It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for — after 9 long months of baking a baby, no big deal — the birth of your child! And if you’re gearing up for your baby’s debut, and have a little time to prepare (trust me, after the baby’s born, you won’t even have time to brush your own hair), here’s a checklist of photos for Dad or a partner to take on the big day.

Note: Hospitals have differing policies on filming or photographing the birth, as well as who can be in the delivery room. I definitely recommend finding out what your hospital’s policies are ahead of time, so that you’re prepared. This is especially important if you’d prefer your partner to be more “present” during the birth, and plan on hiring a photographer to document the process.

Photos to take at your baby’s birth:

  • Mom in the delivery room (Try to capture the peaceful moments before the hard labor really begins!)
  • Mom during labor (Generally speaking, most women want to keep the camera by the head, and not down there. So make sure Mom consents to everything you’re going to capture, ahead of time.)
  • The moment baby is lifted up
  • Dad cutting the umbilical cord
  • Baby being cleaned off
  • Mom laying eyes on baby for first time
  • Small details, like the baby’s fingers, foot, or even the hospital wrist band or name tag
  • Baby’s eyes opening up
  • First time as a family, or meeting a sibling
  • Visitors and well-wishers (e.g. grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.)
By the way –and this might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how overlooked it is in the chaos of the birth — don’t forget to have Dad in at least a few of the photos. Hand off the camera to another family member, or ask a nurse or assistant (as long as they’re not busy with more pressing matters, of course).

Here’s a wonderful example of a birth captured in an Animoto video:

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing several births, along with that of my own daughter, and I have to tell you — it’s an incredible, life-affirming experience. Even if you only manage to take a few of these photos, I’m sure they’ll be ones you treasure for the rest of your life.

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