With the increased medicalization of birthing, aided by the government push for hospital-assisted births and large-scale commercialization of pregnancy and childbirth, we often forget that birth is a completely natural, safe and mystical process.
These Instagram pages remind women of their innate divinity and their amazing strength. They also share stories of loss, of challenges and pain.
FREE BIRTH SOCIETY
Emilee, a doula specialising in home births, and Yolande, a mom of seven, both promote ‘freebirths’, or births in natural environments with just loved ones for assistance. With 21,000 followers, their Instagram page Free Birth Society offers community support and stories of freebirths.
Sample this story (in photo above) of Stephanie freebirthing her twins: “Stephanie explains that she would have much preferred to have had the presence of midwives but when she was risked out from the licensed midwifery practice, she was backed into a corner. She had to choose, either return to the hospital where she had been abused in her first birth, or stay home and have a normal family centered birth. And so… she did just that.”
BIRTH WITHOUT FEAR
Birth Without Fear was launched by January Harshe, a mother of six, as a simple passion to let women know they have choices in childbirth. It then evolved to become an inspiration and support to women and their families through their birthing journeys. She also now runs a blog with extensive information for mothers-to-be and has written a book on the subject.
With 2.5 lakh followers, the Instagram page is a platform for sharing birthing stories, such as this photo of Heather Grimm’s home birth taken by photographer Kali Norton, which was liked over 21,000 times on January’s account.
EMPOWERED BIRTH PROJECT
Empowered Birth Project is an online initiative to remind birthing people of their power, facilitate healing through storytelling, and share information and education. This picture (above) taken by Santa Cruz Birth Photography captures the moment just before the baby and its placenta were disconnected, and was liked over 22,000 times on Empowered Birth Project.
Founded by Katie Vigos, a nurse and mother of three in USA, the Instagram page, which has close to 4 lakh followers, had petitioned the social-media platform (and its parent company Facebook) to allow uncensored birth images.
First published in the Winter 2018 issue of eShe magazine.
Lead image via Birth Without Fear: Photographer: Catherine Brown
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