This photograph is a testimonial to the bravery of mothers around the world. Find out why....
You might have seen this striking image doing the rounds on the Internet. If you haven’t, take a close look at it now.
Note the adorable newborn nestled on mummy’s thighs, fast asleep. Now, did you notice the neat scar stretching across the mum’s tummy?
But this is not just a scar.
It is a powerful sign of life in more ways than one, as it is the now closed door that opened this world to a new life while saving the mum’s life, too.
The stunning black and white image of an unnamed mum and her baby was snapped by Guernsey-based photographer Helen Carmina.
Carmina, on her Facebook page, tells the story behind this beautiful image that has gone viral online:
I photographed this mama’s pregnancy a while back and she was telling me how terrified she was of having a c-section. Well last week she went into labor but had to have an emergency c-section after complications. She asked me to come over this morning and shoot this particular image as her worst nightmare proved to be what saved her and her child’s lives.
No more C-section stigma, please
In the world of parenting, where the trend of mums sharing images of their stretch marks, lumps, bumps and public breastfeeding photos on social media is being embraced, caesarian sections (C-sections) still remain a fairly sensitive subject.
Pictures of C-sections and their related scars just don’t share the status and glamour that images of a vaginal birth have.
In a C-section, cuts are made through a woman’s stomach and uterus to deliver the baby. Some women opt for a C-section, but often, this procedure is carried out when vaginal delivery carries a risk to the health of the mum or/ and her baby.
Many women — such as the un-named mum in the photo — fear the procedure immensely during their pregnancy and others often face (and fear) the stigma that surrounds C-sections.
This stigma is usually associated with the rather unreasonable reasoning that unless a baby is born vaginally, the mother hasn’t really “given birth”. That a C-section amounts to only a surgical removing of the baby and not “real” birthing.
This is where the powerful message conveyed by Carmina’s photograph becomes important. It shows a mum proudly displaying the scar (her birth doorway, really) that saved her life and birthed her baby, from one world to another. It shows a mum who has faced her worst fears… and triumphed.
And even though you can’t see the mother’s face, as a mum yourself, you know that little bubba is sleeping so peacefully, so angelically, because of the surrounding aura of love.
This photograph reminds us that whether a woman gives birth vaginally or via C-section, it doesn’t change the amount of love she has for her baby. It doesn’t mean she hasn’t really “given birth” and it certainly doesn’t make her any less of a mother or woman.
We are also reminded that C-sections have the power to save precious lives. And we realise that mums who have C-sections are brave and strong… and their scars are a proud testimony to this.
These scars should be celebrated, not shamed. And with poignant photographs such as Carmina’s, we can start doing this and dispel some of the negativity that surround C-sections as a way of giving birth.
Share your own C-section stories with us by leaving a comment below.