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22 Raw, Award-Winning Birth and Postpartum Photos You Won't Soon Forget

This roundup of images from Everyday Birth Magazine's spring/summer photo contest are stunning + powerful.
by 
The Educated Birth Team
photo credit:  
What a precious image of the first steps taken by parent and child, finally earthside together.

Take a Step, Paige Davis @paigedavis.photography
Awarded first place in the Cover Image category

 

This photo is a work of art — showing the perfectly unique roundness of a pregnant belly encased in lace.

Expecting, Angelique Hurtado @raisinglovephoto
Awarded first place in the Pregnancy category

 

Both parents' hands reach lovingly to touch their newborn, encircled by the soft glow of fairy lights, in this magical image.

The Whole World In Our Hands, Jessica Innemee @jessica_vi_photography
Awarded first place in the Birth category

With baby nestled to their body from fresh out of the womb, this new parent captures the soft, gentle, and raw aspects of new life.

Post Home Birth Self Portrait, Cherie Seah @earthshinedoula
Awarded first place in the Postpartum category

 

The past few years have been especially difficult on birthing people and new parents, from navigating incredibly stressful safety decisions, to the sudden switch to majority telehealth and virtual care, to the installment of difficult and sometimes upsetting restrictions within birthing spaces, and beyond. We often talk about how labor and postpartum typically include a mixture of both hard and joyful moments, intensity and beauty. While there is much change that must continue to be advocated for to provide parents with the support they need and deserve, even within these challenging times these images highlight that there is so much beauty to be found.

 

The judges for this season's competition had some special words for the following images, all of which were honored in the Judge’s Choice category:

 

“I chose this image because of the resounding symbolism it carries.  These hands represent all of our ancestors that have walked this Earth before us, that have birthed on this Earth before us.  These hands remind us all that we are never alone and the spirits beyond are always seeking to guide us, if we choose to surrender to them and listen."

In Safe Hands, Kristy Price @lkp.creative
Awarded in the Judge’s Choice category
by Cristina King @cristinakingbirth

 

“I chose this photo because of representation. So many times we’re told that large bodies can’t have babies without intervention. That we’re high risk and not worth the risk at the same time. This photo is strength personified and an ode to all birthing people in large bodies. Our bodies can birth.”

The Wait, Charlie Halman @littlerosephotography_
Awarded in the Judge’s Choice category 
by Kaytee Crawford @doulakaytee

 

“From the warmth of the skin to the gentle ripples in the water to the soft wrinkles on those baby feet — I love everything about this photo. It radiates with light and love and joy.”

First Look, Jennifer Mason @jennifermasonphotography
Awarded in the Judge’s Choice category
by Cheyenne Varner @cheyvarner

 

 

“I fell in love with this image I chose- from the warm tone, composition to the glow of the lights in the birth pool.  “The Whole World in My Hands” really made me feel that wholeness in a very gentle and complete way.”

The Whole World In Our Hands, Jessica Innemee @jessica_vi_photography
Awarded in the Judge’s Choice category 
By Karissa Raya @olivelavida

 

“I chose 'Are You My Mother?' as my judge’s choice pick because it is a true piece of art. I love the colors and the lighting. And I am absolutely captivated by the cute little face of the baby! I want to know what thoughts are going on inside that head!”

Are You My Mother, Carey Lippert @careylaurenphoto
Awarded in the Judge’s Choice category
By Janice Formichella @janiceformichella

 

This year, we added an Audience Choice category for the first time ever! Nine gorgeous images were shared with our audiences across email and social media and over 800 people cast their votes. The winner was...

From the details of the headboard, to the tattoos, to the gentle touch one mom places on the other's head, to the gentle touch one mom places on baby's cheek — this image is full of peace and love.

Mommy and Mama, Jacinta Lagos @jacintalagosbirthservices
Awarded first place in the Audience Choice category 

But wait, there’s more! The following images were also recognized:

 

There is something so bright and beautiful about this shared moment of relief between these parents and their baby.

A Holy Moment, Rachel Wilson @whenabellyblooms
Awarded in the Honorable Mentions category

 

A clear and gorgeous example of gently stretching tissue, carefully guided and supported by providers' hands.

Almost There, Katie Denton @katiedentonphotos
Awarded in the Honorable Mentions category 

Every partner may not have the chance or be inclined to catch their baby, but this dad's hands take center stage to do just that!

Born Into Daddy's Hands, Jennifer Lombardo @buffalodoula
Awarded as a finalist in the Birth category 

 

This close-up look at colostrum as it's hand expressed proves why we call it liquid gold, and also how possible it is to collect these precious drop in our early postpartum hours.

Liquid Love, Daniella Paula Souza @dannisouzaphotos
Awarded as a finalist in the Postpartum category 

Have you heard of cord burning? This lovely, moody dim image shows how it's often done, with a candle at either end of this pale, pulseless umbilical cord.

Cord Burning, Meg Ross @megrossphotography
Awarded in the Honorable Mentions category 

 

This image of baby gazing upward as a hand reaches their way is so calm, light, and lovely.

I See You, April Trettel @apriltrettel
Awarded in the Honorable Mentions category 

 

Truly a first glimpse — as it's titled — this image captures a unique and precious moment in time.

First Glimpse, Brooke Burns @gatherbirth
Awarded in the Honorable Mentions category

 

Warmth exudes from this glowing skin-to-skin image — you can almost smell that baby smell just looking at it.

Deep Breath, Sarah Marquis @OrangePommePhotographie
Awarded as a finalist in the Audience Choice category + in the Honorable Mentions category 

  

There's nothing like those first looks at your baby girl, especially covered in all that beautiful vernix!

Baby Girl, Kirstie Perez @kpphotoinc
Awarded in the Honorable Mentions category 

What could be cozier than skin-to-skin all snuggled up in bed with dads?

Two Amazing Dads, Jessica Innemee @jessica_vi_photography
Awarded as a finalist in the Audience Choice category 

 

The powerful moment of crossing between womb, water, and air, captured in beautiful, gentle light.

Almost First Breath, Rayke Knippers @rayke_geboortefotografie
Awarded in the Honorable Mentions category

  

This moody almost sepia-tone image exudes gentleness, calm, and the intense connection between newborn and parent.

You and I, Katie Denton @katiedentonphotos
Awarded in the Honorable Mentions category

In total, Everyday Birth Magazine received over 300 images from over 60 photographers around the world and within the US this spring/summer season. In an industry that has been impacted for generations by a lack of diversity behind the lens, it's significant to us to say that nearly half of the photographers who have joined us this season come from underrepresented communities and experiences, including but not limited to: Black, Latine, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, neurodiverse, and disabled. All of the photographers who submitted have created incredible work highlighting what are often underrepresented images + stories.

Inequity in reproductive healthcare is a complex issue that needs to be confronted from many angles. Expanding representation through images of who gives birth — and where, and how, and with whom — this is a part of equity work.

 

Craving more?

Explore all the images that received recognition this season here.

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