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You have to see the birth photos that were just voted the best of the year

You have to see the birth photos that were just voted the best of the year



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We've featured a lot of birth photography here on the our site blog over the years. We've seen babies born in cars and in the middle of a hurricane. We've watched families be born and grow through adoption and through surrogacy. The list goes on.

The remarkable thing about birth photography is the way a single image can tell an entire story. A story of longing and of answered prayers; of fear and pain and determination; of relief and pure, radiating joy. Of family. Of love. One photo that captures the well-tread and winding path to parenthood.

Each year, the International Association of Birth Photographers holds a competition to determine the best in childbirth photography. The 2018 competition saw hundreds of entries from around the world in the categories of labor, delivery, birth details and postpartum. As always, the winners are powerful and stunning, photos that will move you to tears and make your jaw drop.

Here are the five photos that a panel of judges named the very best birth photos of the year.

First Place Winner

STUNNING SIBLINGS FIRST ENCOUNTER

Best in category: Labor

NOWHERE AND EVERYWHERE

Best in category: Delivery

EN CAUL BABY BIRTH

Daniela Justus — Daniela Justus Fotografia

Best in Category: Postpartum

FLESH OF MY FLESH

Best in Category: Birth Details

BIRTH OF A BROTHER

Daniela Justus — Daniela Justus Fotografia

The photo that took the top spot overall is by Belgium-based photographer Marijke Thoen, a stunning black and white shot that shows a little girl watching her baby brother's water birth. In an interview last year, Marijke called it "the most beautiful birth I’ve experienced in my almost 10 year career of being a birth photographer," and this image clearly captures that. However, when she shared the photo on Facebook and Instagram, she says it was removed for violating the social media sites' standards for nudity.

I think that speaks volumes about why showcasing images like these is so important. Birth does not need to be censored or closeted or cleaned up. It is messy and miraculous and moving and, most of all, entirely natural. And as these photos show, it can be so beautiful.

Here are some more entries to the IAPBP competition this year that received honorable mentions. Be sure to visit their web site to see all of the incredible entries!

THREE BECOME FOUR

TAKE MY HAND, HOLD MY HEART

Tamara Milldove — Milldove Photography – Maternity, Birth and Newborn

BULGING FOREWATERS

Cat Fancote — Capturing Birth

BIRTHING WAVES

Robin Baker — Birth Blessings Photography & Doula Services

FIST BUMP FOR MOM

TOUCH

Krista Evans — Krista Evans Photography Inc

LABOR BY CANDLELIGHT

LIQUID GOLD

Carlee Melenko — C Daisy Birth and Lifestyle Photography

NURSE LINDA

HOW BIG

Megan Brock — Meg Brock Photography

ADMIRATION AND RELIEF

Kandyce Joeline — Songbird and Oak Photography

A PHYSIOLOGICAL THIRD STAGE

Paige Driscoll — Santa Cruz Birth Photography & Doula Services

MOTHER HAT

Lela Beltrão — Lela Beltrão | Coletivo Buriti

LOVE COMPLETE

UNDERWATER SCREAM

Caroline Devulder — Caromama

Images via the International Association of Birth Photographers; Photographers as credited above

Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.


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