15 Gorgeous Photos of One Mom's Outdoor Birth That Will Make You Want to Skip the Hospital

beautiful outdoor birth photo by Vannessa Brown Photography
Giving birth in a hospital bed surrounded by beeping machines is all well and good, but what if you could have your baby in a tub surrounded by the majesty of nature? That's what one mom did, and her magical labor and delivery was captured on film by Canadian photographer Vannessa Brown -- who says documenting an outdoor birth has always been at the top of her "bucket list." 

The pictures are absolutely stunning (as you'll see in our slideshow), but the experience wasn't without its own unique difficulties, as Brown tells CafeMom. "What made photographing this birth story unique was the lighting," she explains.

Lighting is always a challenge during birth photography, Brown says, because usually there isn't enough. But during this birth there were a few times where there was simply too much of it -- and Brown had to act fast!

"Lincoln was just born and the sun was perfectly rising behind him," she recalls. "I looked up and saw the second midwife standing right in the path of the beautiful glow! I had to tell her to shift to the right!" 

"We had a lot of laughs after the birth about how I was directing her where to stand," she added. "I am so lucky to work with such amazing midwives!"

And we're so lucky to see the results of this amazing photo session! 



Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

  • The Perfect Setting

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Brown's first opportunity to make her dreams of shooting an outdoor birth couldn't have been more perfect -- not only did the birth take place during the daylight hours, but the birthing tub was also set up on a deck overlooking a duck pond!

  • Taking a Moment

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Here, laboring mom Kati eases into the water while her midwives look on encouragingly. That incredible view must have helped her to relax!

  • Holding On

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Now here's a moment every mom can relate to: Kati trying to catch her breath and stay calm as contractions come and go. Hang in there, mama!

    More from CafeMom: 14 Incredible Birth Photos a Mom Took During Her Own Labor & Delivery 

  • Still Waters

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    The reflection of the trees in the water of the birthing tub is just plain gorgeous in this shot.

  • Location, Location, Location

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Here we get a better sense of just how ideal the setting for Kati's birth was. A natural birth in a natural setting: It just makes sense!

  • Rearview Mirror

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    The first dramatic glimpse of little Lincoln Birch Ashmead was a bit hard for mom Kati to see, but what a face!

    More from CafeMom: 11 Surrogate Birth Photos That Illustrate a True Labor of Love

  • The Agony & the Ecstacy

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Another image that's sure to bring back memories for any mom! Those final moments of labor are INTENSE.

  • The Big Reveal

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Ta-da! Kati was no doubt overjoyed (and relieved) to welcome her brand-new little guy. Hello, Lincoln!

  • Baby Love

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    The first hug of thousands! What an exquisitely sunshine-filled moment.

    More from CafeMom: 17 Home Birth Photos That Show the Beauty of Having Your Children by Your Side

  • Sweet Relief

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Giving birth is exhausting! But Lincoln seems perfectly happy to take a little rest with mom.

  • Hair Apparent


    Oh, that swirl of hair on the top of a newborn's gorgeous little head! And those fingers!! It's honestly impossible to decide which part of a new baby is the cutest.

    More from CafeMom: Mom Turns Baby Bumps into Works of Art for Stunning Maternity Photo Shoots

  • Snuggle Time

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    If you look too quickly at this warm and fuzzy photo, you might miss the placenta floating in the foreground. Leftovers, anyone?

  • Show of Hands

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Lincoln is clearly excited for his first day on the planet. Throw your hands in the air! Wave 'em like you just don't care!!

  • Getting to Know You

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Lincoln's older siblings look beyond thrilled to welcome their new little brother! (We're guessing they stayed in their jammies all day.)

  • Ready for His Closeup

    Image via Vannessa Brown Photography

    Hello, beautiful boy! Hope the rest of your days are as magical and wonderful as your very first!

    More from CafeMom: Mom Watches Her Baby Being Born via Surrogate in Gorgeous Photo Series

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