Your unique situation
Once baby arrives there will be all kinds of decisions to make and everyone you meet will have an opinion. One of the biggest issues in the first few weeks is what and how you will feed your baby. Everyone from the staff at the hospital, to your family and friends, to the person waiting in line at the store, will have an opinion on the topic.
I know there are so many reasons why a person might breastfeed or why they might formula feed. I know parents might pump and bottle feed, be exclusively breastfeeding, be exclusively formula or some combination. There are many factors that influence how baby is fed.
Not all babies arrive at term and not all moms have their milk supply come in at day 2. There are so many things that can interfere with breastfeeding and sometimes it isn’t an option. And sometimes parents choose formula from the get go.
Every baby story is different and some babies are blessings through surrogacy or adoption so how and what baby is fed will depend on your baby and your unique situation. I am here to support you and to help you feel comfortable feeding your baby whichever way you feed.
Arrive 30 minutes early
Please arrive 30 minutes before your session start time to allow time to undress, change and feed your baby a good full feeding. Once baby is fed and sleepy we will start your session.
If you are bottle feeding I have a mini fridge in the studio if you need to keep your milk or formula cold. I also have a bottle warmer to heat up baby’s milk if needed.
I would love to capture images of you feeding your baby if you would like to remember these special moments in her life.
I suggest bringing more bottles than you think you will need to avoid the stress of running out during your session. Please let me know if you need anything!
If you are breastfeeding I have a couch and pillow to help you feel comfortable. The pillow and couch (like everything in the studio) is sanitized between clients. The studio is private and no one will enter the studio during your session. The early days of breastfeeding are sometimes awkward and oftentimes uncomfortable. You may need to nurse in a specific position, you might use a shield, you might like a cover.
Because of my experience with babies I feel completely comfortable with the female body and breastfeeding however I understand if you prefer quiet and privacy. I know that to get a full let-down and a good feed sometimes you need to be on your own. I am happy to get myself a drink and give you space.
I am also happy to hang out and chat with you to hear about your new baby and how you are adjusting to new motherhood. I would also love to capture images of you breastfeeding if you would like to capture this special time with your baby. Please let me know if you need anything or if you would like some space.
All new moms need to remember to snack and drink plenty of fluids and this is especially true if you are breastfeeding. I have water, hydration drinks, energy drinks, pop and juice available for you.
Please don’t feel the need to rush your baby’s feeding. I know that when you’re bottle feeding your baby needs frequent burp breaks and that breastfeeding takes as long as it takes! Some babies finish a full feed in 10 minutes and others are 30 minutes on each side. If we rush your baby or stop their feeding before they are full and finished eating, they will not be fully relaxed and satiated. They will also need feeding again soon and we will actually spend more time overall trying to sooth and eventually feed them. I can always keep myself busy tidying up after myself, sanitizing or just hanging out with you to hear about your new baby.
Feed on demand
I know some parents prefer to feed their baby on a schedule but for your time in the studio I recommend that you take a flexible approach and follow your baby’s feeding cues. In normal situations your baby is not being handled as much as they are during photos and so they can go longer without food. In the studio setting babies are happier and sleepier if they are full so I suggest feeding baby whenever he is hungry.
Follow baby’s hunger cues
During your session I will be capturing a variety of adorable poses that require your baby to be asleep and still. Sometimes babies fuss and we don’t always know why they are upset so we go through the checklist. We check if they need a diaper change, if they are hot or cold, if they need to be swaddled and if they need to be held.
I am also on the lookout for hunger cues which tell me that baby might need to feed. The cues I am looking for are your baby turning her head from side to side, rooting and trying to find food, putting her fists in her mouth, the hungry sound and finally the hungry cry. If your baby seems hungry and does not settle from wrapping, gentle swaying and shushing then I will pass her back to you for some more food.
Babies eat more during photos
Parents are often surprised by how much more their baby eats during a session. Because baby is being held and moved around they burn more calories and often eat more than usual. For this reason expect to nurse more or bring extra bottles along.
For more information about your upcoming newborn session please read this post next.