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More moms prep for postpartum photo w/ baby

March 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Today's birth announcements don't just show up in your mailbox, they arrive on social networking sites. Parents are "connected" from the second they step into the hospital. That's why more and more moms-to-be are starting to prep for postpartum photo shoots before baby is even born.

On her due date, Erin focused on a smooth delivery and a Facebook-friendly photo.

"I did my makeup. I did my hair. I could look good for my pictures, you know, whenever they were taken," said the new mom.

Within hours of her daughter's arrival, birth day photos were shot into cyberspace.

"Our family is still in the waiting room, and suddenly they start getting text messages and phone calls from family and friends," said Erin.

Think of it as a modern day baby announcement. Thanks to social media and gadgets that instantly stream pictures and video, giving birth has gone public.

And moms like Erin want to be prepared. A growing number of parents are now primping for the big day, indulging in everything from spa treatments to designer hospital gowns.

"Once the baby comes, you can pretty much tell the world within seconds. You want to look your best. You want your baby to be presented to the world in a certain way," said Ana Connery, editor-in-chief of Babytalk magazine.

At Johns Hopkins Hospital, perinatal nurse manager Joan Diamond estimates at least 50 percent of moms doll up for delivery.

"They know they're going to be on camera - this is like their shining moment. This is, you know, comparable to their wedding day, if you will," said Diamond.

For many, that means coming to the hospital fully prepared.

"That can include hair dryers, makeup. Some moms even bring their own pajamas because they don't want to be walking around or taking pictures in a blue hospital gown," said Connery.

While part of the trend is about feeling good, experts caution it can add pressure to the moms on an already intense day.

"It's also a little bit of pressure that moms didn't have before, knowing that everybody is going to expect to hear from them a lot sooner than they used to," said Connery.

Erin said while her daughter was the most gorgeous thing in the room, she's happy she had time to put on her face.

"I have to be honest, when I go back and I flip through them, the photo albums and the online albums, I like that I had makeup on," she said.