When I first say I am a birth photographer, many people do not really know what it all entails. My job is to help tell your birth story. What does this look like you might be thinking…

There is the connection between partners.
Who was there to support you?
Was it night time or day time when you delivered?
Details of what the environment looked like.
Documenting your strength!
Capturing baby coming earthside
Baby’s first cry.
The “I did it!” moment
Tears in everyone’s eyes.
Skin to skin moments.
The umbilical cord cutting.
First latch.
The joy on your face.
Weight and measurement.
All the love you can imagine.

Actually, it goes much deeper than this…

As the days’ pass, everything becomes more of a haze. We start to forget most things about this special day. This isn’t any old day, this is the day you brought your little one earth side!

During the postpartum time, we can experience grief. Our body just went through a whirlwind of changes within hours. A human we have been caring and nurturing for months just came out of our body! We have to be kind to ourselves and recognize what the body just went through.

It’s OK to stay in bed all day. It’s OK to let the dishes and laundry pile up. It’s OK to ask for help!

Most of us have all been there.

For you though, one of the most important things you can do for your emotional healing is birth photography. When you’re feeling sad or overwhelmed, watch your birth slideshow, I promise it will bring happy tears of relief. When you’re feeling detached from life, pull the album out that you made of your birth images. Motherhood can be hard and sometimes we can feel alone or isolated as a new Mom. It is so easy to let our minds wander and lose ourselves.

For those of you that are like me and want to know why these images make you feel better during postpartum and beyond, then continue reading. You might get a glimpse of my inner nerd 😉

Sometimes, one might experience a trauma from birth, which doesn’t always happen, but photography can help with the healing process. When there is a trauma, all that is remembered is pain, but my job is to show you with pain there is beauty! Let’s remember the beautiful moments…

Let me explain this the best way I know how. Our brains are amazing and made to help protect us. One way of protecting us is by the “flight or fight” response. Sometimes this response lacks good communication with your amygdala (center of emotions with past events), which then releases cortisol creating uncomfortable symptoms such as heart racing, tremors, and poor digestion–leaving one to feel anxious in neutral environments. This is referred to as anxiety or PTSD (Vergne, 2014).

Here is an explanation from someone with PTSD. He explains how trauma can affect the way someone might feel.

“I reflect constantly on my life and the world around me, but it’s never a clear image. I try to put the pieces together, but they don’t always fit. It has to do with my PTSD brain. Parts are missing because trauma has blocked them out forever. Parts are just blurry and don’t make logical sense. Parts are so coated with intense emotion they are hard to see empirically.” (Hermit, 2016)

This is when photography comes in. The positive images help someone to “unblur” moments they want to remember. Not all parts of birth need to be blocked and seeing the positive moments can help one emotionally during the postpartum healing time. Seeing the positive can help outweigh the negative.

Here is another interesting way that a photograph can help someone. Have you ever heard of “phantom limbs” from when someone loses a limb? Amputee patients still feel pain in the limbs that have been removed! One way of coping with this is by visualizing their limb with photographs. Suddenly, when an amputee patient sees themselves with their missing limb, the pain goes away! Here is a quote from an article the University of Oxford published, “By asking individuals to move their phantom fingers individually while having their brains scanned, the representation of the phantom hand in the brain can be mapped out in detail.” (Dempsey-Jones, 2018). The parts of the brain that control the missing limb are still active!

Some of you may be thinking, “OK, but what does this have to do with birth photography?” Everything! This is very similar to seeing birth images after having a traumatizing birth. Many moms experience physical and emotional pain after birth. Some are told they have anxiety disorder or postpartum PTSD. Recognize the symptoms and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. A coping tool for healing during postpartum are birth images. Remember, you are beautiful and birthing a baby is incredible!

I want to leave you with this… Birth is one of the most important events in your life. Investing in birth photography, to help you during your postpartum healing, could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

With your birth images, one day you’ll be able to show your children your strength and what a miracle they are!

 

 

References

Dempsey-Jones, H. (2018, March 20). Study reveals why the brain can’t forget amputated limbs, even decades later. Retrieved April 21, 2018, from http://theconversation.com/study-reveals-why-the-brain-cant-forget-amputated-limbs-even-decades-later-64693

Hermit, W. (2016, September 1). How I’m Using Photography and Writing to Recover From PTSD. Retrieved April 21, 2018, from https://themighty.com/2017/08/photography-writing-recovery-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/

Vergne, D. E. (2014, September 14). How the Brain Responds to Trauma. Retrieved April 21, 2018, from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/831940_1

When I first say I am a birth photographer, many people do not really know what it all entails. My job is to help tell your birth story. What does this look like you might be thinking…

There is the connection between partners.
Who was there to support you?
Was it night time or day time when you delivered?
Details of what the environment looked like.
Documenting your strength!
Capturing baby coming earthside
Baby’s first cry.
The “I did it!” moment
Tears in everyone’s eyes.
Skin to skin moments.
The umbilical cord cutting.
First latch.
The joy on your face.
Weight and measurement.
All the love you can imagine.

Actually, it goes much deeper than this…

As the days’ pass, everything becomes more of a haze. We start to forget most things about this special day. This isn’t any old day, this is the day you brought your little one earth side!

During the postpartum time, we can experience grief. Our body just went through a whirlwind of changes within hours. A human we have been caring and nurturing for months just came out of our body! We have to be kind to ourselves and recognize what the body just went through.

It’s OK to stay in bed all day. It’s OK to let the dishes and laundry pile up. It’s OK to ask for help!

Most of us have all been there.

For you though, one of the most important things you can do for your emotional healing is birth photography. When you’re feeling sad or overwhelmed, watch your birth slideshow, I promise it will bring happy tears of relief. When you’re feeling detached from life, pull the album out that you made of your birth images. Motherhood can be hard and sometimes we can feel alone or isolated as a new Mom. It is so easy to let our minds wander and lose ourselves.

For those of you that are like me and want to know why these images make you feel better during postpartum and beyond, then continue reading. You might get a glimpse of my inner nerd 😉

Sometimes, one might experience a trauma from birth, which doesn’t always happen, but photography can help with the healing process. When there is a trauma, all that is remembered is pain, but my job is to show you with pain there is beauty! Let’s remember the beautiful moments…

Let me explain this the best way I know how. Our brains are amazing and made to help protect us. One way of protecting us is by the “flight or fight” response. Sometimes this response lacks good communication with your amygdala (center of emotions with past events), which then releases cortisol creating uncomfortable symptoms such as heart racing, tremors, and poor digestion–leaving one to feel anxious in neutral environments. This is referred to as anxiety or PTSD (Vergne, 2014).

Here is an explanation from someone with PTSD. He explains how trauma can affect the way someone might feel.

“I reflect constantly on my life and the world around me, but it’s never a clear image. I try to put the pieces together, but they don’t always fit. It has to do with my PTSD brain. Parts are missing because trauma has blocked them out forever. Parts are just blurry and don’t make logical sense. Parts are so coated with intense emotion they are hard to see empirically.” (Hermit, 2016)

This is when photography comes in. The positive images help someone to “unblur” moments they want to remember. Not all parts of birth need to be blocked and seeing the positive moments can help one emotionally during the postpartum healing time. Seeing the positive can help outweigh the negative.

Here is another interesting way that a photograph can help someone. Have you ever heard of “phantom limbs” from when someone loses a limb? Amputee patients still feel pain in the limbs that have been removed! One way of coping with this is by visualizing their limb with photographs. Suddenly, when an amputee patient sees themselves with their missing limb, the pain goes away! Here is a quote from an article the University of Oxford published, “By asking individuals to move their phantom fingers individually while having their brains scanned, the representation of the phantom hand in the brain can be mapped out in detail.” (Dempsey-Jones, 2018). The parts of the brain that control the missing limb are still active!

Some of you may be thinking, “OK, but what does this have to do with birth photography?” Everything! This is very similar to seeing birth images after having a traumatizing birth. Many moms experience physical and emotional pain after birth. Some are told they have anxiety disorder or postpartum PTSD. Recognize the symptoms and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. A coping tool for healing during postpartum are birth images. Remember, you are beautiful and birthing a baby is incredible!

I want to leave you with this… Birth is one of the most important events in your life. Investing in birth photography, to help you during your postpartum healing, could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

With your birth images, one day you’ll be able to show your children your strength and what a miracle they are!

 

 

References

Dempsey-Jones, H. (2018, March 20). Study reveals why the brain can’t forget amputated limbs, even decades later. Retrieved April 21, 2018, from http://theconversation.com/study-reveals-why-the-brain-cant-forget-amputated-limbs-even-decades-later-64693

Hermit, W. (2016, September 1). How I’m Using Photography and Writing to Recover From PTSD. Retrieved April 21, 2018, from https://themighty.com/2017/08/photography-writing-recovery-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/

Vergne, D. E. (2014, September 14). How the Brain Responds to Trauma. Retrieved April 21, 2018, from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/831940_1

Ashley Grimes Photography

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