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THE BLOG

As a Pontefract newborn photographer, I get to witness pure magic every day. Those tiny fingers and toes, the peaceful coos, the way they snuggle into your arms – it's a fleeting time you'll never want to forget. And most parents love to capture these moments in photography. Here are five things you did not know about my newborn sessions in Pontefract.


Prioritising Your Baby's Comfort

Gone are the days of rigid studio shoots with fussy babies. Newborn photography is all about creating a calm and comfortable environment for your little one. Sessions typically last up to 3 hours, allowing plenty of time for feeding, diaper changes, and those oh-so-important cuddle breaks.


My studio itself is designed with your baby's comfort in mind. Imagine a space with the perfect temperature, hospital-grade hygiene standards, and a well-stocked supply of baby essentials – all to ensure a stress-free experience for both of you!


A Relaxation Experience


Those first few weeks with a newborn are a whirlwind. The last thing you need is another stressful experience. That's why newborn photography focuses on creating a relaxed environment for parents just as much as for the baby.


There's no pressure to pose or rush through the session. Instead, I focus majorly on your baby, capturing those natural baby movements.


Your Newborn Session: Personalised Experience


Before your newborn photoshoot at my studio in Pontefract, we'll get together for a personalised consultation. This is your chance to share what your plan for the photos is, including colour choices, props, and any specific styles you have in mind.





You may dream of soft, pastel tones and delicate wraps, or you may envision a more rustic theme with natural textures. The consultation also lets me tailor the entire session to your preferences, with the final images reflecting your taste and personality as a family.


Family and Newborn Images


Newborn photography isn't just about capturing the wonder of your new arrival. It is also about celebrating the family and loved ones celebrating the new baby. Siblings can also be included in the session, and this can create heartwarming photos that are forever frozen in time. And, of course, grandparents and even your furry family members are welcome to join the fun.


Imagine capturing the look of pure adoration on your grandma's face as she holds your newborn for the first time or the playful interaction between your dog and your little one. These moments, in my experience, are what make these newborn photographs truly special.


Flexibility in Scheduling


Let's face it: babies have minds of their own, especially when it comes to delivery. There's no need to worry if your little one decides to make a grand entrance a bit early (or a bit late!). As a photographer who specialises in newborns, I understand that flexibility is key.


Most newborn photographers, myself included, will happily reschedule your session at no extra cost to ensure we capture those precious first moments in the best possible light (and mood!).


Conclusion


So, there you have it! Newborn photography is more than just a collection of cute baby photos. It's a tailored experience designed to capture the overwhelming love and wonder of welcoming a new life into your family.

Exercises are important for expecting mothers, both for the mother’s health and for the baby’s growth and development. That is why it is advised that pregnant people stay active during pregnancy.


Regular exercise will help you manage common pregnancy discomforts, prepare your body for labour, and help with faster postpartum recovery. This guide provides five prenatal exercises that are beneficial and safe for most expecting mothers.


Top 5 Prenatal Exercises: Walking

Walking is considered the simplest and easiest exercise anyone can engage in, including expecting mothers. It is easy to do and requires no special equipment except a good pair of shoes.


The benefits of walking to prenatal mothers include improving cardiovascular fitness and maintaining a healthy weight gain. It also reduces the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia and boosts mood and energy levels. To ensure safety during pregnancies, it is best to start with short walks and gradually increase the length of the walks.





Maintain a steady pace and stay hydrated at all times. Choose flat surfaces for these walks to prevent falls and avoid strain on our backs. As the pregnancy progresses, you might find using a supportive belly band or maternity belt helpful for longer walks.


Swimming and Water Aerobics

Exercises performed in water are ideal during pregnancies, first because of their low-impact nature and the natural buoyancy of water bodies. There are many benefits to swimming and water-based exercises, including reduced swelling and easing pressure on joints. It also helps to improve circulation and core muscle strength and provides a full workout routine with a low risk of injury.


For a safe experience, select a pool with a lukewarm temperature. Also, avoid diving or jumping into the water. Most pools have support walls and floating devices, so use them as well. Also, take swimming classes, especially if you are a beginner. Most medical practitioners recommend swimming in the third trimester because most land-based exercises are more challenging during those periods.


Top 5 Prenatal Exercises: Prenatal Yoga

Yoga is excellent for mothers who wish to remain flexible, build strength, and practice relaxation techniques during pregnancy.


Yoga can offer expecting mothers several perks, including improving flexibility and balance, strengthening the core and pelvic floor muscles, reducing stress and anxiety, and helping with breathing techniques useful for labour.


It is best to enroll in yoga classes designed especially for pregnant women. Take things easy and listen to your instructor. Pro props like chairs and straps might be needed for support as the pregnancy progresses. You should also avoid lying flat on your back after the first trimester.


Top 5 Prenatal Exercises: Strength Training

Light strength training during pregnancy can help the expecting mother maintain muscle tone and prepare the body physically for carrying a growing child and caring for a newborn.

Apart from maintaining muscle tone and strength, strength training can also improve posture, reduce back pain, and prepare the body for labour and postpartum recovery.


Strength training can be demanding, so it is important to maintain certain safety tips while training. Using heavy weights should be avoided. Rather, light weights and resistance bands should be used. You should maintain proper form and slow, controlled movements for maximum benefit. This will help steady your breathing and minimise stress on your body.


Examples of safe strength training exercises include squats, lunges, arm curls, and shoulder presses. Consult a prenatal fitness specialist or doctor before starting a strength training regimen.


Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels)

Pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, do not fall into the category of cardiovascular workouts; however, they help maintain bladder control and help pregnant mothers prepare for childbirth.


As their name implies, the benefits of levels include strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, improving bladder control, etc. Some studies suggest they make labour and delivery easier and aid postpartum recovery.


Prenatal Exercises: Safety Considerations

While exercises are generally safe during pregnancies, here are some important things to consider.


  • Ensure your healthcare provider is consulted before beginning any exercise programme during pregnancy.

  • Always pay attention to your body and stop a routine if you feel dizzy or have pain or shortness of breath.

  • Always be hydrated.

  • During a workout routine, only wear comfortable clothing and proper footwear.

  • Avoid activities when you run a risk of falling and contact sports.


As pregnancy progresses, modify exercises and reduce intensity. Slowing down and doing less as you near your due date is normal.


Conclusion

These five prenatal exercises can help you stay active, healthy, and comfortable while pregnant. Remember that every pregnancy is unique, so it is best to work with your healthcare provider to develop an exercise plan that is just right for you. Again, staying active will help protect you and promote a healthy pregnancy period.

Becoming a mother is best described as an exciting yet overwhelming experience. One important component that frequently goes unnoticed in the chaos of feedings, diaper changes, and special bonding times is sleep. 


This guide examines why getting enough sleep is crucial for new mothers and looks at strategies for getting more. 

Why New Moms Need to Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is not a luxury; rather, it is essential, particularly for new mothers. These are some of the reasons why: 


  • Physical Recovery: After giving birth, your body needs time to recuperate. Getting enough sleep aids in tissue healing, inflammation reduction, and energy restoration. 


  • Mental Health: Anxiety and postpartum depression can be worsened by sleep deprivation. Resting adequately can help you maintain a stable mood and enhance your mental health in general.


  • Cognitive Function: A new mother needs to be able to solve problems, make decisions, and remember things. All of these abilities depend heavily on sleep. 


  • Immune System Support: Getting enough sleep makes your body more resilient to infections, especially when caring for a newborn. 


  • Breast Milk Production: Sleep impacts a breastfeeding mother's ability to produce milk. A healthy milk output can be maintained by getting adequate sleep. 


  • Bonding: You're more likely to be alert and involved in those priceless moments with your infant when you've had enough sleep.




The Challenges of Sleep for New Moms

New mothers undoubtedly encounter particular difficulties with sleep. Getting a full night's sleep can seem unattainable due to several issues like increased attentiveness and frequent night feedings. However, there are methods to make the most of your sleep and give you a more rested feeling. 


Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps

This advice is probably familiar to you, but it is important to remember. Use your baby's naps as a chance to rest rather than a time to finish household tasks. Take even quick naps to boost your mood. 

Share Night Duties

Divide the chores with your significant other at night as much as possible. As a breastfeeding mother, think about pumping so your partner can help with certain night feedings. Take turns feeding your child at night if you're using a formula. 

Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Transform your bedroom into a haven for rest. Use comfy bedding, blackout curtains, and a white noise machine to create the ideal sleeping environment. 

Establish a Bedtime Routine

Adults benefit from a regular bedtime routine in the same ways that newborns do. Try to go to bed simultaneously every night and establish a calming bedtime routine. 

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Limit caffeine consumption, especially in the afternoon and evening, stay away from devices before bed, and try to obtain some natural light during the day to help with circadian rhythm.

Accept Help

Never hesitate to seek assistance from friends and relatives. It can be helpful to have someone watch the baby for a few hours so you can get some much-needed rest. 

Consider Sleep Training (When Appropriate)

If the situation warrants, think about sleep training your baby. This should be after your paediatrician gives the all-clear, often between four and six months. Both you and your child may benefit from this in creating more regular sleep patterns. 

Prioritise Self-Care

Remember that caring for yourself is as important as caring for your child. If you want to help yourself relax and get ready for bed, schedule some time for deep breathing exercises, meditation, or mild yoga.

Be Flexible

When it comes to sleeping, some days will be better than others. Treat yourself well and adjust your schedule when needed. 

Optimise Your Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet can assist in controlling your sleeping habits. Avoid big meals before bed, and consider eating foods high in tryptophan or magnesium that help you fall asleep.





Dealing with Sleep Deprivation

There may be moments when you're getting less sleep than you'd like, even with the greatest plans in place. The following are some coping strategies that are guaranteed to help: 


  • Take Mini-Breaks: Even a short period of quiet time will help you re-energise.


  • Step outside: The natural light and fresh air can improve your attitude and energy levels.


  • Drink Plenty of Water: Being dehydrated can make you feel more exhausted. 


  • Eat Energy Boosting Foods: Go for nutrient-dense snacks to maintain steady energy levels. 


  • Connect with Other Mothers: Talking to other moms who are in the same boat as you can be reassuring and offer insightful advice. 


Conclusion 

Remember that this is temporary. While early motherhood causes severe sleep deprivation, it eventually gets better. Eventually, your baby will start to sleep for longer periods, and your routine will change. 



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