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 www.photographybyabimoore.com

POST BIRTH NUTRITION

POST BIRTH NUTRITION

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

info@applestozinc.co.uk

www.applestozinc.co.uk

Massage your baby better

Developmental Baby Massage and Movement

People have been massaging babies for centuries, it’s only now that the western world has realised that something as simple as massaging your baby from birth can give you both a unique range of benefits!

Research tells us that ‘touch’ is a primal need, and the first important mode of communication between a mother and her new baby. This is why of skin-to-skin at birth is important and why, when you’re baby cries you are compelled to pick him up and comfort him.

Baby massage encourages a good relationship between parent and baby. It provides quality time to be together, not changing nappies, making dinner, shopping or sterilizing bottles. By giving baby massage parents find it relaxing, peaceful and calming.

Massaging baby is also ideal for Dads to become involved and in touch with their babies. Fathers can be wonderful at baby massage and it can give them positive interaction and a special bond with their baby at a time when he can easily feel left out.

Additional to the obvious benefits of bonding, the one-on-one interaction of baby massage is a tool for maintaining your child’s health and well-being. It:

  • encourages motor development, structural fitness, muscular coordination and flexibility
  • deepens breathing rhythm, inducing relaxation which supports better quality sleep
  • improves circulation which strengthens immunity.
  • stimulates digestion which relieves pain from wind, constipation and colic.

Colic, Constipation and Reflux

Those three little words can strike fear into the hearts of new parents. Endless hours of crying, sleepless nights and emotional exhaustion for all of you.

For those coping with a very windy or colicky baby, help is at hand. Massage techniques can ease pain and discomfort and help baby to relax. Massage can help to disperse wind, ease muscle spasm, tone the digestive system and help it to work efficiently. It is not a miracle cure and can take a few days to ease, but in my experience it can be more effective than simply waiting for them to grow out of it or using every pharmaceutical remedy available.

You can learn techniques through a book or video, but the most effective way is to attend a class run by a local teacher of baby massage.

Louise Prince, devlopmental baby massage instructor, maidenhead, berkshire.
I am a qualified Nursery Nurse and Developmental Baby Massage Instructor among other pre and postnatal therapies. visit www.mindbodyandbump.co.uk