When I say that birthing a baby is a team effort, I really mean it. What is a back up in birth?

Even I, as a Doula, need to rely on a team in order to support my lovely clients.
Included in the fees for my services is also a back up.

Color image of mother laboring hands and knees on a peanut ball in a hospital bed. Partner is resting below her with his head on the bed facing the camera. Image by back up artist April Trettel for birth photography services #dearbirth in Los Angeles California. What is a back up in birth?

It is a birth worker with whom I have developed trust and confidence that they will take great care of my clients, should the circumstance arise where I am not able to attend their birth.

Usually it is very unlikely that I won’t be able to attend a birth, but stuff happens all the time to the best of us: cars break down, family emergencies, simple and mere accidents.
Some other times, babies decide to come at little earlier than expected. This is exactly what happened with baby Dane. Mom and dad hired me knowing that I was going to be traveling with my family up until 3 weeks prior to their baby EDD, we all agreed that the statistics were on our side and that first time babies tend to be late, rather than early. Well, jokes on us, Dane arrived 3 days before I returned from my trip and chose my back April as his Doula.

I met April during an intensive training at my house with the amazing Lacey Barratt few weeks before the whole world shut down for the pandemic. I loved April’s calm and peaceful savoir faire right away and saw in her immense trust and talent as Doula and birth artist.

Color image of newborn baby resting on his mother's chest and looking at the camera. Image captured by back up artist April Trettel  for Los Angeles birth photography services #dearbirth and edited by Los Angeles birth photographer Diana Hinek. What is a back up in birth?

When Mackenzie went into labor, she didn’t realize it at first. We were in touch over the phone as she mentioned she had a very bad back ache. Then she shared she was going to the hospital to make sure her water hadn’t broke and sure enough, she was having mild contraction while her water bag was slowly leaking.
Back up in birth means that April joined Mackenzie and Pat in the wee hours of the morning, surges were still manageable but they needed emotional support due to a nurse who didn’t have the best bed side manners.
After laboring hard, Mackenzie decided to get an epidural and rest. But after few hours , while her progress seemed still slow and April was about to head home to breastfeed her baby, she was all of a sudden 9 cm!

Color image of birth scene. Mom caresses dad's face while holding her newborn on her chest in a hospital bed. Dad covers his eyes with his hands. Nurse wearing a mask walks in the back. Image captured by back up birth photographer April Trettel for Los Angeles birth photographer Diana Hinek of DearBirth.


After pushing for an hour with the support of her OB, Dr Hishimoro, Dane was born, sound and safe in her mama’s arms.
Cute and chubby like a 6lb baby full of goodness.
Part of my job is to pick up from where my back up April left. Edit the images and create a birth fusion of this family birth story.
I have also been visiting Mackenzie, Pat and Dane weekly, to support them on their breastfeeding journey and to make sure the transition to this new phase of the their life is smooth and peaceful.
Juggling personal life and my birth worker life can be very stressful in circumstances like this one. I never dream to miss a birth. I am invested in being there as much as my clients, as it gives me so much joy to walk the preparation path during their pregnancy and then witness them become parents. But I have to remember that I can only do my part and let go of the rest because, ultimately I can not control birth and no one should.
I believe that there are no mistakes in birth and we all need to cross the path that is mean to be for us to grow and learn from. In this case, back up in birth means that I was meant to be with my family and loving my clients from a distance.

Here below Mackenzie, Pat and Dane’ birth story, shared with permission #back up in birth

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