Women catching their own babies, what?!?! Are you nuts? That’s impossible. Let me show you it’s not.
I was showing my girlfriend my recent slideshow featuring a mom catching her own baby. She asked me part way through, “Where are the midwives?.” I explained they were in the background for most of the birth, they would pop over quietly for a moment then go back to the kitchen table. They were giving my clients space to work through the intense waves. Not breaking the dance that was ensuing between the birthing mom and her partner. When the baby was being born into the mom’s hands, the midwife was right there ready to help if the mom needed it.
One of my favourite midwives in Vancouver, Dawn Henderson, Pomegranate Midwives, works continuously to give family centered care. That’s why I love her so much. I asked her to explain how she got better at helping women catch their own babies. This is what she said:
“I used to think I was great at asking partners or moms to catch their own babies, but often I was doing the catching and letting the other person ‘help’. After attending a few births with Morag and seeing the photos of the births, I realized that I needed to back off a bit. Catching babies isn’t difficult – the art of attending births is being able to sit back and let the birth happen. Moms, partners, grandparents, sisters, or anyone the woman chooses should be able to catch a baby unassisted. The midwife or physician should be close by to offer tips or hands on support if needed.” – Dawn Henderson, RM.
These images are moments in time of ten woman catching their own babies. The power, strength and support shines through. You can’t ignore it. What a blessing that these ten women share with you just how powerful a birthing mom can be.
Lots of helping hands ready to help as the woman catches her own baby and brings it to her chest.
The best person to guide a crowning head out is the mother. She is feeling the power from inside and with her hands she can feel the movement and how much pushing she needs to add to move her baby down and out.
This mama is letting everyone know they had another girl.
On her hands and knees she reaches between her legs to help guide her baby’s head out.
Her husband is right beside her as she is delivering what she thinks is the head of her second child at home in her birth pool. To her surprise, and everyone else’s, its a bum. The full story of this unintentional home water breech birth is here.
This mom delivered her baby’s head in her home bathtub. The cord was around her daughters neck, she just untangled her once the baby was fully out. Her husband is close by to help catch if needed.
Birth is intense for the dads of this world. When they get to help their partner bring their baby up into the mother’s arms, an unforgettable memory is created. I love that this dad brought to tears from the intensity of helping catch his daughter.
Need I say more?
Fireplace + birth pool + mom catching her baby all while while being supported by her loving husband = magical.
This is one of my all time favourite pictures. Seconds new, face to face, with her mom.
Want to read more interesting blog posts. You can see what it looks like when the umbilical cord is left to finish pulsing for longer then the recommended two minutes here in my delayed cord clamping post.
Morag Hastings is a Doula and Birth Photographer located in Vancouver, BC Canada. Come check out more of her work on her facebook page at www.fb.com/vancouverbirthdoula or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you.