There are a lot of reasons why families choose a home birth over a hospital birth. From lower medical interventions to more freedom to move during the birth process to avoid the loud, sterile hospital, the list goes on! I really love the ability to have as many friends and family members around as you are comfortable with; including your other kiddos.
As a motherhood and birth photographer, I’ve been honored to attend many home births. I would rely on your midwife and/or birth doula on how to prepare for the birth. If you’re looking for a midwife or birth doula, I’ve featured a few amazing Seacoast resources: Holistic Birth & Beyond, Emma Dolan Birth Doula, and today’s birth features a couple of the midwives from the Concord Birth Center. After reading this post, check out their featured blogs for more information.
Today, I want to share some ways to make your home birth experience extra cozy. Yes, you’ll be at home, so hopefully, you’ll be very comfortable, but I’ve seen that having these on hand can make the experience even better. The best part is that you probably have a lot of this on hand. It’ll just take a little bit of gathering.
Tips for Making Your Home Birth Cozy
Cozy Robe – You really won’t know what you’ll want to wear (or not wear) until you’re actually in labor. Some women feel very hot and want to wear as little as possible, while some may feel chill and need to warm up. No matter what, you’ll likely want a nice, cozy robe at some point. Either during labor or right after when you’re snuggling your newborn baby. Some of my favorite birthwear items can be found here.
Birth Ball/Exercise Ball – This will be very handy during labor. You’ll want an exercise ball to help you through contractions. It’s also helpful to get this a few weeks prior to help stretch and prepare your body for the labor process.
Heating Pad – A heating pad will help relieve pain, especially if you experience back labor. You can choose an electric one or find a hot water bottle to heat up and apply to the pain.
Massage Supplies (tennis ball, massager) – Massage feels so good during labor, and it’s something your birth partner can really help with. You can purchase an actual massager or just use tennis balls to use for massage.
Essentials Basket (hair ties, lip balm, massage oil, etc) – This ties in a couple of items (pun intended). Use a basket or small tote to keep your hair ties, lip balm, massage oil, and anything else that you might want handy during labor. You likely have these items in your home, but having them handy means your birth partner can grab them right away.
Essential Oils – Essential oils are powerful, natural ways to help you reduce pain and find relaxation during the labor process. Have your favorite oils and your diffuser handy.
Straw Water Bottle – You’ll thank me later. If you don’t already have a straw water bottle, get one before your home birth! This way, you can easily suck down water before, during, and after your labor. Bonus if it’s a steel bottle that keeps the water nice and cold.
Seacoast Birth Photography
Of course, the last thing you want to have handy is your birth photographer! By having a trusted birth photographer there to capture the birth, you don’t have to worry about your partner having to remember to take photos (while taking care of you), and you can have professional images to treasure for the rest of your life. If you want to chat with me, send me a message here. Join my online community The Village for Seacoast Moms, and connect with other local moms and resources.
We truly have incredible birth resources right here at our fingertips! The Salem Birth Cottage is an amazing birth center that supports mamas throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. I am excited to share Baby A’s birth images with you.
First, I want to share more about the Salem Birth Cottage, and why you might consider giving birth there. Then, I’ll share more about birth photography in general!
Why Choose Salem Birth Cottage
The Birth Cottage offers a free-standing birth center experience and has two locations in Milford, NH, and Salem, NH. They provide full midwifery services to care for you throughout your pregnancy and beyond. This center is cozy and relaxing with a home-like setting that is perfect for giving birth. If you want a water birth in New Hampshire, the Birth Cottages are some of the only facilities that offer this type of birth! I love that they focus on educating and empowering their mamas for the best experience.
Salem Birth Photography
The birth of your baby is the most important day of your life, but it’s also the craziest and can be hard to remember all those little details. By having a birth photographer with you, you can trust that those special little moments will be captured along with the most important moment – meeting your sweet baby.
You might want to have your partner take photos with their phone. However, don’t expect your partner to be able to take photos either. Birthing partners need to be able to focus on the mother and not worry about snapping photos. You also don’t want the moment you meet your baby trapped on a phone. This is a moment you want professionally captured. Investing in birth photography offers professional photos that you can treasure forever.
Your Salem Birth Cottage Birth Photographer
If you’re thinking about giving birth at the Salem Birth Cottage, you’ll want a photographer with experience at that location. It’s important that your birth photographer has a relationship with your entire birthing team to take the very best photos possible. I’d love to capture the day your family grows! Let’s set up a time to chat and see if I’m a good fit for you.
One year ago today this family of 3 was excitedly packing for the hospital in anticipation of meeting baby Owen in the morning. Big Brother James (who’s birth was my very first Birth to photograph) would have one more night with mommy and daddy all to himself. He was full of excitement to meet his baby brother. Just a few weeks prior, on a mild January day, we met at Kingston State Park for a winter maternity photography session to document this family of 3 just one more time before becoming a family of 4. James was so giddy to share his favorite stuffed animal with me and tell me all about this little brother in mommy’s belly. To this day, James is still my most photographed little client and I was so excited to watch him become a big brother.
Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2 of Owen’s Birth Story…but until then let’s check out a flashback to theBirth Story of James
Birth is an event like no other that’s filled with love, strength, and perseverance for all those involved. The experience of birth is fast-moving and, as mamas, we want to soak in every glorious moment. Having a birth photographer present at your birth allows the entire birth team to be fully present while ensuring your birth process is fully documented.
I gathered up my top 5 reasons to hire a birth photographer to share with you. Whether you’re considering birth photography or the fresh 48, these reasons will help you decide what might work best for you.
My Top 5 Reasons to Consider Birth Photography
These are the top 5 reasons from my experience why you should consider a birth photographer for your upcoming birth. Whether you’re having a hospital birth, home birth, or giving birth at a birth center, these reasons apply to all!
Allows Your Birth Partner to Be Fully Present
Birth is such an incredible experience for you and your partner. As a birth photographer, I’ve been lucky to witness the incredible love and energy in the room during a birth. There’s nothing quite like seeing a mother and her partner work together to bring new life into this world. I’m so grateful that the birth partner doesn’t have to worry about taking any photos and can be fully present throughout the entire birth because I am with the couple.
You and Your Birth Partner are Photographed
Both of you being fully present at the birth leads me to the next reason why it’s important to have a professional birth photographer with you, and that is so you and your partner are in the photos! If your partner is the one taking photos, then is he not in them! Your partner will be able to snap a few photos in between surges, but during each contraction, you’ll want your partner by your side and not taking photos!
Capture the Precious Moments Around the Birth
This reason holds especially true for a home birth! A birth photographer will capture those precious moments around the birth that mom and her partner may not see. Moments like older siblings peaking through the door or helping to bring mom tea. There are such wonderful moments to capture throughout the birth process.
Professional Photos to Treasure
Instead of your birth photos hanging out on someone’s iPhone, this ensures the photos of your birth story are professionally done and ready to be turned into memories. From creating a birth story book or album to printing those first moments with your new baby, you want those photos to be professional quality. This leads perfectly into my final reason!
Preserving Memories of Your Birth
The story of your birth is preserved forever with a professional birth photographer. Memories may fade, but photos last. Those small, meaningful moments will be captured in photos for you to look back on for the years to come. Every year you celebrate your child’s birthday, you can look back on the birth photos and remember that incredible day.
I would love to be your birth photographer and preserve the precious memories of your child’s birth. Send me a note to schedule your free consultation.
Birth is such a beautiful and moving experience… it’s also very unpredictable! Add that to this wild season of 2020, and having a backup birth photographer is a must. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become even more important with the “possible” exposures leading to a necessary quarantine. The thought of missing your birth, or other major events, makes me so sad, but the good news is that all is well with a trusty backup photographer.
If you’re looking for a birth photographer, make sure you choose one with a trusted backup. You might be thinking, “What!? Why would I need to think about a backup when you’re the photographer I want!?”
Don’t worry, my friend. In the event the backup photographer photographs your birth, you’re still MY client, and you’ll receive photos in the style you LOVE.
Let me explain how this works, and just one of many stories of why a backup birth photographer is so important.
“I DO” Love My Backup Birth Photographer
Please meet Tara from Tara Photography. We are delighted to be each other’s backup photographer and have been for over a year. This partnership allows us to serve more clients on the Seacoast of New Hampshire while knowing we can trust each other to care of the other’s clients. Together, we photograph clients from Exeter, NH, to Newburyport, MA, and all the way to York, ME!
Last fall, Tara was “scheduled” (quotes because a due date is so unpredictable) to photograph the home birth of beautiful Whitaker. She had one, small, tiny conflict around the same time as his due date – officiating a wedding! Tara hoped the two events wouldn’t collide, but to be safe, she reached out for me to be on deck and made sure the birth mom knew it was a possibility.
On that beautiful fall day, I received the call that I needed to photograph the birth, and I hustled my butt over to the home birth! You might think that walking into a birth without knowing the mom would be awkward, but it wasn’t at all! We didn’t skip a beat, and I was able to get to know this incredible mama in between surges
This being her third birth, things progressed quickly, and Whitaker came fast and quick on a beautiful fall day. He was in a hurry to join his older siblings, who came running over to see him come into this world. They also had a lot of fun exploring the placenta with Midwife Morgan from Flourish Midwifery from Wells, Maine. After that incredible experience, I handed the raw files over to Tara, who edited them to her style and delivered them to Whitaker’s family.
How a Backup Birth Photographer Works
Does it seem a little odd that I’m so passionate about educating you on the importance of a birth photographer? It’s because I am! Working with a backup photographer is an essential part of running a thriving birth photography business.
Having a backup in place shows my clients that I understand how important their baby’s birth is and provides my clients with peace of mind knowing their special day will be photographed.
In the event of, let’s say, a COVID-19 exposure, the health and safety of your family is my ultimate priority, and I would call on my backup to photograph your birth. You are always my client and all communication goes through me before and after! If Tara is the one who photographs your birth, she simply takes the photographs and hands over the raw images to me for editing and prepping.
Some of my mamas have asked to meet my backup, and that is totally fine! Since this is a very personal event, I would expect you to feel comfortable with the person photographing your birth. Even a quick Zoom with Tara in the months leading up to the birth can add even more peace of mind.
In an effort to keep all my clients safe, if there’s ever a hint of a COVID-19 exposure, I have used Tara to back me up for other sessions such as maternity, newborn, and family sessions. I’ve shared some of these photos on my own social media, and I bet you couldn’t tell the difference! 😉 If you would like to learn more about Birth Photography, please contact me today to set up a free consultation.