HEALTH

Powerful Post-Birth Photo Shows The Important Work Of Nurses

19/09/2017 6:30 AM AEST | Updated 19/09/2017 6:30 AM AEST

A photo highlighting the sweet relationship between a nurse and her patient as they interacted post-birth has struck a chord with thousands online.

On September 2, Katie Lacer of MommaKT Shoots Photography took a photo of a mom who had just given birth accepting help from her nurse. The photo was taken in a bathroom at Clark Memorial Hospital in Indiana. Lacer, who was documenting the mom’s birth experience, told HuffPost it was the mother’s first trip to the bathroom after welcoming her child. The nurse was offering her a cold pack to ease the pain.

“Her nurse didn’t hesitate to kneel in front of her to help her slip into her exceptionally flattering postpartum mesh panties and cold pack after helping her clean up a little bit,” Lacer said. “It was a quiet moment that I just happened to turn around and see. It wasn’t planned or expected. I was nearing the end of her birth story and it seemed fitting that I would include the moment as a solid end point.”

On Wednesday, Jill Krause, the mom of four behind the blog Baby Rabies, shared the photo on Facebook with permission from Lacer. In her post, she thanked the nurses who cared for her after she gave birth. 

“I’ll never forget the faces of the nurses who followed me into the bathroom after delivering each baby,” she wrote. “That moment when I was so vulnerable, so tired, scared, shaky. My swollen belly deflating, and my modesty long gone. They treated me with such kindness and dignity.”

Krause told HuffPost that like the nurse in the photo, her nurses taught her how to ease her pain with a cold pack.

“After each baby, they helped me to the bathroom,” she said. “The first time, they literally showed me how to do everything ― right down to putting the ice pack on my mesh undies. By the fourth baby, I knew how to do all this, but she was still in there with me, helping, assuring me any mess I made was fine, telling me not to clean up the blood that dripped on the floor, and encouraging me with a big smile and kind eyes. It sounds like a small gesture, but it meant the world.”

As of Monday afternoon, Krause’s post has been shared more than 65,000 times and has racked up more than 125,000 reactions. Lacer said she thinks the reaction to her photo on Krause’s page is “absolutely incredible” and felt “flattered” that Krause wanted to share the photo with her story. 

“We both want to serve other women, other mothers, and the bottom line is that women helping women always works, always,” Lacer said. “All of these amazing women and partners that are talking about their postpartum care are opening up a door to share about a part of the birth experience that we often dismiss, and it’s time to acknowledge it.”

Lacer thanked the many nurses she’s encountered throughout her career in birth photography for not only letting her document these stories, but for giving their all for moms in the delivery room and beyond.

“I have watched almost 100 different birth stories play out,” Lacer told HuffPost. “These women ― the certified nurse midwives, labor and delivery and mother/baby nurses ― are powerhouses. They advocate, they support, they celebrate.”

Also on HuffPost

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