Meeting SA’s Birth Professionals: Midwife Sandy Standish

As a Cape Town-based birth photographer, I have worked with many amazing birth professionals who support women in their journey to become mothers.  Sandy Standish is one of them. Sandy, a mother of five, is the owner of her own Midwifery Practise Birthing Naturally.

Article as originally published in BIRTH magazine.

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FREEBIES for Love Alda Photography Clients & Fans

I have a passion for capturing, preserving & sharing maternal & birth memories in a beautiful manner.  To book me as your maternal, family or birth photographer, or as I like to say, story catcher, contact me at info@lovealda.com  For the ‘sharing & preserving’ part make sure you check out the Love Alda Clients & Fans Freebie box on my facebook pages www.facebook.com/withlovealda or www.facebookcom/lovealdabirthphotographer for regular freebies, such as beautiful birth announcement templates and discounts on prints or photography gear.  Simply like the page and click on the ‘FREE GOODS’ tab at the top to download your freebies.

Love Alda Birth Maternal Newborn Photography Cape Town Freebies

Some freebies that you won’t find in the Love Alda Freebie Box, that are exclusive to my BIRTH PACKAGE CLIENTS:

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Birth Plan: Why do I need one?

How long does it take to prepare for a wedding? And a birth? Birth is one of the most important events in a parent’s life and yet very few of us prepare for the experience itself. Why is it that so many mothers put all their time into obtaining information for once baby is here, but very little into learning about and preparing for the actual birth experience? I blame ignorance and a blind trust in systems & processes many parents know very little about. The importance of the birth experience itself, is something many first time parents only realise after the fact. That is probably why birth plans are more common when it comes to second or third time parents.

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Let’s face it – all you can focus on when you are pregnant is holding that healthy bundle of joy in your arms. Who cares how the baby gets here? I am the first who will testify that becoming a parent is far more important than how you became one, however, I have also seen how an unplanned birth procedure or experience can leave emotional scars for years to come if the parents are ill informed. Taking ownership of your birth experience can be hugely rewarding and empowering – whether natural or C-Section. That does not mean that you do not seek professional advice, guidance & skill in making and implementing your choices.  It also does not mean you can plan and control everything about your birth – it would be ignorant to think or suggest that – birth can be unpredictable.  It simply means you participate in your own birth and decisions by understanding what the options are and knowing your own preferences. It is deciding what is important to you and your partner and what are the small things you’re not going to sweat.

Planning for your birth is important.  Understanding the birth process and options available to you is important. And yet, how many of us know that only clamping a baby’s cord after the blood has stopped pulsating through it, holds health benefits for the baby? How many of us know that in the event of a C-Section there is something called a ‘gentle C-Section’ or a ‘natural C-Section’.  How you and your baby experience birth can have an impact on your emotional health, as well as baby’s successful transition from womb to world and although you can’t control everything, knowledge is power.

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A Tribute to C-Section Mothers

One of my birth images was recently published in a ‘First Meeting’ feature published by Kidspot. The feature only covered natural births.  The response to the post was very positive, but I could not help but notice a sadness amongst some of the moms not fortunate enough to have experience natural birth.  A sadness I, as a three x C-Section one x failed VBAC mom can emphasize with.  I too once felt those pangs of regret, but doing what I do I’ve also learned that how you become a parent is far less important than becoming one.

So to all the C-Section mothers out there:

Whether chosen or pushed into; whether it was necessary for medical reasons or whether you just elected it for personal reasons; whether you feel heartbroken that you did not experience natural birth or whether how you gave birth is not important to you; whether you experienced a gentle C-Section or a scary one – nothing can make meeting your child for the first time less special. Because how you became someone’s parent is far less important than the fact that you did.

Do I wish all woman could have beautiful natural births? Yes, wholeheartedly so – I’ve seen few things that can be as empowering, or the lack thereof mourned so deeply, but I have also seen breathtaking C-sections, I have been grateful for the option in emergency situations and I have learned, first hand, that in the end love does conquer all.

For more on shaping your first or next maternal and birth experience visit Maternal Choice.

To end this post off – some breathtaking C-Section birth photo’s. Thank you to the relevant hospitals and birth professionals for working with SABPA (the South African Birth Photographers Association) to give me special theater privileges and by doing so allowing me to capture these incredible moments.   But most  importantly thank you to my birth clients for allowing me to share your incredible, miracles and memories of a first breath that I know has been etched into each of your hearts.  You are tigers and you wear the stripes to prove it.

Interesting: Did you know that some woman find birth photography to be very healing in C-Section situations as it allows them to see that first moment albeit after the fact – something they often miss out on lying flat on their backs.

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BIRTH Magazine – Sharing Maternal Memories

Maternity. Birth. Newborn. South Africa.  I’m so proud to announce the first edition of BIRTH, a seasonal maternal photo journal by Love Alda Maternal & Family Photography.  This magazine is all about capturing and sharing some of the beautiful maternal memories being created daily across South Africa.  It is a platform to tell our stories of love and meet some of the people that support us in our first wobbly steps to parenthood.

In this Autumn / Winter edition learn more about birth photography and why more and more parents are opting to have their birth stories captured by a professional birth photographer.  Learn how to select your birth photographer.  You also get to meet Dr. Jacky Searle and Midwife Sandy Standish.  There’s a beautiful nursery feature and a natural, water birth photo feature.

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For your future FREE online edition of BIRTH make sure you click on ‘Follow’ once you’ve opened the electronic version.  You can also stand a chance to win monthly prize. Hard copies of BIRTH is also available at selected maternal health care offices across the Western Cape.  For feature or advertising consideration email inf@lovelalda.com

Celebrate a new life with me!

Baby-bunnies

The habit to celebrate the birth of a child started years ago in Dublin, Ireland when one rainy day my friend mentioned that their friend’s baby girl had just been born.  My own children were still a wish upon a star, but the idea of this new life starting and recognising the moment it all began for her (even though I did not know her or her parents) filled me with a feeling of hope and joy.

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Natural Water Birth | At Home: Meeting Beth

I was not yet on standby for Michele and Raymond Kroger and on my way to a kids birthday party with my own little munchkins, when the call came through from Lana, the doula – Michi was in labour.  Thinking I could steal a couple of moments with the camera at the birthday party, I had my camera bag in the back of the car (but not my ‘birth photography bag’ – which I will do a separate blog on).  This is the story of Meeting Beth on that rainy Saturday afternoon as told by Raymond (original source Your Pregnancy Feb/March 2014, photography Love Alda Maternal & Family Photography).

 All images and content shared with parents’ permission and family friendly.

 View birth slide show

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