Category Archives: 2nd/3rd Trimester

The Process: Common Questions About Newborn Photo Shoots

Your child is only a newborn once and we’re sure you want to capture those precious first moments with your new family member. The memories captured with your newborn will last a lifetime, so it’s worth leaving the photography to a trusted professional.

Bella Baby photographers are on-site every day at a plethora of hospitals around the U.S. to capture your most precious moments after delivery. We want to make sure you get the best photos possible, so understanding how our process works can help you prepare.

How does the process work?

Each new family is offered a complimentary photo session that takes place right in your hospital room. Parents and siblings are encouraged to participate to create a beautiful family experience. There’s absolutely no obligation to buy your photos.

Viewing of your photos is made available within an hour of your session with a custom online slideshow posted to the Bella Baby website (protected with a unique password), thus enabling distant friends and family members the opportunity to share the experience. Online viewing and ordering are offered for two weeks to anyone with whom you choose to share your password; immediate in-hospital purchasing is also available.

Common Questions About Newborn Photo Shoots

Some common questions from moms:

1. How long does a newborn photo shoot take?

Our in-hospital photo shoots provide the ultimate convenience compared to newborn photo shoots that take place in a studio. Studio shoots can take upwards of four hours! Our professional photographers meet you where you are to make the process seamless so you can get back to caring for your new family member. Our photographers are in and out of your hospital room in less than 30 minutes.

2. When will my photo shoot take place?

We typically photograph all babies on their first full day at the hospital. It is also possible for your shoot to take place on the day before discharge. Generally, we do not take photos on the day of discharge unless there is a medical reason for the delay.

3. My husband won’t return to the hospital until late in the day. Can the session be done then?

We always encourage husbands and siblings to participate if they are available at the time of the shoot, but we may not be at the hospital late in the day. We will try to accommodate you as much as our schedule permits.

Common Questions About Newborn Photo Shoots

4. Should we bring a special blanket?

We absolutely encourage you to bring a favorite baby blanket or afghan from home to use in the shoot. A beautiful blanket can add texture, color, and memories to your newborn’s photos. Many parents bring a pacifier as well. Moms provide additional advice on what to bring with you to the hospital in this post.

5. How can I prepare for the shoot?

We love to include mom and dad’s hands in our photos. Wear clear or neutral nail polish on the day of your shoot. Distracting jewelry should be removed; your baby should be the focus of the photos.

Bring a dark-colored shirt to wear in the photos; we may photograph your baby in your arms and solid/dark colors look great in both color and black-and-white prints. We recommend avoiding any busy prints. You might also want to pack some makeup so you can touch up before your shoot — a bit of under-eye concealer and mascara to brighten the eyes and pressed powder to remove shine.

6. My baby is in the NICU, can I still have a photo shoot?

Yes, let your nurse know you are interested in Bella Baby pictures and sign the consent form. The session will be completed when the nurse tells us the baby is ready for pictures.

Common Questions About Newborn Photo Shoots

7. Which hospitals are you in?

For the most up-to-date information on our contracted hospitals please contact the Customer Service department in your state. You can find the number and email by entering your zip code here.

Are you expecting? We would love to capture those first precious moments with your newborn. Find a photographer near you and feel free to reach out to us with any additional questions.

Before your baby arrives, also check out 10 Ways to Make Birth Announcements Fun and Easy.


What to Expect During a Newborn Photoshoot

What to Expect During a Newborn Photoshoot: Advice from our Super Moms

It’s time for your baby’s first photoshoot! While your professional photographer will do most of the heavy lifting, it’s still a good idea to do a little preparation beforehand. Whether your newborn photos will be taken at the hospital or at home, these are all relevant considerations. Our Bella Baby Super Moms offer some advice based on their newborn photo experiences.

Here’s what to consider:

1. Discuss strategy with your spouse

You might think preparing for photos is no big deal, but not including your spouse in the conversation can leave them feeling left out. They may not want to be involved at all, but it’s better to ask than assume. If your spouse seems uninterested in the direction of photos, then do some planning on your own and check in with them again when it comes time to make final decisions.

“My husband loves to wear t-shirts, but I made him pack one nicer shirt so that he was prepared for the photo shoot.”

2. Decide on a budget

All of your decisions will be based, in part, on your budget, so figure this out early on. You’ll likely want to include your spouse in this decision, even if he or she doesn’t want to be involved in other decisions. Reading through the rest of this list will help you decide on your budget.

3. Include siblings or other family members in the shoot

What to Expect During a Newborn Photoshoot

You’ll want to decide beforehand who exactly will be in the photos. Including older siblings will not only make for sweet moments but is also a great way to make sure they feel included in their newly expanding family.  

“If you want to include your other children in the session, try to pick a time of day that will work for them (keeping nap schedules in mind) as you don’t want a cranky toddler in your photos.”

4. Consider holidays

Are there any upcoming holidays? If Christmas is around the corner, you might want to dress your family in festive attire so that you can use your photos again on holiday cards. Or, maybe just bring a few props – Santa hat, candy canes – that you can add in for just a few photos. It’s a great way to get more for your budget.

5. Think ahead to gifts

What kind of a photo does grandma want on her mantle? It’s helpful to think about who you’ll be gifting the photos to in the future. That could provide some additional direction in terms of types of photos to take and formats to order. This could affect your budget as well.

6. Choose everyone’s outfits

Of course, you need to choose what your baby will wear, but you should also think about outfits for siblings and for YOU! Consider the previous two question, then pick something out for your baby and put it in your hospital bag. It’s best to choose solid colors and avoid busy patterns that will be distracting and take the focus away from your newborn. Coordinate your own outfit and other family members so there are no clashing colors.

“We weren’t sure if we were having a boy or girl, so we brought a neutral blanket and then a couple of headbands and a little bow tie so that we were prepared either way.”

7. Bring some props

In addition to clothing, you’ll want to have some additional items for the photographer to utilize during the photoshoot. Think blankets, hats, stuffed animals, or other toys. Again, choose solid colors.

What to Expect During a Newborn Photoshoot

8. “Don’t forget to pack your makeup or at least a little concealer.”

If your photos are at the hospital, you’ll want to pack a few cosmetics and maybe a hairbrush to touch up a little. You will have just given birth, after all. A dark pink or red lipstick will instantly make you look and feel more put together. Oil blotting sheets and pressed powder will keep shine away. A bit of under-eye concealer and mascara will make your eyes pop on camera.  

9. “Try to feed your newborn right before the session so that they are calm and asleep for the photographer.”

10. Treasure the moment.

“With my first daughter, I didn’t want to be in any of the pictures (as I just had a baby), but the photographer talked me into being in one and I am really glad that she did. Your baby grows up so fast, be a part of every moment, you’ll be glad you have the pictures.”

11. Smile and leave the rest to your photographer!

Your photographer is experienced and knows what types of angles and shots look best. You can give them some initial thoughts, then leave the work to them and don’t intervene too much. Most importantly, enjoy the experience.

Are you expecting? We would love to capture those first precious moments with your newborn. Find a photographer near you and feel free to reach out to us with any additional questions.


Pregnancy Eating Habits to Embrace & Avoid + Whole Foods Giveaway

Pregnancy Eating Habits to Embrace & Avoid + Whole Foods Giveaway

If this is your first time pregnant, you’re probably just starting to figure out your new eating habits and learning what your body does and doesn’t agree with. Most women’s diets change a lot during pregnancy. And, that’s nothing unexpected. Your hormones are changing, your belly is growing, and there’s a little one developing inside of you who has some nutritional needs as well.

Since everything that you eat, your growing baby eats too, you want to embrace a mostly healthy diet that’s packed with nutrients. Every woman’s needs are different, so the most important thing to do is listen to your own body.

Here are some common pregnancy eating habits to embrace and avoid. And, read till the end of this post to enter a fun contest!

Include These Superfoods in Your Diet

You want to make sure that your baby gets all of the vitamins and antioxidants he or she needs to properly develop.  

Here are some of the most highly recommended foods to eat during pregnancy:

  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Salmon
  • Oranges or other fruits that are high in Vitamin C
  • Lean beef and leafy greens for iron
  • Greek yogurt or milk for calcium

Check out our post on the Best Foods for New Moms and Newborns for more detailed information about the above list.

Avoid Dangerous Foods

Doctors usually tell you to avoid eating certain foods while you’re pregnant and there’s good reason for that. Here are some big ones to avoid.

Limit Seafood

Wild salmon is the best choice of seafood to eat while you’re pregnant. It’s high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. However, you should limit your seafood intake in general. The bottom line is that anything that comes from the ocean contains some amount of mercury. The FDA advises pregnant women to avoid the following types of seafood altogether since they contain the highest mercury levels: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Consider taking a high-quality fish oil supplement instead.

Avoid Unpasteurized Milk, Cheese, or Anything Else

While there are some benefits to drinking unpasteurized milk, you’ll definitely want to avoid it while pregnant. In rare cases, unpasteurized dairy products or juices can lead to bacterial infections.

Stay Away From Raw or Undercooked Meats

You probably already know the risk in consuming undercooked meats, so we won’t go into detail about that here. The potential risks are even greater to an unborn baby with a weak immune system.

Limit Caffeine

The American Pregnancy Association recommends sticking to less than 200mg of caffeine per day, which converts to 12 ounces. Caffeine increases both your blood pressure and heart rate, which is not ideal during pregnancy. A lot of docs will recommend that you switch from coffee to tea since it has less caffeine. If you absolutely can’t live without your coffee, limit consumption to just one cup per day.

Pregnancy Eating Habits to Embrace & Avoid + Whole Foods Giveaway

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Hydration is even more important during pregnancy, so drink up. You can try supplementing water with sparkling water, low-sugar juice, or caffeine-free tea if that will encourage you to drink more. But, make sure you drink plenty of plain old water too.

Indulge Cravings

Cravings happen during pregnancy due to increased hormones. All women have different cravings and that’s totally normal. Some women even have healthy cravings i.e. salad. If that’s the case for you, you’ll absolutely want to indulge that one. Your body might be trying to tell you that you’re deficient in some key nutrients.

But let’s be honest, most cravings are not healthy at all. As long as your diet is otherwise healthful, it’s ok to indulge your cravings. If you’re craving a donut, just go get one already (or better yet, send your significant other). If you avoid that craving, you’ll probably end up eating lots of other things in an attempt to satisfy it. It’s better to just eat what you really want and be done with it.

Now, Here’s a Contest!

Every pregnant woman has her own weird eating habits and cravings. What are yours? Fill out the Rafflecopter below and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When and How to Tell People You’re Expecting

When and How to Tell People You’re Expecting

Congrats on your new family member to come! You’re probably eager and/or nervous to tell everyone the exciting news. Read on for when and how to make the big announcement, and when you’re ready, check out these great birth announcement options.


When you choose to share the news is really a personal decision that only you can make. And, there’s really no right or wrong answer when it comes to timing. That being said, many women choose to keep their news private until the first trimester has passed. After 12 weeks, the risk of a miscarriage drops substantially. You might consider just telling family and close friends before then.

The Announcement

You by no means have to make a ‘big announcement’ on social media or otherwise. If you’re a more private person, then just tell close friends and family, and others if or when it comes up.

However, it is a good idea to tell coworkers so they aren’t left wondering why you’re running off to the bathroom every half hour. At worst, your boss could mistake your absences for poor performance. Don’t leave them to their own assumptions.

If you do want to share your news in a more public way, here are some fun and creative ideas:

Announce on social media and ask people for advice

Instead of just announcing your pregnancy, ask people to share their top tips. Start a ‘note’ on Facebook, so you have everything in a searchable format v.s. just asking for comments on a post. This is a great way to get friends and family more involved with your journey if you want them to be. New moms love to give advice to their expecting friends about pregnancy and parenting. It’s also a way to crowdsource useful information and resources with minimal effort. Have older relatives that aren’t on social media? Send them a letter with a pre-addressed return envelope and ask them to reply back with their favorite piece of advice for new moms.

Have photos taken

Schedule a pregnancy photo shoot with your spouse. You’re probably overdue for some cute photos together anyway. Then, share them on social media or go old-school and have prints made. You’ll be thankful later in life that you preserved the moment, especially if this is your first pregnancy. Giving relatives a framed photo is a great way to share your news in a more personal manner.

Do it with humor

The lightest way to share your big news is with humor. There are so many fun photo options out there. If you have other children or pets, you could include them in the photos. See 24 Ways to Announce Your Pregnancy on Facebook, Instagram, and More.

When and How to Tell People You’re Expecting

Image source

Host a party or go out to dinner

Invite your loved ones over for an intimate gathering or throw a major celebration, if that’s your style. Or, just invite a few friends out for a meal. You know what to say when they ask why you’re not drinking! Put a photo from your pregnancy shoot or sonogram on display and it will do the talking for you.

Bake something

Let the cookies or cake break the ice for you. Bake something yourself or head to a grocery store or bakery and let them do the work. Bring a tray of cookies to the office as a way of sharing the news with coworkers. They’ll be excited for you and for the treats.

When and How to Tell People You’re Expecting

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What are your thoughts on timing and methods of sharing the news? We would love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below to connect.

Popular Baby Name Roundups from Pinterest to Get You Started

Popular Baby Name Roundups from Pinterest to Get You Started

Choosing a baby name can be overwhelming, but really, the process should be fun. Pinterest is a great place to start for everything baby-related, and baby names are no exception. We’ve sorted through all the lists and included our favorite ones here for your convenience. This post will help you narrow down which ‘type’ of baby name you want – popular, old-fashioned, unique and so on.

Here are some categories of names to consider:

  1. Popular Names

Avery, Jackson, Sophia, Emma, Milo

These baby names are just a few of the most popular choices from the last two years, and there’s a reason for that. Do you want a baby name that’s trending? Start by looking through the top baby names for boys and girls in 2017.

  1. Disney Baby Names

Abigail, Charlotte, Gideon, Milo

Whether you’re a big Disney fan or not, one of these dreamy and mystical Disney girl names might suit your baby. There are tons of choices beyond the typical Cinderella or Ariel. We’re particularly fond of Giselle and Alice. There are also some great Disney-inspired names for boys from Mickey to Oliver.

Popular Baby Name Roundups from Pinterest to Get You Started

  1. Baby Names with Fantastic Nicknames

William “Liam,” Collette “Coco,” Isabella “Izzy”

A lot of the time, nicknames are unavoidable. Even if you want your child to be called by their given name, relatives and even your kid might have different ideas. So, you might as well choose a name that also has a great nickname. Check out 12 Baby Names with Fantastic Nicknames.

  1. Old-Fashioned Baby Names

Adeline, Lincoln, Victor, Raymond

Take a nod from the past and consider an old-fashioned baby name. Everything that’s old comes back into style at some point so your kiddo will be ahead of the curve. Take a look at The Ultimate List of Old Fashioned Baby Names.

Popular Baby Name Roundups from Pinterest to Get You Started

  1. French Baby Names

Coralie, Luc, Marielle, Louna

They have a nice ring to them, don’t they? These names are some of the most popular choices in France. If you’re striking out with American names, you could turn to French. It is one of the five romance languages, after all. See 17 French Baby Names that are Prime for an American Takeover.

  1. Unique Names

Greer, Declan, Talia, Iris

Your baby is unique and you want everyone to know it. Help your little girl or boy stand out in the world with a beautifully uncommon name. Browse 100 Unique Baby Names.

  1. Baby Girl Names with Special Meanings

Sophia – wise, Madison – gift of God, Gwyneth – happiness

Every name has a meaning behind it, but these ones have extra special and memorable ones. Give your daughter a name that she’ll be proud of. Look through Baby Girl Names with Great Meanings.

  1. Short and Sweet Boy Names

Blake, Clark, Ian, Zac

There’s something very appealing about boys names that are short and simple. Give your little man a name that is classic and easy to pronounce. Here are 100 Sweet and Short Names for Boys with Meanings.

There are tons of names to choose from and these are just a starting point. After you gather some initial ideas, continue your search on Babble, a resource provided by Disney. You can sort baby names by letter, origin, or theme.

And when you’re ready, have a look at our beautiful birth announcements, which can be customized for your baby’s chosen name!

Did one of the names on this list spark your interest? We would love to hear your top considerations. Leave a comment below.