For years, more than 30% of babies born in the United States every year have come into the world via cesarean delivery. That number gets tossed around frequently when medical experts squabble over whether that percentage is too high and question whether patients are getting C-sections for the “right” reasons.
Of course, there are important questions about when and why C-sections are performed, and to what extent they improve outcomes. But unfortunately, the debate is so often twisted in parenting media and on social media that vaginal birth is perceived as the default — or “natural” birth — while cesarean delivery is still seen as somehow other.
That can leave the millions of Americans who deliver their babies via C-section feeling, at best, conflicted about their deliveries, if not outright convinced they missed out on the “correct” way to have a baby.
This could not be further from the truth. Yes, some people do experience trauma related to their C-sections — just as they experience trauma over their vaginal deliveries — but birth is birth. Every delivery is personal and sacred. And bringing a human into the world via C-section is every bit as awesome as giving birth any other way.
In honor of that and Cesarean Awareness Month, HuffPost Parents reached out to some of our favorite birth photographers and asked them to share some of their favorite photos that capture the awesome beauty and power of C-section deliveries.
All captions have been edited and condensed.