18 Striking Photos That Capture The Beauty Of A Baby's First Latch

Nothing prepares you for that moment.

You can try and prepare for breastfeeding by reading about it or taking classes, but it’s impossible to know what it’s actually going to feel like to feed your child from your own body until that moment when your baby first latches on. The exact circumstances and physical sensations are different for every mama and baby, of course, but it’s universal, too. It’s new. It’s emotional. It’s full of love.

Here, in celebration of that magical moment, are 18 images from talented birth photographers who shared some of the most beautiful first-latches they’ve captured on film.

"A new mother instinctively moves to bring her baby to the breast for the first time."
"Contractions came on strong and fast for this second-time mom, and her baby girl was born at home because they didn't have time to get to the birth center!"
"This mom and baby spend some time together immediately following birth in the comfort, peace and quiet of their home."
"This beautiful mama weathers fierce after pains after delivering her fourth child."
"This mom is breastfeeding her newborn daughter in the operating room directly after she was born. It was her third attempt at a natural childbirth, but with no progression, it was decided she needed to have another C-section. The caring, knowledgeable midwife basically just announced that she was putting baby onto the breast and everyone stood back. Baby Violet latched on right away, and the mom's eyes welled with tears."
"Sometimes life doesn't follow our birth plan, yet even when babies endure life-threatening challenges, breastfeeding can still be an option."
"This proud daddy watches his son find his first latch!"
"I took this image in the early morning light. There was such peace and calm."
"Moments after birth, this baby in Austin, Texas, takes her first latch -- with the assistance of her mother's doula."
"A special moment as this mother tandem nurses both her newborn baby and her toddler just minutes after birth. I love how the little boy looks at his older sister."
"Tears of joy -- and kisses for the mom -- while she breastfeeds their newborn baby."
"This mom told me: 'After 9 months growing and nurturing my son, that moment of being able to nurture him on the outside was so memorable. There's so much love right then.'"
"This family-centered Cesarean section was beautiful. The mom and baby were immediately reunited, and the baby was encouraged to latch and breastfeed in the OR."
"Going in for the first latch! This family suffered the unimaginable losses of five babies in the womb and three stillbirths."
"I love the dual perspective of this mama snapping a cell phone picture of her son's first latch!"
"This mom told me: 'With my first baby, I had scary complications that meant I wasn't able to enjoy the first moments after birth. It took having this peaceful second birth for me to understand how those first few moments nursing and bonding can be incredibly magical. I felt healed.'"
"This mother quickly brought in her other children to see the new baby's first moments!"
"This first latch is by far one of my favorite postpartum moments. The dad was completely captivated. He couldn't stop smiling! Even though I see the first latch happen a lot, this dad's enchantment was a reminder of how magical it is."

Captions are from the photographers unless otherwise noted, and have been edited and condensed.

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