birth photography

Newborn looking at mom after birth

My favorite moment at births

There are many things I love about births. I love seeing women be strong and powerful. I love seeing the relationships between partners and the way partners step up and provide just what is needed, or say just the right thing at just the right moment. I love the humorous moments – and a time or two the parents and I have had an inside joke by the end of the birth.

But there’s one thing that I see almost every time, and it gets to me every single time. Not unusual for me to have the tears start welling up at that moment. It’s that moment when a parent makes eye contact with their baby for the very first time.

Newborn looking at mom after birth

Often that sweet moment comes soon after birth, when mom is snuggling that baby skin to skin and baby lifts their head up to look at mom eye-to-eye. Often there will be sweet words for the baby “Oh how I love you already!” or “Hi, I’m your mommy and I love you fiercely!” are two from recent memory.

Generally a little while later comes the moment when the other parent gets a chance to hold baby close and stare into their eyes. This sweet little girl even reached up to touch her mama’s cheek!

Newborn touching mama's cheek

I’ve loved and appreciated these moments throughout my entire doula career, but it’s only in the last few years when I’ve been doing birth photography that I’ve been able to capture them and share them with the families I serve. I hope you enjoy this collection.

Wednesday Wrap Up June 4

WednesdayWrapUpCWow, it’s June already? This year is flying by, must mean I am having fun!

A doula finds how for herself just how hard it is to advocate for yourself with a care provider.

Interesting article on using sound as a labor technique. SO many people think that if you’re “in control” or “laboring well” that means you are quiet. Not so! Sound can be a great technique to use. I loved how good it felt to get a nice vibrating sensation in my throat and chest as I labored with my last.

This article sums up my feelings about placenta encapsulation fairly well. I’m not convinced, and since it is not an evidenced based practice, I personally take a neutral stance on it. I won’t recommend it, but I fully support any mom who chooses it.

The Well Rounded Mama looks at a study showing that obese women should not be risked out of midwifery care.

Here’s a fun pair of links! A year ago, my friend and fellow birth photographer Emily Robinson captured a birth that came a little earlier than planned. On the sidewalk just outside the hospital! The original photos went viral and it was fun to see all the attention on birth photography. Well, that baby recently turned 1, and the family went back to the hospital to take some photos at the very spot, including some fun recreations of the original photos.

Today’s video is a pregnancy time lapse + home birth unlike any you’ve seen before!

Wednesday Wrap-Up 10/16

WednesdayWrapUpBNice article on the concept of caveat emptor “let the buyer beware” – it is up to YOU to know what kind of care you are buying when you hire a doctor, midwife, doula, birth photographer, etc. Make sure you are asking good questions, getting references, and finding out if the service you are buying is a good fit with what you want.

I found this list of questions to ponder, consider, or journal after a traumatic birth to be very helpful. While I have not experienced a traumatic birth as the laboring mom, I have been with moms who have had difficult experiences, and even as a witness these things were helpful in processing.

Are tired of hearing about how celebrities “get their body back” after having a baby? (As if it wasn’t theirs all along….I could do a whole rant on THAT societal message alone!) I, too, am tired of the unrealistic expections. I really loved this article on how to REALLY get your body back. No diet or exercise needed!

I am a volunteer photographer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, an organization of professional photographers that provides free photography for families experiencing the loss of a newborn. Another local volunteer, my friend Abby Alger, won volunteer of the month this month! Abby works hard not only shooting for families, but also doing hospital inservices, coordinating calls and making sure other photographers are sent where there is a need. Go Abby!

One thing that is becoming more and more common is delaying the baby’s first bath so that the baby can get some of the benefits of the vernix, and better manage their own temperature before they get chilled in the bath. Not bathing the baby for at least 24 hours is even standard practice at the University of Utah hospital now. Here’s a great article explaining some of the benefits.

It might make you laugh, it might make you mad, it might very well do both, but you should check out My OB Said WHAT? Some seriously crazy things have come out of the mouths of providers! You can even submit your own.

Just had to share this lovely birth story by Calla Evans. This is a beautiful home water birth – I love the details captured: The affirmations, the belly cast, etc. And if the sweet ending doesn’t make you cry….

September 20, 2013 :: 2:09pm from Calla Evans on Vimeo.

Wednesday Wrap-up July 17

Very sweet article on getting to know your newborn. Makes me kinda miss those days!

Everything you ever wanted to know about the amniotic sac! Includes some lovely videos of babies born in the caul.

Fun collection of breastfeeding in commercials from the US and all around the world. I laughed so hard at some of these!

Now that it is midsummer, I present to you a very bad – but funny and relateable – Ode to Pregnant in Summer Women It’s been twenty years since my summer pregnancy and it still makes me sweat to think about it!

A short and sweet piece on Making Peace With Your Postpartum Body. Do it for your kids sake.

And, just because it’s fun to toot my own horn, the Utah Doula Association has a new site that features my birth photography on the home page!

Today’s video is an eye opening look at what need to be done to reduce infant mortality:

Reducing Infant Mortality from Debby Takikawa on Vimeo.

Wednesday Wrap-up 3/27

Web links for birthdaySpecial edition of the Wednesday Wrap Up to celebrate MY OWN BIRTHDAY! (And that’s me in the image on the left, wasn’t I cute?)

Fun fact: The hospital where I was born was the very first hospital in the State of California to earn Baby Friendly status, though not until long after I was born there.

Quentin Tarantino, Mariah Carey, Nathan Fillion, and Fergie all share a birthday with me, but I would really love to share a birthday with one of my doula-babies. I’ve been a doula since 1999, and so far, I am 0 for 15, with no one due soon enough to have hope for today. Maybe next year?

I don’t know much at all about my own birth, only that I was born late afternoon and my mom missed the dinner hour in postpartum. They made her wait to eat until the regular breakfast the next day. Thankfully hospitals are better about that now, and moms can generally get food when they need it.

I do know that when I came home from the hospital, my older brother was bitterly disappointed that I was not a puppy!

If you want to do something for me for my birthday, and you’ve worked with me before, you can leave me a testimonial here.

How cool is it that World Doula Week falls on my birthday every year? If I had realized it in time, I would have planned a party!

In honor of World Doula Week, this week’s video is from the Birth Photography Facebook group, and it features doulas and midwives in action, doing what they do best: supporting birthing moms. I have two images included in the slideshow!

Birth Photography

Do you use Pinterest?

If so, I have several birth-related boards you might enjoy. You can see all my boards here or pick the individual boards below. Feel free to follow me, and please share your favorite birthy Pinterest boards in the comments!

My Birthy Stuff board is where I pin articles, products, books, and links to resources that I think will be helpful to pregnant women and families as they prepare for an upcoming birth. I also pin articles that might be useful to other doulas, or to parents who want to understand what professional doulas do. You can click on the image below to see that board.

Birthy Stuff Pinterest Board

My birth photography is where I pin some of my own work and the work of other professional birth photographers who inspire me. If you love seeing births of all kinds and the joy that a new baby brings, this might be the board for you!

Birth Photography

And finally, this last board is where I pin the web sites of local midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and lactation consultants that I enjoy working with and refer to as needed. If you live in Utah, you might find it a useful resource.

Utah Birth Professionals

Birth Photography Newborn Still Attached

Best of 2012 Slideshow

As 2012 comes to a close, I start thinking about the last year, and all the wonderful babies I’ve been lucky enough to meet. Since I also do birth photography through my sister business Maternal Focus, I decided to compile some of my all-time favorite images from 2012 into one slideshow. I hope you enjoy it. The song is by Beth Champion Mason, entitled “I want to Remember This”. I hope you enjoy seeing them!