In the most recent episode of Mamamia’s pregnancy podcast, Hello Bump, co-hosts Monique Bowley and Rebecca Judd interview doula and birth photographer, Angela Gallo.
“In a world where people are becoming increasingly disconnected…” Gallo says, “birth is for me… one of the most complex and dynamic human experiences left to feel.”
But despite how intense the experience of birth is, Gallo explains that the thinking part of the brain shuts down in order to give way to “the primitive brain” during labour.
“Because of this, women say they have no idea, or don’t remember any part of their birth,” Gallo explains.
That’s where she comes in. Gallo meets with clients in the lead up to the birth, to find out exactly what they want out of their birth photos.
Common requests include crowning images, their partners first reaction, and when siblings are meeting their little brother or sister for the first time.
But interestingly, the thing expectant mothers ask for above all else, is photoshop. Specifically, to have Gallo photoshop out their “double chin”.
“That’s the number one thing I get asked about,” Gallo said. “Can you take out my double chin?”
"But no... I look at every woman's pregnant birthing body so from my perspective I don't see anything to fix," she said, and explained that she will only take something out if it wouldn't be there in two weeks, like an inconvenient pimple.
Of course, Gallo insists that birth has nothing to do with the angle of one's chin. "It's the most beautiful moment," she laughed. "It's about documenting their story. Birth is a one off case, your baby comes out of you once. This is a moment you cannot do over."
And for that reason, she says expectant mums and dads should seriously consider a birth photographer. With the amount of movement, and the lighting in most hospital rooms, iPhones usually aren't sufficient.
"Even when it's chaotic and wild and there's an emergency," she says, "it's just a wonderful moment for them."
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This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Westpac.
Good financial habits, when started early, can make a lifelong impact which is why Westpac has partnered with Mamamia to develop a new podcast series. "Hello, Bump" aims to help mums-to-be prepare physically, emotionally and financially for a child. As part of its 200th anniversary celebrations, Westpac is offering every baby born in 2017 $200 in a Bump Savings account which they can withdraw when they turn 16, if their parent or guardian opens the account in their name between 8 April 2017 and 31 May 2018. Conditions apply. Click here to find out more.