Isabel Kallman’s Birth Day Advice

October 1, 2009

See this picture? What do you see? You probably notice me nuzzling my newly–born son. Aww. Me? Yes, I see that too. But what I remember about this photo is my awful hair stuck in a rubberbanded bun. I admit I’m vain.

Remember your wedding? Remember the painstaking decisions over photographers, make-up and hair? Why? Because that stuff is being recorded forEVER in photographs and video and then being shared with friends all over the internet and shown to generations of family thereafter.

Well, same thing with the requisite new baby pictures. That’s right. Those photos get a lot of play too. The baby may be the center of attraction, but everyone loves to get a shot of the mom.

During childbirth (whether you’re medicated or not), there will be physical exertion. You will be laboring and pushing. And sweaty blown-out hair is still much better than sweaty non-blown-out hair.

If you’re pregnant for the first-time, you’re probably wondering exactly when you will have the time. A first-time mom will labor for approximately 24 hours. Even if you plan on requesting pain medication, like an epidural, a substantial part of your laboring will NOT take place at your birth facility, but at home. If that laboring takes place during the day, distraction is your best technique for easing contractions in the early phase. And thus this is the perfect time to get a hair blow-out. Also, I hate to break it to you, it may be the last time you’ll get one for a while.

If you can’t get your hair looking all purty for the main event, then I suggest you at least look in the mirror before the bulbs start flashing. You can thank me later.

From Isabel Kallman of Alphamom.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Design Mom October 1, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I love this advice! I should pencil in a hair appointment right now so I don't forget.

Pictures do seem to last forever. Might as well look good. : )


2 Barchbo October 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Your hair looks great in the second shot!

My sister is having her baby on Monday – she had her mani/pedi eysterday. That's her post-natal beauty advice. :)


3 bdaiss October 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm

This is so funny! I have the same thoughts about the photos from my son's birth.

I'm determined to do it better this time around. :)


4 Petit Elefant October 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm


Only you would suggest a blow out while in the early stages of labor. And this is why I LOVE YOU!


5 Corbett Family October 1, 2009 at 2:45 pm

This advice is VERY important. Last December when I opened the calendar my mother-in-law makes every year for the family that has a picture of each person on their birthday, I discovered that she chose to use a picture of me that was taken in the hospital after I gave birth to my second son! The baby is not in the picture–just my face–no make-up, matted hair that hadn't been washed for a couple of days, etc. Those pictures DO get wide circulation and now my husband's entire family gets to stare at my hideous picture for the next month.


6 Natalie | The Bobby Pin October 1, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Love it!

I was a newspaper reporter in Provo (Herald) and we had to get a newborn baby with mom picture for a story. The woman we found insisted on doing makeup first. I loved it.


7 Lizzy.Post October 1, 2009 at 3:07 pm

This is VERY useful! I totally agree. When I had my daughter I thought about the same thing. People are going to see this and I need to make my hair look…presentable? My hair is really thick and kinky-curly and frizzy, so it looks bad most of the time if not completely up. About 5 days before I delivered I took it upon myself to do something with my hair. I corn-rowed the top of my hair so that at least my frizzy bangs and flyaways were taken care of, the rest could be thrown into a ponytail. I am so glad I did! It stayed this way through the two days in the hospital and I think for even a few days after (i could still wash my hair because only the top was secured) It saved a lot or worry during labor and saved time after birth.



8 SarahSews October 1, 2009 at 3:19 pm

First time commenter, but wanted to say, it was the last thing on my mind after 4 days of induced labor followed by a cesarean. I had showered a few times while in labor and washed my long, thick hair, but did not blow dry it or anything. My BFF was there and she did two braids for me. They stayed in long past the surgery and are in all the photos. They took care of my hair at the time but look ridiculous on a woman who is now a 30-something mother!


9 Boston Mamas October 1, 2009 at 3:27 pm

OK, so I must be vain too and I am totally on board with this advice!

We went to the hospital rather unexpectedly (due to food poisoning… never mind that I was 42 weeks and *should* have had a bag packed!). Anyway, one of my biggest regrets is that I had this horrendous bandana in my hair (rationale being to keep flyaways out of the way but it looked pretty terrible) AND my departure outfit was the same gray t-shirt and gray track pants I arrived in. Sob, sob, sob. I cringe when I look at those photos.

I would love to have another baby. And I promise, it's not just because I want another shot at better photos. :-)

I'm so, so over the moon for you and your family G! xoxo Christine


10 kate October 1, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I guess I'm vain, too, because I think you're absolutely right! For my first, I obsessed about my toes. I HAD to go get a pedicure before making it to the hospital. For some reason I thought everyone would notice my toes. Well, come to find out that wasn't what they were looking at! I wish I would have thought about the photos after!!!


11 Azúcar October 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm

True story:

My water broke at 2:00am. I knew there would be pictures so while my husband was making arrangements, I tried to straighten my hair. I put on makeup and started sectioning my hair when the contractions started going two minutes apart. My husband then yelled at me to "STOP STRAIGHTENING YOUR HAIR AND GET IN THE CAR."

The baby arrived just six hours later.

(But I did have on really cute earrings.)


12 Marianne & Clayton October 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Ha! Thanks to Azucar, the best advice I got was to primp if you have the time. So, water broke, I showered and put on makeup etc… My husband's response? "Hey- you're the ticking time bomb." Ya, the foxy ticking time bomb!


13 meplus3 October 1, 2009 at 8:28 pm

That is so funny. After 3 months of bedrest, and a bad hair cut one month in, it dawned on me that I wouldn't be able to dodge the camera after the twins arrived. I called and made an appointment a few days before they were born, and my stylist arrived at the hospital two days after they arrived. I left the hospital camera ready! (and ever thankful to my hair stylist)


14 Paula Duailibi Homor October 2, 2009 at 7:42 am

That's why in Brazil we have hairstylists in the hospital who come to your room for a blowdry, makeup and anything you might need.


15 Anonymous October 2, 2009 at 9:33 am

I always think ahead about the way I'm going to tie my hair up to be pretty yet out of my way,and even what earrings I'm going to wear. Make-up not so much, earrings? absolutely, chosen with great care.


16 Rachael October 2, 2009 at 10:29 am

totally agree. everyone is always shocked that I have makeup on in those first post-delivery shots, but guess what? ten minutes of makeup is a small price to pay for a lifetime of looking at those pictures. and I straighten my hair every day those last couple of weeks.

of course, I've ended up having induced labors with all 3 children, and i must say, one perk is being able to walk into the hospital freshly showered with hair and makeup in place. since it's the last time i look that good for the next month.


17 Andrea October 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I have a sister-in-law that does her hair back, really fancy, each time she goes in to have her babies (she is induced each time). I, on the other hand, never have any warning (once I had to jump out of the shower half-washed to get to the hospital), so my day-of pictures are horrendous. If I ever have another (which I won't) I am contemplating packing a cute knit stocking hat to pull on for pictures.


18 Kris and Kally October 2, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Love this! My sister gave me the same advice and after pushing out my quite large son, my hair looked divine! Am I swollen to the size of a hippo? yep! But did my hair look beyond amazing? yep again!


19 Tiffany October 9, 2009 at 6:05 am

This was great advice! I was just talking to my husband last night about making sure I had my "hair did" because we are having a professional photographer/friend capture everything this 4th time around. It was great to read this post and all the comments of these lovely ladies!!


20 Marie {Make and Takes} October 9, 2009 at 9:41 am

Isabel! You are hilarious! So so true!


21 Ms. Stack January 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Isabel Kallman – thank you! I read this post 2 1/2 months before I gave birth to my first child. At my last visit, my doctor told me I was 3 cm dilated but I wasn't feeling any contractions. He sent me home and told me to come back the next day, and if I progressed to 4 or 5 cm he was going to send me to the hospital. Well, I left his office and made a hair appointment for the next morning. My husband laughed at me, but he also took me for a mani/pedi that night. I got my hair blown out and a makeup application the next morning. I told the girl, "Nothing too unnatural or fancy. I just need a glow that will last through 24 hours of labor." The folks at the salon thought I was crazy to be in labor and getting my hair done, but I told them Isabel warned me. And I am glad I did it. Everyone who has seen the pics agrees, it was totally worth it. I am really not vein, but there were a lot of photos. Thanks again!


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