth a beautiful thing, such a lovely person, you can tell in her pictures that she has a real passion for her work, one of the best decisions we made was to have our birth photographed. I treasure the photos of my brand new squishy little baby having his first little look at the world, and me moments that will now last forever. I recommend her to everyone.”

Abbie Macdonald

 

“Jes came to our home on 2 occasions to photograph us with our newborn twin boys. She did an amazing job with the boys and was forever patient as they spent the day tag teaming being awake. Our family shots reflect us in our truest sense including our family dogs. It was such a relaxed natural experience for us all no fake smiles or poses just us being us. We will be using her in the future without hesitation.”  Gemma Coe

 

 

“Our family felt comfortable with Jess straight away, she managed to capture those candid moments that represent our family. Her patients, to work for the perfect shot, impressed me!”

Katherine Kohl

 

“Jes has photographed both my children. I fell in love with her images from the moment she captured my smiley 6 m The latest was Heidi who she photographed at just weeks old. Little did we know baby H wasn’t going to be as cooperative or as sleepy as we had hoped. Jes spent many hours waiting for the perfect moment to start clicking away with her camera. Sleep deprived with baby on the boob, off the boob, my toddler getting restless. . my patience wore thin but Jes really has the patience of a saint. She stroked Heidi’s forehead until she fell asleep and captured her perfectly. What is shown in the photos really doesn’t capture the hard work, dedication and patience that goes into each image but what you do see is true talent and passion. Jes is amazing, I can’t recommend her enough. I have already booked her for baby /react-text #3 react-text: 105 who is baking away. You won’t be disappointed, I’ve never seen the same image twice, and she makes your session unique. She is really a delight!”  Gemma Triffit

 

 

Belinda Bird

When I was pregnant with my first child I knew I would want to capture some of those moments.

I had seen some itty bitty photography around and had met Jes previously so I decided to have a chat to her about it.

When I asked Jes to do a maternity shoot for me I never dreamt that I would ever show the pictures to more than a handful of people. I’ve never been happy with photos of myself and was wary about “posing” for pictures. When I got a sneak peak from Jes I cried. I’d never seen myself the way her lens saw me. I loved all the photos and am proud to show any one of them off.

After such a great surprise with the maternity shoot I decided to go ahead with a birth story. My family are notoriously terrible at remembering to take photos and I had a feeling I would be a little preoccupied on the day to give any directions. Again, I told myself that the pictures would probably be a very private memento, shared only with a few close friends and family,. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome; Jes managed to capture the spirit of my son’s birth perfectly. Seeing the full birth story a few weeks later I was so grateful to have those moments captured forever, they added a whole new dimension to the experience that I cherish. 

I only noticed Jes once or twice during the entire labour. She really was so respectful during such a vulnerable and special time. Again I’ve surprised myself by being happy to show off my birth story. The photos make me feel so proud and strong, they are beautiful, I can’t recommend itty bitty photography highly enough.

Belinda Bird