I’ve Booked A Newborn Photo Shoot. What Happens If My Baby Is Born Prematurely?

Newborn photoshoot with premature baby

The first days with a new baby are a rollercoaster of emotions. If your baby is born prematurely you’ll probably feel this even more intensely as you recover from the birth and adjust to your baby’s unexpected situation.

If you had booked a newborn photo shoot before your baby was born, you may start to wonder whether the shoot can still take place, or may decide that you don’t want to do it anymore. These are both completely understandable.

In this article, I’ll explain:

  • the times that are typically best for photographing newborn babies.
  • how this timing might change if your baby is born prematurely.
  • what to do if you’ve booked a newborn photo shoot and your baby is born prematurely.

The Best Time For Posed Newborn Photography

If you’ve already booked your photo shoot you’ll probably be aware that most newborn photographers prefer to take posed photographs of newborn babies when a baby is under two weeks old.

The reason for this is that after 2 weeks babies tend to become much more alert and awake, and start to stretch out which makes the curly, sleepy poses more difficult to achieve.

Oxted, Surrey Newborn Photographer

Photographing Babies That Are Born Prematurely

When a baby is born prematurely, this ‘ideal window’ does change, and will be unique to each baby and their situation. Often photographers will be much more flexible about when they photograph a baby who has been born prematurely than one born at full-term.

Of course, every photographer is different so it’s important to contact the photographer that you are booked in with and discuss your individual situation with them. However, most photographers will usually work with you to rearrange a time once your baby is discharged from hospital, even if your baby is more than two weeks old at this stage.

Every baby is unique and different, but some premature babies will be as sleepy in the two weeks after their due date as a full-term baby. Some will still enjoy being curled up, and others will be wide awake and love to stretch out! Whatever your situation, having photographs of this time in your baby’s life will be extremely precious – whether your baby is mostly awake or mostly asleep.

How to find a good newborn photographerWhat To Do If You’ve Booked A Newborn Photo Shoot And Your Baby Is Born Prematurely.

If your baby is born prematurely it’s completely understandable that your photo shoot will probably not be your number one priority. You’ll be focussed on your baby and their health.

When you feel ready and able to think about it I recommend getting in touch with your photographer and letting them know that your baby was born, how many weeks early, and if they’ll need an extended hospital stay let the photographer know about that too.

If your baby is going to have an extended hospital stay, your photographer may well ask you to give them a call once your baby is discharged from hospital, and you can arrange a date for the shoot then.

When you are discussing the shoot with the photographer it is very helpful to let them know:

  • How much your baby weighs.
  • Whether there are any restrictions – for example if your baby has a feeding tube, oxygen, or heart monitor that they need to keep on.
  • Whether your baby has any recent surgery or has any ongoing health conditions.

With this information your photographer will be better equipped to tailor the session to your baby.

Baby sleeping in newborn photo shootOver To You

I hope that this article has helped to explain what happens if you’ve booked a newborn photo shoot and your baby is born prematurely.

If you have any other questions about the timing of your newborn photo shoot please do get in touch. I’d be delighted to answer them for you. You can either send me an email at clare@claremurthy.com, or use this contact form to send me a message.

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Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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