Category Archives: 2nd/3rd Trimester

September is National Baby Safety Month

photo by Natalie O’Donnell

The safety of your newborn is something Bella Baby takes seriously.

When Bella Baby enters your room you can be assured that we are safety conscious, and trained to follow all of the most current safety, cleanliness and HIPAA rules that your doctors and nurses follow.

  • Our photographers are always up to date with vaccinations.
  • Handwashing is performed throughout the day to ensure your baby’s health.
  • We do not share props from room to room. Props that you bring may be used if deemed safe for your baby.
  • You may see photographers wearing masks. This gives you comfort in knowing that an allergy-related sniffle is not going to spread germs. We prefer caution and know you will too.
photo by April Martinez
photo by Joanie Clay

We treat you as a client, a friend, and with the security and privacy of a patient. We will never give out, share or sell your personal information. Your family can always feel safe, protected, and in the best of hands with Bella Baby staff.

We pride ourselves on being the most caring, qualified, and safety conscience newborn photographers throughout the country.

For more information on baby safety sponsored annually by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) click here.

“Stay away from Dr. Google” and more tips for new moms

“Stay away from Dr. Google” and more tips for new moms

Being a new mom is one of the most incredible and one of the most challenging experiences women will encounter. And like with most change there is a learning curve.

Last month, we sourced advice for new moms from our wonderful community of Bella Baby Super Moms. We were thrilled to see the large amount of advice that poured in. We hope this post will prepare you for the ‘unknowns’ and support your amazing new mom journey.

Are you expecting? Here are some of our Super Moms’ tips and sweet advice that may just come in handy.  

Accept help.

“Don’t plan on being SuperMom. You cannot get all the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and other housework done every day.” – Sara H

“Take help when it’s offered!! It’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to be supermom when you’re new to the game! Talk to your doctors, not Google!” – Britni K

“Don’t worry about being a super momma / wife. Get what you can get done each day …cleaning etc. and enjoy the time you have with your little one! Don’t worry about being nervous. You and your baby are going through lots of firsts – you will get comfortable and feel like a pro in time. Also, I would have liked a lesson on bathing a baby before leaving the hospital. I was so nervous the first time.” – Kristen A

“Don’t feel guilty for accepting help with meals, cleaning, etc. Try to take in all the precious moments you can with your baby!” – Erin T

“Take help from people you enjoy being around. Don’t feel like you need to please everyone, take some time to sleep but most of all, enjoy your baby and hold them as much as you want.” – Erin O

“I wish I knew how isolating it can be and that it is okay to ask for help in the form of a meal, a load of laundry, or even just a conversation.” – Macy H

“Asking for help or for someone to watch the baby for a few minutes doesn’t make you a bad mom! No one goes into motherhood knowing exactly what they’re doing!” – Emily H

“Don’t worry about the house being cleaned or laundry being done….that can all be done when the baby sleeps. Enjoy the newborn stage while you can because before you know it that baby will be a toddler and won’t want to snuggle quite as much as they once did.” – Jessica G


“Stay away from Dr. Google” and more tips for new moms

“Listen when everyone tells you to nap while the baby naps.” – Jessica R

“The sleep deprivation doesn’t last forever.” – Patti B

“Nothing is forever! They baby WILL sleep at some point!” – Shari D

“When you manage to put your baby down to sleep during daytime, don’t keep your surroundings quiet. Let the usual noises go on – usual talks, music playing in the background, washing machine spinning, traffic noises, etc. Your baby is used to all these noises while in the womb so let it be same. Just make sure the noises aren’t too loud to disrupt your angel’s sleep.” – Danielle K

“White noise machines! I didn’t use one until my second baby. I had one with my first baby but had it in super low volume. I’m still kicking myself over that.” – Marisol M


“I wish I knew more about breastfeeding BEFORE the baby arrived. It’s such a time-sensitive experience; knowing more beforehand would have been really helpful. When the baby arrives, you’re exhausted and have so much going on. It’s all so overwhelming. Hopefully, next time around it will be more successful! For now we EP and baby gets fed.” – Susanna G

“I wish I knew that breastfeeding wasn’t easy at all. But it’s well worth it.” – Bree C

“When you breastfeed or bottle feed the baby, try to keep him almost like standing position to prevent vomiting after.” – RaWaa H

Stay away from Dr. Google.

“Stay away from Dr. Google, take everything you see of those perfect Instagram moms lightly (seriously whose house is that clean?!) and tread carefully through Pinterest. You do you, new momma. You are made for your little. I’m still new and still telling myself this daily.” – Sarah K

Time flies.

“Take your time taking in all the info. Enjoy your baby, take help when it’s offered, and don’t rush the process..they grow up fast.” – LaToya W

“Make a journal for your baby. Record things like first smile and even first doctor’s visit because you’re so busy trying to do everything. In 18 years, you can sit down and look back at your journey and how time really does go by fast. Take every day as a new day – learn as you go.” – Tina H

“Stay away from Dr. Google” and more tips for new moms

Go with your gut.

“Everyone will give you advice on everything! Go with your gut. Do what is right for you and your baby.” – Phuong P

“I wish I knew how to better stand up for my daughter and ask more questions at her first peds appointment. She lost a few ounces (she was 9lbs 8oz at birth) and they had us force feeding her way more than she could eat. She was throwing up most meals and because everyone was so worried about weight numbers, stress levels go up and milk production went down to almost nothing. Here we are 9 weeks later (her weighing 12lbs 2oz) and I’m still struggling with production. All that to say… Mommas, stand up for your babies and ask ALL the questions you can because you are advocating for your kiddo.” – Shobai R

It’s not all happy.

“I wish I would have known more about life in the NICU. We spent 81 days in. All the ads show happy baby placed on mom’s chest. Not everyone gets that. I had emergency C-Section and my 29 weeker got an incubator and IV. I got ICU for 2 days and didn’t get to see her for 48 hours then couldn’t hold her for 8 days, then got sick and was banned from NICU for 2 weeks. I wish I knew that it is not always a happy moment after birth; sometimes it’s just sad and hard.” – Gabrielle M

“I wish someone had had a REAL conversation with me about postpartum depression. Not just the way they mention it and brush it off in the classes – a real, honest, raw, true talk. I think that would have been helped me feel less alone and unprepared when it happened.” – Jenny G

“Make time for yourself…even if it’s a hot bath or a coffee run. Mom’s mental health is very important!” -Lynne W

Even more advice…

“Don’t put leather moccasins on your baby without socks especially on a hot day! The friction from the leather can hurt your babies ankles!” – Jamie A

“Prep freezer meals!” – Janelle R

“Expensive baby items don’t mean better baby products.” – @mustanghope08  on Twitter

“Stay away from Dr. Google” and more tips for new moms

“I wish I didn’t underestimate how many diapers were actually needed.” – Mel Y

“Burp that baby! The littlest air bubbles can mean the difference between a nap and a very fussy little one.” – Pablo H

“I wish I didnt stock up on so many adorable small baby clothes! They grow way too fast – we didn’t touch half of them.” – Jenna-Lin B

“Always be prepared! Have extra clothes, plenty of diapers, wipes, etc at all times! Especially when potty training time comes!” – Connie M

If you’re a mom-to-be, we would love to capture those first special moments with your newborn. Bella Baby brings experienced, professional photographers into hospitals to capture your baby’s first photos with a natural, artistic style. Our 15-minute in-hospital photo shoots are fast and convenient. Find a photographer near you.

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