Live From the Maternity Ward: Birthing Moms Are Primping for Photos

Filed under: Funny Stuff, Delivery

pregnant mother picture

Pedicure? Check. Teeth whitening? Check. Hospital bag? Oh, yeah ... Credit: Getty Images

When Lyn Zelnis was packing her hospital bag for the birth of her second baby, she made sure to include shower supplies, onesies and perhaps most important -- mascara, styling mousse, lipstick and a bronzer. Plus, she booked a pedicure right before her due date.

Of course the St. Louis mom of two was focused on the pending miracle of childbirth, but she also learned (the painful way) during her older son's birth, the importance of primping for the big day.

"Push and smile" has become the mantra of baby mamas, who find their post labor selves splashed across the pages of Facebook or live on YouTube. In this era of instantaneous photo spreads, labor and delivery rooms are being transformed into photography studios, according to an article on Boston.com.

In 2010, that means lining up a pediatrician, readying the bassinette -- and, for some moms, making a hair appointment, getting a mani-pedi, and buying flattering hospital johnnies, Boston.com reports.

The attention to every detail -- hair, nails, makeup, oh and of course, mom and baby's home-from-the-hospital attire, underscores a larger trend of scheduled births, including planned caesareans and elective inductions, says Dr. William Camann, director of the obstetric anesthesia service at Brigham and Women's Hospital to Boston.com.

"It's not just planning the birth,'' Camann, coauthor of "Easy Labor," tells Boston.com, "but planning everything that goes along with the birth, which includes looking good for the pictures.''

Abigail Tuller, editor in chief of Pregnancy and Mom magazine, Pretells Boston.com the uptick in grooming is part of a societal shift.

"The boundaries of the birthing room are being expanded,'' she says. "People are Facebooking from the delivery room, they're doing live feeds of their birth, and they're texting during labor. We live in the information age, and everyone wants their information out there. You need to look good.''

For sure, no baby mama wants a picture of herself sweaty, exhausted and in desperate need of a makeover. Just ask Zelnis.

"Well Facebook happened a couple years after my first birthing experience," Zelnis tells ParentDish. But right after 26 hours of labor and a C-section during the birth of her son Luke, who is almost 6, Zelnis was being wheeled to her room when cameras lights started flashing.

"I was exhausted, looked disgusting with my hair sweaty and on top of my head in a ponytail," Zelnis tells ParentDish."I was swollen and had bags under my eyes. As they wheeled me up to my room they informed me that News Channel 5 was waiting to interview me because the hospital nurses went on strike during my surgery.

"So as I am trying to nurse Luke for the first time, and in walks this famous newscaster for the St. Louis local network with a bright light and a camera in my face. Hello, a little embarrassing! When it came to Carter, (her second son, age 3) I had a pedicure and a little makeup on," Zelnis adds to ParentDish.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.