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How to Not Look Like a Hot Mess in Your Birth Photos

Photograph by Twenty20

The moment that baby arrives, it's like a little signal goes off somewhere that says, "Pull out all your cameras immediately!"

Birth photographers and first-day hospital photo shoots are getting increasingly popular, but even if you opt out of those, it's pretty much a guarantee that everyone else is going to be snapping pictures with their phones and sharing them on social media.

Of course, as the lady who just gave birth, it's probably not exactly the most photogenic moment of your life. But it's a moment you want forever documented.

If you don't care a bit about what you look like (or are one of those effortlessly gorgeous women that looks like a supermodel even after popping out a 8-pound infant), that's cool, but if you're hoping not to cringe every time you see those photos for the next 30 years, here are some easy tricks to not look like you just got hit by a truck.

1. Bring your own top

The ugly truth is that nobody looks good in a hospital gown. My sister shared this trick with me, and once the nurses took out my IVs, I immediately changed into my own shirt (just a simple V-neck T-shirt) that fit me and was a color that made me look alive. Not only did I feel like a normal human again, but I also looked a lot better in all the pictures.

At the end of the day, people are looking at new baby photos to see the new baby.

2. Put on lipstick

You're probably aren't interested in doing your full makeup routine (and who could blame you, you just had a baby!) but a quick swipe of bright lipstick draws attention away from your tired eyes and makes you look put-together in three seconds.

3. Sit up straight

I know, I sound like your mother. But those reclining hospital beds make it easy to always be leaning back, and that angle gives almost everyone, even the tiniest women who gained half an ounce during pregnancy, a double chin. Sit up and you'll instantly look better.

4. Do something with your hair

No need for a full blowout (although, if you can swing it, more power to you!), but having hair that doesn't resemble a rat's nest goes a long way in a photo. I usually try to get my hair cut a week or two before my baby is born so I'm already starting with something decent, and then at least give it a quick brush or put it in a braid before the cameras come out.

5. Go black and white

Ditching the color will disguise a lot of skin discoloring on both you (many moms looks super pale after delivery) and your baby (who probably looks pretty red for those first couple of days!). It's like magic and it gives your photos a nice classic look!

6. Open the windows

If you have a hospital room with a window, open the blinds wide to let in natural light, which is way more flattering than the those florescent hospital lamps.

7. Remind yourself everyone is looking at the baby

If you look fab, that's great. But at the end of the day, people are looking at new baby photos to see the new baby. So even if you have 60 chins, your hair is sticking straight out, and your skin is the pleasing color of oatmeal, it doesn't even matter. And hey, in 30 years, you'll look at those photos and think, "Wow, I look so young!"