Growing a little human, and bonding with it after it has come earth side, is such a precious time. We often get so captivated by the process, that we don't think about locking in our Maternity or Newborn session until last minute, and by then, we may have missed the window!
No there is no hard and fast rule for this. However there are some guidelines that I like to work towards.
~ Maternity ~
When we are growing a human (or more than one!) we are so busy! Planning, growing, being exhausted! There is so much to do before our little one blesses us, that it can all get so overwhelming! This is why I recommend booking in to have your maternity session at around 32-34 weeks pregnant. At this point, there is a gorgeous big bump to photograph, but you haven't quite hit the 'waddle' and get this baby out of me stage! You quite possibly even still have some bounce in your step at this time, and that gorgeous glow.
Unless there is good reasons not to photograph you before the 34 weeks, this time is perfect. It gives you the opportunity to relax and just enjoy the remaining time before bub comes, time to enjoy looking at those gorgeous belly photographs before the 3 hourly feeds and endless nappies, and enough time that generally speaking you won't miss out by going into labour early!
In order to get the perfect time for you during that 32-34 week window, I recommend booking at least a month beforehand (around 28 weeks pregnant) to make sure we can find the best time! Weekend times are obviously limited, so I would HATE for you to miss out because I am booked out!
~ Newborn ~
Having just done the single most amazing thing ever, you want to sit and cuddle and enjoy your new little human. I totally get that! BUT they grow and change so fast, and missing out on those tiny itty bitty bubby shots can be devastating (I should know! Newborn photography wasn't really a thing when my daughter was born and it breaks my heart over and over again that I don't have any proof she was that small! Especially with her teenage attitude and hormones!) Definitely, settle into home and enjoy that special bonding time. For a little while! But by around 2-3 weeks, they start to change so much. This is why I recommend having your newborn session done around this time (2-3 weeks old). We can get them while they're still sleepy and squishy and ever so cute! All those gorgeous details and all that cuteness.
If I am capturing both your maternity and newborn session, we will book a tentative time at the same time as booking your maternity session (around your due date). Then, once bubby has arrived, let me know as soon as possible and we will find the perfect time to capture that gorgeousness!