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!

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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[Read more…]

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

FAMILY AD

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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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Birth Photography | The Best thing you Never Knew You Wanted

“When I booked you Alda, I knew I wanted birth photography, but now that you’ve captured these once in a life-time memories for us I’ve realised just how badly I wanted it!”  I often get this from clients. That or “I never invested in professional birth photography with the birth of my first child and I’m heartbroken.  Please will you capture the birth of my second child?”  I can very much associated with this second group of people – it was only with the birth of my third child that I had a friend photographer capture the story (I wanted this with my second birth as well, but could not find a birth photographer at the time).  I treasure those images more than words can explain and I still mourn the fact that I was not in a position to have this done with my first two children.

Siblings-by-Love-Alda-Cape-Town-Birth-PhotographerUnfortunately many first-time parents only realise the importance of birth photography after the fact – much like you only realise how amazing becoming a parent is when you hear that first gurgly cry – up until that point it’s all a bit surreal.  But think about it – you hire a wedding photographer for your wedding day.  Why on earth would you not want to capture this next amazing, life-changing occasion in your life? Birth photography is such a precious, everlasting gift – to yourself as the parents, but also to your baby one day when he or she is old enough to understand and treasure the story of their own birth.

Yes, there are huge medical and other expenses when you bring a child into this world (I know – I have three!) and birth photography seems (and is) a luxury. However when you put all medical, safety and necessary expenses aside it becomes a question of choices and what you value, as well as your personal priorities.  How fancy should the crib be?  Should I buy the latest and greatest pram?  Perhaps you are in the fortunate position to afford all, but sometimes parents have to make choices and in my humble opinion the long-term value of some of these choices ails in comparison to being able to relive & share the beauty and love of the day your child’s life started.

So to all new parents-to-be out there – you can’t go wrong hiring a professional birth photographer for the birth of your child.  And if you need further persuasion look at these 9 reasons to hire a birth photographer.

So you want your baby’s birth story captured?

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As a mother of three and one of Cape Town’s foremost birth photographers, my goal is to provide you with breathtaking maternal, birth & newborn imagery to kindle & share memories of a life-changing time that goes by too quickly.

I am the Co-Founder and Chair of the South African Birth Photographers Association, which means I specialise in on-call (24/7 day or night) birth photography & that I work towards the highest standards & level of integrity.

With a heart for the birth environment & a deep respect for the privacy of my clients, I capture those first precious moments before, during and after birth at home or at the hospital in a discreet & caring manner.  I aim to tell the whole birth story and not just part of it – no matter how long it takes.

[Read more…]

Our Moment of Perfection | Su-Alét’s Birth Story | Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt, Cape Town

Photographing the moments before and of Su-Alét’s birth was one of the highligths of my career as birth photographer for so many reasons. The air sang in anticipation of this little girl’s birth and for a moment it felt like the whole world rejoiced at the sound of her first cry. Make sure you watch their beautiful slide show below – it includes photos and video.

There are just too many incredible, emotional moments to share, but some of my favourites are of emotional, nervous mom-to-be, Carli and of first time dad as he holds his little one.  There’s also a moment where Dr. Du Toit looks over to the happy parents just after she’s handed a screaming Su-Alét to them.  And of course – the grandparents’ reactions – had me in tears.

Almost-there-by-Love-Alda-capetown-birthphotographer [Read more…]

Social Media Jungle: Staying Connected & Posted

It’s a social media jungle out there! Each new latest and greatest platform brings with it new possibilities, but also confusion – not to mention the waste of precious time which could have been spent chatting to your growing bump, planning your nursery, bonding with your newborn or playing with your kids!

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As a working mom of three, I know how valuable your time as a parent is.  I have therefore explored the vast social media landscapes out there to address your need a) for useful maternal, birth and newborn photography information and b) to create and share beautiful maternal memories by developing various streamlined vehicles to stay posted and connected without have to trawl for information.  Each medium is unique and offers quality content, but I would like to encourage you to pick only one or two that suits your needs best and like / subscribe to those.

Here they are (simply click):

1.  Love Alda Cape Town Maternal, Birth & Newborn Photographer Blog (to subscribe simply type in your email address in the Subscribe
window in the right hand bar of this page)

2. Love Alda Cape Town Birth Photographer Facebook Page (note that seeing all post updates is not a given with Facebook anymore)

3. Love Alda Cape Town Maternal, Newborn & Family Photographer Facebook Page

4. Love Alda Cape Town Birth Photographer Vimeo Channel for birth story slide show productions to licensed music

5. Love Alda Cape Town Birth Photographer Youtube Channel – for birth story slide show productions to licensed music (will include
advertisements which I can’t control)

6. Love Alda Maternal, Birth & Newborn Photographer Pinterest

7. Love Alda Maternal, Birth & Newborn Photographer Instagram

8. Love Alda Cape Town Maternal, Birth & Newborn Photographer Google+

9. BIRTH Magazine by Love Alda (online seasonal magazine)

#capetownbirthphotographer #socialmedia #capetownmoms