With HD phone cameras, we’ve moved past the days of recording baby’s birth video on a camcorder. However, more and more parents are sharing their birth experiences publicly on social media. Every birth story is an incredibly personal experience. As you approach your delivery date, you may want to consider whether or not birth videos are the right choice for you and your family. The great thing is that there’s no wrong answer.

Why Birth Videos Matter

Whether it’s a simple phone recording by the other parent or something with slick editing and a score, parents share birth videos for many reasons. It could be about wanting to capture your baby’s very first moments in the world. It can also be a lovely way to capture your reactions and your spouse’s reactions or other loved ones in the room. There’s nothing quite like that sense of love, wonder, and joy that illuminates the face.

Other parents may also share birth videos because they want to make their entire pregnancy public. Taking away some of the mystery from the process can serve as a comfort and a way to connect to other new and expecting parents. Or you can share the experience with absent loved ones. And, it’s a lovely memento to return to as your child gets older and older.

Types of Birth Videos

So, if you do want to make a birth video, you may ask, “What’s a typical birth video?” Well, the answer is not quite so simple. Because parents have different reasons for making and sharing their journeys, allow form to follow function: how you make it will be determined by why you want to make it.

Are you looking for something that is more informative? If you want to show other expecting parents what your experience of a home birth is like, you may want to do something like this:

Some birth givers who had unexpected complications or changed their birth plan also offer up their experiences to remind expectant parents that a change in plans will be a regular experience in parenting:

Some parents don’t release the birth video immediately, but instead, share a compilation of some of the early months or even the first year with their child.

Hospitals and universities may also ask to record your birth for educational purposes too. This video discussed delivering during the COVID-19 pandemic, which undoubtedly gave other pregnant moms and birth givers an idea of what to expect:

Other birth videos are about focusing on the raw emotion that giving birth can evoke. There’s honesty, even grittiness, in these portrayals of birth that don’t shy away from the screaming or the difficulties of labor. Documenting the day of the birth can show these lows and the highs of the moments of comfort or the aftermath where the new family may be exhausted, but feeling so united.

Should I Hire A Birth Photographer/Videographer?

With the rise of birth videos, there’s also been a rise in photographers and videographers who specialize in documenting the birth journey. You can always bring in a family member or a close friend to play cameraperson. Some parents even ask their doula.

On the other hand, a professional may be the right choice for you. Sometimes family members become overwhelmed or overexcited and miss the key moments. Or fail to focus. It can also be useful to have an outside eye who is used to witnessing births. This is an additional expense for the birth, so your choice may come down to budget too.

In any case, remember the person delivering the baby is the director. No arguments.

How To Choose A Professional

Beyond budget, there are many things to consider like experience, style, and availability.

A recommendation from professional birth photographers Maggie Cuspirin and Jill Velazquez is to first “start by looking at their photos. That’s the top thing. Find someone whose work gets you excited…And then you also need to find someone you connect with personally. I feel like that’s important because your birth space is so sacred. I remember that feeling from building my team for my second birth: I just wanted only who I wanted there and nobody else. So you need to find someone you’re comfortable around, someone who won’t judge your choices, someone who you like being with.”

Since parents may deliver unexpectedly, birth photographers typically have limited availability so they can be on-call for their clients. Book early. Ask about a backup photographer and do the same vetting for this person.

You’ll also want to check in to see how early they are able to join your birth journey. Do you want them to come to the hospital as soon as you arrive? Do you want to wait until you are in more active labor? How long should they stay with you and your newborn?

Once you have come to terms, integrate the photographer or videographer into your birth plan. You may also want to ask what post-production services they offer. If they work with an outside editor, ask to see their reel or full samples.

What Do I Need To Do To Prepare?

Beyond hiring your team or designating someone to be a photographer, you have a few more steps to take:

  • If you plan to give birth in a hospital or birthing center, make sure that you are permitted to do so. Some hospitals do not allow any filming because of liability and legal concerns. Others may not allow filming the actual birth but will give you flexibility for pre and a few hours postpartum. The reasoning behind these policies is often to protect against malpractice. Your birth video may end up being evidence.
  • Once you confirm the policy, get an agreement from the medical professionals and the hospital in writing. Keep this in your bag so you can give it to your medical team once you arrive. You will need consent from everyone in the room.
  • Outline where your photographer can and cannot be. They should have the experience to stay out of the way, but this can’t hurt.
  • Also be ready to end up being unable to record. Even the most permissive hospitals and birth centers may bar your photographer from emergency procedures for example.
  • Bring backup batteries and a tripod.
  • Discuss your editing plan with your photographer or videographer before the day. They’ll know what B-roll, or background/filler footage to capture, and how to frame shots to your satisfaction.

How Should I Edit My Birth Video?

Editing is the final step in your birth video. Whether you want to integrate additional footage from your baby’s early months or photos, make sure that you have everything on hand. Give the editor an idea of the type of music you’re interested in as well.

If you are editing on your own, you can use free software like iMovie, or invest in something a little more sophisticated like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. Using shorter segments, think 20-40 seconds, will capture attention. The actual birth can be a longer segment if you like. Close with photos or footage post-birth and any additional interviews from you and your loved ones. Add music. If you don’t want to pay licensing fees, make sure you are using a royalty-free music site.


Once you’ve seen a few cuts and approved them, you can post your birth video or share it with your loved ones. With that in hand, you can start thinking about the next steps in your parenting journey. Like, your preferred receiving blankets, or what to do if your new baby has acne.

Ready to find a great sitter?

Join Sittercity
Secured By miniOrange