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Yes, birth can look like this.

March 11, 2015

Thank you to this couple for allowing us to share the beautiful, inspiring, empowering moment in which they became a family of three.

Recently, Babymoon Inn posted a photo on our Facebook page of a strong, capable, confident mother standing in one of our birthing rooms, catching her baby, soon to lift him to her chest and welcome him to the world. Not visible in the picture was the doula, who snapped the picture, or the midwife, standing directly behind the mother with her hands just below the baby.

Within 24 hours of posting the picture, it had received 23,000 views and 750 likes and had been shared nearly 50 times. To our total surprise, we also received several comments questioning the authenticity of the photo. A few comments were ignorant or rude, calling us “liars” and telling us to stop posting our “phony” photos. But the others were respectful and genuinely curious. Was this real? Could birth look like this?

We realized that while our birth center may see births like this every day, most people never have the honor of witnessing a truly physiological birth. This photo gave a rare, Facebook-appropriate glimpse at an unhindered birth, eliciting an enormous – and almost entirely positive – response from thousands of people. And some of those people had questions. If it was real. If it was safe. If birth could really look like this.

The answer is yes.

Yes, this photo is real. Yes, this birth was safe. And yes, birth can look like this.

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to birth your baby.   Sometimes babies come through the vaginal canal. Sometimes they are born through an incision in the uterus. Sometimes they swim into existence in a tub of warm water. Sometimes a baby arrives into the waiting hands of a doctor. Or a midwife. Or the baby’s father. Or its mother. Or its sister. Sometimes a baby isn’t born into anyone’s hands – instead baby arrives gently and peacefully on a bed and is then scooped up by a mother who chose to savor that last second of anticipation before holding her baby for the first time.

Yes, birth can look like this.

Sometimes mothers birth their babies lying down. Sometimes they do it standing up. Or squatting. Or kneeling. Or on their hands and knees. Sometimes it’s in a bed. Or a bath tub. Or a shower. Or on the toilet. Sometime it’s in a hospital. Or a birth center. Or at home. Or outside. Sometimes mothers birth their babies surrounded by a room of people. Sometimes they do it alone. Sometimes they are loud and primal. Sometimes they are silent.

Yes, birth can look like this.

Sometimes birth is messy. Sometimes babies are covered in blood. Or meconium. Or vernix. Sometimes they’re not. Sometimes babies come out facing down. Or facing up. Or feet first. Sometimes birth takes days and days. Sometimes you never see it coming. Sometimes women give birth without medication. Sometimes they get an epidural. Sometimes women give birth exactly how they planned and imagined. Or it’s nothing like what they’d imagined.  Or it’s better than anything they could have imagined.  Sometimes women need to heal from their birth experience. Sometimes they are broken by it. Or elated by it. Sometimes they find ecstasy in it.  Sometimes in birth, women discover a strength they never knew they possessed.

Yes, birth can look like this.  megan 3

*Diana Petersen received her journalism degree at the University of Arizona.  She is a DONA-certified doula and Lamaze-certified childbirth educator at Babymoon Inn, an accredited birth center in Phoenix, Arizona.  She also had the honor of being the doula in attendance at the birth pictured above.  For more information about Babymoon Inn, please visit http://www.babymooninn.com.  To follow Babymoon Inn on Facebook, click here.

© 2015 Babymoon Inn.  All Rights Reserved.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2015 9:52 pm

    Reblogged this on santanbabylady and commented:
    I shared the photo mentioned in the opening paragraph on the Olive Branch Birth and Family Wellness Facebook page. Diana Peterson, the doula who attended this birth, explains the enormous reaction this birth photo caused on Facebook and why its possible for birth to look like this.

  2. Shauna Likes permalink
    March 13, 2015 12:51 pm

    I love what you wrote! Not an “anti-hospital/doctor” piece, about how these pictures represent the “best” way, but truly objective, showing this is just another way. Everyone’s situation is different. These photos are neat and they are something unseen to most of us, so thanks for sharing!

  3. Ellen permalink
    March 14, 2015 12:52 pm

    Beautiful birth! Beautifully told 🙂

  4. Marilee permalink
    March 16, 2015 7:46 am

    Love this post! Birth comes many, many ways. ❤

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