Tag Archives: Birth

Women’s Work on Narratively

I love what Narratively did with my Women’s Work project, and am so glad to have the opportunity to speak about this work I’m doing (all of it!).

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Posted in All of It, Women's Work Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Birth Culture on Slate.com

Slate published an interview with me and a selection of my Birth Culture photographs. I’m so glad to have had the chance to explain why I care about this project, and to share the work widely. I’m amazed and happy about the response it’s gotten – 24,000 shares on Facebook!

Much like death, the subject of birth is often taboo, a fact of life that is rarely explored beyond established procedure. Proujansky has been fascinated by the various ways in which each culture she has explored approaches birth but said that in the United States, gender and generation often dominate the conversation.

“We have ideas about what women’s bodies are for and it’s not this,” she said about American views on birth. “You see a woman naked but her body is performing functions that are intense. Our culture has a weird thing about images of women’s bodies doing this kind of physical work that isn’t young and sexy; birth has elements of struggle, power, transformation and mortality that don’t fit with our ideas about women’s bodies: they’re ok to look at when they’re sexy but when they’re working it’s something else. Birth is uncontrolled and that freaks us out.”

She also feels it ties into the idea of how we view motherhood.

“We sometimes celebrate mothers and put them on a pedestal and they’re supposed to be self sacrificing with an endless well of love but we also have stereotypes about them being intellect free with snide jokes about mom jeans and soccer moms.”

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Posted in Baby, Birth, Birth Center, Doctors Without Borders, Dominican Republic, Every Mother Counts, Florida, Home Birth, Hospital, Lagos, Massachusetts, Mexico, Midwifery, New York City, Nigeria, Traditional Midwife Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Full-Spectrum Reproductive Care for the New York Times

I worked on a piece about full-spectrum reproductive care for the New York Times Sunday Review with my frequent collaborator, writer Alissa Quart.

Buffalo Womenservices is unusual because it is a birth and abortion center in one. It is part of an effort to reframe reproductive care as a continuum — the phrase for it is “full-spectrum reproductive health” — that spans both birth and abortion. Facilities for each are typically distinct.

Combining the two in one place underlines how many women experience both birth and abortion. Three in 10 women will have an abortion in their lives; eight out of 10 will give birth. About 61 percent of women who have an abortion already have at least one child.

Kayla, the nurse pictured here, gave birth at Buffalo Womenservices before returning to work as a nurse who assists during the abortion procedures, taking breaks to pump breastmilk for her infant daughter. Like her co-workers, she believes that women’s choices around terminating pregnancy and around the way in which they give birth are related forms of essential reproductive choice. The facility’s doctor noted that all pregnancies are not the same, and women have a range of reasons for what they decide to do with them.

The women whose abortions I photographed were already mothers, and both of them took the interests of their children into account when making their decisions. The facility’s doctor expressed frustration at people’s tendency to project their own experiences onto other people’s complex lives.

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Posted in Abortion, Alissa Quart, All of It, Baby, Birth, Breast Feeding, Buffalo, Having it All, New York, New York Times, Prenatal Care, Working Mother Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

All of It: Jen

Jen and her husband work in communications for non-profit organizations, and they are both dedicated to social justice, work and family. I recently got to photograph Jen at work and, later, giving birth at home. Her husband, friend, midwife and three-year-old daughter Olive watched as baby Wiley joined the family.

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Posted in All of It, Baby, Birth, Breast Feeding, Brooklyn, Delivery, Having it All, Home Birth, Jen, Kids, Lean In, Midwifery, New York, New York City, Working Mother Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Birth Place on CBS

I traveled to Winter Garden, FL a few weeks ago for Every Mother Counts to photograph Jennie Joseph and her patients at the Birth Place, a midwifery practice that provides doulas, childbirth education, prenatal care and other support to low-income women. CBS published the photos for Mother’s Day, and I’m happy that viewers can see the necessary work Jennie’s staff is doing.

Posted in Baby, Birth, Every Mother Counts, Florida, Midwifery, Prenatal Care Also tagged , , , |

Birth Culture in the Guardian

I’m very glad to have the Birth Culture project featured in the Guardian’s “My Best Shot” column. Have a look at their previous posts, too – some really interesting work on there.

Posted in Baby, Birth, Delivery, Dominican Republic, Hospital, Midwifery, San Cristóbal Also tagged , , , , , |

New York Times Sunday Review Publishes Birth Culture

I am so pleased to share that the New York Times Sunday Review published an excerpt of my Birth Culture project along with an op-ed I wrote.

You can see more photographs from the project here.

Posted in Africa, Baby, Birth, CASA midwifery school, Chunhuhub, Delivery, Doctors Without Borders, Dominican Republic, José Maria Morelos, Lagos, Massachusetts, Mexico, Midwifery, New York Times, Nigeria, Quintana Roo, San Miguel de Allende, Traditional Midwife Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Daily Beast

My photographs of intercultural midwifery were recently published on the Daily Beast. It’s very exciting to have this work seen by a wider audience!

Posted in Baby, Birth, CASA midwifery school, Chunhuhub, Daily Beast, Delivery, Education, José Maria Morelos, Massage, Mexico, Midwifery, Quintana Roo, San Miguel de Allende, Traditional Midwife Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Blogging for Every Mother Counts

I’ve been blogging for Every Mother Counts this month – they’re a great organization dedicated to education and advocacy for global maternal health. Here’s a link to the first post. I’m so pleased to be involved with EMC in their important work.

Healthy World

Posted in Africa, Archives, Baby, Birth, CASA midwifery school, Chunhuhub, Delivery, Doctors Without Borders, Dominican Republic, Education, José Maria Morelos, Massage, Mexico, Midwifery, Nigeria, Quintana Roo, San Cristóbal, San Miguel de Allende, Students, Traditional Midwife, Travel Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

CASA Midwifery Students on a Journey

After preparing their public health presentations – including hand-sewn model pelvises, breasts and amniotic sacs – the students from CASA midwifery school boarded a run-down bus, ate American cheese and hot pepper sandwiches, and rode 32 hours from their school in San Miguel de Allende to the small city of José Maria Morelos in the Southern state of Quintana Roo. There all 40 students slept on the floor of a classroom at the Universidad Intercultural Maya and gave presentations to local traditional Mayan midwives about prenatal resuscitation, post-partum hemorrhage and other topics. The traditional midwives, who had learned from relatives and practiced for many years, taught the students about home births in hammocks, herbal medicines, and their own approaches to obstetric emergencies and prenatal care.

Next post: homestays with traditional midwives.

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Posted in Baby, Birth, CASA midwifery school, José Maria Morelos, Mexico, Midwifery, Traditional Midwife, Travel Also tagged , , , , , |