Preparing-for-birth

Photographers Unite To Support Families Recovering From Infant Loss

Fourteen top Queensland portrait photographers have joined forces in a unique charity drive to educate expectant parents and support families who’ve suffered the loss of a pregnancy or baby.

Earthside Collective sees in-demand photographers, normally in competition with each other, “give back” to deserving families via charity Gift Sessions – maternity, newborn and lifestyle portrait photography sittings.

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The gift sessions will be donated to 26 families per year who have overcome the loss of a pregnancy or baby or experienced premature birth, who are now celebrating the safe arrival of a “rainbow baby”. The term “rainbow baby” refers to a baby born to parents who previously suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Brisbane’s Tanya Love of Tanya Love Portrait (pictured below, at work) – one of the founding members of Earthside Collective – said the community had embraced the charity concept following the recent launch of www.earthsidecollective.com.au.

“We had a simple idea and we never dreamed that it could be so great!” Ms Love says. “It has taken many months to get off the ground, but we certainly launched with a bang. The reactions and support from people have been amazing.

“Many of us have worked with families through the organisation, Heartfelt, seeing their sorrow and grief as they struggle through the loss of a baby. Some of us have lost babies of our own. We wanted to offer a service to those families who find themselves welcoming a child after a previous loss.

“We know that while exciting, subsequent pregnancies and births can be fraught with anxiety and fear and we decided that offering gift sessions is a way that we can not only celebrate with the family, but also support them in such an emotional journey.”

birth photography, birth plan, Tanya Love

The Earthside Collective website also provides resources for expectant parents when planning how to document the impending birth of their child through photography. Each of the 14 participating photographers’ profiles is showcased, as are the services, products and support offered by the group. Guest blog posts from birth-related industry professionals such as doulas, midwives, infant chiropractors and more will also play a pivotal role in building the resource.

Having met through their joint love of volunteer charity work, the photographers are continuing their ethos of “giving back” via Earthside Collective. Brisbane newborn photographer Luisa Dunn says she relishes being a part of the charity campaign. “For me, giving back is about the heart and soul of the person who is only complete when they are paying it forward,” Ms Dunn says. “Given our skills as family photographers, we felt that offering gifted sessions was the perfect way to help families and fulfill a need in the community.”

For more information, contact Tanya Love on 0458 006 740, visit www.earthsidecollective.com.au, or email admin@earthsidecollective.com.au.

birth photography, birth plan, Tanya Love

December 23, 2014

Do You Really Need A Birth Plan?

The word ‘plan’ usually freaks me out. Surely I didn’t escape the corporate world to have a baby just to be told that I need to write a birth plan! And how exactly was I supposed to write it when I’d never given birth before and I had no idea what to expect? Yet, after three births I can see that a birth plan has its place and is not just an attempt to control what you can’t control.

Your support people know how to support you

Sometimes when we’re overcome with pain, we don’t make the best decisions in the moment. With a plan our support people can try to steer us in the direction we’d rather be going, but are too scared to.

After reading a few stories about epidurals gone wrong, I had developed almost irrational fear of epidurals and I wanted to avoid it during labour at all cost. Yet, in the middle of it, I found myself screaming for epidural and I was very persistent. If my partner and the midwives hadn’t known how strongly I felt about it, they would have given in. As it was, they kept on offering alternatives and I got through it. The birth left me feeling elated for weeks. I’m not sure I’d have felt the same way if I had had the epidural.

The plan helps deal with your fears

If you have any fears concerning the birth of your baby (who doesn’t?), the birth plan can help you address those fears, so that you can be prepared. Most likely what you fear will never happen, but having a strategy in pace to manage it gives you a peace of mind.

The birth of my second child was very quick and they say every subsequent labour gets even shorter. So before I was due to give birth for the third time I was afraid that I won’t make it to the birth centre and I’d have to give birth alone at home. What if it happened during the day when my husband was at work? What if the baby came out with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and I wouldn’t be able to undo it on my own?

I talked to my midwife about my concerns and I half expected her to laugh them off. Instead, she walked me through a process of giving birth at home on my own and encouraged me to have a list of people to call at a short notice who’d be available during the day. I wrote everything in my plan and even though I didn’t end up needing it, it made me feel a whole lot better.

Allow for flexibility

While the birth plan has been helpful for me, I know women who felt disappointed with their birth experience because it didn’t go to plan. It’s important to use your birth plan as a tool and not a standard to measure yourself against. The birth of your child may end up being completely different from what you imagined. Allow yourself the flexibility to change your plan and do what needs to be done. The birth of a baby is a miracle, no matter what. Let it feel like a miracle.

Image by PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay.com

By Tatiana Apostolova

August 12, 2014