Tag Archives: dc birth photographer

I love it when couples set time aside to capture maternity images before baby arrives! It is such a wondrous time, especially if it’s the first baby. There’s so much joy and excitement bundled up into that baby bump. I know from my own pregnancies that there is also some nervous energy and anxiety mixed in. But time flies and pregnancy is such a very short season in life! My littlest love is going to be 7 months next week!!!!!! There’s no turning back or slowing down time. 

We had the most gorgeous sunshine for this maternity session! The parents to be were eagerly waiting for their baby to join them.

An adorable couple is cuddling bathed in gorgeous sunshine.Beautiful maternity photo by DC baby bump pregnancy photographer Stefanie HarringtonBlack and white images of husband and wife with their baby bumpA pregnant mom to be is smiling in a field of flowersMom to be is resting her hands on her pregnant bellyA young couple is enjoying a walk and kiss together with momDad to be is feeling the baby kick in momMom and dad to be are smiling at each other and at the baby bump

If you’re considering maternity images for your own pregnancy, get in touch! I’d love to help you show off your baby bump before your little one arrives. I can promise you that you’ll treasure these images.

And if you’re packing your hospital bag already, check out my list of hospital bag essential items. After three hospital deliveries, I’ve perfected my hospital bag for Mama and baby. I’m always happy to help other Mamas prepare!

Stefanie Harrington is a maternity, birth, newborn and family photographer in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding metro area. She specializes in creative and modern photography with a timeless feel.

If you’re delivering in a hospital, you may be wondering what you should pack in your hospital bag. As the due date gets closer, it’s easy to stress over the hospital bag. There are so many things to organize and think about! Believe me, I’ve been there three times now. Start gathering your items early. Once I neared 34 weeks, I ordered things I needed and started a clothes pile and a last-minute packing list that I kept on top off my hospital bag. With 2 kids to think about, it can get complicated quickly.

With all of my hospital bag packing experience, I feel like an expert on what you should bring :) Essentials only for me. Pack light, because your stuff will somehow multiply overnight. And the hospital gives you stuff in addition to gifts that the baby may receive.

Image of hospital essentials for your maternity hospital bag by DC fresh 48 newborn photographer Stefanie Harrington

Here’s a complete list of what you should pack in your hospital bag: 

L&D Clothes. I packed comfy maternity leggings, my roomiest maternity t-shirt and a warm cardigan for labor and delivery. I’ve labored in the gowns before, but I get too chilly. Once labor progressed, I took off my leggings and underwear. My cardigan and t-shirt kept me warm and also kept my bum covered. Just before I pushed out the baby, I took off my shirt so that I could do immediate skin to skin.

Slippers and Socks. Hospital rooms are chilly, and your own slippers and socks are much cozier than those hospital socks. I used the hospital socks during labor, because you can swap them easily when they get wet. And they likely will, because you’re in labor. I had fluid leaking the entire time during labor. 

Pajamas and Robe. What you wear after the birth, may depend on how you feel. With my first, I brought clothes and just felt too tired and wrecked to bother for the first day. I felt great and like my normal self after the other two births. I brought a pretty yet comfortable robe and 2 outfits for visiting hours: maternity leggings and a maternity tank top; pretty pajamas. I wore my robe both days. 

Nursing Tank and/or Bra. The nursing tanks are super easy to use for those early days of breastfeeding. You can layer them with your lounge wear, PJs or robe. I wore a tank one day, a bra the other day. I only wear the nursing tanks early on postpartum and had some basic ones at Target. For nursing bras, I get custom fitted once my milk is fully in (if you’re near Friendship Heights, Sylene’s is great). I like nursing bras without underwire, because that can lead to clogged ducts. My most comfortable nursing bra is from Cake

Nursing Pillow. Whichever nursing pillow you pick based on reviews and friends’ recommendations, bring it. Newborns nurse a lot and fall asleep on the breast constantly so it’s helpful to have some support for baby. Otherwise, your arms will get very tired from holding baby at your breast around the clock. I used a Boppy pillow with all 3 of my kids and really liked it. 

Nipple Cream. Not to scare you, but the early days of breastfeeding suck. Your nipples will be crazy raw and painful. Every time. My third time was actually the worst, and nothing healed except applying breast milk and letting that air dry. The hospital will give you some lanolin, but that didn’t help me at all, ever. I used Soothies in the hospital with my second and third, and that helped quite a bit until my milk came in.

Music. Bring a small speaker to connect to your phone for your labor playlist. I still remember dancing in the hospital with my husband during our oldest’s labor. And Ellen’s playlist is still on regular rotation at my house.

TENS Unit. I used a TENS unit to help with natural pain management during my daughter’s birth and wish I’d had it for my other labors, too. It’s really pretty cool and easy to use.

Camera. You just had a baby. That’s kind of a big deal. Chances are you’ll likely want to snap some photos during your hospital stay. Your birth photographer can document siblings and/or grandparents meeting the baby during a Fresh 48 session, but I also documented our hospital departure and car ride home. 

Pillow. I’m particular about my pillow. Bring your own in an easy-to-recognize pillow case. You’ll be so much more comfortable when you’re sleeping… Which is rarely, because you have a newborn to cuddle.

Baby’s Going-Home Outfit. I recommend bringing 2 outfits in different sizes. My boys picked out a gender neutral newborn outfit for the baby and, since she was 9 pounds, none of it fit, not even the hat. I was glad that I had another newborn outfit that ran a bit bigger stashed in my bag. I also bring a blanket for the baby.

Mama’s Going-Home Outfit. The good news is that any of your maternity clothes will fit comfortably again. (Because let’s face it, during those last weeks, nothing fits anymore. Nothing.) I brought yet more maternity leggings and a top to wear home.

Toiletries. The usual: toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, hair ties, deodorant, face and body lotion. I rarely wear make up so I only packed mascara. My hospital had things like shampoo and body wash. I like to pack light, remember? 

Lip Balm. Yes, it’s an essential item. I kept it in my bag’s outside pocket so that I and my birth support could easily get to it.

Small Tote. Tuck a reusable grocery bags into your bag to use for the hospital freebies to take home. For packing, I recommend a weekend bag, which is the perfect size for all of your gear from home.

Birth Plan. You likely have a birth plan. Put it somewhere easily accessible in your bag. 

Toys/Entertainment for Siblings. Depending on how long they stay, your older child may become bored with a sleeping and/or nursing newborn so some favorite books or quiet toys will come in very handy.

Image of a young mother holding her newborn baby in hospital room

Some things that the hospital provides that are well worth using:

Witch Hazel Pads. I’d never heard of these until my first delivery, but these little pads are wonderful if you have a sore bottom. I also bought some Earth’s Mama Bottom Balm to have on hand at home.

Underwear. While the one-size-fits-most hospital mesh underwear is super unsexy, they have plenty of room to accommodate the ice packs and sanitary pads that will be crammed in there to help you heal. By the second day, I like using my own underwear, because they hold the sanitary pads in place better. 

Baby Care. You don’t really need to prepare anything for the baby unless you want to. The hospital provides clothes, hats, blankets, diapers, wipes. I, personally, really enjoyed the hospital gear, because it’s a sweet reminder of those days in the photos. 

Image of newborn baby in hospital bassinet

For my older children, I packed them each a small overnight bag. Their bags were ready to go directly next to my bag:

  1. Clean clothes for 2-3 days
  2. Outfit for hospital visit in ziplock bag
  3. Pajamas
  4. Stuffed animals for sleeping + nightlight and sound machine
  5. Printed kids’ iCal schedule with birthday party, play dates, sports info, etc.
  6. Info sheet with pediatrician number, school contacts and logistics info, emergency contact numbers
  7. Sports equipment for their games

Image of newborn baby in hospital room with dad in background

Happy packing and preparing, Mamas! I can’t wait to meet your newest love.

PS: You may have noticed that I didn’t talk about dad’s clothes… He was on his own to pack and prepare :) :) I had enough going on.

My littlest is 6 months old today so what better photo session to blog than a newborn family session?! I have had the honor of accompanying this family on their parenthood journey since their daughter’s newborn session. It means so much to me that my families trust me to document their memories time and time again! I love seeing their faces regularly, hearing their latest parenting stories and watching their little ones grow. We become friends. 

Get ready for an overload of my favorites. I would apologize for this long post, but I don’t like to be insincere. I did stop myself from posting more than this, so, I don’t know, you’re welcome? 

alexandria va newborn family photographer | hello world

You know who sets the pace at my sessions? The children. So when the baby needs to nurse, it leaves us time to play and get silly. Big sister was adamant about climbing onto the bed by herself. And then the giggling and playing resumed. Dads are always the best at getting those belly laughs!

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Children are all so different when younger siblings come along. This big sister was not very keen on her baby brother yet. She was more interested in playing dinosaur, which I think was perfect. 

alexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello world

It’s not often that the family cat wants to be included in photos! How great is she?!

alexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello worldalexandria va newborn family photographer | hello world

Admit it: You’re happy that I included so many favorites! It’s a nice distraction in your day to scroll through so much cuteness. Again, you’re welcome. I totally adore this family.

This season of life is a crazy one for us, so I’m behind on blogging! Again. I did manage to sit down with my oldest for our annual birthday interview tradition. It feels even more surreal that he is eight years old this year. Especially when his baby sister looks exactly like him as a baby. It often feels like I traveled back in time when I look at her. 

I love doing these birthday interviews with my kids. It’s funny how not much changes from year to year. My oldest has a very caring and sensitive personality. His answers are always a subtle and nice reminder of his fierce love for his family and friends. He’s kind, loyal and often so innocent it hurts. To say that he is smitten with his sister is the understatement of the year. He is completely crazy in love with her. His relationship with his brother has the same protective streak, but it’s much louder and much more rough and tumble. I love watching them all play together (as much as a baby can play with them). 

Our interview now has an additional question to include the baby (who got left out of the birthday card that I signed for the family and was pointed out by my 8-year-old #thirdchild): 

  1. Favorite color: Green
  2. Favorite toy: LEGO
  3. Favorite thing about his brother: “He’s the best.”
  4. Favorite thing about his sister: She’s really cute
  5. Favorite TV show or movie: Phineas and Ferb; Wild Kratts
  6. Favorite food: Sushi, pizza
  7. Favorite outfit: Short pants and short-sleeved shirts
  8. Favorite sport: Soccer and baseball
  9. Place he wants to visit for vacation: Germany
  10. Favorite animal: Dog
  11. Favorite song: “I don’t have one.”
  12. Favorite book: Magic Tree House
  13. Best friend: My brother and Aaron
  14. Favorite cereal: Fruit Loops [clearly, a remnant of the no-rules vacation food] 
  15. Favorite drink: Shirley Temple [another vacation reminder, ha!]
  16. Favorite thing to do with friends: Play tag
  17. What his father does at work: “He’s a contractor or something.”
  18. Something he’s really good at: Soccer
  19. Favorite ice cream flavor: A mix
  20. Biggest hero: My family
  21. What he wants to be when he grows up: A worker man [still a construction worker, a trend since age 2, I think]

dc baby birthday photographer

Happy 8th birthday to my big boy! What a caring older brother he is to his brother and sister, and we are so lucky to be his parents.

I am so excited to share with you the winners of the 2016 photo of the year winners! The level of participation from everyone blows me away every year. Thank you, thank you to ALL of my families!! I am so lucky to be a maternity, birth and baby photographer, because it allows me to work with the most adorable tiny humans :) One of the best parts is watching my newborns grow. 

The contest grows year after year, and I love seeing the results from the online polls and Instagram (@stefanieharrington). Seriously, you all have an incredibly huge network of friends and family. They definitely deserve a round of applause. At last, here are the winners in no particular order:

dc maternity baby photographer | 2016 photo winnersdc maternity baby photographer | 2016 photo winners

WINNERS. Please get in touch with me for more details and to schedule your documentary session. Documentary sessions capture authentic moments that are unique to each family. I look forward to telling your family’s story this summer! Some of my favorites are the ones that are told right in your home or a place that has meaning for you.

Finally, a very special “Thank You” also goes to my guest judges. I appreciate your time and professional opinion for the professional photographers’ choice!

Can’t wait to see the entries for next year’s contest. This year is already flying by!