Best of Q: Labour laid bare with the rise of birth photography

Journalist Rachel Holmes sheds light on the rising popularity of professional birth photography.
In a conversation from the Best of Q, The Guardian writer  Rachel Holmes sheds light on the rising popularity of professional birth photography, an attempt to capture the agony and ecstasy of a child's entrance into the world. 

As she explains, those in favour of the art see it as a chance to capture the child's magical first moments. Others question whether childbirth should be one of the few experiences that doesn't give in to our culture's increasing self-documentation.

  Holmes tells Jian that she used to see the birthing space as "sacrosanct" and didn't take any photos when her own child was born. But reporting on the trend has stirred in her a sense of regret.

"My opinion has changed."

The original segment aired March 14, 2014

Letting in the lens

How does birth photography differ from images taken immediately after labour? To give us a sense, Vancouver doula and professional photographer    Jackie Dives has shared a selection of her photos. The images posted here offer a glimpse of the process; however, Dives presents a wider and more graphic range of images    on her website

"The priceless reactions of this new mother's 4 sisters."   

"A supportive partner during a natural hospital birth." 

"A baby born at home, in water." 

"A new family is born" 

"The 'I did it' moment after a vaginal breech birth." 

The images and captions in the photo gallery above come courtesy of Vancouver doula and birth photographer Jackie Dives, or @DivesIn on Twitter.