Lifestyle newborn sessions are so precious and sweet. I can’t get enough of meeting my newest clients and seeing their beautiful little faces. And trust me when I say that I can’t wait to see the proud mamas too! I typically get to photograph both the maternity and newborn portraits, so I’m genuinely excited to see mom again and meet her new baby!
So, you’ve done your research about a studio session vs. a lifestyle session, and you’ve chosen an at-home lifestyle session. Good choice! Now you might be wondering what to expect during a lifestyle session. You might have questions like – Do I just show up a few days after the baby is born? Do you need to do anything special to prepare? What happens if your baby (or other children) aren’t having it?
I’ll answer all those questions and more!
Lifestyle Newborn Session Process
First, I highly recommend booking your newborn photographer as soon as possible. This is important because I only take on a limited number of sessions per week to ensure that I’m available for my families and offer the best experience. I know that babies don’t usually come on their due dates – they come when they’re ready! So, I plan out my newborn sessions accordingly.
As I mentioned before, I often photograph maternity sessions for newborn clients (but not always!). This is wonderful to capture this precious time for mom as well as get to know each other before the newborn session.
Whether or not you had maternity portraits taken, a few months before your due date, we’ll connect to chat about the session. I’ll offer wardrobe guidance, see if you have any special requests, and share an outline of the session.
Truth be told, we can do as much planning as possible, but your baby will run the show! I plan out my sessions to allow lots of time so that we aren’t in a rush or stressed. You can read my entire blog post on how to prepare for your newborn session here. In a nutshell, try to feed baby a half hour before the start of the session so that she is full and sleepy. If we need to pause for a feeding break, that is totally fine!
Of course, we’ll want to include your other children in some of the photos as well as capture a family portrait. You don’t have to worry about this part of the process at all. First of all, I am positive that your older children will be so excited to show off their new sibling that we’ll have so much fun capturing the love they have. I have many tricks up my sleeve to get everyone smiling and looking at the camera, so you can trust me to make it happen!
After the session, we’ll set up a time for you to view your beautiful images and choose which ones you want to print in an album or framed portrait. All you have to do is choose what you want, and I take care of the rest. I even hand-deliver your printed artwork to you and help you hang it up. It’s that important to me that you can display your newborn portraits without lifting a finger.
Portsmouth Newborn Photographer
There is something so special about capturing newborns and their amazing families. Whenever I walk into a client’s home for the newborn session, you can just feel the love and excitement. I hope reading through this post helps you understand the newborn photography process! I don’t ever want a client stressing out over the details. I take care of all that. You made the baby, so let me handle the rest. If you want to set up a time to chat, please click here for my contact form. If you’re an expecting mama, be sure to join my online community The Village for Seacoast Moms to connect with other local moms and resources.
This post has been on my list for a while. When I finally had it on the calendar, I knew just who to call and ask! Breastfeeding is an extraordinary journey, and I wish every mama could have Allison Morgan of Holistic Birth & Beyond on speed dial. While I cannot give out her phone number, she agreed to an interview to share her best breastfeeding tips!
I’m honored to share Allison’s top five breastfeeding tips along with her list of resources so you can find the support you need! Allison’s responses are edited for clarity, but I mostly left them as they are for you to enjoy.
Breastfeeding Tips and Finding Support | Seacoast, NH
1) Can you share about your business and what you do?
I’m primarily a birth and postpartum doula and agency owner at Holistic Birth & Beyond. I serve families in Southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts. My goal is to help families find the best fit for finding a doula. I also do lactation and childbirth education and placenta encapsulation as well.
2) What are the top 5 tips for breastfeeding mamas?
1 – Get to know your baby and pay attention to their cues. Every baby has different hunger cues. They have early cues, mid-cues, and late cues. The early cues are the cuter ones that include stirring, maybe opening their mouth, and looking for the breast. The mid-cues are more obvious which is when they look for their hand and latch on to that. Finally, the late cues are when they’re a little more vocal and show that they’re agitated and ready with their body. So getting to know the cues can really help because when you catch those earlier cues, you can then be a little more proactive to get the process started because sometimes it’s hard to know when they’re ready. So getting to know their cues is the first tip.
2 – It’s all about the latch. There are several different things that can help get the best latch possible. Many people think it’s about the pillow that they get or the nipple cream, but it’s really about the latch. Having a great latch helps because if it’s too shallow, then there’s a lot of pain associated, or maybe the baby isn’t getting that milk transfer as well as it could be. Bringing the baby to you can help with your posture to result in a nice, deep latch!
3 – Learn different nursing positions. There are different positions to nurse in, with cradling your baby being the most popular. But one position that surprises moms and many fall in love with is the side-lying position. Knowing you can be lying down in your bed, comfortable on your side, and being able to nurse the baby from the side is good to know. Learn a few different positions, and don’t be afraid to try them to see what works best for you and your baby.
4 – Get to know your local lactation consultants. There are different levels of lactation educators, and consultants, with the highest level being the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Getting to know those in your area is nice so that whether you’re still pregnant or in the thick of it, you know where those resources are. And getting to know others who feel like peers to you that you can talk with, maybe vent to or exchange some tips and get some kind of encouragement from.
5 – Find breastfeeding support. The bottom line is knowing that it’s okay to ask for help. So many times, we think that breastfeeding has to be this natural and instinctive thing, but it might not be for everyone. It’s challenging because we want to follow certain steps and be successful. But, the reality is that breastfeeding looks different for each mom! I think that sometimes there’s a stigma that you should know all of this and it’s just not true. It’s nice to know that you can ask for help when you’re nursing or transitioning back to work and pumping.
3) What are some local resources/support for breastfeeding mamas?
There are a couple of IBCLCs around the state that do a great job. Nourish Lactation and Motina Lactation are really popular in southern New Hampshire. There are many great options all throughout Massachusetts and up the Seacoast, and even further north. There are also your postpartum support groups which are offered in-person and virtually.
We host one here in Manchester, New Hampshire. There are lactation groups that exist too. CMC, Thrive, and Relief Parenting are really good resources for having that group community aspect.
4) What’s your advice for a pregnant mama as she prepares for breastfeeding?
We do so much preparing and planning for the birth that we tend to forget this whole chapter right after. I think a lactation class can really make a difference for people. So instead of on-the-job learning, you get this orientation beforehand where you can familiarize yourself with some of the language and tips, habits to get into, and ways to be prepared. Taking a class can make a huge difference where you get the foundation before you head into that chapter.
Additionally, the wellness collaborative I co-founded and operate my business out of will be opening soon as a Milk Depot for Mothers Milk Bank Northeast. This will be a great resource for families! Mothers with a breastmilk donation will be able to drop off excess breastmilk and share it with other families that need it. You can stay tuned by following on social https://www.instagram.com/wellnessvillage.nh/
As a newborn photographer, lots of people think that means I’m good with babies… and it’s true! Hey, I’m not a super expert or anything, I’m just a mom of three who loves photographing babies and kids. With all that experience, I have some tricks up my sleeve to soothe a newborn baby.
If you’re reading this and worried about keeping your newborn baby happy during her session, please don’t stress! A newborn portrait session is baby-led. We’ll work together to choose an optimal time of the day for your baby, and during the session, we follow her lead. I make sure to block off extra time if we need it to work around a feed or a snuggle. I’ve seen it all!
5 Tips for Soothing Your Newborn During Your Session (and Beyond)
These tips will help baby calm down and feel safe. You can use these during your newborn session or anytime!
Check Her Needs – Babies cry to communicate. Is she hungry, need a diaper, gassy, or just tired? Offer the breast or bottle, check her diaper, try patting her on the back, or offer a nap. It might not be any of these things, so don’t worry! She may just need some soothing or may be cold. HEAT is key to getting a baby nice and sleepy for our sessions.
Swaddle – Your newborn will LOVE being swaddled. Use a blanket to wrap her up like a precious burrito and help her feel secure. My kiddos were little escape artists so I LOVED the sleep sacks by HALO to get them nice and snug.
Walk – Take her in your arms and walk around or put her in the stroller. The change in motion and environment might be what she needs to calm down and relax. If the baby is really fussy or possibly overtired, a car ride would be an option to try.
Sound Machine – Recreate the whooshing sounds of the womb with a sound machine or by shushing! I highly recommend a portable sound machine for the diaper bag or having an app on your phone to have handy. Shushing works too. In the studio, we use the “Baby Shusher” and it works wonders on getting little ones to sleep.
Pacify – This does depend on the baby! Some babies love a pacifier and some don’t. If your baby doesn’t like the pacifier or you are breastfeeding and haven’t introduced one yet, then you can try your finger or your breast. The suckling actually releases a hormone that relaxes your baby!
Loving on Newborns
I hope these tips are helpful for you! Photographing newborns is probably my favorite. I just love meeting this tiny new person and capturing this special time in photos for you. I would love to be part of your story by documenting your baby’s first few days. If you’re interested in booking, let’s chat! Otherwise, please join my VIP email list to connect that way for upcoming spring specials.
The first few weeks with your new baby are a whirlwind of love and beautiful chaos! By having newborn photos scheduled, you won’t have to worry about anything in those sleep-deprived days after the birth. Your sweet babe is only so tiny and new for such a short time. Every time you look at your newborn photos you’ll remember all the love and amazement you felt during those first few weeks.
Learn how to plan for and prepare for your newborn session along with how I’m keeping my tiny clients safe during this crazy pandemic.
When to Schedule and Plan Your Newborn Photos
The best time to reach out to a newborn photographer is well before the birth! I highly recommend reaching out when you are about halfway through your pregnancy. It’s important to give yourself time to find the perfect photographer and get your newborn session on the calendar. Many newborn (and birth) photographers limit how many sessions they schedule per month, so grab your spot as early as you can!
The ideal time to photograph a newborn is two weeks after the birth, but really, anytime in that first month or two is fine. The photos featured in this post are from when this sweet baby girl is 6 weeks old. The first six weeks or so is when your baby is the most sleepy and snuggly for great posing, BUT whenever you feel ready to have them done is fine!
Worried about how you’ll possibly feel ready for a photography session a mere couple weeks after birth? Let me help!
4 Tips for a Great Newborn Session
I know that thinking about the first two weeks after birth seems like a crazy time to let a photographer into your home to take photographs of your baby and family. Fear not! I bring everything needed for the shoot and here are 4 tips to help you prepare for your newborn session.
Don’t Stress About the House at All
My friend, I cannot emphasize how little the state of your house bothers me. You just had a baby! I can make any house situation work with no problem. There will be zero judgment at all. In fact, I bet your house will still be more organized than mine!
Try to Feed About a Half Hour Before (but snacks are fine!)
Try to feed your baby about a half-hour before the session is to start. This will hopefully give baby time to eat, burp, and be sleepy in time for the photos! If the baby needs a snack during the session, it’s totally fine! I’m very used to it.
Give Yourself Some Time to Glam
If you can, try to give yourself some time to look nice before the session. Take a little extra time in the shower and put on some makeup if that makes you feel good! Trust me, you are so beautiful no matter what, but taking some time for yourself will help you feel relaxed and ready.
Give Yourself Grace, Mama
No matter what happens, you will have treasured photos of your baby. Don’t worry about the house or if your newborn will be cooperative. Your baby will be absolutely perfect. I’ve seen it all and worked with all different babies. It’s all good!
How I’m Safely Photographing Newborns
The safety of your sweet baby and your entire family is the most important thing to me! I’m always very careful and especially so now. Here are a few ways that I am safely photographing newborn babies.
First, I am limiting the number of sessions I schedule per week to only two. I do this to limit the number of families I interact with. Second, I always wear my mask during every session. Finally, I make sure to sanitize my hands and any items we may use during the session.
Display Your Newborn Session Without Adding to Your To-Do List
The session isn’t over until you have your newborn photos displayed how you want them without adding an item to your to-do list. All you need to do is tell me how you envision these photos displayed in your home, and I take it from there! Whether you’re looking to create an heirloom album or a gallery wall, your photos will be where you can enjoy them every single day!
I would love to be your newborn photographer! Nothing would give me more joy than to capture those first precious moments with your new baby. Send me a note to schedule your free consultation.
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