"If it's going to be an exclusive, they have to be cautious not to go out with the child," Motamedi says. "The baby's face shouldn't be seen."
Aguilera and husband Jordan Bratman and Spears and then-husband Kevin Federline were vigilant about keeping their newborns undercover until showcasing them in People.
But magazines don't hold them hostage. "If we have the pictures, we run them as soon as possible," Hackett says. "There's no upside to sitting on a set of baby pictures. Your competitor is going to try to get a picture of their own through the paparazzi."
2. Get out there yourself.
A Mommy's or Daddy's day out, one public enough to ensure post-pregnancy pictures in the weeklies, helps keep public interest high.
Aguilera showed off her curvy postpartum figure at a DVD signing less than a month after giving birth; her photos were published the following week. Nicole Richie hit the Grammy Awards party circuit a month after daughter Harlow was born; her People exclusive hits stands Friday.
3. Make a perfect picture.
The photos almost always show happy baby and the great-looking new mom on the cover, and the inside pages show a blissful home life.
The ideal location: the celebrity's home, Motamedi says. The situation is "controlled, at their own time, and the celebrity looks good."
The perfect picture can take time. It all depends on "how comfortable they are to allow the photographer to get the right shot," Motamedi says.