Start as you mean to go on….
I posted this in December last year. It’s worked for us three times now and it’ll probably work again in July when the next ‘addition’ arrives.
Check with the hospital in advance, some maternity wards are quite happy for a member of their staff to use your camera to take photos during the birth.
Your DSLR may be a bit too much of a challenge so, if they do allow photographs, consider packing a simple 'point and shoot camera' in your wife’s bag. When you’re in the delivery suite the last thing on your mind will be whether or not the bokeh is quite right.
My first granddaughter was delivered by caesarean section and the photos shot off by one of the maternity nurses were superb – perhaps not technically excellent, but a priceless collection nonetheless.
Obviously, a lot's going to depend on whether or not the hospital offer that sort of opportunity, but it's worth asking.
After the initial ‘excitement’ new born babies are really pretty dull creatures from a photography perspective. Naturally, they tend to sleep a lot - they do a lot of other ‘things’ too, none of them really that
worthy of photographing.
Mother & baby shots are always worth attempting, but the ‘setting’ need to be right, otherwise you just end up with ‘snaps’ – not that there’s anything wrong with snaps, I’ve got several thousands.
I’ll not post them on here, but I’ve got some quality photographs of my daughters and their newborns. The girls wore black polo-necks against a dark background. Moody shots, but reasonably effective, especially in monochrome, if you can get the lighting right.
From about three or four months of age they start to get interesting – after that every single day presents its own challenges and opportunities.
As the hairyfrog
has pointed out above, the "machine gun approach" works well - for every 20 or 30 shots I reckon to get one or two 'keepers'.