Have you ever wondered how your baby managed to fit inside your body? Sure, there are some amazing illustrations out there depicting how things generally fit – but what about your son or daughter in your womb?
I recently came across the work of Marry Fermont, a photographer who lives in the Netherlands, and was amazed to see this photo of a "little guy [who] just laid still in the hands of the midwife. Just like inside the womb."
I spoke with Marry via email about this photo, which was unlike anything I'd seen before, and she graciously agreed to answer a few of my questions as well as share more of her work with our readers.
Where did you first see such a photo?
I was the first birth photographer in the Netherlands to start taking these types of pictures. When I documented my first birth it was the midwife who showed the parents how the baby was positioned inside the womb. I also teach birth photography workshops and I always tell my attendees to ask the midwife for this pose. Most of them do, so you see these type of photos more often now in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Do many parents request you take a pic like this?
Yes, sometimes they do. I always ask the midwife if she wants to show this pose and most of the time they are more than willing to do so. Sometimes it's also the dad who likes to show. With instructions from the midwife he will hold his baby the way it was inside the womb.
More photos of midwives and dads letting babies pose in their pre-birth positions:
In the photos, the babies look a bit precarious. Have you ever had one start to tumble in any way?
No, this never happened, and if there was a chance of this happening the pictures would never be done. The babies are mostly totally relaxed in this pose. The feel secure and comfortable. They are used to being folded up this way.
Do you ever have a baby who doesn't want to be scrunched up like they were in the womb?
Actually, no. Most of them go automatically to this pose. You just need to know how to hold them.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with us about these photos?
Most of the parents cannot believe that their baby was inside of the belly when it's born. It's hard to imagine how your baby was curled up inside of you after it came out. You see it coming out, but you still cannot believe it was ever inside of you as soon as you have him or her in your arms. This disbelief has been voiced many times, and that's why midwives started showing this pose -- because of the curiosity of the parents. It's not something that is done with every birth, it depends on the midwife. If I am there, and there is a chance, I always ask if they would like to do it, since it makes a nice photo and a nice memory for the parents.
Having such an image taken had never occurred to me during my pregnancies, and now that I see how sweet and scrunched-up the babes are I'm sad not to have one. Despite having given birth to two children, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how either of my sons ever fit inside my body – just as Marry mentioned.
Perhaps these type of photos will catch on here next?
Photos by Marry Fermont of Fermont Fotografie, whom you can connect with on Facebook.
This post was originally published in August 2014.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.