Dramatic Before & After Photos Capture How Much Newborns Change in Just the 1st Hour

Newborn baby
Swaddle Shots Photography

As precious and darling as all babies are, they typically aren't born that way. Newborns go through a lot during the process of being born and, if we're being honest, sometimes come out looking like it. From swollen faces and squished little heads to being covered in thick fluids, the first look isn't always their finest. Yet, it's incredible how quickly they transform before our eyes into heart-melting perfection. One photographer captured exactly that process, and her before-and-after photos of a newborn taken just an hour apart are serving as a powerful reminder of just how fast babies change. 

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Bryanna Field of Swaddle Shots Photography tells CafeMom that she captured the first photo "about five seconds" after the baby girl was born. As she takes in a big gulp of air, her flushed skin is covered in vernix caseosa. This thick, white substance is a protective layer that coats a newborn's skin.  

Newborn baby
Swaddle Shots Photography

"The mom wanted to leave the vernix on for about an hour but then it was super sticky and getting everywhere so they wiped it off a bit earlier," the Minnesota birth photographer says. "It's good for baby's skin to let it soak in because it makes it for an easier transition from being in water for months to fresh air."

Newborn baby
Swaddle Shots Photography

The second photo was taken once the little one finished her newborn exam, about an hour after she was born. In this sweet snapshot, she's neatly swaddled and peacefully sleeping with full cheeks and a perfect pout. "I personally thought it was amazing seeing the difference, she doesn't even look like the same baby," Field says. 

She hopes that people appreciate the contrasting images and realize that it's "normal for babies to be covered in all sorts of stuff when born" and that all of it should be appreciated. "Some expect baby to be perfect at birth, but birth is messy and beautiful all at once," she adds.  

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