As a Chattanooga photographer, one of the frequent questions I receive is about when to schedule maternity photos. There are a few factors to consider in terms of how far into your pregnancy to schedule your maternity photography session. But first of all, way to go! I’m so excited that you are planning to photograph this special season of life! Yes, I’m a photographer. Therefore I think pretty much every season of life is worth documenting. But I will say, I’m often sad when a mom-to-be says she isn’t planning on scheduling a maternity session. Those 9 months (or less) are such a brief, miraculous season of life. I’ve seen my own kids find such joy and wonder in seeing documentation of their own beginnings.
A General Range
Generally, when a client asks what time frame to consider for scheduling maternity photography sessions, I recommend between 28-34 weeks. Usually by this point in the pregnancy, mama has a defined baby bump. However, she hopefully hasn’t reached the stage where she is starting to get really uncomfortable. I personally dealt with a lot of uncomfortable swelling in my feet and legs at the end of each of my pregnancies. Some mamas experience swelling all over. Ideally, we’d like to schedule maternity photos before that process starts.
1st Babies vs Subsequent Babies
I remember during my first pregnancy, it felt like I was never going to show. By my 3rd pregnancy, I felt like I was showing by 8 weeks. If it’s a mama’s first pregnancy, when considering when to schedule maternity photos she may may want to do it in the second half of that range. If she’s had more than one pregnancy already, we can schedule the session even earlier than that range.
History of Pre-maturity
If there’s a history of prematurity in your family, we may want to schedule early. The same is true if your doctor starts heightened monitoring or discussing the fact that you may need to deliver early due to complications. I always try to leave wiggle room in my schedule so that sessions can be moved up if needed.
I have one sweet friend who delivered all three of her children quite early. We did her first maternity session literally the day before she had to be delivered. We didn’t learn our lesson and the second pregnancy she had to cancel her session because she was being admitted. The third pregnancy, we thought we were doing great and scheduled her session even earlier. Sure enough, she as admitted the next day for delivery. (I promise we weren’t doing while photography sessions that included hiking a mountain or something.)
I hope you’ve found this post helpful in determining when to schedule maternity photos. If you are also wondering when to schedule newborn photography sessions, click here. To learn more about scheduling a maternity photography session with me, check out my “details” page.
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