Tag Archives: Birthplace

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NPR’s Baby Project

NPR’s Baby Project blog follows moms through the last few months of their pregnancies and the birthing process. And they also wrote about a photographer who documents birth: me! Have a look here.


Posted in Baby, Birth, Massachusetts, NPR Also tagged , , , |

Annalia’s Birth

Megan called me in the evening to tell me she was in labor. I drove from New York to Massachusetts, flying on adrenaline, and got to the hospital at 1:00 in the morning. I saw a baby in a bassinet and my heart dropped – I was sure I’d missed the delivery. But a nurse told me I hadn’t, and walked me to a dark, peaceful room where Megan was in labor, assisted by her mother, her husband T.J., a midwife, nurse, doula and two friends.

Megan is a nurse in the emergency room of the hospital where she had her baby, as are the two friends who attended the birth. She labored through the night and delivered Annalia, her first child, at 9:00 in the morning. I was honored to welcome her.


Posted in Baby, Birth, Massachusetts Also tagged , , |

Young Parents

When I was photographing in the Birthplace, I met some teenage parents. They had a range of reactions to their situations: nervous, eager, engaged with their children, excited and overwhelmed. All of these families delivered their babies with the help of midwives because of the Birthplace’s collaborative care model. Here are a few pictures.


Posted in Birth Also tagged |

Water Birth

Here are some photographs of Christina, Jeff and their baby Tanner. The family chose a natural birth, without any pain relievers, and they used a birthing tub. They worked with Liza, a midwife, and gave birth at night in a warm tub in a dark room. It was very beautiful.

Posted in Birth Also tagged |

Another Short Story

Here are some photos of Jen and Jesse at their baby Olivia’s birth. The family lives in Greenfield, my home town and the location of The Birthplace, where I took all of these pictures. Both Jen and Jesse work at the hospital – Jen’s a nurse.

Jen’s best friend, sister, mother, nieces, sister- and brother-in-law were at the birth, and they were generous in letting me take photographs.


Posted in Birth Also tagged |

A Mini-Story

The home office is magnificently hot these days, so I’m pushing through editing with popsicles, smoothies, and escapes to the park for dog walks.

Here’s a recent mini-story about Ruth, Paul and their baby Noah. They live in Greenfield, which is my home town, and one thing I like about these pictures is the subjects’ wonderfully expressive faces.

Posted in Birth Also tagged |