Welcome, and thank you for your interest in our birth services!
We are so excited to be a part of your journey!
Mama Bear Upstate Birth was founded to support and encourage women during birth and to meet the growing need for labor support in our community, while capturing the moment to be cherished forever.
It is now widely recognized that choosing to add a labor support person and birth photographer to one’s birth team can yield many positive benefits. A woman’s memories of her birth experiences last a lifetime and can have powerful effects on her self esteem and confidence. We are committed to helping women and couples feel empowered and supported as they experience birth.
It is our goal to help mothers learn to trust in their beautiful, strong bodies and to trust in birth. The moment that a baby is born is joyous, magical, and wondrous, and it is our wish for mothers and their partners to experience the birth of their babies as fully as possible, and to be able to experience moments that may have been missed through photography.
It would be an honor to have the opportunity to share this time with you. We will work to support you to birth in awareness, where you feel confident, informed, and surrounded with care, love and respect.
Daddy’s, Doula’s + Birth Photographers
When it comes to hiring a doula and/or birth photographer, most moms-to-be run into their spouses being unsure of the benefits, and even being concerned that, in the end, having either will cause them issues. Well, we would love to help your spouse fall in love with the idea of our presence as well.
This article will help relieve some of the fears they may have.
Role Replacement: Doula’s
Spouses tend to be concerned that having a doula will be replacing their need in your birth. Doula’s are there to support you, the mother, AND the spouse. While the doula is there to provide emotional and physical support for you, they provide emotional support for the spouse as well. Never will a doula get in between you two, or take the spouses place. This time is a transition for the spouse, as well as, the mother to be. She is there to see to the comfort, hydration and nutrition of you during labor, and offers the same to your spouse. She will guide the spouse in comforting techniques BEFORE labor even begins, and provide support for the laboring mother alongside the spouse.
Benefits of hiring a doula:
- Reduces use of Pitocin
- Decreased rate of interventions during labor and birth
- Less need for pain medication or epidural
- Lower c-section rate
- Shorter labors
- Higher satisfaction with birth outcomes
- Higher chance of spontaneous vaginal birth
Spouse’s tend to be concerned that birth photography is completely unnecessary, but instead of having your spouse focused on photographing the birth of their child, they can be fully focused you and their newborn. This also allows for the spouse to be a part of the photographs and memories. Birth photographer’s are well versed in capturing every detail in a beautiful and artistic way for you, and your spouse, to be able to look back on and relive the day your little one arrived in every aspect. Not having to snap photos of the birth also opens your spouse up to being able to bond with your newborn upon arrival. The photographer will be able to capture your spouse’s first reaction, which is normally missed, to add to the story of your newborn’s birth-day.
Benefits of hiring a birth photographer:
- Validates the mother’s strength, beauty and power
- Showing the child the day they were born
- Birthday slideshows
- Reconnecting with the spouse by seeing how helpful and loving they were during labor and birth
- Sharing the child’s birth story with family and friends
- Help with postpartum depression by showing the mother how capable and strong she is
A Guide to Our Services
Labor Doula Guide:
What is a Doula?
A Doula accompanies women in labor to help them have a more satisfying birth experience. She provides emotional support, physical comfort and, as needed, communication with the staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor. A Doula can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. Doulas are independent and self-employed. Your Doula works for you, not your caregiver or hospital.
When to Contact?
Please contact me when you think you are in labor, even if you do not yet need support. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. At this point, together we will decide if you need immediate assistance or if we should wait for further change. Approximately one hour is needed to get to you from the time that you ask me to come. We will also decide where to meet–at your home, birth center or at the hospital. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I or my back-up will remain with you throughout labor and birth.
The Doula reserves the right to be relieved by back-up in the event she becomes ill or for any reason she is unable to properly support you during your labor. After 20 hours of labor support the Doula may also call in back-up. A back-up will only be called in when your primary Doula feels that it is in your best interest.
- Two prenatal visits to discuss desires and preparation for birth.
- One postpartum visit to ensure all is well and answer questions.
- Phone support as needed during pregnancy and immediate postpartum.
- Assistance in creating a birth plan.
- Labor support at home, birth center and hospital as needed.
- Emotional, physical, and informational support during labor and birth.
I am available for phone contact to answer questions about the birth or your baby, and would like to get together with you within one to two weeks to see how you are doing, review the birth, to admire your baby, and to get feedback from you about my role.
Birth Photography Guide:
When to Contact?
My goal is to photograph active labor through the birth of your child, as well as, those specials moments that follow. In order for me to arrive and capture those moments I need as much notice as possible.
At your first signs of impending labor, please contact me. Shoot me a message, text, or a call to keep me updated on how things are progressing. I much prefer to be notified too early, even if labor maybe prodomal, versus too late. The more notice I have, the quicker I can arrive.
Once you are in active labor (5+ centimeters, contractions have intensified and are 3-4 minutes apart for around an hour, or feeling pressure), please have your support person contact me and I will head to your home, birth center, or hospital. Please allow me an hour to an hour and half to arrive to your place of birth.
What to wear?
Of course this is not of incredible importance, but I like to mention this to clients. When laboring, body temperatures can rise, mothers may choose to labor and give birth in water, etc. This being said, mothers tend to strip down to nothing. This is absolutely a personal preference, and ultimately you being comfortable is most important, but wearing a sports bra, bathing suit top, etc will allow for your images to be a bit more “family friendly” and “shareable”. I know that some may not care, as I do not, but in case you are a bit more reserved and want images to share with friends and family, this may be something to consider.
Laboring is primal. In most cases, mothers tend to labor and give birth in a dark quiet room. My equipment is made to photograph in low light situations, but in order to capture the moments leading up to the birth of your little one during the birth and after, a small amount of light will be needed. I do have a flash that I tend to use (bounced off ceilings and walls, not flashed into anyones eyes) and is barely noticeable, but this is up to you. Even with the flash being used, I will still need a little light to find focus.
In a situation where complete darkness is preferred, I will politely switch on a hall light, bathroom light, closet light or lamp to take a photo or two, turn back off and allow some peace and privacy for a bit.
Lastly, I am sure you are curious as to when you will receive your final images.
I try to edit 1-3, low resolution images, within 24 hours for you to use as an announcement.
The rest of your edited images (+ film, if part of your package) will take 3-4 weeks at most. Sometimes I will deliver sooner, but please allow at least 4 weeks for your gallery. I take special care editing each image, as I want them to perfectly tell your birth story in complete.
Click here to see my photography and film gallery!
Details of our services and a letter of agreement are linked below for you to review. Feel free to call, email, or text us if you have any further questions about our service packages or agreement.
We take no more than two doula/photography clients each month. After today’s meeting, We will reserve a space for you on our calendar for seven days. Should you choose to hire us, please call or email us within this period to let us know of your decision, we will then email you an electronic contract for you to sign, as well as, your invoice. After seven days, if we have not received your response, we will release the space being held for other potential clients.
Also, as an added bonus, here is a list of local resources to help you through all of your pregnancy and postpartum needs!