Tips for photographing your new baby

Tips for photographing your new baby

Maternity Network professional newborn photographer 2
All new parents want to capture every moment with their new baby – your newborn is precious and changing every day. Maternity Network member and professional photographer, Abi Moore, shares her top tips for photographing your little bundle of joy.

  • Lighting can make or break a photograph. Camera flashes are perfectly safe for babies but don’t make for the best photographs – it’s better to use natural light wherever possible. Open curtains wide and, where possible, photograph your baby close to a window (avoiding direct sunlight as this will give harsh shadows).
  • Avoid distractions in images to keep the focus on your baby. Dress them in simple clothing without any brightly coloured pictures or patterns. Don’t be afraid to get in close for images, filling the camera frame with your baby’s face.

Maternity Network professional newborn photographer 1

  • Safety is paramount. These days it’s common to see photos of babies posed on their fronts or holding their head up on their hands. Newborn photographers who pose in this way should be fully trained in doing so safely. Many of these photos will be a combination of two images, using Photoshop to remove parents’ supporting hands in the final image. As an amateur, it’s best to stick to natural images with good lighting, than attempt difficult poses that may endanger your baby.
  • Keep your camera handy. You never know when your baby’s firsts will happen so ensure your camera is always to hand so you can capture then. Don’t forget to photograph other little details such as their tiny hands and feet (use your own hands to give a size comparison as they grow)
  • Whilst the camera on your phone will take good snapshots, a good camera is a worthwhile investment to capture the memories of your little one’s first few days. It may sound obvious, but read your camera’s instruction book, so you know how to get the best from it.
  • Don’t forget to get in the frame yourself! When they’re older your little one will love to see pictures of you holding them as a new baby (even if they’re sure to laugh at the dated clothes and hairstyles!). Photos are part of family history and it’s so important that parents appear in them too.

I hope these tips will help you get the best images of your new bundle of joy. However, nothing beats professional photographs, whether you choose images whilst they’re newborn (ideally within their first 14 days) or once they’re older and their personalities start to show.

Maternity Network professional newborn photographer 3
Before booking a photographer take a look at images online and decide what style you like – would you prefer natural photographs or something more posed or with props? Check your chosen photographer’s portfolio offers similar photos to the ones you like and that they have plenty of experience. Most importantly, check your photographer is insured and trained, particularly in how to photograph your baby safely.

Finally, please print your photos! More photos are being taken now than ever before in our history, but fewer and fewer are being printed. Seeing framed images will make you smile every day and is proven to boost a child’s self-esteem!

Author bio: Abi Moore is a professional photographer based in Windsor and working across Berkshire. She is a fully trained, qualified, insured and award-winning newborn and baby photographer. Her natural and relaxed style captures the perfect memories of your baby’s first weeks or months. Find out more at



Pregnancy and childbirth are perhaps the toughest challenges the female body goes through.  Many of us are guilty of wanting to quickly get back into pre-pregnancy clothes and embark on diets to support this, but, is this approach right?

Nutrition needs for mum after birth are equally or arguably more important than in pregnancy.  Nutrition in the early days post birth may help support the healing process and replenish lost nutrients.  It may help with energy levels and is also important in those wishing to breastfeed (this uses hundreds of calories of energy each day)…..and eating well might even help shift a few pounds naturally!

There are 3 main macro nutrients that we need after birth and these should make up the bulk of our meals.  These are carbohydrate, protein and fat:

  • Complex Carbohydrates are essential for energy. Good sources of carbohydrate rich foods include root vegetables and wholegrains (oats, rice, wholemeal pasta etc). These should make up around 25% of each of your meals
  • Protein is essential for healing and repair and is vital to help your body to produce breast milk. Good sources of protein rich foods include lean meats, fish, beans, pulses, eggs, quinoa and dairy products.  These should also make up around 25% of each of your meals
  • Good Fats are essential to health. They are important in brain health, for hormone regulation and are a vital component in breast milk.  Good sources include oily fish, cold pressed unheated olive oil, avocado and nuts and seeds.  A small amount of these daily is plenty – around 25g of nuts is a portion!

The rest of your diet should be made up from fruits and vegetables.  These provide you with essential quantities of fibre to help keep your digestive system working well and to provide you with all the vitamins and minerals that are needed for the body to work optimally such as iron, magnesium, vitamin C, B vitamins etc.  You are aiming for 5 different coloured vegetables and 2 different fruits every day.

The foods that are best avoided are the processed foods that don’t give us nutrients.  These are foods like crisps, biscuits, cakes, chocolates and sweets.  They are likely to make you feel more tired.

Drink plenty of water.  Breastfeeding can be dehydrating but even if you aren’t feeding, hydration may help boost energy levels and help the digestive system.

Lastly, don’t under estimate the important of sleep  –  you’ll be tired and sleep deprivation negatively impacts our appetite hormones…go grab a powernap instead of that coffee and cake!

Janet Padfield

Abi Moore wins bronze and silver awards in the Guild of Photographer’s monthly image competition

From all of us at The Maternity Network, we couldn’t be more proud of our Team!

Photography by Abi Moore

Today, I am over the moon to have learned that I have won two bronze awards and a silver award in the Guild of Photographer’s monthly image competition. The silver award and one of the bronzes were for this gorgeous little one that I photographed last month – just six days old!

At the beginning of the year, I set myself some goals, and one was to win a silver – it’s such a challenging competition that I am delighted to have heard this news today!!

Go and see the imagesPhotography by Abi Moore @photographybyabimoore

or on her

Pregnancy Yoga

How pregnancy yoga can enhance your pregnancy and Birth

Yoga promotes mental and physical wellbeing and balance and is particularly helpful during pregnancy which is a time of great transition and uncertainty. Guidelines recommend doing gentle exercise during pregnancy as a way of coping with the challenges of being pregnant, and as a means of building strength to deal with the rigours of labour.

Pregnancy yoga is appropriate exercise but also offers much more in terms of breath awareness, birthing postures, visualisation, meditation and relaxation which help enhance a woman’s experience of pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Perhaps the most fundamental benefit of practicing pregnancy yoga is learning the ability to really relax. Pregnancy can often be a rollercoaster of emotions and taking time out to relax will make the experience of pregnancy more enjoyable as well as providing an optimal environment for your baby to grow.

Regular relaxation also helps alleviate fatigue before it becomes incapacitating, as the breathing practices central to pregnancy yoga have both an energising and calming effect on the nervous system. Training yourself to relax during pregnancy will make it much easier to take this with you into labour.

Particularly helpful is to use the pauses between each contraction to deeply relax so you can recharge, conserve energy and let go of any tension that may have built up during the contraction. As you move through your labour if you remain relaxed, you will be releasing endorphins which are the body’s natural pain relief, and prevent the release of stress hormones which can slow labour down.

Physically, pregnancy can be a challenging time as the bodies of both mother and baby are constantly changing. Yoga postures can help to ease common pregnancy ailments such heartburn, lower back pain, poor circulation and leg cramps. The pelvic floor is also specifically addressed in a pregnancy yoga class and through deep breathing and exercises it is prepared to become a ‘birthing muscle’, by increasing its elasticity. It is important that as well as having strength it is also able to let go.

Many of the postures and techniques which are practiced during a pregnancy yoga class are helpful to encourage your baby into a good position for a straight-forward birth. By regularly practicing positions which will be helpful during labour, when the time comes to give birth they will be second nature so you will naturally gravitate towards them.

Pregnancy yoga develops breath awareness and teaches techniques which help to maintain a sense of calmness and wellbeing during pregnancy and labour.

The balanced state of mind which yoga creates teaches both focus and surrender, which gives the ability to respond calmly to the demands of the moment. This is essential during a contraction to enable you to breath into it rather than tense up, and run away from it and as a result you won’t become overwhelmed.

Learning to focus during pregnancy is an invaluable skill to take with you into labour and while yoga does not guarantee a quick and easy delivery it does make it easier for you to withdraw internally to an instinctive world which enables you to accept and adapt to whatever happens, and go with the experience calmly.

By Jennie Phenix, mum of two young children.

Pregnancy Yoga & Mummy and Baby Yoga
Relax, boost energy, relieve aches & pain, prepare for birth

Connect with your baby, rebuild core strength safely

Classes in Burnham & Marlow

Private and small group sessions available

Jennie Phenix on 07954 578 439 email

Benefits of pregnancy yoga by Eleanor Hayes

The Benefits of Pregnancy Yoga

Many women are drawn to yoga during their pregnancy as it offers a safe and gentle way to stay fit and toned in pregnancy, while respecting the restrictions pregnancy places on your body’s ability to cope with the stresses and strains of exercise.

But pregnancy yoga offers so much more than just exercise suitable for pregnancy, and many mums discover they are reaping many more benefits than they imagined they’d gain from their yoga class.

As a pregnancy yoga and birth preparation teacher I am often asked what the benefits of pregnancy yoga are, and my eyes glaze over wondering which benefits to start with!

Here is an overview of the 5 key benefits of pregnancy yoga, particularly from a class that includes elements of birth preparation, as Birthzang’s pregnancy yoga class does each week.

  1. Helps the mum’s body

A universal benefit of yoga whether it is in pregnancy or not is that it gently stretches and tones muscles. The beauty of the slow and focussed yoga postures help to increases flexibility in the body while also generating great strength. This also helps calm the body’s nervous system and improves circulation.

Practising yoga weekly, or ideally daily, in pregnancy can also help to reduce back pain experienced by many women in the later months of pregnancy, and is also really beneficial in aiding the treatment and  of and ways to cope with Pelvic Girdle Pain – sadly a very common problem in pregnancy caused by the pelvic ligaments and muscles not being able to properly support the torso.

There are also a wide variety of other pregnancy-related symptoms that can be eased and improved through regular yoga practice, such as sciatica, restless legs, fatigue, indigestion and heartburn, carpel tunnel syndrome, headaches, cramp and constipation and swollen ankles.

The combination of yoga postures, deep breathing and relaxation in a pregnancy yoga class can help foster better quality sleep, and reduce insomnia – both things often experienced by women forwards the end of their pregnancies.

Perhaps the greatest benefit is to help bring balance to the body, allowing it to return to a more neutral, stress-free state.

  1. Helps the mum’s mind

Yoga practice brings strength through the combination of breathing and focus. ironically this focus on the moment, on the now, actually allows the mind to become more flexible, opening to new ideas, not least coming to terms with the changes that are happening in a pregnant women’s body, but also the changes that will happen in their life once their baby is born.

There is also some scientific evidence that regular yoga practice in pregnancy can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, through relieving tension and stress in the muscles. Postnatal depression is a common concept but many mums suffer severe anxiety in pregnancy and can feel isolated and depressed, particularly if they are suffering a lot of pregnancy symptoms and they are not enjoying the experience.

  1. Helps mum & baby bonding

Pregnant women, particularly in the first 4 months, can sometimes find it hard to register that they have a baby growing inside them. If their bump is quite small, or if they have not started feeling any movements, it can be difficult to feel a sense of connection with the unborn baby. Yoga starts this conversation with their baby through bringing awareness of their body, and allowing their focus to be directed in towards their baby.

Babies also love many breathing exercises or relaxation and respond by moving around or kicking more, helping women to realise their baby is experiencing what they are experiencing.

A weekly pregnancy yoga class also offers mums a safe place to send their focus inwards with no distractions, creating a special mum and baby bonding time – something that can be hard to do in your own home as part of your busy life.

The reduction in anxiety mentioned above also has been shown to have a positive impact on the baby as well. As well as this if a mother has a good bond with her baby before birth, then the chances are it will be easier to bond after birth, reducing the possibility of postnatal depression.

  1. Helps mums prepare for labour

In labour women need to be able to connect with their body, to listen to it and to allow it to guide them into making intuitive movement and positions. In our modern society, very few people are able to listen to their bodies and connect with what it is telling them and so when it comes to labour, often women simply don’t know how to do this.

Yoga encourages this dialogue with the body through focussing on a posture, through breathing into it, and finding stillness there. This opens up a wonderful conversation between the mind and body, allowing women to make friends with their subconscious, and helping them recognise the way their body is talking to them. This conversation is carried through into labour where mums bodies will often encourage them to adopt certain positions or movements that will help their baby be born based on their unique circumstances – such as baby’s position, size, etc.

Practising yoga-based birth preparation techniques – such as dynamic positions for birth that combine movement and yoga postures – helps to create intuitive muscle memory so that during labour, a mum doesn’t have to think about what position might be comfortable or how she might move, her body already has that knowledge to draw upon. This helps her to keep her rational mind at bay during labour, enabling the primitive brain to take centre stage and this has a very positive impact on birth hormones.

Pregnancy yoga also tends to be all about opening the body and so a regular practice encourages the mothers hips and pelvis to be ready to open for labour.

The breathing techniques practised in yoga help to teach mums how to breathe not just for labour, but also for life. Specific breathing techniques can be very beneficial in labour to help cope with contractions and stay focussed and grounded, but these techniques can be applied in many every day situations, helping us to find balance and peace when everything around us seems chaotic and hard to cope with.

  1. Helps mums prepare for parenthood

Attending a regular pregnancy yoga class provides a safe and non-judgemental place for mums to share their experiences of pregnancy. Whether it is delighting in news of a baby’s gender or sharing scan pictures, or being able to moan about swollen feet and indigestion, ha

ving a place to vent fear, anger, anxiety and happiness is an incredibly important way for pregnant women to be able to enjoy

and cope with pregnancy.

More often than not, when someone shares something, the others will nod in agreement and they realise as a group that they are not alone, and there is support for them by people who are going through exactly the same experience. I witness the power of this support every week in my classes and it delights me to see women exchanging numbers and making friends.

This support network they are creating tends to be local to them, with mums who will have babies around the same age, and lifelong friendships can be made in class.

It goes beyond the classroom

So although I have mentioned “just” 5 benefits of pregnancy yoga, the benefits stretch well outside of the classroom and into the daily bodies and minds of the mums who come.

You are never too stiff, or too inflexible, or too heavy, or too inexperienced to enjoy all of the benefits that pregnancy yoga can bring. So what is stopping you finding a class?

Eleanor Hayes at Birthzang runs weekly pregnancy yoga classes on Wednesdays 6.45-8.15pm at Hamilton Road Children’s Centre, East Reading. If you’d like to try Birthzang’s Pregnancy Yoga class for FREE, just contact me and let me know when you’d like to come. For more information go to or email


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