Photographer Natalie Lennard has created a project Birth Undisturbed aimed at encouraging more women to opt for homebirths, inspired by her own positive experiences. The 32-year-old from Worthing, Sussex had two natural homebirths where she found that she was free to follow her own ‘primal instincts’ during labour, while being observed by an independent midwife.
To tell the story of what it was like, Natalie recreated the scene with a model, using a prosthetic baby and fake blood to create powerful photographs. Through her work, Natalie hopes to show women that there are alternative styles in which to give birth that don’t always include a hospital.
The images show a naked woman giving birth in an exotic tropical garden before holding the baby in her arms with the umbilical cord still attached. Natalie explained how she was fascinated by nature and wanted to simulate her own birthing experience. The model she used wasn’t pregnant nor had she ever given birth, she added. But, with the help of retired independent midwife Liz Nightingale, the trio were able to put the shoot together quickly in a cold studio in Clapham. ‘I had never done a shoot like this before, and I was wondering if I was crazy,’ said Natalie. ‘The model was stark naked, whilst I lubed up a silicone baby and placenta in Vaseline and vampire blood, filmed by a camera crew whilst my toddler ran around on set.