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Category Archives: Publications

 

 

 

Over the past 10 years I have been asked about everything from herbal baths to birth pools so I thought I would put together a list of some of the products you may have seen and wondered about.  I added a few of my favorite books also, including one for children that I bought for my own family when I was expecting my third child.  I will add to this list as I find appropriate links.

 

Pretty Pushers 100% Cotton Disposable Labor & Delivery Gown

The Pretty Pushers gown is an easy, inexpensive alternative to the standard hospital gown. And the best aspects of these delivery gowns are the openings in all the right places. Many modern labors involve epidurals, monitors, and other IV cords. Women are left disappointed by the traditional labor gowns which allow for none of the above! The Pretty Pushers gown was designed with a halter neck and low-cut back for epidural access. Additionally, there is an opening (with tie closure) at the front of the gown for both the fetal monitor and the mother’s monitor, if needed. Pretty Pushers utilizes as much recycled and recyclable material as possible in their packaging and shipping components. Of course as the company grows, so will their use of modern technology and ideas to lessen even more their impact on the environment. This company holds a strong social commitment, too…All products are 100% Made in America.

Find it on Amazon.com here.

 

 

Bintiva Peanut Ball, Including a Free Foot Pump, for Labor, Birthing, Physical Therapy, Fitness, and Exercise

This peanut ball is crafted from professional grade materials, and is similar to a standard stability ball. The difference being, that, peanut balls only move back and forth in one direction, versus the stability ball that is multidirectional. This provides more stability and control, and makes it ideal for therapy and rehabilitation use with children or seniors. The unique shape is also favored by midwives, and doulas, for use as a birthing ball.

Find it on Amazon.com here.

 

Regular Birth Pool In A Box Personal Tub With One Liner from Birth Pool in a Box

Birth Pool Designed For One Use, One Liner Included. Three Ring Design Features Six Outer Handles And An Interior Seat.

  • Over 16,000 women use it every year
  • It is reassuringly sturdy robust and has handles in all the right places
  • It has a built-in seat for bonding with your baby after birth
  • It is deep enough for birth and height can be adjusted
  • Number 1 selling inflatable Birth Pool

 Find it on Amazon.com here.

 


AfterBirth HerbalAfterBirth Sitzbath

In the days and weeks after birth, the vagina and surrounding tissue can be swollen and inflamed. WishGarden Herbs’ AfterBirth Sitzbath is an herbal soak made specifically for women post-birth to soothe minor irritations. A unique formula of herbs and sea salts that helps to restore delicate tissues after birth, AfterBirth Sitzbath can also be used to support a healthy urinary tract.   Find it on Amazon.com here.

 

 

 

 

 

Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth by Grantly Dick-Read

In an age where birth has often been overtaken by obstetrics, Dr Dick-Read’s philosophy is still as fresh and relevant as it was when he originally wrote this book. He unpicks every possible root cause of western woman’s fear and anxiety in pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding and does so with overwhelming heart and empathy. Essential reading for all parents-to-be, childbirth educators, midwives and obstetricians! Find it on Amazon.com here.

 

 

 

 

 

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you. Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention. Find it on Amazon.com here.

 

 

 

 

Confident Birth by Susanna Heli

Your body already knows how to give birth – the only help it needs from you is to protect it from all the things that can shut it down, like fear or stress. Confident Birth gives you and your birth partner simple and dynamic tools to help you release your innate power for giving birth.   Find it on Amazon.com here.

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Baby by Jenni Overend

On a winter night, in a cottage far away from the town, Mum’s baby is ready to be born. The midwife arrives and the whole family prepare for the home birth. In this honest and moving portrayal, Jenni Overend and Julie Vivas celebrate the birth of a baby at home with warmth and joy. This is a book for the whole family to share in preparation for a home birth or the arrival of a new baby.  Find it on Amazon.com here.

 

 

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I’m in the New York Times!

Honey, the Baby Is Coming; Quick, Call the Photographer is an article published today and written by Elissa Gootman.

Here is the text version:

Lynsey Stone does not set foot in the shower without placing her cellphone on a nearby ledge, lest she miss an urgent text from a woman in labor. She schedules vacations 10 months in advance to ensure they do not conflict with due dates, and on family outings she and her husband leave their Granbury, Texas, home in separate cars, in case she needs to race to the hospital.

Ms. Stone, 33, is not a doctor, nurse, doula or midwife: she is a birth photographer, part of a small but growing profession devoted to chronicling a rite of passage that is no less significant than a wedding — though a bit trickier to capture on film.  “In the beginning, I almost thought that people were joking with me, like, ‘Really? You want me to come to your birth?’ ” said Ms. Stone, whose business took off after a pregnant acquaintance, impressed by pictures Ms. Stone had taken of her own family, asked if she would photograph her delivery.

Birth was once considered a behind-closed-doors affair — a messy, painful and fearsome event where neither mothers nor babies looked their best. Then, expectant fathers entered the picture, snapping photos or taking videos with shaky hands. Now, there is both a surge of interest in the experience of childbirth — not just as a means to a baby but also as a moment to be relished in its own right — and a greater desire to capture all of life’s moments (and often share them on Facebook).

Birth photographers have set up shop in recent years across the country, from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City to Cincinnati. The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers — a group started by a Texas photographer who was bombarded with inquires from women in other states seeking a birth photographer near them — now has roughly 400 members.  The photographers and their clients have grown accustomed to puzzled looks and probing questions (Pictures of what, exactly?). But their rationale is simple: If you are going to document a child’s every bite of mushed banana as if it were a historical event, does it not make sense that his or her entrance into the world be photographed by a professional?

“I want to see that moment when I’m in labor,” said Rhisie Hentges of Long Beach, Calif., who paid $1,895 to have Briana Kalajian, a co-owner of Shoots and Giggles Photography, document the birth of her first child. “That moment when both my husband and I look to see what the sex is? That’s something that I want to see happen.” (As it happened, she had a Caesarean section last week, and the photographer was not allowed in the operating room, although she got many artful shots of the before and after.)

Some photographers offer birth packages among a panoply of options, including pregnancy and family photography; others, like Ms. Stone, focus on births. She got started six years ago after she photographed her first birth and the mother shared the photos with friends in a local mothers’ group.

Ms. Stone now averages five births a month, charging first-time clients $700. She tries to arrive when a woman is six centimeters dilated, to capture the later stages of labor. This has resulted in numerous speeding tickets.

Other hazards of the job: women who are crestfallen when their births do not go according to plan and C-sections are ordered — not the image they wanted to capture. The “divas,” as one birth photographer put it, who request that their faces be depicted from certain flattering angles. Babies that arrive too quickly.  “One was born in the parking lot,” lamented Keren Fenton, a birth photographer in Orting, Wash., near Seattle and Tacoma.

In Cincinnati, one woman called Melanie Pace and Kelly Smith of Beautiful Beginnings Birth Photography the day she got her pregnancy test results, Ms. Pace recalled. Several have called when they are five or six weeks pregnant.  “I’m like, ‘Seriously?’ ” Ms. Pace said. “Can you go to the doctor first and confirm this pregnancy?”

Still, some hospitals ban photography while women are giving birth. In many, the doctors and nurses on duty unofficially set their own rules, with some even allowing birth photographers to be present during C-sections. Videotaping tends to set off more alarms than still photography, one reason most professionals stick to still pictures. In home births, photographers say, the mother calls the shots.  “The hospital rules are pretty straightforward — there’s no video and camera photography up close and personal in either an operating room or a delivery room,” said Dr. Jacques Moritz, director of gynecology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan. “Official policy and what’s enforced are two different things.”  Dr. Moritz said that if someone trumpets the arrival of her professional birth photographer, “it’s going to be, ‘Really? Get out of here.’ ” He said he had seen more women come in “with their quote-unquote friend that happens to have two Nikons with high-quality lenses on them.”

Dr. Randi Hutter Epstein, the author of “Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank,” said many cultural cues could make some women feel the need to make their births “photo-shoot-able.”  “There is a lot of pressure to not just cherish the birth experience but to promote it as this beautiful thing,” she said. “Then you’re going to get into your skinny jeans the next day and have a beautiful photograph of you looking absolutely beautiful and well rested with your perfect-looking baby, like all the celebrities.”  Still, Dr. Epstein said, “Now that I have an 18-year-old, it would be wonderful to look at these beautiful photos of him being born.”  Her son, she added, would probably disagree. “He doesn’t even want his picture taken now,” she said. “He’s not going to want one on the way out of my vagina.”

There is one question the photographers are asked most often: Um, precisely where do you stand when the baby comes out? The answer: Generally near the mother’s head, unless she requests a crowning shot.  “People will ask if I’m going to take the National Geographic birth photo,” Ms. Kalajian, of Shoots and Giggles Photography, said, referring to the most graphic of childbirth shots. “They ask it in 10 different ways.”

Another frequently asked question: Why can’t the father, or partner, simply take the pictures?  One potential answer lies in a picture that Ms. Fenton, the photographer in Orting, Wash., took last year of a father whose baby was born by C-section. He did not react so well. But because Ms. Fenton was on the scene, that moment, too, will be remembered.  “He passed out on the floor,” she said. “I have him in a chair, holding a juice cup and looking really sweaty.”

A version of this article appeared in print on June 17, 2012, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Honey, the Baby Is Coming; Quick, Call the Photographer.

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End of the year ramblings & being published!

Hmmm, what should I say about 2010…  This has been the busiest year I have ever had!  I photographed over 50 births and again was lucky enough to have seen a very wide variety of deliveries.  A few experiences that quickly come to mind are…

*The beautiful home waterbirth in Feb where I literally walked into the bedroom and as I was getting my bearings the midwife looked at me, pointed down and said “head.”  Shocker!   This mom proceeded to sing Hallelujah as her baby was born and upon realizing that they had a daughter the entire room broke out into the loudest, most joyful cries, cheers and laughter I have ever heard!  It still gives me chills to think about.  The room was ALIVE with extreme happiness!

*The homebirths of twin boys in March.  These births are especially memorable because I was actually with this clients doula when we got “the call” from the midwife who strongly urged me to get to their house ASAP.  I ended up going on a very exhilerating wild goose chase across town with the doula who knew the area much better than I did.  I won’t give many more details about this exciting drive except to mention that we did get stuck in traffic because of a train at one point and the doula actually got out of her vehicle to ask another car to move so we could take a detour.  :-)  Luckily we made it before the 1st baby was born and that’s when we received the next surprise ~ he was born breech AND in the caul!  It was very different from anything I had seen before!  One other amazing thing about this was that this mama went all the way to her due date before delivering, whereas it seems most twins moms deliver well before their EDDs…

*The Alice in Wonderland themed VBA*3*C in June!  Woohoo!  Go mama go!

*The 24 hr period in July where I photographed 3 births – well, tried to at least!  Everything was going perfectly, even with so much going on, until it started to rain.  The MW and I were called from one birth to another and only left within minutes of each other, but I slowed down in the rain.  As I pulled up to the house and was running up the driveway the baby was born.  I then opened the front door and in my hurry tripped over the bags of “birth stuff” that were thrown down in the doorway as the MW raced inside minutes prior.  I missed it by about 2 minutes from what I was told.  :-( 

*The funny week in August when I kept going to bed thinking I would be woken in the night by one particular client and I was woken several nights in a row for births, but never by who I thought it would be. 

*The couple of times I was able to go into the NICU with clients and photograph the babies during their hospital stays.  Just walking down the NICU halls was a very humbling experience for me and has made me very interested in doing more work there in the future.

*The sneaky little girl in November who didn’t let anyone know she was breech until we arrived at the hospital and she was already trying to make her appearance! 

*The absolutely amazing home waterbirth (and VBAC) in November!  I was particularly happy at this delivery because when this mom originally contacted me she was planning a VBAC at a hospital that isn’t very supportive of them, but made the switch after receiving a bit of info and referrals.  I was so impressed with her!  It takes a lot of strength to make so many changes in such a short time period. 

*The surrogate pregnancy/birth in December.  This was an incredibly emotional delivery to be a part of, I can’t even express what it means to me to have had this opportunity.  Several moments that stand out from this are when I met the two ladies for the first time we were laughing because one of them didn’t have her hospital bag packed, her call list written out or anything else ready for the birth, while the other had done everything months and months prior.  The fully prepared one, of course, had been waiting to write out that call list for 6.5 years… and then after the birth when baby was in the nursery the mom told me how when they first started trying to conceive she had went shopping and found a pink onesie that said “Worth the Wait” but she wasn’t able to find a blue one with the same quote that day or at any other time.  She kept it for all of those years and had brought it to the hospital to be her new little ones first outfit ~ whether girl OR boy.  :-)  She was blessed with a DAUGHTER. 

A few other random notes from the past year…

*I was thrilled to death to have a ton of repeat clients this year! 

*I was even more thrilled to have a birth on my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I have been holding out hope for a New Years Eve baby as well, but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen at this point.  :-) 

*I got some awesome underwater baby shots this year ~ I am *really* proud of these!  To see a couple of them you can look in the January, July and August archives.

*I learned during the year that a certain midwife, a certain doula and I are totally a winning combination!  ;-D  I love and adore working with these ladies! 

*The All About Babies Birth Center opened this Fall and I am the official photographer!  I’m still trying to talk one of the MWs husbands into putting in a coke machine and cotton candy cart for me, but so far no dice…  Hey, I’m there enough, might as well make it feel like home!

Probably the biggest and most exciting news I have from this year though is that I was published for the 1st time!  One of my pictures was on the cover of the Winter 2010 waterbirth themed edition of Midwifery Today and I had 2 pictures inside the magazine as well.  I am just over the moon about this for several reasons…  I thought it was super cool that I got the cover of this particular issue since I have had 2 waterbirths myself and I was *ecstatic* with the picture they chose.  I was *so* happy to tell this mom the big news when I found out!  The picture was from her very much desired homebirth ~ she went through a LOT to get the birth she wanted.  A very premature baby with her previous pregnancy thwarted her 1st homebirth hopes and then preterm labor with this pregnancy threatened her plans again, but after spending weeks in the hospital on bedrest she was finally released to go home and give birth with her midwife, Sarah Jones!  What an incredible victory that was, I am so proud of her!  Anyways, I was also lucky enough to have some of my work chosen for the book “Paths to Becoming a Midwife,” but I don’t have pictures of those, as I haven’t received my own copy yet.

coverforblog

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On this note I want to mention that I have been aware for a while now that some of my readers have tried harder than others to get my website and my work publicity and for that I want to say a big thank you.  I am not sure that I would have gotten the cover otherwise ~ you never know how people will end up finding you…  It is a funny world we live in, isn’t it?

Moving on from that now… 

I am so grateful for my clients, my friends and the MWs and doulas that are kind enough to pass along my info.  I am not hoping for 2011 to be even more busy than this year was, because I am not sure I could do it, but I am very happy with the pace I’m at currently.  I have many goals for this next year including not freaking out when I am faced with a less than ideal birth photography situation (ex: being in a small room in complete darkness with 173 other people also trying participate in the birth while I am either sitting in a sink, standing in a shower or balancing on some sort of wobbly ledge or stool and still trying to get portrait quality pictures, then kicking myself if I can’t and crying to my friends afterward “I got NOTHING!”)  I would also love to photograph more VBACs, more cesareans (yes, a cesarean makes a beautiful picture as well) and more surrogate births.   

I think I have rambled on enough so will finally go ahead and end this after saying that for the New Year I am praying Gods greatest protection and peace over those who are dear to me, and for anything broken in 2010, lots of superglue and duct tape.  I know there are many that this year has been hard on.

With love,
Lynsey

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you hope & a future.”   Jer 29:11

“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

Be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world.”   ~ Max Ehrmann

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