I work as a photographer in the delivery rooms. Birth is one of the most important episodes of a family’s life, and I enter this intimate space to tell the story of a son or a daughter. I photograph small and big moments, difficult moments, fears, pain, joy.Other beautiful stories.
But I see that we always put forward a certain type of birth, which my work is also relay. In the category “I give birth to a child,” the first prize traditionally comes down to vaginal delivery, in which the mother and her partner play an active role, instead of being relegated to the background by the doctor or the nurse. Last night, I was reading the amazing story of a woman who accidentally gave birth at home in her bathtub. The couple being alone, it is the husband who welcomed the baby. Sitting on the family sofa, they enjoyed the happiness of these first moments of life. It was a remarkable story which I am sure will be very much relayed.
Some of you may have heard about this incredible birthing by the seat I photographed in February. The mother was on the operating table, waiting for a cesarean birth, when she felt such an irrepressible urge to push her daughter out, feet in front. Yet another extraordinary story that drives so many women to hold on to their desire to give birth in their own way.
But these days, I have a thought for these women who give life and do not sing the high-facts. These births do not arouse enthusiasm and will not be relayed on Facebook. I am talking about cesarean deliveries, and their brave heroines, who are giving birth with so much strength and beauty.
And since April has given rise to an awareness campaign on the subject, take the opportunity to take a step back and think about these three truths:
1. Women who give birth by caesarean section are brave
To undergo a cesarean section is not a pleasure. Generally, the spouse is not admitted to the operating room until the epidural is posed and each member of the team is out of place. This means that doctors and nurses come and go, preparing the room for the operation (perhaps discussing the meal they have just taken or the film they saw the previous weekend) , while a woman, pregnant to the neck, sits on the icy operating table, to imagine what awaits her, often invaded by fear and a great feeling of loneliness.
At that moment, the mother can only cling to the love she feels so powerfully for her baby. She lets herself be overwhelmed by fear … before letting her go. She knows that she does “what’s right” for her child, even if “what it takes” involves having surgery that will leave sores and scars. And abandon the fantasy of a birth as she had imagined the nine months before.
If you have not been there, try to imagine what this moment is difficult. Put yourself in the place of this woman who is patient, with perhaps a lot of anguish. You will realize how brave she is.
2. Women giving birth by caesarean section are strong
Few women have been prepared for Caesarean section from the start. It is, at best, a necessary medical act. At worst, an act practiced by a doctor with outdated methods who prefers his comfort to that of the mother.
Some moms have several weeks to do it, but others have only a few days, hours or even minutes. The vision they had of meeting their baby is suddenly upset. Their birth plan gives way to the prospect of a surgical operation. Not knowing how long they will have to wait to hold their baby in their arms.
Humans are struggling to cope with sudden changes in circumstances. And yet, these women manage to forget themselves to find the inner strength to enter the operating room and give life.
Then comes the moment of the operation, that of the incision and the sutures. It will often take months to fully recover. Many of us would take the time to recover, with a jar of ice cream and a stack of DVDs. But these moms do the opposite: they care, feed and cajole their newborn, as beautiful as demanding.
These women exhibit extraordinary emotional and physical strength. But they will have to keep it for weeks, months, and years after giving birth, while their bodies and minds will continue to heal and they will dream again, their little one in their arms.
3. Women who give birth by caesarean section are beautiful
Becoming a mother leaves scars, those of the soul and those of the body. Women who undergo cesarean section are often marked on both counts. But their scars are a reminder of how strong and courageous they were in giving birth. These marks are the doors through which the child has left one world to enter the other.
I am fascinated by the singularity of each scar, its texture, its size, its location. Each one has a different birth story. They evolve over time, fading, growing and eventually fading away. They are beautiful. We should be proud of it and encourage mothers to show the world these testimonies of their strength and courage.
Babies born by caesarean section but exposed after birth to maternal fluids had richer bacteria than the others.
It is an invaluable gift that mothers give to their babies by giving them life: a cocktail of bacteria that will allow them to constitute a rich intestinal microbiota, whose role in the education of the immune system is known.
France is below the European average with 21% of cesareans, whether programmed or performed urgently. Because this birth rate varies considerably from one European country to another. See the article:
This post originally appeared on Cord Mamas. Please follow the Facebook and Instagram link (@cordmamas) to see the stronger and beautiful birth pictures.
This article also published on The Huffington Post (United States), has been translated by Aurélie Le Pape for Fast for Word.