Is it safe for me, your photographer, to pose, wrap and handle new babies?
During my time as a newborn and family photographer, I have been very privileged to photograph many newborn babies. Prior to starting in this amazing business, I was a paediatric nurse for a very long time!
Prospective clients have asked me whether what I do with babies that are only a few days old is safe. Using my previous knowledge and experience I thought I would address a couple of the issues that have been mentioned.
- Babies have spent months in the womb all squashed in and curled up, and come into this world in a pretty dramatic way! They are much more resilient than we often think, of course we need to be careful, but all the bendy things photographers do are just what they have been used to.
- New babies have no head and neck control, their neck needs to be protected and supported always. It is crucial that as photographers we always have a hand supporting their head and don’t use any forceful movements. We use composite photos to create the illusion that they are supporting their own head.
- You will also have seen pictures of babies in bowls and buckets etc, again this is ok so long as the baby is in a ‘natural’ position, the head and neck are supported, the baby is never left alone and is protected from any sharp edges etc. by padding. The baby’s safety is the priority.
Wrapping and babies cord
- As I am photographing babies under a week old they often still have their cord on. There is no feeling in the cord that is left, so it’s ok to wrap them or put clothes on them. It won’t be painful.
- Sometimes there is a little redness around the cord site, and then some extra care is needed as it may be a bit sensitive, but it is still ok to put wraps on for short periods always taking care not to catch the cord as the wraps are removed.
- It is hard for babies to regulate their temperature, they use a lot of energy to do it. So long as the environment is kept very warm, so the baby does not use up energy trying to keep warm, it is ok for them to be naked. They are used to the ‘oven like’ womb. If that is replicated the baby is more likely to be relaxed, sleep well, and make posing easier!
- Babies are very susceptible to infections. Great care is taken with hand hygiene to reduce the risks.
- Props, blankets, wraps and clothes are washed between clients. You can never be too careful and besides, they will probably have been wee’d on anyway!
Photography for Little People by Bridget
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