Associated Press photographer Felipe Dana has followed these babies, diagnosed with microcephaly linked to the Zika virus, from hospitals to their cribs, from brain exams to bath time since the outbreak began in Brazil. After several interviews and assignments with the mothers, he wanted to capture the mothers’ pride for their children, using instant film so they could immediately see and keep the photographs. Dana gave the women the prints but preserved the negatives, later bleaching and scanning them so they mirrored the images the mothers took home.
For a brief moment, these parents of children with microcephaly put aside their search for hard-to-find drugs needed to prevent their babies from having seizures, or the uncomfortable stares directed at their children, who were born with small heads because of a Zika virus infection in the womb.
Against a black cloth and looking at an instant camera, the women drew their little ones close to their cheeks and smiled. They were just like any other moms getting the first formal photographs of their babies.
More photos: Zika virus takes heartbreaking toll
Photo: Angelica Pereira holds an instant print of her and her daughter Luiza in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Sept. 26, 2016.