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Royal Brisbane Hospital in Queensland banned professional photographers from their birthing rooms, and the petition to reverse the decision gained 13,500 supporters in 4 days.
The petition, created by birth photographer Michelle Palasia, states that “a documented birth story can act as a crucial therapeutic tool for postpartum families. It pieces together moments that are forgotten. Moments that are hazy. Moments that don’t make sense.”
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The header photo on the petition is of a woman with a child on her belly, a look of relief on her face. Palasia explained “this image is of relief. Not because the pregnancy and labour are over, but because her baby is alive.”
Amongst those calling for a reversal on the decision are women and mothers who claim this is only another way to steal a woman’s autonomy over her body.
Ashleigh Partridge, a midwife student who supported the petition, said that as someone working in the birthing industry, “We are invited to provide care for women, not entitled to constrict women to a box and enforce ridiculous ‘rules’ that once again dictate what a woman is and is not ‘allowed’ to do.”
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Dr. Erin Bowe, a perinatal psychologist and hypnobirthing practitioner, was also amongst those who signed the petition. She said, “I cannot stress enough how important it is for couples experiencing grief, trauma and dissociation/memory loss to have access to documentation.”
She explained about a patient she had who birthed an abnormally large child with severe shoulder dystocia, which is when an infant’s shoulder gets stuck in the birthing canal.
“Being able to review the photos from the birth helped (the mother) tremendously with processing what happened,” she said.
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Officials with Royal Brisbane Hospital claim the policy is nothing new. In an interview with Courier Mail, Executive Director Amanda Dines, said, “It’s crucial our team can perform their duties with the utmost care and attention, with no other distraction.”
Women who signed the petition are now threatening to use other hospitals in the area.
Via Daily Mail