I LOVE photographing birth stories. I simply LOVE it. I LOVE documenting the birth of a new baby as much as I LOVE documenting the birth of a new mom and a new dad. I LOVE documenting dads/partners support their wives throughout labor. It reminds me that when I was very young, fathers were not allowed in either the birthing room or the operating room to support their wives. Fathers were not a part of the the immediate bonding that takes place when their babies are delivered. Thank God times have changed! I LOVE LOVE LOVE documenting dads as they comfort and support their wives.
I have recently taken on an additional birth responsibility. I trained as a birth doula, someone who is there specifically for the birthing mom. While doctors and nurses care for moms' medical needs, I care for their emotional needs and provide physical comfort. I am astounded to learn that maternal death in African American women is 3 times that of other women. Midwives and doulas are part of the answer to quelling this statistic. Birth is LOVE. While medical attention is focused primarily on delivering a healthy baby, mom's health might suffer. The story of the birth of Serena Williams' baby girl highlights this fact. While her baby's medical needs were being met, no one was listening to Serena's stated medical distress. She almost became the next statistic.