Portland Birth & Lifestyle Family Photographer Blog

Masha Georgiev is a TOP RATED professional photographer specializing in all aspects of lifestyle and outdoor family portraiture in Portland Oregon. Call us today! 503.875.0461

Portland Lifestyle Photographer | Masha Georgiev | Details

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I've been meaning to post a blog about this topic for a while, and since today is a pretty chill day, I figure I could tackle this topic here.

DETAILS!

So many of you ask me questions like,

"Should I have my make up done?"

"Should I have my hair done?"

"Should we do a posed session or a lifestyle session?" 

"Should I get false lashes?"

The simple answer is I don't know. The reason why, is that so many of you are so different. What may work for one family, does not work for another. In fact, in the beginning I used to always suggest that Mom's have false lashes for the dramatic effect. Later I realized that although I love the dramatic volume look, some moms just don't. Some want a more natural look.

Some families want a totally 100% posed photo session. They want me to take control, guide them, pose, them, turn them, and direct them every step of the way. Others, (like myself) want a more natural, organic feel photo session, and anything that even resembles posing is out of the question. 

So what's a photog to do? The best solution is often the simplest. 

Before booking any session, I schedule a convenient time, when you are most relaxed (weather that's in a coffee shop, or a play ground, or in the comfort of your own home) so we can meet each other face to face. This is the time for you to get to know me, and I get to find out all the little DETAILS  that you have been dreaming of! This is when I LET YOU TELL ME EXACTLY WHAT YOU EXPECT. I like to take detailed notes when we meet, to make sure I don't forget anything at the time of your session. (This is my favorite part!->) This is also the time for us to brainstorm about what kind of session you want? How your hair, makeup, lashes, and wardrobe will be. We can play around with any ideas you may have! If you don't have a hair or makeup person, I can recommend some for you! I have many contacts and resources at my disposal!

THE POINT IS - IT'S WHATEVER YOU WANT!

I love my work! I love meeting new people! And I love coming up with new creative ideas for you to have as UNIQUE of a session AS YOU ARE!

So let's get together, and plan your personalized session that is unique to you and your family!

-Masha Georgiev, Portland Birth & Lifestyle Photographer

 

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Portland Lifestyle Family Photographer Masha Georgiev | What is Lifestyle Photography?

What do you think of when you hear the words "Lifestyle Photography"?

Well here is an example of what exactly a lifestyle photography session is! 

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Lifestyle is a documentary type of photography. Very similar to Birth, it captures the moments as they unfold. 

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Unscripted. Unplanned. Raw. 

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Every Lifestyle Session is unique. Each session is not like anyone else's session. That's because it's not, it's YOURS!

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Want to know more without booking? Give me a call or text 503-875-0461

I'd love to get to know you over a cup of coffee and answer and questions you may have!

Portland Birth & Family Photographer Masha Georgiev | Midwifery Week 2017!

Once a year the world realizes that Midwives are amazing, hardworking individuals, that support life right at the start! This week (Oct 1-7th) is World Midwifery Week! And if you had an amazing midwife deliver your baby, then pick up the phone and call her, and say THANK YOU! (Or at least text her! )

But on a more serious note, being a part of the Portland Oregon Birth Community I have worked with some of the most amazing and talented midwives out there! I have seen first hand the hard work they put into every birth. They are right there with you, from the very first moment you realize your having a baby, through the no so pleasant 9 month (40 week) journey when you and your body undergoes significat changes. To the moment you meet your little one for the very first time! Midwives ROCK! And this is my way of saying THANKS!

These are some of the amazing midvives from the Bella Vie Birth Center in Salem, OR. 

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Portland Birth Photographer Masha Georgiev | Shelby's Birth Story

A few weeks ago I had the honor of documenting Shelby's Birth Story at Bella Vie Birth Center. Needless to say, it was a very special day for both Shelby & Delan. I am grateful to have been inivted to share this day with them. Here is their Birth Story.

Shelby's Birth Story by Masha Georgiev

Portland Oregon Birth Photographer | Why Midwives Matter?

Why Do Midwives Matter?

From my early childhood, the thought of a Midwife was a bit foreign to me. Growing up in the US I believed that babies are born in hospitals, with moms huffing and puffing in their hospital beds, until the doctor says "PUSH", and then magically this little tiny human was born. While this may have been the experience for many expectant parents in the late 80's, today's parents have a variety of options to choose from aimed to have the best possible birth experience.

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"But why does all that even matter?" you may ask. The short answer is trust me, IT MATTERS!

My own birth experience was unpleasant and not at all what I expected. I was uneducated, unaware, and had no clue what to expect. I delivered at a Los Angeles Hospital, I had an epidural, I had an episiotemy, and virtually no support. If I could describe my birth experience in one word it would be OBLIVIOUS. Anyway I can go on and on about my sad birth story, but thats not the point of this blog. All I can say is, I wish I did have a midwife to support me not only in my birth, but in the stages of my life before and afrter pregnancy. I wish that our government could see how important their role is.

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After photographing many births with and without midwives, I'm here to say that MIDWIVES DO MATTER!

What's the big deal you ask? Read on...

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I found some interesting facts that help show why Midwives matter?

Huffington Post:

Evidence shows that midwives save lives.

Midwifery, when provided by educated, trained, regulated and licensed midwives that are integrated into the health system, increases quality of care and leads to a sustained improvement of maternal and newborn health outcomes. 

Yet, there are major gaps in maternal and newborn health outcomes across the world. Annually, approximately 287,000 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Further, 2.7 million babies die every year in their first month of life and a similar number are stillborn. An estimated 56 percent of these deaths could be prevented through strong partnerships with midwives. 

If we ensured women had access to professional midwives everywhere in the world, we could save more than 8,000 lives every single day. I don’t think I have ever heard of a better return of investment. 

The problem is, we don’t have enough midwives today, and far too many midwives lack proper support, compensation and respect to conduct their jobs. To make things worse, many midwives also face discrimination and harassment in the workplace, many times due to skewed gender norms because they are women. Many midwives also face economic barriers to conducting their lifesaving work, with many midwives reporting low salaries that sometimes are not enough to live on. 

In today’s global context, we are seeing too many strikes against women’s and babies’ lives, through the lack of political commitment towards maternal and newborn health, leading to inadequate resourcing of midwifery services. 

With the Sustainable Development Goals that have been set to be met by 2030 - the member states of the United Nations have agreed to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births and end preventable deaths of newborns. They have also agreed to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

Now, these are bold statements that require action. To achieve those goals we need more midwives. We also need to ensure that all women are respected and free. We need to listen to their voices and acknowledge them.

There should be no question about it ― having access to a midwife should be the norm. And we should all care to make it so. 

May 5th is the International Day of the Midwife, with this year’s theme being Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for Life. Learn more through the International Confederation of Midwives and their partners and support them in their work to strengthen the midwifery workforce and improve the health and rights of women and children worldwide. 

 

*The above images are of the lovely Melissa Gordon Magnus CPM, LDM - Rose City Midwifery doing what she does best!

 

 

Portland Oregon Birth Photographer | Melissa's Birth Story

"Nothing stands out more in my mind, than the day I met you"

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Portland Birth Photographer | My response to "Birth Photographer Refuses to Document C-Section"

I promise I won't make this long. But I just had to say something about this. For those of you who haven't heard, in the past couple of days, a viral post quickly started to circulate the internet. For the most part, I saw it on the Sanctimommy Facebook page. Here's a little taste of what I'm talking about:

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Being part of a huge worldwide community of Birth Photographers, Midwives, and Doulas I was quickly notified of such disgraceful comments. I must admit, I spend a few hours trying to research whether this was an actual Birth Photographer or a hoax. I was unable to confirm whether these texts were real of fake, but for certainty, they are sending shock waves throughout the birth world.

As a birth photographer, I was completely disgusted when I read these texts. "How dare someone to speak this way to an expectant Mom?" I thought to myself. I was angry. I was furious.  I honestly could not calm myself down.

I sincerely hope these texts are fake, and a sad attempt at going viral. Whatever the case, I want to speak out and set matters straight.

I belong to a worldwide community of Birth Photographers all over the world. I can honestly say, that no real birth photographer views a cesarean as surgery and not as birth. That would just be impossible. A baby has entered into this world. He or she was born, and a new life has begun. Regardless of how that baby was born, it is and always will be a birth.

What do you think? Leave your comments below ☺

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Portland Birth Photographer | Birth through a Father's eyes

We all know that giving birth is HARD WORK! Most of the time, we tend to focus on the laboring mom to be, and how hard it is for her. We look at the pain her face reflects, and the clenching of her fists as she works through each contraction. But for this blog post, I would like to focus on the often forgotten hero behind the scenes. THE DAD TO BE. After all, dads are there even before labor begins. They have been putting up with us for 40 weeks (that's a long time). They had to clean our throw up, get us to bathrooms, fetch us random foods at all hours of the night, survive our mood swings, and if you already have kids--become MOM. Ultimately I would like to shed some light on this whole experience from a father's standpoint. For the purpose of this blog post, I interviewed a recently new father and asked a few questions about his experience. (Father's name has been changed to Ryan protect the manliness of this super awesome dad) los-angeles-birth-photographer-7

Masha: Hey Ryan, thanks for agreeing to do this! Ryan: Hey it's no problem at all, I'm glad I can help.

Masha: So I guess the first thing we need to know is, is this your first baby? Ryan: Well actually this is our third.

Masha: Wow! Congratulations! Ryan: Thanks.

Masha: When you first heard the news that you were going to become a father for the first time, what were your thoughts and feelings? Ryan: When my wife sat me down, to tell me that she was pregnant, I kind of already knew it. We had been trying for a few months at that point, and I was secretly hoping that this was the month, and it was! I have to admit, I was a little scared and excited at the same time. My first thought was "This is actually happening, I'm going to be a father, I am now in charge of someone else's life and I better not screw it up!" (chuckles)

Masha: If you can remember, what was the first trimester like for you? Ryan: Going to the doctor to get the pregnancy confirmed had me worried sick. I remember thinking "could the test be wrong?" Thankfully everything went well. Throughout the first trimester, I felt a lot of anxiety. Not knowing the sex, not knowing what to expect, planning, calculating, it was all a lot to take in, but through it all, I was super excited!

Masha: Did your wife have morning sickness? Ryan: Uh yeah she had it pretty bad. It started a few weeks after our first doctor's visit and pretty much lasted all day and night. I felt really bad for her.

Masha: Did she have it for all three pregnancies? Ryan: Yeah pretty much, but not through the whole pregnancy, just the beginning.

Masha?: How did you feel? Ryan: Helpless. Like I couldn't help in any way. But by the third baby, I was pretty used to it. It was just life.

Masha: Did you guys want to know the sex of your baby(ies)? Ryan: Oh yeah, I couldn't wait!

Masha: What are the names of your children? Ryan: Emily, Emma, and Ethan

Masha: Wow they all start with the letter E! Ryan: Yeah, it's my wife's thing. I'm cool with it.

Masha: What was it like to see your baby for the fist time on the sonogram? Ryan: It was amazing! I couldn't believe that tiny little blob, will be a full human. I have to admit, deep down, I was more excited than my wife. Don't tell her!

Masha: Do you feel the pregnancy lasted too long? Ryan: Towards the ends, it's like "come on out already" but that's because my wife was uncomfortable, and therefore I was uncomfortable. But now that I look back, they all seem to have gone by pretty fast!

Masha: Tell me your experience the first time your wife went into labor. Ryan: Uh, well it was a lot of back and forth. We kept thinking labor was starting, but then it would stall. I guess that's normal. When the real labor was actually confirmed, I started to panic a bit. At that point, you just don't know what to expect. I remember trying to drive as smooth as possible. We got to the hospital at 4 am. For some reason, I was expecting it to be like in the movies. Her water breaks, we get to the hospital, she's screaming and squeezing my hand, the baby comes out, and its all over. But she labored for 14 hours after that.

Masha: Did she choose to have an epidural? Ryan: Yes. That was kind of scary. But it did help a lot. Finally after hours and hours of exhausting labor, and almost 2 hours of pushing we welcomed our first little girl!

Masha: Were your other two children born in the hospital? Ryan: No, actually the other two children were born at home. After the first baby, we wanted a more calm setting, and my wife wanted a water birth. So we found a midwife and doula through a birth center, and she had both of our babies here at home.

Masha: Did you like the home birth more vs the hospital birth? Ryan: YES!

Masha: Why? Ryan: It was a totally different approach. With the home birth, we chose not to have an epidural, and try to go all natural. I kind of got into the whole birth process thing because the midwives included me and I felt part of it. I have to say it made me so much less anxious and stressed out. I was still freaking out though. Both of our home water births were much shorter than the hospital birth. She labored for 8 hours with the second baby, and 9 hours with the third. Watching a home birth, vs hospital is so different. Our doula and midwife really supported my wife. When the babies came out, it was calm. I have to honestly say, it was beautiful. I would do it again.

Masha: If you were to give any words of advice to any dad's to be out there, what would it be? Ryan: Hire Masha to be your birth photographer! (laughing)

Masha: Haha, but seriously. Ryan: I would have to say-Don't overthink it. Embrace it. Be there for every part of it. Don't miss anything. Document everything. Your life will totally change, for the best. Support your wife, it's not weak to show feelings, to be kind, to care. Do it. And if possible, I would recommend doing it at home if you can. It makes a huge difference!

Masha: Thank you so much for being willing to do this. I really appreciate it. Ryan: Anytime.

Thanks for reading this interview. Please like and comment below.

DISCLAIMER: The father in the photo above is not the person being interviewed.

Portland Maternity Photographer | Bree's Winter Maternity Session : It's a Boy!

Bree and Bryndan are going to make such amazing parents to their little boy! The two of them share an enviable love with one another and are just so at ease in each others arms. While shooting they were laughing, joking, and hugging. Sweeter words have never been uttered and I love being witness to such affection. They are both so blessed to have each other and I’m so happy to share these images with you all. portland-family-photographer-5

There is so much anticipation right around this time. Every day you wonder if it’ll be the day you meet your little one. And then one day he comes and you can’t remember what life was like before he came into this world.

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Bree and Bryndan, I am so incredibly excited for you both and I can’t wait to meet the little one!

To book your Maternity Session please call 503.875.0461

Oregon Birth Photographer | PCOS and Infertility

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This is something that is near and dear to my heart. Being a PCOS sufferer myself, I wanted to write about this for a while.  My TTC Journey

My dear husband and I have been TTC for over 5 years now. Without getting into too much details, my story is that I have PCOS. I ovulate sometimes. And I have suffered 5 miscarriages. I have a 12 year old son, however sadly he's not my husbands son. We have been TTC ever since we said "I do". It's been a rough journey, with so much sadness. Only a couple who have gone through this can understand it. 

I think many women don't realize that being able to have a baby is something that women are made for, and when a woman cannot do this, she feels "broken". PCOS breaks you. It messes with your hormones. It messes with your body. It messes with your mind. And sometimes, it destroys families. I am happy to say that my dear husband is very understanding, and does not see me as broken, nor does he feel like I am inadequate. He understands that PCOS is impartial, and his wife has it. 

The reason I wanted to write about PCOS is that so many women today still have no idea what PCOS is, what the symptoms are, what the causes are, and how they can manage it. So I wanted to gather some useful links to sites that are a great resource for every woman with ovaries.

The following information is taken from : http://natural-fertility-info.com/pcos-fertility-diet this is by far my favorite PCOS and Feetility informational websites.

Causes of PCOS

Signs, Symptoms & Risks

Tests & Diagnosis

Menstrual Cycle Irregularities

Medical Options

PCOS Diet

Natural Therapies

Summary

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome may be one of the most complex female health issues of our time. It is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. PCOS is accompanied by a variety of different health issues, many of which directly impact fertility. Classic PCOS presents with obesity, polycystic ovaries (multiple ovarian cysts that look like a strand of pearls), elevated levels of androgens and absent or irregular menstrual cycles. Not all women who will go on to be diagnosed with PCOS will have these issues though. What Causes PCOS?

Doctors are unsure of what causes PCOS, but information suggests there are several links including genes, possible abnormal fetal development, insulin resistance and inflammatory response contributing to the cause. We know that insulin resistance plays a key role in PCOS, but what leads to the development of this has not been pinned down. PCOS is also negatively affected by diet, lifestyle and exposure to certain environmental toxins. PCOS directly impacts fertility, but has serious health implications as well, especially if left untreated. Genetic Predisposition and Abnormal Fetal Development

Women whose mothers, sisters or grandmothers had PCOS are at a higher risk for developing PCOS. Research suggests that exposure to excessive amounts of male hormones (androgens) by the developing fetus may alter proper gene expression. This means that the affected genes will not function correctly later in life, which may cause PCOS during the reproductive years of a woman’s life. A recent, first of its kind genome-wide association study of PCOS has identified two areas of DNA that leave women of European ancestry susceptible to developing PCOS. The researchers also found one region of susceptibility in the DNA of Chinese women. Of particular interest was one area of DNA that contains the gene for the hormone FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). This finding provides evidence of disruption of the pathway that regulates FSH and in turn ovarian function which plays a crucial role in the development of PCOS. The human genome project has allowed researchers to pool more than 700,000 genetic markers from the DNA of thousands of women with PCOS. This is what helped them identify regions of genes associated with PCOS.

“For a number of years, researchers had been thinking that it was testosterone produced by the ovary that was a major problem in PCOS, but our study did not find signals for genes regulating testosterone… In contrast, we did find a signal for the FSH gene, which is produced in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. This suggests that FSH, in either how it acts on the ovary or how it is secreted, is very important in the development of PCOS. This is a new way of thinking about the biology of PCOS.”

– Dr. Andrea Dunaif

Researchers are planning on mining the DNA of women of African ancestry with PCOS next to see if there is a shared genetic basis for PCOS over other ethnicities. Doctors plan to use all of this research to identify girls who may be at-risk for developing PCOS and create a medical treatment protocol to cure it. Another interesting study of 235 women with PCOS sought to discover if there is a link to the development of PCOS later life that may be influenced by factors beginning in the womb. The women were divided into two groups. The groups were categorized by: 1. obese women with elevated androgens, elevated LH and testosterone, and 2. by thin to normal weight women with elevated LH and normal levels of androgens. The results of the study showed a pattern in both the mothers weight and baby’s birth weight and fetal gestation time. The women in group 1 had above-average birth weight and were born to obese mothers. The women in group 2 were born after 40 weeks gestation. The conclusion was that events occurring during fetal development may have long-term effects on endocrine function later in life. Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas and is responsible for signaling cells in the body to function correctly, most importantly to convert glucose to energy and to control their growth. It also plays a key role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. Insulin resistance happens when the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. When this happens, higher levels of insulin are needed so that insulin can have the proper effects. At this point, the pancreas must overcompensate, working harder and harder to produce more insulin. Insulin signals the ovaries to secrete testosterone and inhibit hepatic sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) production which leads to an increased level of circulating testosterone. This is why many women with PCOS experience acne, facial hair growth and male pattern baldness (hirsutism). Excess insulin in the bloodstream also signals the ovaries to release more estrogen which can suppress ovulation. Low-grade Inflammation

It has also been found that women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation, which may be a cause for insulin resistance. White blood cells produce substances to fight infection, this is known as inflammatory response. In some predisposed people eating certain foods, or exposure to certain environmental factors may trigger an inflammatory response. When inflammatory response is triggered, white blood cells produce substances that may contribute to insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. Signs, Symptoms and Health Risks

Signs and Symptoms of PCOS Irregular menstrual cycles

Absent period

Anovulatory cycles

Abnormal mid-cycle bleeding

Excessive or heavy menstrual bleeding

Alopecia (balding)

Hirsutism (excessive body hair)

Acne

Acanthosis nigricans – a darkening of the skin in the armpits, back of the neck, or groin

Polycystic ovaries

History of ovarian cysts

Mood disorders

Obesity

Recurrent Miscarriage

Health and Fertility Risks Associated with PCOS Infertility

Menstrual cycle irregularities

Possible increased risk for endometrial and breast cancer due to unopposed estrogen

Cardiovascular disease

Diabetes

Gestational diabetes How is PCOS Diagnosed?

When PCOS was first discovered it was named Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome because of the presence of polycystic ovaries seen by ultrasound. Over time doctors began to realize that PCOS was a complex array of health issues. To date there is a push by doctors to change the name of this condition. “Patients read into the name and just think, ‘Okay, this is about my ovaries, it’s really not about anything else…’ But from a doctor’s perspective, the most worrisome aspects of the disorder are the long-term consequences, such as diabetes.,” said Dr. Melissa Goist, ObGyn. (Livescience, 2013). This led to certain criteria that must be recognized to be diagnosed with PCOS, rather than just the presence of polycystic ovaries. In fact some women with PCOS do not have polycystic ovaries. In order to be diagnosed with PCOS the following should be evaluated by your healthcare practitioner: Pituitary and Ovarian Hormone serum levels: Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Estradiol

Progesterone

Prolactin

Circulating Androgens: Free testosterone

Free androgen index (FAI): 17-hydroxyprogesterone

Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG): 24 hr. urinary free cortisol

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S)

Endometrial Biopsy

Glucose Tolerance Test

Thyroid Panel

Blood Lipid Profile Are you wondering what your test results mean? Please talk to your doctor in detail about what your test results mean for your fertility. Some doctors may tell you that you have mild PCOS. Women may have some or all of the symptoms of PCOS, some may have normal menstrual cycles and some may not. Testing is the best way to find out if you have PCOS for sure or not. Click here to learn more about the different presentations of PCOS… How PCOS Affects the Menstrual Cycle

What happens in a normal menstrual cycle? In very simple terms the hypothalamus produces GnRH (gonadotrophin-releasing hormone) which signals to the pituitary to produce LH (luteinising hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). The release of GnRH is pulsatile in women with regular menstrual cycles. The normal pulsatile release of GnRh signals some of the follicles in the ovary to begin maturing and for the ovaries to release estrogen and progesterone. This estrogen/progesterone signal is recognized by the pituitary gland. As the follicles begin maturing they release and increase the hormone estrogen over time. The rising estrogen level signals the pituitary gland to curb the release of FSH. This communication allows for ovulation to occur. In women with PCOS the menstrual cycle follows a different pattern of endocrine function and communication. What the menstrual cycle is typically like in a woman with PCOS… In women with PCOS the menstrual cycle starts off irregular, with the hypothalamus releasing GnRH in a higher than normal pulsatile frequency. This allows for increased LH and decreased FSH, which in turn leads to excessive production of the androgens androstenedione and testosterone. This causes the follicle to only mature some, but not enough to achieve full maturity in order to be released for ovulation. This also allows for continued increase of estrogen, primarily estrone. During a woman’s reproductive years, estrone levels are relatively low. Typically we associate estrone with menopause, not the the fertile years of a woman’s life. The higher levels of androgens and estrogen create a chronic state of low to very low progesterone and anovulatory cycles. Classic polycystic ovaries are a result of chronic anovulation. Endocrine function is imbalanced from the very beginning of the menstrual cycle causing mild to severe hormonal imbalance, depending on the individual. Excessive levels of estrogen may also cause uterine hypertrophy, also known as endometrial hyperplasia. Unopposed estrogen may cause excessive cell proliferation of the endometrium. The endometrium is the innermost layer of the uterus that is shed as menses during menstruation. Endometrial hyperplasia may cause heavy menstrual bleeding or prolonged bleeding during menstruation. The uterus may become bulky and larger than normal. Medical Options for PCOS

Anovulatory Cycles Oral Contraceptive Pills (birth control) are the number one most prescribed medication to regulate menstruation in women with PCOS. While this may help to create a regular menstrual cycle (which is important) it prevents pregnancy. This is not helpful for women with PCOS who are trying to conceive. OCPs do not solve the root of the problem and may actually cause long-term reproductive health problems.

Other hormonal medications may be commonly used as well. This is determined by case. Clomid is commonly used for women with PCOS to hyperstimulate the ovaries to ovulate. Once again the problem we encounter here is that Clomid does not resolve PCOS, though it may help a woman to get pregnant. Ovarian drilling done by laparascopic surgery. This is done with the intent to stimulate ovulation. Insulin Resistance Metformin

This drug is commonly prescribed for women with PCOS, even if they are not insulin resistant or have any signs of type 2 diabetes. Metformin helps to control the amount of glucose in the blood. Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes. PCOS can often be helped by specific diet changes, similar to a diabetic diet. Metformin comes with risks and side effects, please talk to your doctor in detail before choosing to use Metformin to control PCOS. Many natural therapies may be used with Metformin with your doctor’s approval.

Note: Long-term treatment with Metformin has been shown to cause malabsorption of vitamin B12 in some patients. Before choosing to use this medication, talk to your doctor about the long-term goal and duration of treatment. There are a variety of other medications prescribed depending on the symptoms of PCOS. There are medications for hirsutism or alopecia, weight gain and more. Your doctor can provide you with specific information on medications. Learn to Eat a PCOS Fertility Diet

Eating a specific PCOS Fertility Diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your chances of becoming pregnant. Eating a specific PCOS Fertility Diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your chances of becoming pregnant.The biggest part of the problem with PCOS is insulin resistance. Resistance to insulin increases the body’s insulin levels which can have a negative affect on ovulation by limiting the maturation process of an egg and in turn delaying or preventing ovulation from taking place. Insulin resistance also makes it difficult for the embryo to attach properly to the uterus for implantation. This has a direct impact on your fertility and ability to conceive. Women with insulin resistance are 4-5 times more likely to have a miscarriage. PCOS is also a huge red flag for the beginning of type 2 diabetes. I do not say all this to scare you, but I do want you to know that this is a serious matter. Fortunately, there are many natural options you can do on your own to turn this all around. The biggest step you can take is to change your diet to a PCOS diet. The benefits of following a PCOS Diet are: Increases the rate of spontaneous ovulation

Significantly improves the environment of the uterus, preparing it for implantation

Increases the likelihood of a healthy conception

Decreases the potential for miscarriage

Helps to prevent insulin resistance from turning into diabetes

PCOS Diet Guidelines

1. Balance your daily protein intake with an equal amount of carbohydrates This will help to eliminate the insulin yo-yo. When you eat equal amounts of protein and carbohydrates this helps to keep your insulin at a balanced level, thus increasing your fertility. A low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet helped insulin resistance. A high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet made insulin resistance worse.

– Medical Journal Metabolism; no. 12: 1481-1487 A diet containing 25% carbohydrates improved insulin resistance, whereas a diet that included 45% carbohydrates did not.

– International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders; 20 no. 12:1067-1072 The types of carbohydrates you choose are also an important factor. Choose whole grain, or sprouted grain products. They contain more protein and fiber (better for balancing insulin levels) than their processed counterparts. Avoid processed carbohydrates, especially the white variety (white flour, rice, potato, etc.) which cause a spike in insulin levels and provide little to no fiber, or nutrients. Some examples of whole grain and sprouted grain products are: Ezekiel Bread Ezekiel breads

Spelt

Quinoa

Millet

Brown Rice

Buckwheat

Amaranth

The best place to find these foods are at your local health foods store or Whole Foods Market. Make sure the proteins you are eating are complete and organic. Organic meats and dairy contain essential fatty acids and will reduce the negative impact on hormonal imbalance. 2. Eat foods low on the glycemic index and glycemic load list Blood glucose rises and then falls when you eat a meal containing carbs. How high it rises and how long it remains high depends on the kind of carbs (glycemic index, GI) and the amount you ate (glycemic load, GL). Low glycemic index foods are carbohydrates that break down slowly in the body, and don’t cause such a dramatic spike and then drop in insulin levels. The glycemic load takes into consideration the amount of the glycemic index food you consumed and how that affects your blood sugar. The glycemic load combines both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate into one ‘number’. It’s the best way to predict blood glucose values of different types and amounts of food. The serving size of the amount of carbohydrates consumed really matter here. Be sure to eat no more than 100g of low glycemic index carbohydrates a day if you have insulin resistant PCOS and are overweight. Increase the amount of low glycemic index carbohydrates consumed a day to over 100g if you are thinner or underweight. Some examples of low glycemic index foods are: Kale, broccoli, asparagus

Beans and lentils

Grapefruit and apples

Walnuts and almonds

Processed carbohydrates that break down quickly make insulin levels jump dramatically. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index such as sugary and starchy foods such as: pancakes, syrups, sugar, white potatoes, jams, scones, white bread products, pasta, soda, alcoholic beverages. Click here to learn how to make low GI fertility smoothies friendly for PCOS… 3. Eat a diet high in fiber Fiber helps in two ways with PCOS. The first way it helps is by slowing down the digestion of sugars in the body, so there is no spike in insulin. The second way fiber helps is by promoting healthy estrogen metabolism which aids in the reduction of elevated levels of androgens. Great sources of fiber are: broccoli, celery, whole grains, Ezekiel bread, apples, and dark leafy greens. 4. Eat 5 meals a day PCOS portion size plateBy eating more often, the body will not go into fasting mode. When you look at the way most Americans eat, it is usually three big meals a day. With such a large gap of time between meals the body goes into fasting mode which may cause the metabolism to become imbalanced. Your five meals a day should consist of three regular meals and two healthy snacks, or 5 small meals. The first snack should be eaten in the mid-morning before lunch and the second snack to be eaten less than an hour before bed. At each meal a day be sure you are eating a serving of protein (3-4 ounces), a low GI/GL carbohydrate (1/4-1/2 cup or serving size), and vegetables (1 – 1 & 1/2 cup). Here is what the 5 meals a day could look like: Breakfast (right away, when you wake up): 2 eggs scrambled in 1 tsp. coconut oil with spinach and 1/2 cup of black beans

Snack: Smoothie with unsweetened coconut or almond milk, 1/2 of a peach, 1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon, hemp protein powder and spirulina

Lunch: Organic Turkey lettuce wrap with celery sticks and hummus on the side

Dinner: Organic chicken with steamed broccoli and half a cup of baked yam

Snack (less than an hour before bed): organic unsweetened yogurt with half a serving of low glycemic index fruit (blueberries, raspberries, papaya) and 1/2 tsp. chia seeds

Alternately, you could have your last snack between lunch and dinner, eating your dinner right before bed. Find out what works best with your lifestyle. 5. Eat essential fatty acids daily Eating essential fatty acids (EFA’s) helps you to lose weight, aids hormonal balance, and are important building blocks for the body to create a healthy environment for conception. The best source of omega-3 EFA’s is Cod Liver Oil, and omega-6 EFA’s is Evening Primrose oil. Cod Liver Oil– Take 1 capsule daily with one of your meals. Cod Liver Oil is a rich source of DHA which is essential for a developing baby’s brain health. You can take this daily and during pregnancy. Evening Primrose Oil– Take 1500mg of this oil from day one of your cycle (menstruation) till ovulation. Evening Primrose Oil helps to increase cervical mucous and metabolic function. Use in addition to flax or cod liver oils. 6. Exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week Exercise helps PCOS by improving insulin sensitivity, increasing metabolism and helping to shed any excess weight. Both aerobic and resistance exercises are good. Researchers found that participants of resistance exercises showed better improvement in insulin sensitivity than with aerobic exercise alone. Avoid excessive exercise programs because too much exercise overworks the adrenal glands which increases inflammation and in turn makes PCOS worse. Restorative exercise programs are best. You could walk and lift weights, or take a Pilates class and run on the treadmill, or do some Zumba and then Fertility Yoga. Discover what you enjoy doing and do this 5 days a week for at least thirty minutes a day. 7. Eat Organic You will be eating a high protein diet, so it is essential that any animal proteins (meats and dairy) you are eating are organic. In commercial meats there are large amounts of added hormones (estrogens) that make the animals grow bigger, faster, and produce more milk. With PCOS there is usually a progesterone deficiency and adding more estrogens can make it even worse. Studies have shown that organic foods contain more vitamins, minerals and healthier proteins. 8. Quit Coffee Caffeine increases estrogen levels. A study from Fertility and Sterility shows that drinking just two cups of coffee a day boosts levels of estradiol, a natural estrogen. Women who drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day produce 70% more estrogen in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle (when the body is trying to produce a viable follicle for ovulation, which is already an issue for women with PCOS.) If you need help getting off the bean, check out Teeccino. It is a coffee alternative that tastes great and is alkalizing for the body. Click here to learn more about Teechino and other herbal coffee alternatives…

PCOS Herbs and Supplements

Important note: It takes at least 6-12 months of consistent lifestyle and diet changes, along with natural therapies to bring about real change in the body when living with PCOS. In addition to eating the PCOS diet, supplements have shown to be effective in helping those with PCOS boost their fertility and give birth to healthy babies. The overall goal with PCOS is to balance blood sugar levels, maintain hormonal balance, promote healthy digestion for improved estrogen metabolism, while also working to promote regular ovulation and menses. Adaptogen herbs are also important, this is because adaptogens increase resistance to mind-body stress and enhance overall vitality and health through non-specific adrenal (known as stress glands) support. Plants recognized as adaptogens help to normalize the body’s functions, most importantly the endocrine system, even during diseased states, are non-toxic, nutritive, and have been deemed safe for long term use. Herbs and supplements are not meant to be a substitute for dietary and lifestyle changes! If diet and lifestyles changes specific to PCOS are not in place, herbs and supplements cannot aid the body properly! Supplements That Are Beneficial for PCOS… Whole Food Multivitamin

A major part of decreasing the effects of PCOS on your health and preparing the uterine lining is to take a prenatal multivitamin. Making sure your body has all of the nutrients necessary is a lot easier when you are taking a whole food multivitamin. Synthetic multivitamins won’t have the same effect. Other vitamin and mineral considerations… Chromium

This trace mineral enhances the action of insulin. Some studies have shown supplementing with chromium may improve blood sugar control. In one study, women with PCOS were given 1,000 mcg per day of chromium for two months and in that time results showed improved insulin sensitivity by 30% in average weight women and by 38% in obese women with PCOS.

Foods that are high in chromium are onions, tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, oysters, whole grains, and bran. Most foods contain very little chromium, so supplementation may need to be considered. Calcium and Vitamin D

Both calcium and vitamin D play significant roles in the health of many parts of the body. Where PCOS is concerned, calcium protects cardiovascular health. Vitamin D plays a role in glucose metabolism. Studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes are often deficient in vit. D. A small study of 13 women with PCOS showed that 7 out of the 9 who had absent or irregular menstrual cycles, had a return of normal menstrual cycles within two months after being given 50,000 IU once or twice per week of vitamin D and 1,500 mg per day of calcium. This is a marked improvement! Of the 13 women, 5 were shown to be vitamin D deficient. Good food sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, eggs, salmon, mackerel, tuna and whole fat yogurt or other dairy products. Vitamin D can also be obtained for free by sitting out in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes per day. Forget using sunscreen it will actually block the ultraviolet light that is needed to produce Vitamin D. The warm sun helps your skin to create Vitamin D3 that is then transformed into the active hormone form of Vitamin D by the kidneys and the liver. In fact, by being out in the sun for just a few minutes a day, a woman’s body can create between 10,000 to 25,000 IU of Vitamin D. Calcium can be found in kale, turnips, collards, mustard greens, kelp and wakame seaweed. Hiziki, a type of seaweed has 10 times more calcium than a glass of milk. Herbs and supplements that promote hormonal balance and support regular ovulation: Cod Liver Oil Again, cod liver oil is a rich source of omega-3 EFA’s. Eating omega-3 essential fatty acids can help to lose weight, balance hormones, and creates a healthy environment for conception. Omega-3 EFA’s have been shown to aid hormonal regulation and reduce inflammation. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Licorice root helps the body to maintain proper hormone production and release. Licorice also supports healthy insulin levels and liver health which is important for women with PCOS. Maca (Lepidium meyenii) Maca works to balance estrogen and progesterone in the body which may help to encourage a healthy menstrual cycle. Maca is an adaptogen and an incredible fertility superfood. It helps to balance the hormones, but does not contain any hormones itself. It is able to do this by nourishing the endocrine system. Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) Vitex (Chaste Tree Berry) is one of the most powerful herbs for women’s fertility and menstrual health. There are numerous studies and testimonials of Vitex and its effects on the body. Vitex supports hormonal balance in the body by having an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (hormonal feedback loop), correcting the problem at the source. Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) Tribulus has been found to help encourage regular ovulation in infertile women when used prior to ovulation. This herb has been found to be wonderful in aiding women with menstrual irregularities, improving the timing of the entire menstrual cycle. Tribulus has also been found to be a nourishing tonic for the female reproductive system as a whole, especially concerning the ovaries. White Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) and Licorice Rt. (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Most clinical trials have found that when White Peony is combined with Licorice Rt., it performs better, especially for relaxing muscles, reducing painful menstruation, as well as lowering serum and free testosterone levels in women with PCOS. Natural Progesterone Cream Progesterone cream can help to oppose estrogen dominance that may occur in some women with PCOS. Through the topical application of progesterone cream one can mimic a natural cycle and help the body to establish its own cycle, including ovulation, once again. Dr. John Lee believed that with progesterone cream, along with changing to a PCOS specific diet and regularly exercising, PCOS could become obsolete. Healthy Estrogen Metabolism DIM DIM balances the hormones and aids in the breakdown of estrogen. Estrogen is a major culprit to many of the fertility issues women face today including PCOS. Unopposed estrogen has been shown to cause menstrual cycle irregularities and in more advanced cases, endometrial hyperplasia. Removal of excess estrogen is vital to overall hormonal balance in women with PCOS. Insulin Resistance Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) A pilot study published in 2007 by Fertility and Sterility showed cinnamon to greatly reduce insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Another study suggests cinnamon may also reduce insulin resistance by slowing the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. This slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which is important for people with diabetes and women with PCOS. Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre, G.sylvestris) Gymnema has been used for hundreds of years to reduce high blood sugar. This herb has a “sugar blocking” action on taste buds and the small intestine. Gymnema blocks the typical paths that sugar molecules take during digestion, delaying the absorption of sugar. It works by stimulating the regeneration of pancreatic cells that produce insulin, which aids in more insulin production; in turn stimulating production of enzymes that help with the uptake of glucose into cells; and then prevents stimulation of the liver to produce more glucose. Gymnema also appears to have a lipid-lowering effect, which aids in weight loss. Hirsutism and Endometrial Hyperplasia Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) Saw Palmetto has been found to inhibit DHT production by reducing 5 alpha-reductase production, which may help prevent hirsutism in women with PCOS. This herb also helps to reduce endometrial hyperplasia and hormonal acne symptoms. To purchase a harmonizing herbal blend supportive of hormonal balance click here… Inflammatory response

Because women with PCOS usually have low-grade inflammation constantly present in the body, it is important to support the body by promoting a healthy inflammation response. Some foods are known to trigger inflammation in the body. If you have food allergies, avoid foods which you are sensitive to because they trigger an inflammatory response. Omegas Omega essential fatty acids decrease the risk of inflammation, especially omega-3 and 6. Getting enough essential fatty acids in the diet may help, both through foods you eat and through supplementation. Systemic Enzyme Therapy Systemic Enzyme Therapy or using systemic enzymes is another option. Systemic enzyme blends work as a biological response modifier; working with the bodies own immune defense system to moderate inflammatory response. They also break down the proteins in the blood that cause inflammation. Royal Jelly and Bee Propolis Royal jelly and bee propolis have been shown to reduce inflammation and naturally boost the body’s immune system. They may also aid in hormonal balance through endocrine system support. Click here to learn about other herbs helpful for women with PCOS…

Summary

PCOS is a complex female health issue. It consists of many different health concerns and risks. If permanent diet and lifestyle changes are implemented, these risks and health issues may become obsolete. There are many ways to support the proper health of a woman’s body that is dealing with PCOS. Important key tips… 1. Make sure your doctor performs the correct tests and you get a proper diagnosis. 2. Follow a PCOS specific diet to help decrease insulin resistance, balance weight, and improve estrogen metabolism. 3. Promote hormonal balance and support regular ovulation through supportive herbs and supplements. 4. Support a proper inflammatory response. 5. Stick to your plan, believe in yourself, only you have the ability to change your circumstances!

Milk Bath Session MODEL CALL

Michelle-13  

-Seeking a Maternity Model to photograph a “Milk Bath Session” in exchange for 5 professionally edited high resolution digital images.

-Must be 30-36 weeks pregnant.

-Must fill out and sign model release form.

-Must have big enough bathtub with natural window light.

-Must be available to photograph within the next two weeks for the session.

Email mashagphotog@gmail.com with “Maternity Model” in subject line.

Please include a full length photo of yourself, and your due date.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.chelseahaworthphotography.co.nz/services

Portland Birth Photographer | One contraction, at a time....

Los Angeles Birth Photographer

One contraction, at a time...

I came across this article on babycenter.com and wanted to share with all of you. Many feel that epidural is the only way to relieve contraction pain. However many moms who have gone through labor, have commented on these successful natural pain techniques.

In addition to pain medication and epidurals, moms have lots of natural pain-management tricks up their sleeves. We surveyed more than a thousand moms to learn how they eased their labor pain. Here's what they had to say.

Breathing Exercises

A full three-quarters of BabyCenter moms used breathing exercises to ride out those contractions.

  • I found that blowing out deep breaths really helped me get through the contractions.
  • The contractions were very intense and breathing through the pain was very helpful for me.
  • It felt like I had to take all my energy and focus it, especially during the tough contractions. If I moved or lost focus on my breathing, I felt like I lost control of my body and the pain would take over.

Position changes

Half our moms found that a simple change of position helped relieve the pain. (Exercise balls can be great for this – a quarter of BabyCenter moms used one).

  • Don't be afraid to move around, walk, sit on a ball, or whatever, it progresses labor faster.
Learn about your options for labor, birth, and after, and make your wishes clear.

Rocking

Many moms rocked their way through contractions.

  • I got through it just one contraction at a time, through breathing, rocking, and moaning.

Walking

If you're up for it, try a little walk. It helped about one-third of the moms in our survey.

  • I definitely recommend walking to help with labor and delivery

Massage

Don't underestimate the power of a good massage – be it your back or your feet!

  • I packed a rice heating pad, which was amazing for my back labor.
  • A handheld massager was very useful in early labor when the pain was in my back.
  • My husband rubbed my feet with aromatherapy lotion. I was in heaven.
Learn massage techniques you can use during labor, like "nerve strokes" and the "double hip squeeze".

Soaking in the tub

Almost one-fifth of BabyCenter moms got some watery relief.

  • I spent the majority of my labor in the bathtub, which helped manage the pain and also relaxed me.

Visualization

Got a nice beach in mind? Go to it during contractions. You can also try visualizing labor before it happens.

  • The biggest advice I have is to envision labor in your mind beforehand. I prepared by telling myself that it's going to hurt, but it won't last forever... like a tattoo.
  • Take yourself somewhere else mentally during contractions.
Moms share how they made it through the toughest moments of labor.

Music

If you're a music lover, try a few tunes for natural pain management, as 14 percent of our moms did. (Looking for some song ideas? Check out our labor playlists).

  • I packed my MP3 player and used it while in labor. The music helped me relax and took my mind off the contractions.

Article credit: http://www.babycenter.com/0_moms-say-top-pain-management-techniques-during-labor_10339940.bc

Portland Oregon Home Birth Photographer | Preparing for a Home Birth

Los Angeles Birth Photographer-113  

As a Portland Oregon & Los Angeles Home Birth Photographer I often get asked "Do you think I should have a Hospital or a Home Birth?"

While this is a very personal decision, that should be made between you and your partner, I wanted to jot down how the two differ, and some of the pro's and con's for both. So here we go!

In this post I will start with a Home Birth.

What happens during a planned home birth?

During a planned home birth you'll give birth in your home instead of in a hospital or birth center. You'll need to be assisted during labor and delivery by a knowledgeable midwife or, in some cases, a doctor to help ensure the health of you and your baby.

During your prenatal care your health care provider will review a list of conditions during pregnancy and labor that would require treatment by a doctor and compromise the safety of a planned home birth. Your health care provider will also review the challenges that can occur during childbirth, how he or she — in comparison with a hospital — would handle them, and the possible health risks for you and your baby.

During labor, your health care provider will periodically — rather than continuously — monitor your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and your baby's heart rate. After delivery, you'll be close to your baby. Your health care provider will examine your newborn and determine whether he or she needs to be transferred to a hospital. In addition, your health care provider will give you information on how to care for your newborn. Follow-up care might include home visits and lactation support.

Why do women choose planned home births?

You might choose a planned home birth for many reasons, including:

  • A desire to give birth in a familiar, relaxing environment surrounded by people of your choice
  • A desire to wear your own clothes, take a shower or bath, eat, drink and move around freely during labor
  • A desire to control your labor position or other aspects of the birthing process
  • A desire to give birth without medical intervention, such as pain medication
  • Cultural or religious norms or concerns
  • A history of fast labor
  • Lower cost

Are there situations when a planned home birth isn't recommended?

A planned home birth isn't right for everyone. Your health care provider might caution against a planned home birth if you:

  • Have diabetes, chronic hypertension, a seizure disorder or any chronic medical condition
  • Previously had a C-section
  • Develop a pregnancy complication, such as preeclampsia
  • Are pregnant with multiples or your baby doesn't settle into a position that allows for a headfirst delivery
  • Are less than 37 weeks or more than 41 weeks pregnant

What might cause the need for a hospital transfer?

During a planned home birth, you might need to be transported to a hospital for monitoring or treatment. Your health care provider might recommend transfer to a hospital if:

  • Labor isn't progressing
  • Traces of fecal waste (meconium) appear in your amniotic fluid
  • The placenta peels away from the inner wall of your uterus before delivery (placental abruption)
  • The umbilical cord drops into your vagina ahead of the baby (umbilical cord prolapse)
  • You have vaginal bleeding not associated with bloody show
  • You don't deliver the placenta or it's not delivered intact
  • Your baby shows signs of distress, such as an abnormal heart rate

Your newborn might also need to be transferred to a hospital if he or she has breathing problems or signs of a medical condition.

What are the possible risks of a planned home birth?

While most pregnant women who choose to have planned home births are at lower risk of complications due to careful screening, planned home births are associated with double to triple the risk of infant death than are planned hospital births. Still, even with that increase, the overall risk of infant death is low.

How do I prepare for a home birth?

You can prepare for a planned home birth by:

  • Choosing trained health care providers to assist. It's important to choose a certified nurse-midwife, a certified midwife or a doctor who has a formal relationship with a health care system overseen by your state health department or The Joint Commission. Make sure he or she has easy access to consultation with doctors or specialists at a collaborating hospital. If you're interested in additional physical and emotional support, consider hiring a doula — a professional labor assistant. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends having present at least one trained person whose primary responsibility is caring for your newborn.
  • Creating a birth plan. Where do you plan to experience labor and delivery? Will you use any specific methods to cope with pain? Do you want a water birth? Will you breast-feed your baby immediately after delivery? What other support people will be present? Discuss the details of your birthing plan with your health care provider. Ask your health care provider what kind of supplies you'll need to provide, such as towels, sheets or other protective coverings for your floor or mattress.
  • Preparing for a hospital transfer. Discuss with your health care provider the signs and symptoms that might necessitate going to a hospital and how a hospital transfer will affect your birthing plan. Ideally, your home or other planned birth location is within 15 minutes of a hospital with 24-hour maternity care. Make sure you have access to transportation. Ask your health care provider to make arrangements with a nearby hospital to ensure that you can be promptly transferred and treated, if necessary.
  • Choosing a pediatrician. Plan a medical exam for your baby within a few days of birth.
  • Arranging for postpartum help. After delivery, you might need help caring for yourself and your new baby. Arrange for family or friends to help. A doula can also provide postpartum support.

What else do I need to know about a planned home birth?

With careful planning, a home birth can be a positive and rewarding experience. Keep in mind, however, that life-threatening problems can occur during labor and delivery without warning. In those cases, the need to transfer you and your baby to a hospital could delay care, which could put your lives at risk. Understanding the risks and benefits of a home birth can help you make an informed decision about how you plan to give birth.

STAY TUNED FOR MY NEXT POST: PREPARING FOR A NATURAL HOSPITAL BIRTH

HAPPY SNAPPIN!

-Masha

Source material: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/home-birth/art-20046878?pg=2

Photo: Midwife from the Santa Clarita Valley Birth Center attending a home birth http://scvbirthcenter.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G07VHJhgkmE

Photographer: Masha Georgiev Birth Photography

Vancouver WA Birth Photographer | Birth Crowning

Grateful

As a Vancouver WA & Portland Oregon Birth Photographer, I am feeling grateful to have one of my crowning images featured on Kidspot.com/au

 You can view "The moment before time begins 20 images of baby crowning" HERE.

My image is the 4th image in the gallery.

Thank you to the strong Mom who pushed with all her strength, and invited me to capture and share this moment.

-Masha Georgiev

Los Angeles Birth Photographer-73

 

Portland Oregon Birth Photographer | Nursery Must Have

Portland Oregon Birth Photographer QUICK POST

Okay so this is not really birth related, but then again, it kind of is. I wanted to share this adorable little nursery print with all of you expecting parents out there. It's customizable and just so sweet. Anyway check it out for yourself!

 

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/385129936/sleep-well-little-oliver-printable?ref=shop_home_active_4

Portland Oregon Birth & Newborn Photographer | 8 Reasons To Hire a Professional Photographer

why hire a pro

 Ever wonder why you should hire a Professional Photographer

vs

your friend or family?

As a Portland Oregon Birth & Newborn, my favorite thing to photograph is expecting Mamas, newborns, births, and capturing families with their new baby. Here are some of my top reasons and justifications for hiring a professional newborn photographer.

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  1. They are only this tiny once!

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I know you’ve heard it a million times before, but your tiny little newborn will grow so quickly!! In a blink of an eye your sleepy baby will be transformed into a wobbly toddler and then into a running child. Years from now you will hold the photos from your newborn session in your hands and be able to re-live the emotion of holding your child in your arms for the first time. You’ll pull out those photos and be amazed at how big your child has grown. You are truly capturing a fleeting moment in time.

2. A glimpse in time.

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The beautiful, curled up sleepy newborn photos that you see are taken within the first 4-12 days after birth.  You have a limited time frame to get these photos taken and you don’t want to be searching for someone who may or may not have availability during the days just after your child is born. My advice is to hire a professional photographer before you deliver so you won’t waste any of those fleeting moments with your new baby. This way when your baby is sleeping you aren’t searching the internet for a photographer, you can actually sleep as well. You can thank me later. I would recommend having your photographer in place before you reach 32 weeks in your pregnancy, just in case you deliver early. If you are looking for a birth photographer booking early is KEY. Most photographers only book a limited number of births each month, so the sooner you book the better!

3.  Safety!

You won’t want to hand your sweet new baby over to just anyone, and you should make sure your photographer is trained and knowledgable in newborn safety.  Professional Newborn photographers are familiar with exactly how to hold babies safely, when and how to pose babies, and more importantly, how not to pose your baby. We are trained to treat babies safely and respectfully. No photo is more important than the safety of a baby! If you have certain poses in mind ask your photographer before hand if they have done it before and if they know how to do it safely. Ask them if they have an assistant who does spotting or if they do composite images during the editing process. Most professional photographers will take several photos and merge them into a composite to achieve certain poses. Not all photographers do all poses, so ask before you book.

4. Equipment

These days, most people have DSLR cameras. However, most of my clients will admit to me that they turn their camera to auto and let their camera do the work. Modern cameras can take great images on auto, but things can go very wrong too, especially with bad hospital lighting and red baby skin. This can result in dark images, blurry images or over exposed images. Your photographer will know how to use their equipment and will have manual control over their camera. They will be choosing their ISO, shutter speed and f-stop to ensure the image is well exposed. They will know their equipment in and out to get the best possible image of your little one. They will also have professional grade lenses and lighting to help capture tiny details that regular lenses won’t catch.

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5. Editing

Photographers carefully re-touch your images. We use products like photoshop and lightroom to ensure that your images are properly exposed, the colors are perfect and the image is polished to a professional level. I always aim to get the best possible photo straight from my camera, but every image can be enhanced through editing, especially newborn photos. Lots of babies have red feet and hands or may have yellow skin from being jaundiced. Most babies have peeling and flaky skin, baby acne, or scratches from their nails. Some babies even have bruising as a result of a difficult delivery. A professional photographer will know exactly how to edit your images to get you wall-worthy images of your sweet little one. Every photographer has their own unique editing style.

Screen Shot Before and after

6. Details

Your photographer will pay close attention to the details. With newborn photography, babies are posed right down to the position of their hands and lips. Blankets are smoothed out. Fabrics are ironed. Background clutter is removed. The time of day and babies’ feeding schedule are taken into consideration. The temperature and ambiance of the room is carefully planned. Every part of the image and your session is carefully planned to ensure that you get the best images possible. There are certain variables that a professional photographer knows how to manipulate to help ensure an easier and more successful session. You also get to access a professional photographers prop collection and won’t have to worry about purchasing your own props.

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8. Budget

I mention this last because, in my opinion, it isn’t the first thing that should be considered when hiring a photographer.  You should definitely search for a photographer that fits with your budget, but don’t make that the only reason you hire someone in particular. This is an investment and something that can’t be redone at a later time.  Consider your budget, but also consider the photographer who will make your investment worthwhile.  A photographer who charges very little may not have the ability to provide you with the type of photos you’ll want to proudly view time and time again. You also have to take into consideration quality vs. quantity. Do you want 150 mediocre images or 40 images that take your breath away?

Gallery 1

The journey to motherhood comes with a lot of milestones and changes! As both a mom and a photographer, I cannot stress enough how important it is to document these stages along the way. You will never look back and regret that you took the time to get portraits of your child, only that you didn’t. Especially from birth to two years, I recommend getting portraits done every 3-6 months because changes happen so fast!! After that I recommend, at the minimum, a yearly portrait of your child and your family!

Masha Georgiev Photography is one of the most sought out photographers in Los Angeles. If you are interested in booking a shoot with Masha Georgiev Photography or would just like more information please contact Masha.

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Portland Birth Photographer | The Art of Birth

As a Birth Photographer in Portland Oregon, Your baby's birth is one of the most timeless and momentous occasions of your life. Whether it is your first or fifth child, no two births are ever alike. Nothing compares to the moment you meet your little one for the first time. The beautiful beginnings of a new family, new traditions, and a new life. Sadly, these memories can fade so quickly. I can barely remember what happened during the first hour after I delivered my son. Adrenaline and excitement clouds your memory. Birth photography helps capture & preserve these precious memories for you. Parents at that time are so focused on a million different things- the health of mom, the health of baby, the pain! Who wants to think about taking pictures at a time like this?! That's where I come in! Wouldn't you rather hold your partners hand during this special time, than be distracted by taking photographs?

I am there to capture your birth Story.

I am there to capture that special once in a life time moment, when you meet your little miracle for the first time. When you hear their first cry, when you finally get to hold them in your arms after months of anticipation.

I regret not hiring a birth photographer for my son's birth.

That's why hiring a birth photographer makes such great sense!  You are promised beautiful professional looking photos.....and of course a tear-jerking Birth Story Slide Show!

Here is an example!

 

https://animoto.com/play/TFd5ysRi6uzDSI01m5PVJQ

 

Let's create your Birth Story together!

BOOK NOW 818-636-2903