20 Award Winning Photos That Show How Amazing Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Really Are

Lauren Levy | Feb 20, 2018 Pregnancy

Birth Becomes Her Birth Photography Contest
A Wondered Life Photography

It doesn’t matter when, how, or where a woman gives birth, the process is always both difficult and remarkable. Luckily, incredible birth photographers capture these jaw-dropping moments that many overlook and completely forget. However, those who opt for birth photography are treated to priceless images that not only preserve memories but also work to erase the stigma around childbirth. Most importantly, they also prove just how stunning the childbirth really is.

More from CafeMom: 15 Raw Birth Photos That Show How Amazing the Vagina Really Is

In order to celebrate the work that they do, talented birth photographers from across the world recently submitted nearly 1,000 photos to the photography blog Birth Becomes Us. Their unique entries all honored the different phases of new motherhood and were taken throughout the stages of breastfeeding, delivery, and postpartum recovery. The diverse snapshots included everything from hospital C-sections and home births to birthing center deliveries. A panel of judges had the difficult job of narrowing down the entries to name the winners of 2018 Birth Becomes Her Birth Photography Contest.

More from CafeMom: 16 Powerful Breech Birth Photos That Prove It Can Be Done

These 20 powerful and uncensored photos are certainly worth the recognition!

  • Stunning Siblings First Encounter

    1

    This breathtaking photo of a big sister watching her baby brother's birth was the overall winner in the people's choice category. Belgian photography Marijke Thoen captured this photo and shared it on social media before it was banned. "Birth is natural and I really don't understand why the miracle of birth could not be shown on Facebook," Thoen tells CafeMom.

  • This Is What a Goddess Looks Like

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    There's no wonder why this fierce photo of an expectant mama holding her exposed bump was awarded first place in the maternity category. Jen Conway of Jen Conway Photography took this glowing mom's photo in South Carolina and it illuminates strength and beauty. 
  • Fist Bump for Mom

    3

    Neely Ker-Fox of Ker-Fox Photography was awarded second place in the birth division for this incredible moment between mom and baby after an emergency C-section. "Blaire fought long and hard for the delivery she had hoped for, but she surrendered with such grace and absolute faith, when a cesarean was necessary," she wrote on Facebook.

  • This Is VBAC

    4
    Veronika Richardson of Fox Valley Birth and Baby won first place in the fresh/postpartum category for this stunning moment that she photographed after a new mom gave birth vaginally. This woman previously had a C-section, and the photographer from Wisconsin captured her newborn's feet against her healed scar. 

    More from CafeMom: 15 Powerful Photos That Show the Beauty of C-Section Births
  • Nowhere and Everywhere

    5
    This first-place winning photo nabbed the top spot in the labor category and was taken by California photographer Rebecca Coursey of A Wondered Life Photography. "SO thrilled and honored that my image of this stunning mama won FIRST PLACE in the Labor Category of Birth Becomes Her Birth Contest," she wrote on Facebook. "I am so honored to stand [among] such amazing talent!" 
  • Within Reach

    6
    Cory Janiak of Ebb and Flow Photography earned first place in breastfeeding for this intimate shot of a newborn nuzzling up against mom's chest. "There are no words for the excitement and gratitude I feel to now carry the title of 'Award Winning Breastfeeding Photographer,'" the Florida photographer shared on Facebook.
  • Caught in Between Worlds

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    This breathtaking photo of baby emerging from a water birth won third place in the birth category. Canadian photographer Dominique Lamontagne of Dominique Lamontagne Photography photographed Laura Thompson's baby boy as he made his grand entrance into the world. 
  • Tranquility

    8

    This snapshot of a newborn nursing for the first time after being delivered in a birthing pool won second place in the breastfeeding category. Veronika Richardson of Fox Valley Birth and Baby took this snapshot after mom delivered the placenta and was relishing her new baby. 

    More from CafeMom: 15 Stunning Photos of Moms 'Delivering' Their Own Babies

  • Stir Fry

    9
    Christina Benton of Christina Benton Photography captured what the immediate time postpartum can look like as mom feeds her baby while also fueling herself. This Wisconsin photographer won third place in the breastfeeding category for this candid image. 
  • Labor by Candlelight

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    "It is absolutely magnificent when photos of such strength, beauty and love get to be seen on a global scale <3," Ashley Marston of Ashley Marston Photography wrote on Facebook after her photo won second place in the labor division. "It helps remove stigma surrounding birth. It educates families on choices, and empowers us all as a whole." 

  • Rebirth

    11
    Lacey Barratt from Lacey Barratt Photography took this photo of herself to document her postpartum body but shared it because it captures how disconnected she was feeling. The Australian photographer won second place in the fresh/postpartum category for her revealing image. "I saw a woman who felt like after 4 biological births in 5 years and 5 children total, that this was her job. Like she was good for nothing else other than birthing babies," she wrote on Facebook. "Like she is just going through the process. Pregnant, birth, postpartum, baby cries, boob baby, baby poops, change baby, raise baby .... just going through the motions. There was no attachment. It looks like someone just dumped a baby in my arms. I feel no warmth when I look at this. Then, I felt guilty. I felt vulnerable."
  • Staying Afloat

    12
    Even though Connie's photo session was Melissa Benzel of Benzel Photography's first attempt at an underwater maternity shoot, her remarkable photos won the people's choice and and second place in the maternity categories. "This image is what motherhood feels like most days ... Trying to stay afloat," she captioned it on Facebook.

    More from CafeMom: 15 Breathtaking Photos of Babies Being Born in Water
  • Before the Cut

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    Photographed in Uganda, this snapshot by Laura Cate of Laura Cate Photography won third place in the labor division. "Thanks to my amazing client and the support of her amazing Dr. and hospital for enabling me to stay with her during her unexpected C-section, not only as doula but as Birth Photographer," she wrote on Facebook. "Thanks again to the team of judges and to Birth Becomes Her for your support, and for celebrating births of all types, all over the world!" 
  • Postpartum Uncensored

    14
    Kayla Gonzales of Austin Birth Photos came in third place in the fresh/postpartum category for this uncensored photo of a woman's postpartum body. The Texas photographer took this photo 12 hours after mom Gina gave birth to her second baby, Pearl, to capture the real moments of mom and baby's first day home. 
  • Three Souls Labor as One

    15

    A few minutes after Esther Edith of Esther Edith Photography captured this moment of Karissa and Shade, they found out that their baby was breech. This intense moment won the Washington photographer the people's choice honor for the labor category. 

  • A Mother's Love

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    This intimate moment between a mom and her child before a sibling was brought into the world won third place in the maternity division. "The sun, the shadows, the curves + the love," Vanessa Mendez of Vanessa Mendez Photography captioned her photo on Instagram.

    More from CafeMom: 13 Birth Photos That Capture the True Connection Between Mom & Baby
  • A Hush Fell Over the Crowd

    17
    This photo is part of Gabriella Hunt of Gabriella Hunt Photography's photo project, Reality of Breastfeeding. "I always planned to breastfeed. I didn't plan on mastitis, oversupply, thrush, staph, or mono. I didn't expect the massive physical toll that nursing would take on my body. I didn't expect to still be paying that toll nearly 20 months later. But I also didn't expect to savor the sweet silence of a moment that belongs solely to the two of us and the quiet relaxation of his body into mine," mom told the New York photographer.
  • Half Born and Already Reaching for Mama

    18
    Australian photographer Brisbane Selena Rollason of Brisbane Birth Photography took this emotional water birth photo. The black and white image came in first place in the birth category. "This incredible shot is one of my favorites from 2017, shared with the blessing of the parents," she wrote on Instagram.
  • Transition to Earth

    19
    "This image shows a baby seconds after birth in water," Caroline Devulder captioned this photo from Belgium that was the people's choice winner in the birth section. "The expression on the baby's face reflects the baby's awareness of its own transition from womb to earth."
  • Success

    20

    Deborah Elenter of NEO Photography took this photo of a new mom nursing and it was the people's choice winner for the fresh/postpartum section. The photographer from Uruguay explained on Facebook that she took this quietly during the new family's first day session. "Those of us who had challenges to breastfeed know the happiness that has this kind of 'success,'" she wrote. 

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