I sometimes get asked if I edit photos. My simple answer is yes, absolutely. But this answer can mean completely different processes for different photographers. This is a brief overview of my process.
The Basics: When using digital negatives (RAW files), unedited photos contain so much information that they appear dull without basic adjustments - I adjust photos to bring out the best colour/contrast/exposure/sharpness... When all the edits are complete, I save copies of the edited images as print-quality jpegs prior to printing.
Blemishes, blotchiness, scratches, white spots, peeling skin: Babies have razor-sharp nails that they use to tear up their faces. Full-term babies also often have a lot of peeling skin. So some editing can help keep the focus on the baby rather than the quick-to-heal marks on their faces or bodies. Unless I have a specific request to edit photos in a certain way, I'll use a fairly light hand to make photos softer, but still keep people recognizable. I remove scratches, smooth out complexion a little bit, remove any white spots or blemishes that are distracting. I actively enjoy seeing the dry patches (it doesn't last long!!) so I keep most of them in to give the photos a punch of personality.
Selective colour: Some people like it when a photo is black & white with one shock of colour. (My husband loves it.) My style is more simple, so you won't see my photos edited that way.
Black & white: I love black & white photos, and I feature them in my work all the time. Not all photos look fantastic in b&w though, so I'm selective about which images I convert. The actual process of conversion depends on the photo and the look I'm trying to achieve - if a client wants a particular look, I'll plan shots so they'll look good in b&w.
Lengthening of limbs, slimming of waists, etc: Out of all the photography courses I've taken, my least favourite by far was a class at a local university that taught how to manipulate photos to the point they were unrecognizable as part of reality. I like reality and I love the human form - I don't do these types of edits. (To be fair, I learned tons in this particular class, much of it extremely useful. I'm just not a huge fan of heavy-handed portrait photoshopping.)
Other stuff: I have a few other tricks up my sleeve. But my overall style is very natural, so... most of the edits aren't noticeable to a non-photographer - that's my goal with all my photos.