I learnt photography skills from my mother, a professional photographer. I have specialized in birth photography for over 20 years (I use many of these photos in my teaching and have created an inspiring photographic teaching aid for use in ante-natal education, which is being used by childbirth educators in Australia, Europe and USA).
This unique set of laminated A3 photos presents an intimate and dynamic view of labour and birth. For educators, portraying realism has never been easier - each picture develops an aspect of the birth story in a flexible, engaging way.
The 160 images have been especially selected to represent a wide range of subject matter. All aspects of labour are covered, from the normal, physiological and uncomplicated to the technological, instrumental and surgical. Early breastfeeding, water birth, use of self-help techniques and the involvement of partners, families and caregivers are all included.
The sequence of written explanations that goes with each individually numbered photo has been designed to create an actual 'presentation' if required. Both midwives and expectant parents have been very inspired by these images. Midwives cannot wait to use them in classes, and parents feel so much more confident after seeing them.
Photos are A3 in size (420mm x 297mm) and laminated in pairs, back to back. Most of them are in colour. The entire set has been divided into 'chapters' or sub-sets A, B, C and D. Written details of each image can be seen on this website, and these same comments are also included with the photos. The four chapters or sub-sets are available as one full set (sub-sets not available individually).
Sub-Set A First Stage (52 photos)
Includes photos of during and between contractions, comfort aids, supportive partners, positions, teenage labour, arranging environments to support active birth, natural forms of easing pain and lots more.
Sub-Set B Second Stage (34 photos)
Includes many positions, hard work of pushing, water birth, crowning, fathers 'receiving' babies, immediate reactions, contact with baby, wonderful delight on parents' faces which will inspire all.
Sub-Set C Third Stage (40 photos)
Precious moments after birth, ecstatic new parents, physiological third stage, breastfeeding, newborn babies, post-partum procedures including suction, children at births and more.
Sub-Set D Interventions (34 photos)
Includes active birth with technology, breech birth, monitors, drips and epidurals, twins and caesarean birth.
For information on purchasing this unique resource, please write directly to Lina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The most superb, realistic and comprehensive childbirth education resource that I have ever seen".
~ Kay Dyson, Childbirth Education Co-ordinator at Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne
"These wonderful, versatile photos will be an asset to every educator that works with expectant parents".
~ Andrea Robertson, Author, Consultant, Principal Graduate Diploma in Childbirth Education
"They are the best teaching resource I have ever used as a midwife."
~ Mavis Kirkham, Professor of Midwifery, University of Sheffield
"In over 20 years of midwifery practice and 30 years of running groups for pregnant women, I have found the use of photographs an essential element in terms of promoting discussion and learning. Lina Clerke's images of birth will open the minds of women approaching birth - and those who will support them - in terms of possibilities. They are also a valuable resource for those of us who go into schools to talk about birth, to all who educate midwives and other professionals, and of course for all involved in childbirth education. The images are moving, powerful and awe-inspiring. They capture the potential of women to find the depth of their power and the beauty of birth."
~ Nicky Leap, RM, MSc. Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Family Health & Midwifery, University of Technology, Sydney
"I have just received my order of Lina Clerke's medical intervention posters (set D) and they are excellent. They are exactly what I have needed for some time now in presenting medical interventions in a more meaningful way.
They are beautifully taken photos and being laminated they will last forever. They very sensitively depict a variety of situations such as monitoring, induction, caesarean and often where women are still able to work with their bodies whilst coping with the medical intervention. They are tasteful and positive, which is something I have been searching for, to help facilitate learning about medical interventions. I was moved by the beautiful shots of parents greeting and bonding with their babies after caesarean.
I chose to purchase this portion of the set first, as a test, to see if they would be suitable, and I am now looking forward to eventually collecting the rest. Many thanks to Lina for this fine work - well done."
~ Julie Clarke, Childbirth and Parenting Educator, NSW Australia
"These pictures are brilliant for showing what labour and birth and the things associated with birth look like.They are excellent, unposed photos of ordinary women. They show what happens and what is possible and women identify with them. These pictures convey what many words cannot and they stay in the visual memory.
My set has been borrowed by lecturers for teaching student midwives and medical students, by antenatal teachers working with groups and by clinical midwives for use with individual women. All are enthusiastic about their educational power.
They are the best teaching resource I have ever used as a midwife."
~ Mavis Kirkham, Professor of Midwifery, University of Sheffield
"Both my colleagues think the fotosets are great too - Rose is using them with women who's English isn't very strong, so they are so useful. I used them in a class the day they arrived and, in the evaluations, three people mentioned the great 'visual aids'!!!"
~ Cathy Evans, Sheffield, UK, NCT teacher
"I have been using Lina's wonderful childbirth photo-set for 2 years, and have found it a fantastic tool to powerfully get the "essential messages" across.
The pictures 'bring to life' what the teacher has been describing.
They help couples to familiarise themselves with a process that they have only heard about rather than witnessed.
Importantly, the pictures reinforce how women can trust their bodies and flow with labour, and how partners can effectively support women as they travel through many birth scenarios. They show many examples of women instinctively labouring and giving birth, in a variety of birth settings.
The images demonstrate the importance of our environment in birth and how we can adapt hospital rooms. They also show how women can still work with their bodies despite the use of ''technology''.
I use the photo sets with a wide range of expectant parents, who love the pictures and find them confidence-building and reassuring.
I find them especially useful for teaching teenage parents, because they see the wide range of strategies women use to cope with the pain of labour, and the ebb and flow of labour, and the teenage parents relate directly to the examples of young women in the photos.
There is so much that a teacher can bring out from each picture, and using them brings one's teaching to life.
Altogether, they make my job as a teacher more enjoyable and easier, and i just LOVE THEM!"
~ Agnes Munday NCT (National Childbirth Trust) Teacher Brighton and Hove, UK
"We have started using your beautiful pictures in our parent education classes. We are very pleased with them and so are our "students".
Thank you so much."
~ Ástþóra Kristinsdóttir, midwife (Iceland)
"I am very proud to include this unique teaching aid in our extensive range of products because it reflects our philosophy of supporting normal birth and midwifery so very well. I am sure that many of you reading this would find these pictures enormously helpful for your work with expectant parents as well."
~ Andrea Robertson, Birth International
"I just wanted to drop you a line to say how wonderful the fotosets are that you have produced. 3rd stage arrived yesterday (currently waiting for stages 1 and 2 to arrive from Australia!)
Like you I have done the Active Birth training with Janet and wanted something which spoke quite powerfully to women and their partners - your resource is just the ticket.
Beautiful, wonderful women and their partners - I feel so humbled to have these images to use - very sacred indeed.
Thank you so very much!
~ Claire , Prenatal Yoga teacher, UK
''I am an NCT antenatal teacher and I bought the complete wonderful birth photoset for use in my classes. They are one of the best teaching aids I have - so useful to show to future parents. A picture speaks a thousand words! I particularly like to use the set to demonstrate that upright positions can still be adopted whilst being monitored in labour; I also love the set of cesarean birth photos-lovely emotions are shown on the pictures and it is so useful for parents to be able to visualise what actually happens. I also like to use the pictures of newborns and those of dads holding newborns-my couples love them too. A wonderful set of pictures indeed.''
~ Sophie, Cambridge