Visualizing Birth with Shauna Wiley-Naefke’s “Working in Peace”



Working in Peace 29″x16″ oil and acrylic on canvas
Copyright 2015, Shauna Wiley-Naefke, All Rights Reserved.
(This work is for sale and prints are also available)

In this serene depiction of a laboring mother, Bay Area artist Shauna Wiley-Naefke provides her viewers with another excellent image to use in the visualization of birth (for more of Wiley-Naefke’s work, see these previous Visualizing Birth posts: Birth Partner, Labor for LoveMaternal Bliss).  Surrounded by warm golden hues, the pregnant woman in Wiley-Naefke’s Working in Peace appears to float, calmly immersed in her own space of labor. The woman’s tilted head and closed eyes, as well as relaxed upright pose with hands on knees reinforce this sense that she has accepted her labor in a meditative way.

In our correspondences, Wiley-Naefke has described how she came to paint her subject and was struck by the meditative aspect of the woman’s labor,

I did a photo shoot with a pregnant mama.  She was a stranger to me that I met through a doula friend. We did a whole series of photos and this one stood out to me.  It reminded me of a woman in meditation.  As a doula, I have seen women who are in the throws of labor in a trance like state.  Calm, peaceful, strong. But coming from personal experience, work is being done.  I chose these dynamic colors to represent the intensity of labor.

Working in Peace is a powerful image to use in the visualization of birth, reminding other pregnant women of the confidence, serenity, and strength that they can find during the journey of labor.

Shauna Wiley-Naefke is a Bay Area artist located in Alameda, California.  She also offers services in the Bay Area as a Certified Placenta Specialist and Postpartum Doula.  In addition to her own experiences with the births of her two children, she has attended other births as a doula.  Wiley-Naefke has shown her work in California and has a special interest in painting scenes of pregnancy, birth, and babies. Commissions of these and other subjects are welcome, and the artist is also always in need of models to take pictures of for her work.  More of her artwork may be viewed through her Facebook Page and she may be contacted through email at: doula.artist [at]