Stunning Photos Show How Much Babies' Heads Change During Birth

babies heads at birth
K Reeder Photography

If you've given birth a time or two (or three), you probably think you've seen it all. But the magical thing about birth is that each and every one is totally unique. That's why everyone -- including veteran moms like me -- is in awe of these gorgeous photos by Kayla Reeder that give a rare, up-close look at the incredible transformation a baby's head makes during birth.

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  • Earlier this year, Reeder was asked to document the birth of couple Chris and Nikki's second child, Graham.

    "With her first child, Nikki was in labor for 36 hours so we thought this [birth] might take a little bit longer," Reeder tells CafeMom.

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    But Graham's birth progressed much more quickly than his older sister's. His mom, Nikki, says she left for the hospital around 9:30 a.m. on the morning of Graham's delivery. By 11:30 a.m., her water had broken. It wasn't until Nikki started pushing that things slowed down.

  • Nikki pushed for an hour before her baby boy finally made his way into the world, with a perfectly cone-shaped head.

    "He was beautiful," Reeder tells CafeMom. "Mama had immediate skin-to-skin with him and Dad showered them in love. The love and adoration and relief that he was finally here just radiated through them. And Graham was perfect in every way, right down to his little cone head."

  • Reeder says the changes to Graham's head shape were especially dramatic because of the way he was positioned.

    "His head was tilted a bit to the side, and it caused his mama to push for a bit longer than [she would have] if he were in a better position," Reeder explains to CafeMom.

    According to WebMD, these head changes are actually fairly common. The bones of a newborn's skull are "intentionally mobile" to allow it to pass through the birth canal more easily, and sometimes the amount of pressure on the skull can make the shape change more dramatic.

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    It's not dangerous, and as evidenced by this photo taken just a few hours after birth, it doesn't last for very long. "Soon after birth the molding went down, and by few days old he had a perfectly shaped head," Reeder says.

  • As for Graham's parents, Nikki and Chris, they say they were overjoyed to meet their beautiful, healthy baby boy.

    Nikki tells CafeMom, "Graham was so loved and wanted from the moment we found out about him ... Having my babies has given me a sense of purpose and a mission. Being their mom is what I was created to do, so I'm trying to settle into that and soak up the time with them while they are small."

  • Thanks to Reeder's stunning photos, the family has memories of Graham's exquisite birth that will last a lifetime.

    "I love my job," Reeder says. "Every moment of it. Watching a woman own her body and give birth to the love of her life will never be anything but rewarding. The details fade but through my work my clients get to remember, and I love being able to give them that gift. I hope my images can empower more women as they get ready to birth their own babies."

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