Louisiana is just one of the many states with very restrictive home-birth regulations.

I remember the many questions I received concerning my own elected home birth. I had chosen a midwife and was confident in my decision to birth my first child without the medical system interfering with my sovereignty. It was my first, and I was considered low-risk throughout my entire pregnancy. But what would have happened if my baby had turned breech before birth?

Did you know that in Louisiana, out-of-hospital midwives are not allowed to continue care if you discover your baby is breech? Did you know that if you've had a cesarean at any point that you are no longer eligible for midwifery care outside of the medical system? Twins? No sir, Louisiana law makers believe you must birth in a hospital despite there being plenty of evidence that all of those instances are just variations of normal birthing situations that a traditional midwife is more than qualified to attend and assist with.

Do you know what happens when you prohibit midwives from attending these births due to outdated and misguided information? No, those families won't just suddenly subscribe to the medical system. They will still pursue their home births, just without medical assistance. These laws are counter-intuitive to protecting families and their rights to birth where and how they choose and I invite you to write to our lawmakers to share that women deserve the right to choose what is best for themselves and their families without Louisiana midwives having to deny care in fear of losing their licenses.

That aside - I want to share one of the most beautiful births I've ever been privileged to document.

It was baby #6 for this mom. She had not had documentation of any of her prior births, and knowing this would be her last, knew she wanted to have the experience memorialized.

Her first baby was a cesarean, and due to LA law, she was never able to have a home birth with a midwife legally present. That didn't stop her desire for a relaxed birth experience. Needless to say, this was not her first unassisted birth. However, it was mine.

This mother was every bit confident, strong, intuitive and ready to meet her baby girl. She danced with her husband through her contractions. She waited patiently, and knew exactly when to step into her birth tub. With one final roar she pulled her baby from the water and laughed with her husband. There were no hands darting to baby. No aggressive rubbing. No fast movements. This birth was tranquil. There was so much love present. I 100% cried as I got on my knees to shoot some of the most beautiful images I've ever taken.

Five young children piled into the room to meet their little sister, and then went back to cuddling in the living room.

Dad and I helped mom out of the tub and into the bed where mom and dad settled in, and I showed myself out.

I really can't image a better birth.

But that doesn't change the fact that women should be allowed to have a midwife present if they want, regardless of whether they've had a prior cesarean or not. And I hope I get to live to see those changes made for all the future home-birthers in Louisiana.

As a birth photographer in New Orleans, I am privileged to witness the diverse ways in which families choose to welcome their little ones into the world. Whether through midwife-attended home births, hospital deliveries, or unassisted childbirth, each journey is unique and deserving of respect.

If you're considering an unassisted or assisted home birth in Louisiana, it's essential to educate yourself about the legal landscape, potential risks, and responsibilities involved. There are several options that you can explore if you don't meet the legal requirements Louisiana has in place for home birth. Unassisted, and traveling to a neighboring state with your midwife are both possibilities. While the path may be unconventional, many families find profound empowerment and fulfillment in embracing the autonomy of unassisted childbirth.

Why hire a birth photographer?

Share the legacy of the birth of your children w/ your children

I am committed to capturing the beauty, emotion, and authenticity of your birth experience, whatever path you choose. Contact me today to learn more about my services and how we can document the magic of your journey into parenthood.

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