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Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Guest Post and Giveaway: Why natural birth?

I gave birth to N normally but with an epidural.  I never had the chance to take any childbirth classes then and after hearing my mom describe how she tore and screamed when she was giving birth natural to my sister and me, I decided to opt for an epidural for this first birth.
With E, I did more research and being a second-time mom, I knew what to expect in terms of pain and labor.  This time, I decided to give natural childbirth a try.  I enrolled in a hypnobirthing class taught by the charming Adele.  (note: there are currently no hypnobirthing classes taught locally, but you can buy the course online, as what Pat of Wear and Nurse Baby did).

Hypnobirthing helped me understand what happens to a woman's body during the birth process.  I do agree that being aware of how our bodies change during pregnancy and how our bodies can "breathe out" the baby empowered me to become brave and say "no" to early offers of pain relief.  You can read more about my natural birth here.

For this guest post, let me share the natural birthing story of Regina Hahn-Siy.  Regina is the daughter of childbirth educator Chiqui Brosas-Hahn.  Rej also recently started a unique service - My Story Photography - childbirth photography.  For my E's birth, while in the throes of labor, I distinctly remember telling S to let go of my hand, get his camera while I hold my doula's hand instead.   I'm lucky to have my own personal photographer ;)  But for other parents, having someone to document childbirth would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to preserve such a special time in your child's life.

Here is Rej's story on why she chose natural childbirth:
My mother has been a childbirth educator for as long as I can remember. When I was a teenager, I grew up attending her classes and hearing her share the benefits of natural childbirth. So long before I was even pregnant, I was already conditioned to opt for a natural birth.  
People often have the perception that natural birthing is excruciating and traumatizing. Mothers are already scared to give birth even prior to experiencing it. I believe this is the reason why some births tend to be exactly that.
I entered with the perception that birthing was a natural part of life, that every ache and pain was there for a purpose, which was to help me bring my beautiful baby into the world. I entered believing that my body was ready and capable of childbirth the way nature intended it. So when the aches and pains came (and WOW did they come) my mind was conditioned and ready to accept it as part of birthing. I believe this acceptance was the first step to genuinely allowing me to enjoy my childbirth experience. 
Natural childbirth allows you to be in full control of your body during labor and birthing. It allows you to listen to your body and gauge where you are in the labor process and when your body is ready to birth your baby. Even if it was my first pregnancy, I recall knowing exactly when I was almost 10cm even without the doctor telling me. I recall knowing when it was time to push or when it was time to hold back. I recall knowing when my baby was almost out and anticipating seeing her for the first time. Natural childbirth also allows for the active participation of your partner in the whole experience. It allows him to be more than just a spectator in the whole experience, but be present with you physically and emotionally. Even more, it allows him to share in that first bonding moment with you and your baby. Natural childbirth is empowering. It gives you the inner strength to believe that if you put your mind into it, you can be capable of great things.
I have always known childbirth to be a beautiful experience. But it was only after experiencing it myself that I fell in love with it. This served as my inspiration to offer childbirth photography. From my experience, it is during childbirth that you see the true emotional and physical strength of a woman, the gentle and patient love of a partner, and the first true welcome of a child into the world. It is a once in a lifetime experience that I wish every father, mother and child can witness for themselves. I want to give families the gift of having these precious moments captured in picture and at the same time still be able to fully engage and participate in their birth without having to worry about the camera.

Because she wants families to immortalize their birth stories, she decided to put up My Story Photography - childbirth photography.  As Rej explains in this post, "(c)hildbirth photography is opportunity to capture these special moments.  I want to give families the opportunity to relive everything beautiful about the birth of their child, through pictures."  You can see her list of services here.  Rej has photographed births in St. Luke's Global City and Makati Medical Center.

To introduce her service, Rej is hosting this giveaway and is offering one COANM reader the chance to win 1 free childbirth photography package.  The winner will choose from either a Labor and Delivery Photography Package or a Hospital/Nursery Photography Package.  See inclusions below:

a) Labor and Delivery Photography Package 
This includes photo coverage of labor and childbirth starting 7cm up to the delivery of the baby. Client will get the following:
  • thumbnail digital copies of all photographer-approved pictures taken during the event 
  • 10 high-resolution digital copies of photos chosen by the client 
  • 5 pcs 5x7 prints of the photos chosen by the client 
  • additional high-resolution copies and prints may be ordered separately 

b) Hospital/Nursery Photography Package:
This includes photo coverage of the family with the newborn baby in the hospital post-delivery. Client will get the following:
  • thumbnail digital copies of all photographer-approved pictures taken during the event
  • 10 high-resolution digital copies of photos chosen by the client
  • 5 pcs 5x7 prints of the photos chosen by the client
  • additional high-resolution copies and prints may be ordered separately

The contest will run from 12 July 2012 until 25 July 2012.  Please read the Terms and Conditions:
  • Available for 2012 births only.  Prize is transferable but not convertible to cash. 
  • Client will inform the photographer via phone call as soon as labor begins
  • Delivery may be natural, normal or cesarean but client must obtain permission from her doctor and hospital.
  • Hospital must be located within Metro Manila.
  • If photographer is unavailable during the date of labor, the package may be transferred but is not convertible to cash.
  • Joining the contest permits the photographer to use pre-approved photographs taken for marketing purposes. Photographer will inform clients which photographs will be used for marketing purposes. 
Join through Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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