• Tina Nandi

Birth Photography + Film: Aarian’s Birth Story

Sushmita and I were very happy to have found each other. She had been desperately looking for a birth photographer and I was desperately looking to photograph or film births. I think she was pleasantly surprised by my insistence that birth is beautiful and there is no where in the world I would rather be than with her the day her little one decided to arrive.

On the morning of 29 June 2015, after a good day or two of what seemed like Prodromal labour, she headed into the hospital where they did a few tests to make sure all was okay. Due to early signs of baby’s distress, suspected meconium, non-optimal results from monitoring and ultrasound, a caesarean was looking likely. While this wasn’t the birth that she was hoping for (waterbirth), after weighing out the risks and benefits, Sushmita and her family made an informed choice to go ahead with the surgery.

The midwives as usual were amazing and did everything they could to make sure baby still received all the essentials from mama that he would from a natural birth. You will notice them in the video at about 00:38 rolling up some gauze. This was for “seeding the baby’s microbiome” whereby, as explained by Maria Mills Shaw in this article, “a sterile gauze is folded into a ‘fan’ to maximise surface area, this is then moistened with sterile water and inserted into the vagina and left to ‘colonise’ for one hour. The gauze is then removed and put into a sealed bag until the birth of the baby. When the baby is given to mum at birth the midwife can then pass the swab over the baby’s face to mimic passage through the birth canal.”

After the birth, they took the baby to Sushmita as soon as she was out of the OT and helped her to initiate breastfeeding and then plenty of skin-to-skin cuddle time with mama once she was back in her room helping the two to bond and which are also essential aspects of microbiome inoculation transfer*.

Once again, what a joy it was to witness another little human being’s entrance into the world. Welcome to motherhood, Sushmita and welcome to the world, little one…

Thanks to Lina Duncan for coming to the rescue with my camera! The photos in the film of Sushmita heading to and in the OT just before the birth were taken by her. Thank you to the staff of Surya Childcare for allowing me to document this special day. Music by Analog Heart licensed from Musicbed.com

* If you would like to learn more about the microbiome, this is an excellent film to watch.

#birth #birthphotography #csection #mumbai

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