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Breastfeeding

Photographer Captures the Sweet Moment When Mom Pauses to Breastfeed While in Labor

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Mom breastfeeding while in labor
Maegan Dougherty Photography

Need proof that moms are masters at multitasking? Look no further than the sweet moment photographer Maegan Dougherty captured of a mom breastfeeding while in labor.

Dougherty, a New Jersey-based birth photographer, snapped the image as the mom, Kate, fed her 2-year-old daughter with her second girl on the way.

“The timing ended up working out nicely. Their daughter was home with family members, and they decided to bring her to the hospital for a visit,” Dougherty, 37, tells PEOPLE. “Kate expected she might want to nurse, and she was fine with that.”

Mom breastfeeding while in labor
Maegan Dougherty Photography

“The fact that their little girl was nursing is such a normal part of everyday life that I don’t think anyone thought much of it.”

Dougherty, a mom of two boys herself, says that nursing often helps labor along.

“Nipple stimulation is often recommended as a way to naturally help labor progress, because it increases oxytocin,” she says. “Soon after breastfeeding, Kate’s contractions became more intense and frequent, and baby sister was born two hours later.”

The arrival of her second daughter
Maegan Dougherty Photography
The arrival of her second daughter
Maegan Dougherty Photography
The arrival of her second daughter
Maegan Dougherty Photography

 

 

Dougherty was thrilled to capture the moment.

“It’s a feeling I have often doing the work I do — how did I get so lucky to be witnessing this?” she says. “Maybe that is part of what makes this image so powerful. Birth and breastfeeding are normal and natural and are happening all the time. They are also beautiful and special, and remind us how important human connection is and how amazing our bodies are.”

Soon after, Kate nursed her newborn daughter
Maegan Dougherty Photography

And the mom was just as excited.

RELATED VIDEO: Mom Started Breastfeeding While Doing Yoga After Dealing with Postpartum Depression

 

“Kate and I mostly communicate via text, and she sends me a lot of hearts and tears streaming down the face emojis, which is adorable and perfect,” Dougherty says.