Having a newborn portrait session after a c-section
Mums often ask me whether it’s ok to have a newborn portrait session if they’re having a caesarean section. It is indeed! A newborn portrait session won’t put strain on your body, and it can even be a welcome distraction from the discomfort you’re feeling day to day.
We’ll work at your pace – if you need a rest or don’t feel comfortable at any time, we’ll take a breather.
Fantastic photos taken in the comfort of our own home, extremely important with a newborn baby! I had a c-section and our pictures were taken when our baby was 10 days old. For me, this was the earliest that I felt comfortable in terms of moving around and being photographed myself! Our baby boy is almost 3 now, and I treasure the newborn pictures that Louise took.”
Choosing a date
As your baby will almost certainly be born before full term, we’ll schedule your portrait session a little differently than we would for babies born closer to their due dates.
With early arrivals, it’s best to give your baby a chance to catch up a little – and you’ll need some recovery time yourself.
After a caesarean section, you’re likely to be in hospital for four days or so, and longer if there are complications. Broadly speaking, it might take a couple of weeks after your baby’s born before you feel up to being photographed. Waiting a little longer gives your baby more time to regain its birth weight, especially if the c-section means that your milk comes in a bit later.
In terms of capturing your newborn’s first weeks, I recommend scheduling your portrait session for around a week after you come out of hospital, or two weeks after your baby’s born. If that feels too soon when the date’s approaching, we can simply rearrange your session for later on.
What about the 7-10 day window?
Full-term babies tend to have a growth spurt from around 2 weeks old, which is partly why I usually recommend the 7-10 day window. With premature babies, however, this is less of an issue for newborn portraits as there tends to be a catch-up phase. Prem babies’ growth spurts tends to come later on, usually once they’ve caught up gestationally. So if your baby is born at 36 weeks, its growth spurt may not come until it’s 6 weeks old, because gestationally it would then be 2 weeks old. The later growth spurt means there’s less need to choose a date within a set timeframe after your baby’s birth – instead, choose a date that’s comfortable for you.
Also, baby acne tends to be less common with premature babies. Avoiding those skin issues is another reason why I recommend the 7-10 day window for full-term babies. If your baby’s premature, there’s more flexibility with when to schedule your newborn portrait as it’s much less likely that those skin issues will rear their heads.
Adjusting the date according to how you feel
Having a csection adds some other scheduling issues into the mix. I totally understand that you might want to wait until you feel less sore, or until you look more “yourself” again.
You might find that your face is a bit puffy or swollen from the IV fluid for a couple of weeks, and your tummy might stay swollen for a few weeks. However, all new mums look different from how they look when they haven’t recently given birth! I encourage mums to enjoy the moment and celebrate what your body’s just been through. Ok, you might not look your absolute “best” just yet, but the changes your body have gone through are part of the story of having your baby. I’ll choose flattering angles so that you’re photographed in your best light. If your appearance really does bother you, though, or you’re just not feeling up to it, consider postponing your session for around six weeks old when you’ll be feeling heaps better and lots of the swelling will have gone down.
You don’t need to decide this beforehand – I recommend scheduling an early session in (a week after you come out of hospital, or when your baby’s 2 weeks old) so you have a spot reserved for you in the calendar. If you feel you’d like more recovery time, we can just rearrange. You might find that you feel absolutely fine, so it’s better to have that spot reserved for you at the earlier possibility – that way we know I can accommodate you!
Louise took fabulous newborn photos for us, which we will treasure forever! She is very personable whilst being professional and is very easy to be around feel natural. The photos are simply stunning; they made me cry!”
Vicky (newborn session held 1 week after caesarean section)
Choosing a convenient spot in your home
If you have stairs in your home, we’ll plan to take the photographs on the same floor so you’re not taking any unnecessary steps up and down the stairs. I’ll have a look around when I arrive to see which rooms will work best for the space and the light, and then we can move everything we’ll need to the most convenient room.