Looking good after the delivery

Primping on the big day - The Boston Globe_1289502033674

Hey look! I'm in The Boston Globe!

How good is good? “It’s not about looking like you came from the runway,’’ said style blogger Roxanna Sarmiento, a mother of three. “But those pictures last forever. Anyone can see them five or 10 years from now. Even future employers.’’

Although some women do get dolled up for the delivery, Sarmiento, 34, says that doesn’t make sense. “I’ve seen pictures of people with mascara running down their faces. You cry or you get all sweaty. It’s a very emotional time.’’

The time to put on your face — assuming that there were no complications with the delivery and the baby is healthy — is, apparently, about 20 minutes after the big event. That’s when Sarmiento pulled out her kit with the little mirror and the Chanel and Laura Mercier cosmetics.

“I didn’t attempt eyeliner,’’ she said, “but I do a little shadow and mascara and blush and a little powder. People are worried it’s too vain, but there is a lot of down time.’’

She and her husband live far from family, she said, making photos even more important. “What’s your choice? Taking care of yourself at the hospital and making sure you look decent in the photos, or shying away from the camera and being invisible when the baby’s born?’’

The latter just won’t do, according to Geoffrey Batchen, an expert on historical and contemporary photography and a professor of art history at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

“The photographic image is no longer simply a document shared within an immediate family group,’’ he wrote in an e-mail, “now it is also a means of communication, a message to an extended social circle that says ‘I am present,’ ‘I am here,’ ‘I just did this.’ ’’

I know it's not exactly the editorial pages and that I'm becoming The Globe's go-to person for frivolous stories...don't rain on my parade, man. I don't mind! I'm in this story with the fabulous Christine Koh and Isabel Kallman, so I'm in great company.

So, confession time: Did you primp before having your baby? Don't tell me we're the only ones!

View this photo