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Emotional photo series captures men before and after becoming fathers

Becoming a father is undoubtedly a rollercoaster

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 17 April 2018 15:06 BST
Toan Lam, 34 from New Cross, named his son Jace
Toan Lam, 34 from New Cross, named his son Jace (Tom Oldham, 'Becoming a Father')

There’s no denying that men definitely have it far easier than women when it comes to the tribulations of childbirth.

However, they still experience an emotional whirlwind as they prepare to take on the all-important duties of fatherhood.

Celebrity photographer Tom Oldham has created a photo series of men immediately before and after their child has been born, capturing the nerves, happiness and relief that comes with becoming a father.

Oldham spent 72 hours in the maternity ward of University Hospital Lewisham, where he came across multiple fathers anxiously waiting for their partners to give birth.

One of the men photographed was Toan Lam, a 34-year-old manager of a family-run beauty salon.

Lam was also born in the very same hospital, which made the experience that much more profound.

“When my son was born, my outlook on life changed instantly and I knew I would need to be there every step of the way to see him grow,” Lam said.

“Becoming responsible for another human being is the most surreal experience; I can’t quite put it into words but I hope the portraits convey the magnitude of feeling.

Lam was evidently extremely anxious prior to the birth of his son, as can be seen from the photo.

However, all of his worries clearly melted away as he held his son in his arms for the very first time.

Tracy Thomas, lead midwife at the Birth Centre of University Hospital Lewisham, believes it’s important not to forget about how expectant fathers may be feeling in the moments leading up to childbirth and straight afterwards.

“Having a child is a joint effort but sometimes, dads may be overlooked and they are left feeling less confident,” she said.

“Every day I see the change that men from all walks of life experience and I hope that the portraits encapsulate this incredible transformation.”

The photo series, titled “Becoming a Father”, was commissioned by PlayStation UK to mark the release of the PlayStation 4 game God of War.

The video game focuses on the relationship between a father and a son, which is why Oldham felt it was a good fit for the purposes of the photo series.

“These portraits capture a really powerful moment in the lives of these men and aim to showcase the enormity of becoming a parent,” he said.

In December, a list that a new father had written about what he’d learned since becoming a parent went viral.

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