PARENTS

15 Labor, Delivery And Postpartum Photos That Capture The Beauty Of Birth

Messy, real, emotional and beautiful.

10/02/2016 6:38 AM AEDT | Updated 10/02/2016 6:38 AM AEDT

Today, The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) announced the winners of its annual Image of the Year Competition. Selected by a panel of judges, the winning photos showcase the emotion, pain and beauty of different birth experiences.

As the press release for the official announcement states, "Birth photography encompasses the tears of joy, the wonder of bringing a new life into the world and celebrates family."

Keep scrolling to see the winning birth images as well as some other striking contest entries. As the IAPBP website notes, birth is "messy and real," so the photos may be considered NSFW.

  • 1 First Place Winner
    <a href="http://www.marijkethoen.be/">Marijke Thoen Geboortefotografie</a>/<a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    This image depicts birth underwater.
  • 2 Best In Category: Labor
    <a href="http://www.appleblossomfamilies.com/blog/">Apple Blossom Families</a>/<a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    This image is called "The Surge." As the photographer wrote in the Facebook caption, "Birth is powerful, women's bodies are powerful and having the support to be powerful in the birth process is a gift."
  • 3 Best In Category: Delivery
    <a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">Birth Blessings Photography and Childbirth Services</a>/<a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographe
    The winning delivery image depicts an unassisted, at-home twin water birth. It is also a striking example of an "en caul" birth, when a baby is born entirely in the amniotic sac.
  • 4 Best In Category: Postpartum
    <a href="http://www.nataliawalthphotography.com/">Natalia Walth Photography</a>/<a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    The title for this postpartum photo is "Where peace begins."
  • 5 Honorable Mention
    <a href="http://www.lovebykristaevansphotography.com/">Love By Krista Evans Photography</a>/<a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    The photographer selected the title, "It calls to her both loudly and softly in song."
  • 6 Honorable Mention
    <a href="http://www.angelagallo.com/">Angela Gallo</a>/<a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    This water birth photo is called "Maternal Grace."
  • 7 Honorable Mention
    <a href="http://www.alexandrakayy.com/">alexandra kayy photography</a>/<a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    The baby's awestruck face is stunning.
  • 8 Additional Entry
    <a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    This striking C-section photo shows there's beauty in all forms of birth.
  • 9 Additional Entry
    <a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    "The wait in silence and calmness" is the title of this powerful water birth photo.
  • 10 Additional Entry
    <a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    An emotional photo of new parents meeting their baby. 
  • 11 Additional Entry
    <a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    An intimate photo of skin-to-skin bonding with newborn twins.
  • 12 Additional Entry
    <a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    This C-section photo highlights the mother and the support of her partner.
  • 13 Additional Entry
    <a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    "Newborn Blues."
  • 14 Additional Entry
    <a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    The father is the focus of this birth photo.
  • 15 Additional Entry
    <a href="http://birthphotographers.com/2016-birth-image-competition/">International Association of Professional Birth Photographers</a>
    Sisters cuddle after birth.

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