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The Doula and Birth Photographer Cape

In this color image by ArtShaped Photography and Birth Services a mother breaths through the waves of labor while he rown mom holds her hands.
 
On Sunday morning I woke up to the wonderful surprise of receiving a very sweet email from one of my recent birth photography families.
Momma sent me an email announcing that after many weeks of pondering, she and her husband had a change of heart and decided to let me share some of their birth images. The decision came as such a surprise to me because I knew that this family was very private and although they recognized the magic in capturing the story of their second baby coming into the world, they wanted to keep it privately sacred.
 
Birth Team Supports a mother in labor. During contractions midwife Monica Wood monitors baby's heart. Image by ArtShaped Photography and Birth Services.
 
This was such a meaningful birth for me, as a Doula and Birth Photographer but also as a human being.
When I wear my Doula and birth photographer cape, I walk into the birthing space leaving behind all my baggage. I have to. It is a necessary measurement in order to make sure I hold space for the birthing family as best as I can. With that said, I also want to precise that my role is not to take over by any means. So the concept of responsibility during a birth is defined by very fine lines. We often hear moms saying how their birth unfolded one way or another because they did/didn’t have a Doula. To that I want to say that my biggest role as doula is not to be in charge during a birth, rather to make sure the mother is the one who has the power and tools to create her own birth story.
I am just a witness, a vessel that has worked with mom for weeks beforehand to make sure mom feels empowered, knowledgeable and loved enough to recognize that she can give birth in the best possible given way.
 
Partner holds mother in labor as she finds some labor relief during contractions in her birth tub. Image captured by ArtShaped Photography and BIrth Services.
 
My role is not to take away from the experience, rather to hold their hands, rejoice, cry and love on them as they meet their miracle: their baby.
And when this is allowed, I have witnessed and photographed truly magnificence unfolding before my eyes, which is the magnetizing force that draws me back every single time.
 
Feet view of newborn baby right after birth portraied by ArtShaped Photography and Birth Services in Los Angeles
 
Above are some of the images mom selected and approved for sharing her long, beautiful and healing birth.