Image: Helen Carmina Photography
Photographer Helen Aller’s pictures usually get seen by around 100 people or so – but her latest image has beeen shared on Facebook more than 60,000 times.
Helen, a mum-of-two who is actually eight-months pregnant with her third child herself, specialises in newborn, maternity and childhood photography. She shared a picture from her latest shoot, a stunning black and white picture of a newborn baby curled up below its mother’s C-section wound, on her company page, explaining the story behind the snap – but she never could have predicted the amazing reponse that lay ahead.
‘I photographed this mama’s pregnancy a while back and she was telling me how terrified she was of having a c-section,’ she wrote. ‘Well last week she went into labor but had to have an emergency c-section after complications. She asked me to come over this morning and shoot this particular image as her worst nightmare proved to be what saved her and her child’s lives.’
Image: Helen Carmina Photography
The photograph received a phenomenal response in just a few hours, and many who shared the image had nothing but praise for Helen’s work. Some even said that it had made a positive impact on their perception of their own scars and birth process.
‘Wish i had seen something like this when my babe was a babe.. It would have made me feel so much better about my emergency C/section. It would have made me feel like i had given birth,’ one mum confessed. ‘As I couldn’t have anymore after my 1st for so so long i have felt I may have missed out on something by not having a vaginal birth. This amazing photo has changed my view.’
Another commented: ‘I’m pregnant with my first baby and I’m absolutely terrified of having to have a c-section. After seeing this beautiful photo, it brought me so much comfort. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. You’re absolutely beautiful.’
However, other people who saw the post felt that the photograph was too intimate to be shared with thousands of people. Helen began receiving messages saying that the image had been reported to Facebook, but ‘thankfully they made the decision not to take it down.’
She told Mail Online: ‘Some of the messages from people have said it’s offensive, it’s disgusting. People saying it’s sexually explicit. I’ve had some messages where I’ve been called all sorts.’
Some commenters have also criticised the position of the baby on the mum’s body, but Helen says that there is no way they could have been placed higher up as the risk of re-opening the wound would have been too high.
Since the image went viral, Helen said that she’s been collecting all of the news stories for the new mother, who has chosen to remain anonymous, as she’s ‘shocked and overwhelmed’ by the attention the photograph has received.
‘I’m going to show her in six months time all the comments but she wasn’t expecting it and I wasn’t expecting it either. She’s only just had a baby so she’s all over the place anyway. Her partner said he was so proud of her. Even when it went everywhere he was still so supportive.’
Speaking to GoodtoKnow, Helen said: ‘I think it has become about so much more than the image and more a platform where people from all over the world and walks of life to relate to each other. Reading some of the experiences good and bad has been humbling and seeing the support people are showing towards each other is just amazing.’
And the handful of critical comments that the picture has received? ‘As for the negatives if it gets people talking about something which obviously gets overlooked then it is worth it,’ she added.