Amazing: photographer captures the unique beauty of c-sections

Veteran birth photographer, Leilani Rogers, has seen it all. A mum-of-four, she understands the power and pain of childbirth. 

And when it comes to C-sections, she's there as well. For Rogers, c-sections are just as empowering as natural births. 

Why shouldn't they be? She tells Love What Matters that there's four reasons. 

"All birth stories are worth documenting and preserving. Not just vaginal births. This is especially important to a caesarean birth mama once she realises she can’t see anything that’s happening as her baby is delivered. Neither can Dad if he’s comforting her.

"Birth photography helps the mother see the big picture. It details every stage of birth – labour, delivery and postpartum. But without the visual reference, caesarean birth mamas are often stuck on that moment they lost the opportunity to have a vaginal birth. It can be depressing and preventative of them enjoying the outcome of their healthy baby. Because 'things didn't go as planned."

"Birth – all birth – is beautiful. Mums often tell me during our consultations that they aren't very 'pretty' during labour…Bottom line is – that’s not what birth is about!  Yes birth is as real as you can get… Mama’s beads of sweat, furrowed brow, clenched fists, fighter-like expression, vulnerability, even the moment she is actually birthing her baby (whether vaginally or by caesarean) are all raw, real, but BEAUTIFUL and  MIRACULOUS moments. As for the difference between a vaginal birth and a caesarean birth, the anticipation and emotion you feel about meeting your baby for the first time is all the same.

"Seeing the beauty in a caesarean birth image is encouraging because caesarean moms often feel like their birth experience has been diminished, reduced, or voided out due to often unavoidable circumstances." 

For one of the mothers that Rogers photographed, a C-section was something that she was dreading, but ultimately realised that it was best for the baby. 

"When I found out that my body wasn't doing what was necessary to bring our baby into this world, I was heartbroken. I felt like my body itself was broken, that it wasn't doing something that should come naturally and just happen.

"These aren't typical birth photos. Seeing these pictures, seeing our daughter take her first breath in a situation in which I normally wouldn't have, however, showed me that my body didn't fail. I grew and nourished this beautiful little girl who has blessed our lives in ways we didn't even realise were possible."

She hopes that the pictures help mums realise that C-sections are beautiful as well. 

"I hope these photos are shared and embraced for all of us mothers who didn't get the ‘ideal’ birth, who thought that our bodies were broken, who didn't get to see our child take his or her first breath." 

As for Rogers, the best gift of all is known her photographs help mums whose labours didn't exactly go to plan. 

"My heart is full knowing that birth photography serves so many purposes! It’s not only beautiful and intriguing, but in some cases, healing as well. Mothers see their pictures and are better able to process their births. These images reassure mums that they did indeed 'give birth.' The disconnect they might feel during the caesarean itself is made better by the happy moments captured and preserved, forever." 


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