12 Powerful Images of Babies Right in the Middle of Being Born

Judy Dutton | Apr 17, 2015 Pregnancy
12 Powerful Images of Babies Right in the Middle of Being Born

baby middle being born birth photography
Jo Price Photography

Few moments in life are as pivotal as those first few precious seconds when babies are almost born. These "half-born" pics, as they're called, show babies split between the comfort of the womb and the world at large. They're incredibly magical moments. When the baby is not quite separate from his or her mom, but not quite his or her own person, "half-born" photos serve as a memory of the doors between pregnancy and being a mother. 

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It's photos like these that remind one why it's important to have a birth photographer in the room. It is an incredibly special privilege. The photographers capture the moments that may be forgotten in the excitement of labor, and they capture a lasting impression of the connection between mother and child. 

In case you're curious to see what babies look like before they get all cleaned up, check out these amazing photos of half-born babies and hear what the photographers had to say about the experience -- for the babies, moms, and everyone else involved. Warning: These photos are raw, and messy, real ... and that's what makes them breathtaking to behold.

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Have you considered using a mirror during birth like in #10?

  • Half Earth Side


    Image via Le'Mae Photography

    "This was my friend's third baby, first home birth," says Michigan photographer Jessica Heksem. "I love catching the moment where baby is half earth side, especially when it's a surprise gender and you're so excited to find out if it's a boy or girl!"


  • Cry for Freedom


    "This was a planned C-section," says photographer Sam Beasley. "The baby was crying before he was even totally out. Such a grump!"

  • Birth Is Hard on the Baby, Too


    Image via Ellen Borden

    "Sometimes we forget that birth is not only difficult for the mother, but it is also difficult for baby," says photographer Ellen Borden. "They are being squeezed, pushed and pulled into a new world that is completely foreign to them. I think the look on this little one’s face demonstrates the struggle to be born." 

  • From Womb to Water


    "This mama gave birth at our local birth center in Denver where she was supported by her husband and amazing midwives," says photographer Jennifer Mason. "She labored in the water and after some effort, pushed out her perfect little boy!"

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  • On Bended Knee


    Image via Monet Nicole

    Monet Nicole, a photographer in Denver, loves this photo for its unusual birth position. "This mom gave birth on hands and knees," she says.

  • A Fast Entrance


    "This is a photo of the birth of a mom's fourth child," says photographer Jo Price. "She came so fast that I beat the doula, and the midwife, and the midwife never even made it! This was also the first unmedicated birth I experienced, and the connection was so special."

  • Go To the Light


    "This mom's water broke early Sunday morning and she did not deliver until Tuesday night," recalls photographer Jan Barker. "This mother was amazing in her perseverance and stamina, as well as her husband who never left her side. With her patience and autonomy in making her own medical decisions, she had a beautiful healthy baby boy who assisted with his delivery, as the image portrays. After 34 years of labor nursing, I still get teary eyed at times like these."

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  • Mirror, Mirror


    Image via Cradled Creations

    "Here, dad is ready at the foot of mom's bed cheering her on and ready to catch their baby, as mom is feeling and seeing her baby's head for the first time," says photographer Jaydene Freund. "This mom remembers back to this moment and thought, 'If I want to feel their head, I just have to reach down and do it.' So she did."

  • A Peaceful Entrance


    "When this mom peacefully bought her girl earth side, she trusted her body," says Keri-Anne Dilworth, a birth photographer in Auckland, New Zealand. "It was amazing to witness the encouragement that feeling her baby through each stage of descent gave her."

  • Surprise C-section


    "Although this mom imagined a vaginal birth, this little baby had different plans," says photographer Lauren Manry.

  • Breast Cancer Didn't Hold Her Back


    "This was an emotional birth," says photographer Paige Driscoll. "My client was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was pregnant with her third son. Here he is half born."

  • Best Christmas Present Ever


    "Little Crosby was born on Christmas Eve," says photographer Renee Bergeron. "I was able to capture the very moment transitioned between unborn and the moment of birth."

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