Sometimes things don't always go as planned and babies might arrive before their due date. As parents, you might wonder if it is a good idea to bring your preemie baby to a newborn session. The answer is YES. 

We have been working with babies since 2013 and throughout this time, we have worked with many babies with special needs. We have had premature babies coming to our studio for newborn sessions from Newcastle, Durham even Alnwick. We decided that it was a good idea to answer some of parent's most frequently asked questions with regards to the newborn sessions in Newborn Story Photography. 

If you are having a newborn session coming up or your baby is a preemie and you are wondering if you can still bring him/her to have some stunning photos taken, keep on reading: 

What is a preemie?

According to kidshealth.org, a baby is premature when it has been born more than three weeks earlier than the predicted due date. These lovely treasures, even though welcomed with lots of love, have not yet grown and developed as much as they should have before birth. Premature babies often have special needs as they need to spend some time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Is it OK to photograph a preemie? 

Many mums wonder if it is safe for them to bring a premature baby in for a newborn session in the studio or even organise one at home. We understand your concern and agree that your baby’s health should be number one priority. If your baby has arrived earlier and not exactly when you expected them, the good news is that it is still very much safe to bring him/her in for a newborn session.

When should I arrange a newborn session for my premature baby?

Parents frequently ask when it's the best time to bring in a premature baby for a session. We often state that the best time for a newborn session is within 14 days after birth. However, this is rarely the case with preemies. They often end up spending their first weeks or even sometimes months in the hospital or parents are advised not to leave their homes with them for a while.

If it is not possible for us to photograph your baby within the ideal time, our advice to parents is to schedule the session once the baby is out of the hospital or is allowed to leave the house (for example, for short walks). We understand that as new parents this time may be extremely stressful, however practice has shown us that it’s also the time when your newborn baby is the sleepiest, and is very willing to cooperate. We also know that you are probably exhausted which is why we do our best to allow you to relax in our warm and comfy studio while we take care of your precious baby for a few hours.

How to prepare for a preemie newborn photoshoot?

This session, in many ways, does not differ from a typical newborn session. However, our tip is to reserve a slot as early as possible. An excellent timing would be after your first scan. Try to think in advance about how you would like your session to look like, as well as what products you would like to receive from it. Maybe you'd like to decorate your home or prepare as a gift for someone special or keep the memory with an album or canvas? Don’t forget to communicate this to your photographer on the shoot day! Make sure to bring extra bottles to feed the baby and in general, try to think what will make him/her more comfortable. 

The most important thing in the process of preparing for your premature newborn shoot is to let the photographer know, upon arranging the time, about your situation. From then on, we will have a plan on how to proceed and we will communicate it with you. We also offer free consultation slots, prior to your newborn session, to discuss everything in a greater detail so why not book yourself one.

How does a preemie newborn session look like?

Like we mentioned before, photographing a preemie is no different than photographing any other newborn that comes to our studio. It is still worth mentioning that since your newborn session is likely to occur after the baby is more than 10 days old, they are less likely to remain sleeping during the photo session. Even though it may not be your baby’s due date just yet, a premature baby is now slightly older. This can affect some of the poses we choose to do.

Sometimes some naked poses or poses where the baby is laying on its belly may not be comfortable for the baby. In these cases, we will move on to another part of the newborn photoshoot. Do not worry though, we will always make sure that you have lots of different pictures to choose from.

If the baby is more awake during the day and we cannot do sleepy poses, we still have lots of natural poses or poses with props to product a big variety.

How long does a preemie newborn session last?

Usually, for our newborn sessions we book a three hour slot. From our experience, three hours might be too long for a premature baby, so don’t worry, we can just finish the session earlier (and still have more than enough great pictures) and take more pauses in necessary. There will be more than enough time for feeding, pacifying, and rocking to sleeping and cuddles. 

How do you know your preemie is in good hands?

Sometimes preemies may have different needs than other babies. For example, don’t worry if the baby needs oxygen, we can still work safely and with the best comfortable poses for them. We will also try to coordinate our schedule as much as possible to fit your baby. This is why it really helps to book in advance. Should your baby not feel good on the day of the shoot, you can reschedule your session at no extra cost. 

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Our model from the photos is Rory who is a premature baby. He came to our studio for a newborn shoot when he was 8 weeks old, and only 2 days before his original due date. Look how happy he is! 

Newborn Story Photography specialises in studio and on-location fine art and natural style Newborn, Babies, Maternity and Family photography. To book your newborn session get in touch here

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