“No glam shot for me.” 8 Aussie women share their very real post-birth baby photos.

There was always something really raw about that first photo of a mum with her newborn.

The mum would usually look exhausted and dishevelled, her tired eyes brimming with emotion, as she held that tiny baby to her chest.

And then Instagram came along.

Recent research from the UK has shown that more than two-thirds of mums-to-be now put on makeup before they give birth, because they feel the need to look good. On top of that, two-thirds of younger mums-to-be schedule a beauty treatment, such as a spray tan or a blow dry, just before the birth.

Bec Judd shares her experience of post-birth ‘fire-fanny’. It’s a thing. Post continues. 

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It looks like there’s a similar trend happening here in Australia. GFP Babies has been taking photos of mums and their newborns for more than 40 years, going into hospitals to get those very first shots, and spokesperson Shelley Mewett says they have noticed “a shift” in that time.

“In our experience, yes, a portion of new mums do now want to ‘glam up’,” Mewett tells Mamamia. “Some of our mums are very conscious of needing to be ‘made up’ before having their photo taken with bub. Whether this is a consequence of Instagram or the recent explosion of the cosmetics business or perhaps just personal choice, but we have noticed a change.

“Having said that, we also get a lot of new mums who just want their first photo to be very natural – no make-up, just a loved-up picture with their new baby.”

It’s hard not to notice all the glamorous photos of new mums and their bubs that have flooded social media in recent years.

Who can forget Kate Middleton, looking perfectly made-up and blow-dried, standing on the hospital steps less than 10 hours after giving birth to Princess Charlotte?

Closer to home, there was Nadia Bartel, looking as stunning as a bride on her wedding day, as she gazed down on newborn baby Henley last year.


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Another local influencer, Hannah Polites, caused an international stir by posing for an Instagram shot while in labour – presumably between contractions – with a full face of makeup and styled hair.


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Mamamia asked readers to share some of those first mum-and-bub photos from a generation ago, and there’s definitely a rawness to them.

It’s all about, “Oh my God, I just had a baby,” with no thought of, “So have you got my best angle?” It’s a bit messy, from the bodily fluids to the payphone in the corner of one of the shots.

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Nicola, cuddling her newborn, before the age of mobile phones. Image: Supplied.
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Bronwyn with her second baby in 1994. Image: Supplied.
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"1995... breech delivery, too late for the epidural. I have those specs again now!" says Teresa. Image: Supplied.
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Lindy with her son Elvis, born in 2000. Image: Supplied.

But a lot of readers who had babies more recently were keen to point out that they hadn’t glammed up for those first photos either.

“Definitely no makeup,” said one. “That was the last thing on my mind.”

“No glam shot for me,” insisted another.

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Melissa with her baby son from February of this year. "Definitely not a glamorous shot. Exhausted after 17 hr labour," she says. Image: Supplied.
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"This is my favourite photo because we are all crying," says Peta of her birth photo. Image: Supplied.
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Claire smiling with her baby twins. Image: Supplied.
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"It's already hard enough focusing on your breathing let alone whether your make up looks good (for me anyway)," says Natasha. Image: Supplied.

Zanelle Walter, from Sydney’s Hello Baby Photography, insists she’s seeing a trend away from overly styled and made-up photos, with new mums now wanting to be photographed “in the rawest form”.

“I strongly feel mums are becoming more realistic and keeping it simple,” she tells Mamamia. “They want to embrace their new natural look.”

Maybe the biggest difference between a generation ago and now is that the camera quality is better. We don’t have all the harsh shadows from the flash, and we can check the photo afterwards to make sure it’s okay. Plus, we take photos every day, so we’re good at it.

For most new mums, there’s still a rawness in those first photos. It’s just a better-looking rawness.

What do you think of the Instagram-approved post-baby birth photo? Tell us in a comment below.

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