Toledo Maternity and Birth Photographer {Improving Birth, Rally to Improve Birth 2015}

Last weekend was the second time I photographed Toledo’s Rally to Improve Birth, through the organization Improving Birth.   I love volunteering to take pictures for them because I’m so passionate about birth rights and birthing options in Northwest Ohio.  Through the years, I’ve learned that many women really don’t have any idea what their options are once they become pregnant.  With a 5-county ban on VBAC births around Fulton County, many women here don’t understand that the care they are receiving is not backed by evidence, nor supported by ACOG.  (The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.)

Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.

“Know your options” about birth in NW Ohio.


Improving Birth, and the amazing people who gathered together to support it, are hoping to bring awareness to some of the routine practices that women should have more options about.


The following is a partial list, provided from  You can find the references for these at  Thank you to Improving Birth for making these stats known!

  • Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)- only 7-9% under U.S. care, while evidence based care suggests “Every eligible woman should be offered a VBAC; 74% will be successful.”
  • Artificial Induction of Labor- 42% of first-time mothers, for whom this doubles the risk of C-section.  Evidence based care- “Induction should only be used for true medical indications; suspected “big baby” is not a valid medical indication.  
  • Routine fetal monitoring- Practiced 94% of the time, while not supported by evidence.
  • Witholding food or drink during labor- forced 60% of the time, not supported by evidence. 
  • Not allowed out of bed- these restrictions remain during 76% of U.S. births, and is not supported by evidence.  

These are just a few of the alarming birth statistics that most moms-to-be aren’t aware of.  9 out of 10 women in the U.S. receive maternity care that increases, rather than decreases, the risks of harm to them and their babies.  


Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.

Question your Induction! {Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.}

With stats like that, you can see why so many women are passionate about improving birthing options all across the country, as well as right here in Northwest Ohio.  This is the second time that an amazing group of women and other supporters have gather in Toledo to help make a change.   In addition to raising awareness, we hope to make the event bigger and better every year!  This year, there was a great raffle, with prizes from:

Genesis Essentials (

Steeped Tea (

Night Owl Doula (

Kinsey Van Druten, RHN, CNE (

Thrive Birth Services (

and a gift certificate from Ashley Short Photography.  🙂


A lot of families came out and it was quite funny to see the dads congregate together while the children played on the playground.   It was a great experience for a lot of the women to gather and talk about their birth experiences and what they hope to achieve in the birth community.

Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.

Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio.


Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.

Birth Matters!


There were a lot of babywearing mommas and  pregnant mommies, and I was even lucky enough to photograph one breastfeeding doula.   All pretty awesome things, if you ask me. 😉


Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.

Impromptu Maternity portrait in the Park in Maumee.  Awesome baby belly!


Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.

Breastfeeding Portrait in the Maumee Park.  #normalizebreastfeeding!


Thank you to all the amazing women that gave of themselves to put this year’s rally together and to everyone who came out and helped make this a success!

Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.

{Improving Birth Rally-Toledo, Ohio.}


Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.

You have the right to say “No!” {Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth Photography.}


Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio. Birth and Maternity Photography.

“Know better, do better.”  {Improving Birth-Toledo, Ohio}


Do you want to “Improve Birth” in the Toledo area?  Tell me about your birth experience in the comments!




Photographing Northwest Ohio Maternity Portraits, Birth Photography, and the Motherhood years.

Also serving areas in and around Toledo, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Maumee, Holland, Delta, Swanton, Wauseon, Archbold, Bryan, Napoleon,  Fayette, Whitehouse, Bowling Green, Lima, Defiance, and Fort Wayne.


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  • Great cause, so many people don’t know what their options are and it’s wonderful they have a group to help women know more about their options.ReplyCancel


      True, Jenny! A lot of women in Archbold have no idea what a doula is, or that there are any options at all.ReplyCancel

  • The Rally to Improve Birth sounds like an amazing cause…and you captured the one in Toledo beautifully! I love that you included portraits and candids of pregnant moms, women alone, and children in your photos. They all show off your photography skills and tell a perfect story!ReplyCancel


      Thanks, Christine! It was a great mix of folks coming out!ReplyCancel

  • This is a wonderful cause! So many don’t know that they have birth options, as a Maternity and Birth photographer, you are front and center for the cause. Toledo Ohio Pregnant moms are lucky to have this resource at their disposal.ReplyCancel

  • As a Maternity, Birth, Newborn photographer, and Doula myself, I so appreciate this post, and your work on this project. Thanks for helping to bring awareness to women’s options and rights in birth – this is so important, and can change so many families experiences of birth. <3ReplyCancel


      Thanks, Esther! We’ve got a lot in common! I’m also just about to be certified as a birth doula! I can’t wait to serve the birth industry in NW Ohio with all-inclusive services!ReplyCancel

  • Ruben

    The Improve Birth Rally is a wonderful cause and you captured it so well. I love the impromptu maternity sessions as well as the quote portraits. Beautiful work captured so richly!ReplyCancel

  • I have a HUGE advocate for knowing your rights when it comes to pregnancy and birth. This is actually an area that I am very passionate about. I had a VBAC back in 2013, and I lucked in to the fact that my OB was the only one in the area who supported VBAC’s. After joining a few VBAC support groups, I started to hear stories and learn about some of the terrible things that happen to women and how few of them actually are informed of their birth options. I would love some information about how I could volunteer for this organization. Do you know who I can contact? Please e-mail me!ReplyCancel


      Kathy, that is fantastic that you had such a great OB! I will happily shoot you an email- we could use more photographers helping to raise awareness with the birth community! In the meantime, you can check out! If there’s not a rally planned for your area, maybe you can start one next year! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Not only is all of this important information about birth (information I wish I had when I had my children), but it’s great that, as a maternity photographer, you care so much about the Toledo community that your work with!ReplyCancel


      Thanks, Julianne! I’m very involved in the birth community in Northwest Ohio. I’m also a Birth Photographer and now a doula!! 😀ReplyCancel

  • I love that you are educating as well your impromptu maternity portrait!ReplyCancel

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