As a Maternity, Newborn, and Birth Photographer, I often get asked, “When is the best time to schedule my maternity session?” Keep reading for all my best advice on this question.
WHEN TO SCHEDULE YOUR MATERNITY SESSION
The bottom line is… it’s really up to you. I’ve shot expecting mamas at just a few weeks for pregnancy announcement pictures, all the way up to the day before they deliver. There is not absolutely right or wrong answer to this question.
However, there are some best practices and things to consider.
1. How big do you want your belly to be for your session?
Obviously, the longer you wait and the closer you get to your estimated due date, the larger your belly will be for your session. And again, there is no right “size” that you need to reach before you can have a successful maternity session.
But there can be some trade-offs. Booking earlier (28-31 weeks) will mean a smaller bump to show off, but it will also likely mean you’ll have more energy, feel less bloated/like a whale (sorry but we all get to that point eventually), and have less stress about the possibility of “popping” before your scheduled session (or having Braxton Hicks during your session like this mama!)
On the other hand, scheduling later (32-36 weeks) means a beautiful, full bump and an extra measure of that pregnant glow (it’s a real thing!).
In general, I wouldn’t recommend scheduling later than 36/37 weeks as I would hate for you to go into labor early and miss the opportunity for maternity pictures.
2. Are you high risk or ARE You Carrying multiples?
Another huge factor to consider is your history and current pregnancy specifically. If you’re high risk or if you’re carrying multiples, I would definitely recommend you schedule your session on the early side and make sure it’s okay with your doctor to be climbing over rocks to reach these epic locations. And don’t worry if your doctor says it’s not a good idea, we can always do a studio session instead.
3. The weather
Finally, when considering when to book your maternity session, please take the weather/seasons into account.
If you’re due in September, 32-36 weeks would put you in the heat of July and August. The thought makes me want to cry for you. Summer sessions are already uncomfortable, I can’t imagine adding pregnancy to that situation. Definitely plan your session a little early so you can avoid the heat!