Welcome!

 

 

 

About Me

I'm Allison! I am 30 years old and a mom of a toddler and two fur babies.

 

My interest in photography began around 2002 when I started taking classes at my high school. These classes were so fun and we mostly focused on film. I have been shooting professionally since 2014 and shooting births since 2016. Births are my passion! My passion for births started a long time ago when I witnessed a close friend give birth to her son. I loved everything about it. It is such an amazing experience to be able to share these special moments with others. In 2015, I gave birth to my daughter, Audrey. I didn't have too many expectations how my labor and delivery would go, I was pretty laid back. I was quick to go with whatever the doctors and nursing staff told me and that was that. Towards the end of my pregnancy, my daughter was stuck in a posterior position. They told me what that was but no one really explained what it meant and how it could potentially change my birth experience. 

When I went into labor, I had a really hard time progressing and spent 26 hours in labor before delivering. I was scared the whole time that I might have to have a c-section. I wasn't given any options for alternate birthing positions, ways to get her to turn, or how to feel and be in charge of my own birth experience. Several other factors contributed but that is where my passion for doula work comes from. 

I never want moms to feel out of control with their birth experiences. My desire is for every mom to be informed and aware of her options and what they mean for her. I want every single mother to be confident in themselves and their birth. I want them to know that they are heard and that they are supported. Also, doulas don't just support the laboring mother but her birth partner/team as well. I strive to empower women by giving emotional, educational, and practical support during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. I get to witness the most beautiful and raw moments of birth. I watch women become mothers, men become fathers, and families become whole. To me, that is everything.

Birth Questionnaire

Please fill out this questionnaire so that I may get a feel for the type of birth you are hoping to experience and for what type of doula care/birth photos you are looking to receive. All questions must be filled out entirely so that I will be able to provide the best quality experience to you. If you are only interested in one or the other, and not both, simply fill out the sections that apply.

 

BIRTH DETAILS

Is this your first birth?

( ) Yes

( ) No

 

If this is not your first birth, how many children do you have and how long have their labors been? # of children:______

( ) More than 24 hours

( ) 18-12 hours

( ) 10-5 hours

( ) 5 hours or less

 

Which are you expecting?

( ) Single Baby

( ) Multiples #__ (If so, how Many?) 

 

What type of birth are you planning?

( ) Home Birth with Midwife/Doula

( ) Home Birth Unassisted

( ) Birth Center

( ) Hospital Birth (Vaginal) (go into labor naturally)

( ) Hospital Birth (Vaginal) (induction)

( ) Hospital Birth (Cesarean)

If you are planning a hospital or birth center birth, please tell me where you will be delivering at.

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Who will be delivering your baby? (doctor/midwife and practice name)

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What birth aids and particular techniques do you plan to use? i.e. birth pool, shower, hypnobirthing…

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Who will be present during the birth besides hospital staff and myself?

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Who will be your main birth partner?

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Tell me about your birth plan. 

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Describe your ideal vision for your birth.

Include things such as words, imagery, moods, sounds, smells etc ..

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Do you have any medical conditions you feel may affect your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum period? 

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Have you had any complications so far with this pregnancy? 

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Have you had any complications previously that could interfere with delivery?

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Does your doctor anticipate any complicaitons? If so, what are they?

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Are there any special circumstances regarding your birth that I should be aware of? If so, what are they?

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DOULA DETAILS

I am a training doula. Please keep in mind that you are one of my first training births. 

This is a learning process for me and while I am not new to births, I am new to being a doula.

For my first few births (yours included) I am to observe and assist in the areas that I feel confident in, as requested by the laboring mother. There will be times where I sit by your side and wait for you or your partner to let me know when I am needed. If something is requested and I either do not feel comfortable with the task, or do not feel able, I am allowed to say no. 

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(client signature)

What are you hoping to get out of this experience? What are some things that you hope I can help you with?

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Would you like me to have a more laid back approach or a more hands on approach?

Are you comfortable with touch? (massage, gentle touch, helping you change positions, assisting with movement in birth pools, tubs, and/or showers etc.)

Please explain.

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What do you imagine would be really helpful during the birth coming from your doula and other support team members? 

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Are you planning to breastfeed? If yes, are you taking a breastfeeding class? 

Do you plan to speak with a lactation consultant?

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If you will be laboring at home, when do you plan on leaving for the hospital?

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If you will be delivering at home, will a medical professional such as a midwife be in attendance? ( I do not support unassisted births at this time)

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If I attend your birth, you must fill out and sign paperwork for my attendance. Do you agree to do so? 

I cannot attend your birth as a training doula without this.

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PHOTOGRAPHY DETAILS

Which of the following do you want photographed? (You may check more than one.)

( )Labor Details (Room number, heart monitor, partner coaching you through labor, etc.)

( )Pushing

( )Crowning Shot (Keep in mind, this does not have to be graphic. These shots show your baby's first                                         seconds of life and can be very artistic. Some birth clients have been nervous about                                       this but all have been so thrilled to see this beautiful moment. I can also have these                                     images show just the head or doctor/partner catching baby.)

( )No Crowning Shots

( )Shot Of Baby As Soon As He/She Is Out

( )Baby Being Placed On Your Chest

( )Cutting Of The Cord

( )Photo Of The Placenta (This is becoming a popular request as that was baby's home for the entire                                                     pregnancy. It is amazing to see the incredible details.)

( )Skin To Skin __with mommy  __with daddy (Many dads are now requesting these!)

( )Weight/Length/Footprints

( )Nursing

(Please note: While every request is attempted, it is not always possible to get every requested shot. Birth happens so fast and each one is so very different.)

Is there something I may have missed above? Let me know, don't be shy!

( )Other _________________________________________________

( )Other _________________________________________________

( )Other _________________________________________________

Which location do you want me photographing from? (you may check more than one)*

( )Head Of The Bed

( )Side Of The Bed

( )Foot Of The Bed

( )Move Around As Needed

*Keep in mind that I will always do my best to honor this request. However, due to other circumstances beyond my control (obstructed view, lighting, nursing staff, visitors, etc.) I may have to move around in order to get the images requested. If I do have to move around, even if it is near the foot of the bed, please know that I am still honoring your image requests. I just need to find an empty space to get those images you want if there are circumstances preventing me from shooting at your desired position.

What are the most important images that you would like captured? 

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Is there anything that you specifically do not want photographed? 

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Remember, this is YOUR birth. I am just here documenting it. If there is anything else you wish to add, please do so here.

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Birth Photography Information

Some things you should know:

I do require prior approval from your doctor and the hospital where you will be delivering at.

Your doctor needs to know about your plans of having a photographer present. 

Also, it is important to ask permission to have a photographer present in the operating room if you are planning to or think you may have a cesarean. Please keep in mind that not all doctors or hospitals allow photographers in the hospital rooms and/or the OR.

 

Some doctors and hospitals also prevent the photographer from taking photos until the baby has been delivered.

 

It is your responsibility to talk with your doctor and delivering hospital about these policies, as well as fully understand them, before you deliver. I abide by all rules set by the hospital and delivering medical staff. I am not responsible for any loss of photos by following these rules. 

The turn around time for photo delivery is as follows:

Birth Story Collection - 4 WEEKS AFTER DELIVERY

I have my own editing style. Part of my craft is shooting your session, and the other part is editing your images. I have my own style and only I choose how the images will be edited. Please note that I DO NOT change my editing or alter my images based on client preference. My style is a part of my brand. That cannot be changed. 

Your images will be packaged in an online gallery with the option of it being password protected. From there, you can download your digital images or order prints at an additional charge. You will receive a print release with your images but I retain ALL copyright to my images.

The images will be used on my website, social media sites, my portfolio, marketing materials, birth expos, etc. These are still my images and I am very proud of them! If there are any questions regarding what is posted, please ask!

Doula Information

Some things you should know:

I am independently employed; I work for you, not your doctor, midwife, or hospital.

I offer one prenatal meeting, usually at local coffee shop. During this visit, we will meet, discuss any questions you might have, and review your birth plan. This will help organize your thoughts about what is important to you and help communicate your wishes to your medical caregivers. It would be helpful if both you and your partner/companion can be present at this meeting but it is not mandatory that you both come. I can provide information on options for your birth plan. However, you will be responsible for deciding on a birth plan that is best suited to your individual needs and preferences and for discussing the terms with your doctor. Additional visits can be arranged at an additional hourly charge of $20.

I will be on call for you 24 hours a day beginning 2 weeks before your estimated due date (EDD) up until labor begins. I will arrive at your birth during active labor (usually 5 - 7cm) until one to two hours after your baby is born, apart from short breaks for meals and rest if time allows. Longer breaks, for instance if you first call me in early labor, may be taken as mutually agreed. I can help you to utilize non-medical support techniques for labor and birth, such as breathing techniques, massage, heat packs, bath or shower, etc. 

After the birth, I will make one postpartum visit, which can be the day after the birth, the day you return home from hospital, or any other day you prefer. I will strive to answer any questions you may have for me or give you a referral to another professional where appropriate. Additional postnatal visits can be arranged for an additional hourly charge of $20. 

I will not make decisions for you. I will provide information that may be helpful for you and/or your partner to make an informed choice. I will not perform clinical tasks such as assessing blood pressure, checking the dilation of the cervix, monitoring the fetal heart rate, making any medical diagnosis, administering or prescribing medication, or any other procedure that qualifies as practicing medicine. My role is limited to providing for your physical, emotional, and educational support.

I will not speak to your medical caregivers on your behalf. I can discuss your concerns with you and provide information on options that may be available and help you with composing questions for you to ask your caregivers, but you or your partner will be responsible for communicating your needs to the medical staff.

I am not licensed or permitted to deliver your baby or to perform any clinical skills related to the delivery of your baby. In the event that the baby arrives unexpectedly at home without a licensed medical practitioner in attendance, you or your partner or other attendant will be responsible for catching the baby as he/she is born. 

When To Contact Me

I ask that you keep in contact with me in the weeks leading up to your birth. Some important things to report would be progress after your appointments and if there are any significant changes in the birth plan. I also ask that you alert me as soon as you feel that you might be in labor. False alarms are always ok, they happen more often than you think!

In early labor: notify me via text or phone call, so that I can prepare my family and make necessary childcare arrangements. If you text and do not receive a response after 20 minutes, you MUST call.


In active labor: notify me via text or phone call, once active labor has been established. If you text and do not receive a response after 20 minutes, you MUST call.

If I do not answer your call right away, leave a message and allow 30 minutes for me to return your call.

Allow approximately 1-1.5 hours from your active labor notification for me to arrive at your birth.

While you may text between the hours of 8am-5pm, if you do not receive a response within 20 minutes, you must call me as texts can easily be missed. Do not send texts outside of this time frame. 

I am so excited to be a part of your beautiful birth story.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at: info@allisonblakephotography.com or at www.facebook.com/allisonblakephotography