As a NH Maternity Photographer, I rejoice in the celebrations with my clients as well as the heartache. When Kayla let me know that she had lost a pregnancy early on in 2020, I was heartbroken for her! I knew how bad she wanted a sibling for Ember and I after documenting Ember’s arrival, I could not wait for baby number 2.
2020 seemed to take so much from so many people and this was one of those calls I HATED getting. A miracle was brewing though and in the fall, I got the call that I had been waiting for!!!! A RAINBOW BABY was on the way!!!
Kayla’s at home maternity session did not disappoint and I am SOOO in love with these photos. The last photos with your “baby” before the new baby arrives are full of precious moments. We snuggled, Ember showed me her “baby belly” and we had a blast jumping on the bed. At home sessions are so organic and no two are the same. Big sister was all about soaking up snuggles with mom and dad. When she was “all done” with the camera, Kayla and I had some fun of our own.
Kayla put so much trust in me and we JUMPED out of the box and did some fun empowering shots of her alone on the bed. These maternity boudoir shots are some of my absolute favorite and I squealed when I saw the back of the camera. I get it, as a mom of 3, I hated all the extra weight I gained during pregnancy but I still think pregnant mamas are the most beautiful! Thank you to Kayla for trusting me and getting some seriously sexy shots of her bump. THOSE EYES…damn girl!
If you are interested in learning more about Maternity or Newborn Photography, let’s chat. I would love to make your vision come to life!
One year ago today this family of 3 was excitedly packing for the hospital in anticipation of meeting baby Owen in the morning. Big Brother James (who’s birth was my very first Birth to photograph) would have one more night with mommy and daddy all to himself. He was full of excitement to meet his baby brother. Just a few weeks prior, on a mild January day, we met at Kingston State Park for a winter maternity photography session to document this family of 3 just one more time before becoming a family of 4. James was so giddy to share his favorite stuffed animal with me and tell me all about this little brother in mommy’s belly. To this day, James is still my most photographed little client and I was so excited to watch him become a big brother.
Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2 of Owen’s Birth Story…but until then let’s check out a flashback to theBirth Story of James
Baby showers are a fun way to celebrate a mama-to-be and make sure she has everything she needs for her baby! You can search in Google to download baby shower gift ideas, or just go on the mama’s registry. I decided to do something a little different and I asked my Instagram followers to tell me their thoughts! (Do you follow me on Instagram? @whitewavephotographyNH) I asked what was one item you didn’t really need and what was an unexpected item that you LOVED.
I’m really glad I asked! Some of these items I hadn’t heard of OR forgot about. Plus, a few of these gifts aren’t items you can’t just pick up at Target.
Please remember that ANY gift you give a new mama is welcomed and appreciated! These are just a few answers from my unscientific research. If you are a new mama, the goal of this blog is to give you some ideas on what to have on your baby registry!
First, I’m going to share a few general items some mamas said they didn’t need, and then I’ll showcase the top 7 BEST unexpected baby shower gifts.
Honest Baby Shower Gift Guidance
Too many baby towels – You might not need as many as you think!
Too many newborn clothes – Again, your newborn will likely only wear a few items and some babies don’t even wear the newborn size at all!
Pacifiers – Get a few, but your baby might not even use a pacifier! Just get a couple to start and you can buy more OR leave them in the package from your baby shower.
Baby gadgets like Butt Spatula – A couple of mamas listed a baby gadget that they didn’t end up using. Read reviews on some of these items – you might not really need it!
Baby clothes 0-3 that weren’t jammies – They do make SUCH cute baby outfits. However, you want to dress your precious baby is fine, but you may find yourself only really needed PJs and onesies!
Keep reading for the top 8 baby shower gifts!
8 BEST Unexpected Baby Shower Gifts
Gift card to a local restaurant – Meals for when the parents are home with their newborn is a great gift! Check out Comfort Baking Company for some great healthy meals as well as baked goodies.
Haaka – Many mamas swear by their Haakas!
Larger clothing sizes – Think baby clothes 3-6 months or even up to 2T! A great local shop that sells SUPER cozy one-piece outfits is Puddlejumpers in downtown Exeter. Be sure to check them out!
Larger diaper sizes – Some babies barely wear newborn diapers! Grab sizes 1 and 2.
Earth Mama Nipple Cream – Enough said! This stuff is the BEST.
Helping the mama clean her house – I thought this was such a sweet answer! Give the gift of a clean house before baby arrives, or after!
Comfy jammies and slippers for the hospital – Help mama feel cozy in the hospital with cute and comfy loungewear. The Top Drawer in downtown Exeter has some great lounging options as well as the most amazing nursing bras – a MUST HAVE is a perfectly fitted nursing bra.
The gift of self-care for mom – Self-care is something that we as moms tend to put on the back burner and don’t ask for help. Check out Relief Parenting in Hampton for all your “new mama” needs. They are an amazing resource for new parents. They provide a safe place to rest, on-site childcare, parenting consultations & classes and YOU CAN EVEN TAKE A NAP.
There was one more unexpected gift that mama’s LOVED…
Mom’s Favorite Baby Shower Gift
I noticed something throughout my research for this very blog post. Some of the BEST baby shower gifts aren’t necessarily a thing. Quite a few moms were thankful for the friend that offered to come clean, gave local restaurant gift cards for easy meals, and professional photography gift certificates.
I thought this answer was so sweet and so true! A few mamas said a gift certificate to a photographer for maternity photos and newborn photos was one of their most treasured gifts. Any amount towards a photo package goes a long way and you know the mama will be delighted with her professional photos. Being able to look back at an album of this most precious time is one of the most priceless gifts you can give someone.
Because of this, I want to share with you that I do offer gift certificates for photography services! Simply drop me a message to get started.
Whether it’s your first, second, third, fourth, and so on, pregnancy is such a special time in a woman’s life! It’s that brief season when your sweet baby is a mystery and can wonder about the miracle in your belly.
Maternity sessions are some of my favorites because I’m able to capture those sweet feelings of anticipation and excitement in photos for the parents to look back on in the years to come. My absolute favorite is being able to take a couple’s maternity, birth, and newborn photos to tell the story of the child’s life.
Meet my four tips to having your best maternity session experience so you have a blast and get photos you’ll treasure forever.
How to Take Your Favorite Maternity Photos
These tips will help you take amazing photos and have fun while doing them! This session is all about capturing this crazy, beautiful season of waiting to meet your baby!
Schedule Your Session Accordingly
The best time to photograph your gorgeous bump is between 31-35 weeks! This is when you can show off all your hard work and before you’re in the final weeks. If you wish to take your photos earlier for a reason, talk with your photographer!
Pamper Yourself, Mama
You deserve this no matter what, but I highly recommend a pamper session before your maternity photos! Get your hair, makeup, and nails done so that you feel amazing for your photos.
Enjoy the Experience and the Photos Will Follow
The more you enjoy your experience, the better you’ll feel, and the better you’ll naturally smile! Your pampering session will help you feel relaxed and confident. Every pregnancy is beautiful, and don’t stress over trying to look “perfect”. You ARE perfect!
Find the Right Photographer
Work with a photographer that you love and trust. The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the better you’ll feel during the sessions and get the photos you want. These are photos you’ll look back on for the rest of your life!
I would love to become your family photographer. Many of my clients come back to me again and again to give me the privilege of photographing their growing families. Let’s talk, my friend!
Capturing your birth story does not have to mean capturing the actual act of giving birth. As a Portsmouth NH Newborn Photographer it is important for me to capture the journey of meeting your baby in the way that YOU want. Whether that is a full on birth story where I am at the birth of your child or if you prefer a more private Motherhood Session. The Motherhood Collection is a great way to get those last images as a family of 3 before a new little brother or sister arrives. It includes a Fresh 48 Hospital Session or Welcome Baby Session at your home to capture older siblings meeting their new baby brother/sister AND then two weeks later, I come back for a lifestyle newborn session with the whole family (including the fur babies). All of our Birth and Motherhood Collections include a beautiful custom created heirloom album for you to enjoy each year on your child’s birthday or when the sentiment strikes.
Great Island Common in New Castle shares so many special memories for this family so it was only fitting that we have their maternity session here. Incorporating locations that are important to families is one way to ensure that families have an amazing experience and memories to cherish for years to come. Rhett is an amazing big brother and welcomed his little sister with open arms at Portsmouth Hospital one year ago today! Capturing those first few moments of siblings meeting for the very first time is something that you will never regret investing in. If you would like to learn more about Birth or Newborn Stories please contact me today to set up a free consultation.
Baby Andrew was one of my very first “Simply Baby” Sessions and he was such a joy to photograph. Andrew’s mama and I went to college together and I it has been so much fun watching her become a mama and to photographer her two little men. This little dude just turned ONE and although I would love to be photographing his one year session, it is safer during #socialdistancing for me share some of his simple studio newborn photography session from last year. Andrew started his session WIDE awake (just as most newborns do) and we captured some super cute expressions and even gave me a few grins. Once he was wrapped up, he passed right out and was a dream to work with.
There is just something about the simplicity of a plain white onesie and a simple white background that I just love. Baby details stand out and you really get to see their features up close and personal. If you have been following me for a while, you know I LOVE baby toes…like near obsession. These simple sessions are a great way to capture the tiniest of feature like toes, finders, lips, hair and eyes. These natural baby-led sessions are some of my favorites and I can’t wait to do more when we are allowed back in the studio.
Let’s be real – the last few weeks of isolation have been rough on everyone. As a birth and newborn photographer, I have struggled not being able to support mamas and photograph these tiny little humans, so I will be sharing some of my favorite sessions over the next few weeks. My heart goes out to all of the new mamas giving birth during this time. I look forward to being back in the studio soon but for now, I wanted to share a few ways that I can help you during this time.
FREE Downloadable Guide taking Fresh 48 Hospital – Since I can’t be in the hospital with you these days photographing your sweet new babies, I wanted to come up with a way to help you document those first few days on your own. I have created a FREE Downloadable Guide taking Fresh 48 Hospital pictures of your own baby during social distancing in New Hampshire. Download your FREE Guide Here: https://bit.ly/WWP_5TIPS_Hospital Feel free to share with any of your friends/family who are expecting!
Online Community Support: I have created a Private Facebook Group for Moms where we are currently doing a 30-Day Photo Challenge but it is also where I share a TON of online support for my mamas. All of my birth colleagues have been sharing virtual education and support since this COVID-19 crisis and I have been sharing a TON of it in this group. Check it out: White Wave Photography Moms Group
Kids Activities to Do at Home: For those of you with older kiddos, we are all adapting. New roles of teacher while also running a business has taken a bit of getting used to with 3 kids home now but we are making it work. Are your kids constantly saying that they are bored? Running out of ideas to keep them busy? I have got you covered. Check out this blog post that I did last week: Kids Activities to Do at Home Now, let me be real – I am NOT a Pinterest Mom and I SUCK at baking but we are all doing things these days that we may not normally do. Give yourself grace, enjoy as much as you can and just love on those babies!!!
Phone Consultations & Advice for Photographing your Newborn: I am still doing phone consultations for spring & summer babies, but what if I JUST had a baby and want to get some photos. Well, we can do a virtual session. What I mean by that is that I will get on a call with you and give you tips and tricks to photograph your baby yourself (even if just with your phone). I know it doesn’t replace a professional newborn session but at least your baby’s first few weeks will be documented. If you are interested in learning more about these “virtual newborn sessions” contact me today.
Stay safe, keep smiling and I hope that some of these things help get you through these uncertain times and know that I am thinking of you all and sending virtual hugs. (Seriously though – I cannot wait to HUG EVERYONE again!)