Parenting

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

Messy, real, emotional and beautiful.

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.

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Best In Category: Labor
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."
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Best In Category: Delivery
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.
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Best In Category: Postpartum
The title for this postpartum photo is "Where peace begins."
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Honorable Mention
The photographer selected the title, "It calls to her both loudly and softly in song."
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Honorable Mention
This water birth photo is called "Maternal Grace."
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Additional Entry
This striking C-section photo shows there's beauty in all forms of birth.
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Additional Entry
"The wait in silence and calmness" is the title of this powerful water birth photo.
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Additional Entry
An emotional photo of new parents meeting their baby.
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Additional Entry
An intimate photo of skin-to-skin bonding with newborn twins.
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Additional Entry
This C-section photo highlights the mother and the support of her partner.
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Additional Entry
The father is the focus of this birth photo.
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Additional Entry
Sisters cuddle after birth.

Also on HuffPost:

17 Intimate Photos That Show Birth Is Beautiful In All Forms