Once family and friends know labor has begun and there will soon be baby, they wait with bated breath for the first picture of the little cutie. Dads are snapping away from the moment the baby comes out and back in the "old days" the first photos taken of baby were of he or she on the scale and then wrapped up all nice and clean in a blanket. But now with "skin to skin" being the new recommendation, these are the first photos that are taken and subsequently shared. Quite frankly. I think it needs to stop.
What is "Skin to Skin"?
Skin to skin is exactly how it sounds. It is when the baby is laid, fresh out of the womb, bare chested onto mom's bare chest. Skin to skin is said to help babies adjust to being outside of the womb by regulating their temperatures, breathing, heart rate and sugar levels. It is important to note that dad's can also get in on the skin to skin contact in addition to mom or in lieu of mom if she is unable to or not interested.
Let me start by saying this, a skin to skin photo can be beautiful, often times these shots can happen during a "Fresh 48" photoshoot or newborn shoot a week or two later. The photos I'm talking about are not the ones that are professionally taken but instead are taken on dad's phone or whomever was there to help mom in the delivery room, right after birth before anyone has been cleaned up or showered, and then texted to family, friends, coworkers ect.
I have my reasons why I think these photos should stop being shared so publicly, allow me to count the ways:
4 Reasons Why You Should Stop Sending Out Pictures of "Skin to Skin"
1. It is an intimate moment between mother and child.
As I mentioned, this event occurs as soon as the baby is out of the womb. Mom has barely gotten over labor, she may still have to push the placenta out and she's probably (definitely) EXHAUSTED. The room will be crowded enough with doctors, nurses, midwives ect. Do all of her mom's Facebook friends need to be in on this moment too?
2. Baby is not exactly camera ready.
I'm just going to say it, when a baby comes out of the womb, baby looks a bit gross. It isn't like TV and movies that depict newborns coming out of the womb so fresh and so clean. Their skin tone may be off, their heads misshapen, and they could be covered in all kinds of fluids. Skin to skin is recommended AS SOON AS the baby comes out (if medically possible) so that means these photos will basically be categorized as the "before" photos and I'm telling you distant relatives or old friends from college could probably stand to be spared these images. I bet they would be happy to wait for the photos of a clean baby wrapped in a blanket with a little hat or bow.
3. Neither is mom.
Hear me out! I'm not judging women on how they look right after giving birth. I just know how I looked after I gave birth and I did NOT want anyone to see me in that state. While I almost got away with having my hair up in a bun, 3 hours of pushing caused that bun to fall and by hour 4 I was a different person. So all my hopes and dreams of looking "cute" and relaxed after birth flew out the window. I also started the journey with makeup on, by the end of it, that make was running down my face. These are NOT photos anyone needs to see, they aren't even photos I want to see. I just think if the point of the photo is to announce the baby is here it should be a photo of the baby. Let mom relax (maybe sleep) and shower before you start plastering her picture on newsfeeds and in text messages.
4. Mom will be bare chested.
These photos are the debut photo of baby so it is a photo meant to showoff baby, meaning that the blanket that covers mom has been pulled down as low as it can go leaving the bare chested mom with minimal coverage. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with moms being bare chested, I'm just saying maybe that's a photo Great Uncle Sal doesn't need to see.
I have personally received photos and my husband has received photos and then subsequently showed me ones just like I've described. I've also seen them shared on Facebook and I can't help but cringe a little. While the photo is meant for you to coo over baby, the setting is distracting.
If you are a new mom and you have signed off on these photos, than more power to you but that's a best case scenario. Whenever I see these photos I'm hoping mom had a say in what photos were being shared. I'm hoping whomever was in the delivery room didn't just start snapping and sending without saying a word (but let's be honest, I'm sure this has happened).
For me, I know that I would not want (and DO NOT want) any pictures of me "straight outta labor", needing a shower, and bare chested texted to whomever my husband is announcing the birth of our baby to. I gave him these very strict instructions prior to our daughter being born and the same will go for our second baby's birth.
Skin to skin can occur after days of long, agonizing labor and while everyone is excited baby is here we need to think about mom too. This is such an intimate moment between mother and child that me, as an outsider being sent photos doesn't feel worthy of being in on it. When I'm partaking in these moments with my child I know I don't want anyone else involved. So what I'm saying is, take the photos for you (or don't) and send them if you are comfortable (if anyone else other than mom is sending them, make sure you ASK PERMISSION) otherwise, just send the pictures you take of the baby in the bassinet once mom is napping.