About a year ago, I was gearing up to deliver my babies by scheduled c-section. At 4 a.m. before my appointment, I dragged my achy pregnant body out of bed, got in the shower, and then did my typical (if minimalist) hair and makeup routine before leaving for the hospital. My husband was probably rolling his eyes, but hello: There would be pictures!
I won't lie: It was important to me to look put together following the birth of my twins so that I wouldn't cringe when I looked at those hospital photos in the future—and so that, when family and friends (and colleagues, and readers of my blogs...) viewed them, they might note my appearance favorably as well. In the end, thanks to the few extra moments I spent in the bathroom that morning, I feel proud of those photos.
It's hardly revolutionary to note that, especially in an age when there is widespread expectation that hospital room photos will be shared in real time on social media, I'm not the only one to care about such matters.
In fact, the New York Times is now reporting on a trend in which women pre-book a team of stylists—specifically hair and makeup pros—to come to their hospital rooms for the purpose of getting the new moms camera-ready for their first photos with their babies... never mind that they may actually feel they've just been through a war.
"[The first images after delivery] are frequently posted on social media... to be seen by a broad network of friends, colleagues and close family," according to the Times. "It is probable that the practice has been fueled by the barrage of images of women like Kate Middleton, who after delivering her children left the hospital with sleek, bouncy hair that more readily suggested a leisurely blowout than the physically taxing experience of childbirth."
As I noted before when I covered Middleton's impeccable post-delivery look, I'm no fan of unnecessary pressures of any kind on new moms. And it saddens me a bit to think of what star moms like the Duchess of Cambridge and Kim Kardashian (and so many others) must go through to get ready for paparazzi outside the hospital.
But I am also a big believer in the fake-it-til-you-make-it ideology. And I know that when I look put together, I feel more pulled together. And that feeling leads to real implications when it comes to my confidence and competence—both invaluable assets to new moms.
That doesn't mean I went as far as hiring the teams of beauty pros highlighted in the Times trend piece. But honestly? I don't think it's that crazy either.
What do you think?
Sign up for our pregnancy newsletters to keep up with the latest pregnancy news.
Photo: Courtesy of Alesandra Dubin