Photographers from around the world have captured the extraordinary and miraculous moment of birth in a fascinating series of raw images.
The incredibly intimate photographs, which were presented at this year’s International Birth Photography Awards, convey both the agony and ecstasy associated with childbirth.
The global contest, in collaboration with Atkins Lab, was founded by award-winning birth photographer Lacey Barratt, 36, of melbourneAustralia, in an attempt to legitimize the amazing and intricate art of birth photography.
The powerful images portray a selection of moments associated with birth, including childbirth, postpartum, difficulties and loss.
This year’s competition saw a record number of submissions as photographers from around the world submitted their snapshots for consideration for the awards.
Photographers from around the world have captured miraculous images of women giving birth for the International Childbirth Photography Awards. Here, Martha Lerner has captured a woman giving birth by caesarean section.
Best overall photography was awarded to Annemarie Fuckel from Germany.
Winners in other categories included: Paula Beltrao from Brazil for ‘Best in Birth’; Jessica Innnemee from the Netherlands for ‘Best in Labor’; Mary Beliz from the US for ‘Best in Delivery’; Natalie Borders from the US for ‘Best in Postpartum’; and lastly, Ebony Ankins from Australia won ‘Best in Hardship and Loss’.
With nearly 1,000 entries from around the world, including Brazil, Portugal, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand, the judges had the difficult task of narrowing down the results.
The panel included reporters, doulas, past competition winners and other award-winning birth photographers.
For the second time since the inception of the annual photography competition, judges opened entries to a group of birthing stories that relate to hardship and loss, in recognition of the one in four birthing people who experience a miscarriage or loss of a baby.
Here, FEMAIL lists some of the stunning winning photographs from this year’s competition…
In this image, called ‘I AM HELD,’ Stephanie Entin captured an expectant father embracing his pregnant partner.
In this image, called ‘MOMENTS BEFORE’ by Briana Koop, a couple is captured shortly before the mother is due to give birth.
This touching photo, called ‘LOVERS AFTER’, shows two fathers just after their baby was born, where the father cradles his newborn on his chest while the mother strokes his hair.
This image by Rowan Steiner called ‘MIRACLES REVEALED’ is taken just as a woman is giving birth to her second twin.
This special image, showing an expectant mother sitting in her hospital bed at night, is called ‘LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS’ by Renee Mason.
The happy image, in which a mother sheds a single tear after giving birth, is called ‘LEAKING JOY’ by Lindsey Bowns.
Here experienced birthing photographer Chinelle Rojas captured the moving image called ‘RELAX, SOFTEN, OPEN’
To see all the winning photos, click here