Finally – A Practical and Pretty Home Grown Baby Bag!

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I met Danica and Ryno a year ago for their winter maternity shoot.  We had so much fun despite Danica initially only doing the maternity shoot because Ryno wanted one! From the get-go I knew that their little Dawid was going to be only lucky and happy baby. Shortly after I capture the birth of their beautiful baby boy at Mediclinic Paarl.  Even though Danica lives in Hermanus we have been friends ever since.Cape-Town-Birth-Photographer-Love-Alda-Dawid-Birth-AnnouncementShortly after Dawid’s birth, Danica, who is an esteemed wedding planner, launched Jan Pierewiet.  It didn’t take long for myself and Danica to find synergies between our brands and our shared needs as mothers.  We collaborated to bring mothers the ultimate luxury designer baby bag!

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The locally manufactured bags are made from 100% bovine leather, and the perfect fusion between practical and pretty. Sporting enough pockets and compartments, the bags also include an easy-wipe changing mat, as well as an extra Love Alda drawstring bag for extra clothes or nappies.  The bags are currently available in hazelnut and pista pecan. You can order yours from the online Love Alda store. Love Alda Birth Photography clients automatically receive a R200 discount on these beauties!

Timeless ties to your Birth | Birth Story Photo Books

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My mom made a birth & newborn book for me when I was born.  I love that book.  Though there are no photo’s of my birth itself (I was born in a nunnery and even my father had to wait outside) there are some faded newborn pictures of my parents and me in it, some letters and cards of friends and family and my hospital wrist band.  It contains small pieces of my birth story – my beginning.

I would have loved to see an image of my father sipping communion wine given to him by the nuns to celebrate my birth.  Or my mother’s relief when she finally got to hold me after a rough labour.  I have to fill in the blanks, but somewhere between the pages of the tatty old book lies the story and memories of life and love at my birth.

Give your child the gift of his or her birth story one day (the entire one!)  Custom-designed birth story photo books can be ordered with all Love Alda Birth Packages.  Contact me at [email protected] to book your timeless ties to your babies birth.  Birth is a gift.  Celebrate it!

OBG Rooms | Love Alda Digital Birth Story Frames

Love Alda Digital Birth Story Frames have finally started to make their way into selected OBG’s rooms across the Western Cape.  Now parents-to-be can enjoy videographic birth story productions by Love Alda with sound, whilst waiting for their next appointment.  All stories included are shared with the parents’ permission and I think those parents for allowing me to share some of their joyous moments.

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Also included are some interesting facts on birth photography in general.  So be sure to let me know if you spot one of these and enjoy following it whilst waiting for your next appointment. I might just give you your own complimentary slide production when you do so upon booking your own birth package!

Our Beautiful Life | Lucie’s Birth | Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt, Cape Town

I met Christelle, Tron and their two lively boys at Elandsbaai for their maternity shoot. We (my three kids, hubby and I) were at a family wedding at Muisbosskerm the day before and made a small detour to the sleepy seaside village on our way back where we met the Van Wyks.

Although the the weather was not playing along, I had so much fun with this vibrant and energetic family of four (soon to be five) on the quiet beach. No one took themselves too seriously and the boys were so excited about their new baby sister’s eminent arrival.  They were delighted that they could share her name (a secret at that stage) with me by writing it with chalk on the road! And so capturing their journey to meeting Lucie, the first princess to the family, began!

Please note:  All content shared with family’s permission, but copyright protected.  So feel free to share the love but note that you are not allowed to reproduce or publish without the photographer and parents’ permission.

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New Vincent Pallotti Labour Ward proudly displays Love Alda Birth Photography

The very first hospital birth that I photographed was at Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Life Healthcare in Pinelands, Cape Town. I have photographed many beautiful birth stories (both natural and c-section) there since and two of my own three children were born there.  It is therefore a huge honor for me to have some of my birth photography permanently and prominently featured in the newly renovated Magnolia Ward!

Love-Alda-at-VP-1All of the photo’s feature birth stories that actually unfolded at Vincent Pallotti Hospital under the care of its wonderful maternal care staff, gynaecologists and private midwives & doulas.  The newly renovated ward recently opened its doors again to much excitement after a long interim stay in the Acacia Ward downstairs.

Love-Alda-at-VP-2I want to thank the parents featured in these birth stories for the privilege of being part of their birth experience and also for allowing me to share some of their precious memories with other mommies and daddies!

Love Alda Framed Birth Photo Boxes can be ordered as part of all Love Alda Birth Packages.  For bookings contact me at [email protected]

Love Alda Birth Photography is also featured in doctors’ rooms across the Western Cape.  The one below is from Dr. Jacky Searle’s rooms.

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Healthcare & the Arts: Humanising Birth

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Finally the postman had an A4 envelope with DO NOT BEND on the front in his hand. My Medicine & the Arts Certificate from UCT! I recently completed a course on the subject matter and as birth photographer am so excited about the possibilities this new field holds for future healthcare students, but also students of the humanities (including artists, writers etc.)

For me Medicine and the Humanities is about integration. It encourages an integrated observation, interpretation and response to the health and wellbeing of people.

An integrated observation meaning that the body, mind and soul are observed through various disciplines, using various tools (including but not limited to technology and science).

An integrated interpretation meaning that we gain knowledge or insight into a patient or person by interpreting and in some instances ‘humanising’ raw information /data presented by that patient within an integrated context (this is where other factors like socio-economics, culture, religion, age, demographics etc. all play a role).

An integrated response meaning that we express our insight in an integrated manner using once again various disciplines – focusing on perhaps on the most relevant.

Here is my practical example as birth photographer: When a mother requests me to photograph her birth there are various things I have to observe: how she feels about birth & her body, what her health care provider says about her physical abilities to give birth, what her partner feels, cultural beliefs in terms of the process. As birth photographer I should understand how to interpret this information in a manner that will allow me to capture the parents’ unique journey whilst holding the birth space with empathy, understanding and respect for both the healthcare but also human aspects of birth and what it means for those particular parents.

I think Dr. Bernard Lown summarises it well in “The lost art of Healing” when he says: “…caring without science is a well-intentioned kindness, but not medicine. …Science without caring empties medicine of healing…”

Opposition between Science and Humanities in Medicine is dangerous. As a mother I know how traumatic medical intervention during birth can be and the scarring that can occur when there is a complete disregard for the emotional journey birth holds.  At the same time I have often been incredibly grateful for the option in risky and life-threatening situations.  Collaboration is needed without minimising the importance of both knowledges.  It should never become an ‘either or’ situation.

As birth photographer I often find myself within the birth space, observing the delicate balancing act between the safety and physical wellbeing of a mother and her baby on the one side and their spiritual or emotional wellbeing on the other. Unfortunately it often boils down to an either or situation, but imagine if the two could be integrated effectively? Progress has been made in this regard: “gentle C-sections”; alternative pain management; allowing SABPA accredited birth photographers to capture birth memories; encouraging skin to skin; allowing doulas into the labour wards AND theatre and delayed cord-clamping; empowering parents with information and allowing them to make choices and encouraging and respecting (as far as possible) parents’ birth plans are but a couple examples where medicine and the humanities are being integrated effectively, but more can be done to move away from the view that birth is always just a ‘medical condition or procedure’ and embrace the emotional and very natural aspects of the birth journey.

It’s only the beginning! I can’t wait to see what this field will look like in 5 years’ time!

 

Life is Beautiful | Zak’s Birth | Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt, Cape Town

Louise is a trauma nurse and friend second to none. Her husband, Vic, is a paramedic. They see and work with people when they are at their most vulnerable. Help them. Hold their hands. They are very special people indeed and witnessing the moment they fell in love with their first-born, Zak, surrounded by medical friends and even family (Louise’s mom is a nurse too), was breathtaking.

Capturing Zak’s birth re-affirmed to me that life is indeed very beautiful and it is moments of connection and love like these that we want to remember and share forever.  Thank you to Louise and Vic for allowing me to share their beautiful birth story.

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Love Alda Moments of Birth |Caputring a Story of Connection & Love

Love Alda Birth Photography is not just about capturing the moment of birth, but rather the many moments of connection and love that will tell your baby’s birth story one day.  There are so many beautiful moments that I actually don’t know where to start.  So for now I will publish a couple and update them when appropriate.  To capture your moments of birth email me at [email protected]

SUPPORT COLLECTION

FIRST BREATH COLLECTION

MEETING COLLECTION

HOLDING COLLECTION

BONDING COLLECTION

DISCOVER COLLECTION

SIBLINGS COLLECTION

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Canal Walk Gift Cards for You & A Friend | Love Alda Cape Town Birth Photographer

Canal-Walk-Voucher-PromotionReceive 2 x R200 Canal Walk Shopping Centre Gift Cards, one for you and one for a friend.  All you have to do to stand a chance is:

1. Like my facebookpage on www.facebook.com/lovealdabirthphotographer

2. Tell a friend about Love Alda Birth Photography

If your friend books a Love Alda Birth Photography Package between 21 Nov 2014 and 1 March 2015 and cites the code: “birthbuddies001#yourname” upon confirmation, she will receive 2 R200 gift cards – one for her and one for you.

This is a Love Alda promotion and not affiliated to Facebook or Canal Walk.

Terms & Conditions:  No cash alternatives are offered. No part of the gift is exchangeable for cash or any other gift.  Gift cards may only be claimed by the client confirming the booking and not by the person responsible for referring the client.  The responsibility lies with the client to provide the person who referred her with one of the gift cards.  To qualify for the gift cards, clients who book must cite the code “birthbuddies001” with the person’s name who referred them, plus that person has to be a Love Alda Facebook fan who shared this promotion via Facebook with a #birthbuddies. All free gifts are subject to availability, non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives. Entrants agree to be bound by these rules.

 

No planned lighting. No flashes. No Styling. | Good thing I chose Birth Photography

As a photographer I’ve always preferred natural or unplanned lighting photography with minimal styling. There’s just something about the raw beauty of a moment or memory that (to me) can disappear with the use of too much artificial help. Good thing I’m a birth photographer then, as both (flashes and styling) are a no-no if you are capturing a birth story whilst honoring and respecting the birth space.
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Although I’ve done many styled, studio newborn shoots because clients have asked for it, I’ve always been drawn to natural light or unplanned lighting (even artificial as in theatre), like a mosquito to an open flame. Flame, because although in my opinion natural or unplanned lighting often delivers some of the most incredible, honest images, it is by far not the easiest road to take.

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It was at this recent ‘Welcome Home’ newborn lifestyle shoot (part of my Magnolia Birth Package) that I decided to permanently move away from studio newborn work. The room in which it was taken was fairly dark and this little princess whose birth I had captured a couple of days ago, was fast asleep on a cushion. I did not want to wake her for styling or by using a flash so I simply put her with her cushion in front of the bedroom sliding door. Perfection. All I really needed was one beautiful, happy baby with some natural light falling on her. The rest took care of itself.

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