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Sessions and Products

Merry Christmas :: Birth Story Gift Cards

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Merry Christmas :: Birth Story Gift Cards

. .:: The holidays are fast approaching, as is the deadline for ordering your gift cards! To be sure your gift cards are with you by Christmas, request them no later than Friday December 19th! Contact me at chelle@michellegareyphotography.com ::. .

© 2014 Michelle Garey Photography
© 2014 Michelle Garey Photography

Merry Christmas :: Birth Story Gift Cards

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Herbal Bath Session :: Denver Birth Photography

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Herbal Bath Session :: Denver Birth Photography

There's nothing quite like a soothing bath, particularly in those first postpartum days, when you're yearning for speedy healing and recovery! If the postpartum herbal bath isn't high on your to-do list following delivery, it's probably because you, A) haven't heard a darned thing about it, B) don't have time to read about it, or C) don't feel like throwing together a recipe today, tomorrow, or yesterday. If the answer is B, just know that the postpartum herbal bath is amazing, and your perineum will thank you. If your answer is C, then my friend, Althea, with Mother's Life Tea, has prepared the herbs for you, and has teamed up with me to provide this article to you!

And if you do have time to read on, kudos!

Herbal Bath Session :: Denver Birth Photography
Herbal Bath Session :: Denver Birth Photography

It's no secret that, throughout history, herbs have been used and proven beneficial throughout pregnancy and after delivery. Dr. Christopher (Herbalist) sums it up: "When taken regularly in pregnancy, the infusion will quiet inappropriate premature pains and produce a safe, speedy, and easy delivery. Raspberry leaves stimulate, tone, and regulate before and during childbearing, assisting contractions and checking hemorrhage during labor, relieving after-pains, then strengthening, cleansing, and enriching the milk of the mother in the post-deliver period."

So what IS the postpartum herbal bath?

Think bathtub plus healing, soothing herbs. It's like relaxing in a giant cup of tea. This soothing soak will decrease swelling of the vagina after childbirth. What new mom would pass up reduced pain and inflammation of swollen, irritated tissue around the vagina, perineum, and rectum?? The soak will also reduce breast soreness and assist in the healing of tears, sutures, and swelling symptoms of hemorrhoids. And if you happen to not be pregnant, but simply enjoy scouring my website and reading this article, and maybe you even stalk me a little, you may be interested to know that the herbal bath is also beneficial for women during their cycles, reducing inflammation, discomfort, and pain from swelling!

Mothers_Life_Tea
Mothers_Life_Tea

And how am I going to find the time to take a bath when I have a newborn?

Your babe will benefit from the postpartum herbal bath, too! Remember, you're not the only one who needs healing! Specifically, we're talking about that cord stump, as well as any irritated skin. The postpartum herbal bath is physically healing, and can also be a profound opportunity for emotional healing and bonding with baby.

Hold on. What does this have to do with photography?

Many of my clients love to have baby's first bath captured in photographs. The serene, postpartum herbal bath, filled with delicious cuddles and breastfeeding, is a great alternative to the more rushed and stimulating hospital bath. If this is something that interests you, we can definitely incorporate the herbal bath into your Afterglow Session.

What are the ingredients?

You'll see many variations of the herbal bath if you sift through the internet. Here's what's in Mother's Life Tea's Soothing Sitz:

Canendula Flowers: It prevents infection and aids in the healing of the perineum.

Chamomile Flowers: With anti-septic and anti-inflammatory, properties, it soothes irritated tissue.

Shepherds Purse: It serves as a coagulant and vasoconstrictor. Helps your uterus to contract blood vessels and lessen bleeding.

Epsom Salt: It treats aches and pains.

Comfrey Leaf: It relieves and protects swollen tissue, tears (by acting as a cell proliferant). Comfrey is deep healing for perineal muscles, soothes tissue, and relaxes nerves.

Uva Ursi: It kills bacteria in the urinary tract.

Plantain Leaf: It facilitates healing and prevents infection. Contains an anti-microbial agent, stimulates tissue regeneration, and reduces pain.

How do I prepare the herbal postpartum bath?

  1. Visit Mother's Life Tea and purchase a couple of the Herbal Sitz Baths.
  2. Prepare your herbs during early labor (or kindly ask your partner to do it for you).
  3. Pour half a bag of the premixed herbal sitz to approx. 2 qts of water.
  4. Bring to a boil and let gently simmer for approx. 15 min.
  5. Strain off the herbs and set aside (may be used twice).
  6. Pour some of the mixture into a peri-bottle for use at home later (you'll thank me). Set aside.
  7. This mixture can be stored at room temperature for 24 hours, or in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  8. Pour mixture into 3-4 inches of warm bath water in a clean tub. Stir.
  9. Relax and soak in your warm Mother’s Life Teas Soothing Sitz for 15-20 min.

If your baby will be joining you in your herbal soak, be sure the water is not too warm. Support baby's head above water, allowing baby's body to float. Enjoy this amazing healing and bonding opportunity!

**WARNING - If you plan to add flowers to your herbal bath for visual appeal, be sure they are pesticide-free**

How soon after birth can I take the postpartum herbal bath?

You can take a sitz bath as soon as you feel comfortable. If you've hemorrhaged, you may not be as comfortable taking a bath right off the bat. You'll want to check with your midwife or OB before soaking, to be sure they are no longer monitoring your bleeding closely and are satisfied with your clotting.

Can I take the postpartum herbal bath at the hospital?

Many delivery rooms these days do come with tubs. However, some recovery rooms are provided with only showers. If your recovery room has a tub in it, then yes, the tub is there for you to use! However, you'll want to bring your herbs already brewed, or ask your doula to bring them. If the room has no tub, you can still benefit from the herbal sitz by planning ahead at home. Just saturate a maxi pad in the soak, put it in a shallow bowl, and freeze it until you're ready to head to the hospital. Do the same for a couple breast pads.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out the Raspberry Blend Tea, the Nursing Blend Tea, and the Mending VBAC Blend Tea!

How do I prepare for Herbal Bath photos?

If you've hired me for your Afterglow Session and would like to have herbal bath photos taken during that time, please prepare:

  1. Clean your tub.
  2. Pick out a swimsuit or bra & underwear to wear in the tub.
  3. Warm the room generously.
  4. I'll be preparing your herbs and bringing fresh cut flowers, so don't sweat it!

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Birth Brag Book

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Birth Brag Book

Birth Brag Book
Birth Brag Book

In addition to the big and beautiful birth story books, my clients receive a mini version to tote along in their purses and brag on their babes whenever the urge arises! The birth brag books are constructed just as the larger versions are, with thick, archival-quality paper made to last, and pages that lay flat for the best possible display. Brag books also make great gifts for the grandparents!

Birth Brag Book : Birth story photography by Michelle Garey Photography

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The Maternity Session

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The Maternity Session

This is when it all starts to feel a little more "real". You curl your hair, pull on the outfit you've had picked out for weeks, convince your partner that the shirt you picked really does look hot on him, find the other shoe for your toddler, switch to another outfit because it just doesn't feel right, and head out the door, wondering what you forgot. Sitting in the passenger seat, you hastily apply mascara to the other eye. Ping! Your phone goes off. Your photographer is texting you, "Just relax. Be 5 minutes late for all I care. You could come naked and it would still be alright. We're going to have a ball." And so you start to relax. You breath in deeply. And then it hits you. You're headed to your maternity session. This is actually happening. You're so close to meeting your little one. Your hand naturally gravitates towards your belly, and you promise to yourself to savor this day, to let go of stress and be present. Because that's what it's about... this photography session... it goes beyond simply having your picture taken. It's about processing, realizing, and enjoying. It's about preserving that feeling for all of time.

(C) 2016 Michelle Garey : Denver Birth Photographer

Maternity sessions aren't just photo ops with a baby bump. These sessions are typically very lifestyle, taken around town, in a natural area, at a location special to you, or in your home. We'll discuss your maternity session in detail before that special day.

*** When hiring us for your maternity session, it's important to remember that we are, first and foremost, birth photographers. We will likely be on call for one or more mommas during your session. There is always a slim chance that we may need to reschedule the session, either before or during the session. Your flexibility and understanding is very much appreciated, and is a requirement for us to photograph your session. ***

Scheduling

Many moms feel great about shooting around 32-34 weeks into pregnancy. Note that after our session we generally take 30 days to deliver the edited images to you.

Location

Location for maternity sessions is highly variable. This is one of the details we will discuss and fine tune, depending on your comfort, the weather, etc. We generally scout locations very near your session date. Start thinking about whether you’d like an intimate, cozy, in-home session, or an adventurous outdoor session.

Many clients are extreme nesters, with homes under construction or in the moving process. If you desire those gorgeous in-home maternity images but don’t have the right space available to you now, we can select from a number of gorgeous homes for rent by the hour, starting at $125 per hour. To view the spaces, click here. If we're shooting at a rented location, please arrive on-time or a bit early, as our time is strictly limited.

The Cast

Family members and canine babies are encouraged to join in. This is your session, and there are few limitations to what we can do.

Preparation

When it comes to wardrobe, it's important that you feel confident and beautiful! Here are a couple of tips regarding wardrobe for your session:

  • Bring some shoes/boots you don't mind hiking around in a bit.

  • Bring a couple of outfits if you'd like to get a lot of variety from your session.

  • Soft, neutral colors and earth tones are always winners.

  • Transparent and billowing fabrics add dimension. Sweaters can add really beautiful texture.

  • Avoid extremely bright colors and stark whites.

  • The objective is to capture that beautiful baby bump, so avoid very bulky sweaters and select items that flatter, not hide, your figure.

  • For more outfit ideas, check out my Pinterest board.

  • Dads look best in simple, casual outfits, like these.

  • Don't stress out too much about your outfit, and don't get too hung up on Pinterest Perfection.

We have available floral crowns and fabrics we can wrap you in for a fitted simple gown look. If you'd like to try a maternity “gown”, please request it in advance and wear skin-colored underwear (thong preferred) and a skin-colored strapless bra (if you have one that fits).

You do not need to have your hair and makeup done professionally. If doing so makes you feel beautiful, do it! However, if you do your own hair and makeup, you’re more likely to look like yourself in your images. Please note the cost of hair and makeup is not built into your session fee, and will be handled independently between you and your stylist.

You may want to consider pampering yourself (and your partner, if they will be participating in the session) with manicures. It's easy to forget such a small detail, but bad nails can easily ruin your images. Alternatively, just remove all the polish, make sure they are evenly trimmed, and moisturize!

Cost

Maternity sessions are $550 and include approximately 25 retouched digital images in both color and black and white, as well as a print release. Half of your payment is due at the time of booking, and the other half you can pay at or before your session via cash, check, or credit card.

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The Afterglow Session :: Denver Birth Photography

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The Afterglow Session :: Denver Birth Photography

Some moms prefer a completely private birth experience, but still seek gorgeous documentation of those first hours together. Afterglow Sessions are photojournalistic-style sessions which take place in the birthing center, home, or hospital after mom, dad, and baby have gotten a little shut-eye and nourishment. Afterglow Sessions are photographed during daylight hours in the next day or two following birth. Unlike birth sessions, Afterglow sessions do not come with on-call status and priority, and more notice is required before the session can take place.

*** When hiring me for your Afterglow Session, it’s important to remember that I am, first and foremost, a birth photographer. I will likely be on call for one or more mommas during your session. There is always a slim chance that we may need to reschedule the session, either before or during the session. Also keep in mind that I must remain within a reasonable range to clients for whom I’m on call. Your flexibility and understanding is very much appreciated, and is a requirement for me to accept you as a client. ***

What can we do during the Afterglow session?

Cuddle

The Afterglow Session :: Denver Birth Photography
The Afterglow Session :: Denver Birth Photography

Herbal Bath 

(If you're interested in an herbal bath during your Afterglow Session, please discuss with me in advance.)

Herbal bath photos Denver
Herbal bath photos Denver

Baby Details

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Denver_Birth_Photographer_Sawyer0099_MGP

Siblings Meeting Baby

The Afterglow Session :: Denver Birth Photography
The Afterglow Session :: Denver Birth Photography

Family Meeting Baby

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Denver_Birth_Photographer_Sawyer0097_MGP
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Denver_Birth_Photographer_Sawyer0098_MGP

Baby's First Bath

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Denver_Birth_Photographer_Sawyer0093_MGP
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Denver_Birth_Photographer_Sawyer0096_MGP

Afterglow Sessions are $550 and include approximately 40 retouched digital images in both color and black and white, as well as a print release. Half of your payment is due at the time of booking, and the other half you can pay at or before your session via cash, check, or credit card. 

The Afterglow Session :: Denver Birth Photography

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