Everyone who knows me knows that I promote , research and present about SkinToSkin contact . I know exactly why it matters to mothers , fathers and babies .
Just recently I’ve noticed an advert for an upcoming ITV series “Delivering Babies ” in which Emma Willis stars as a auxiliary nurse assisting on a maternity unit – the profile photo shows a picture of Emma holding someone else’s baby without any of the parents in the photograph – this is what prompted me to write this blog .
One particular bugbear I have is seeing a baby on a photograph with a health care professional without the mother or father being included in the picture .
I have discussed this with many future and new parents and explained that they are the guardians of the newborn – protecting it from unnecessary exposure to anything . At most schools there is a social media policy which prevents the posting of children on social media sites . However the same rules don’t seem to apply for newborn babies.
I see many programmes about pregnancy, labour , birth and the postnatal on TV which I choose to critique. Some I have given up watching through exasperation that the baby is not seem as a child of someone .
I have had heated debates with maternity managers , future midwives , midwives , maternity support workers about why a baby should not be photographed without any of its parents . I ask them this question “if you had a baby would you want it’s photo to be on someone else’s social media account , mobile phone or perhaps even framed on a sideboard in someone else’s home that’s not even related to you ?”
Just google “Midwife” and numerous photos will pop up of midwives holding someone else’s baby . There’s even one from Call The Midwife – time to rethink why these photos exist and consider the human rights of the newborn ?
Below are two collages I made following a google search – who are these babies and were the parents asked for full consent and counselled thoroughly about the fact that their babies would appear on internet searches ?
My other concern is WHO takes the photo ? If it’s on the parents phone and given to the midwife as a gift does that make it ok . What is consent ? Eg “could I have consent to use this photograph of me holding your baby to post on social media / put into a frame at home , look back on and wonder who that baby belonged to in 20 years time ” OR “could I have a photo of you as a family with me in the background which I will treasure and treat with respect , I will not post it on social media and it will remain a midwifery memory for me of meeting you ?”
In taking photos we must consider
Is it necessary ?
Please leave your comments below
Yours in midwifery love
3 thoughts on “Newborn babies – photographed without their parents – my bugbear”
Agree with you – it is using babies as props – ignoring their personhood.
Thank you Rod – that’s exactly what I was trying to say and you’ve summed it up perfectly 🙂 📸
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Great observation. Well said Rod
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