The miracle of birth is a powerful yet shocking event. What we see on TV and in the movies is a sanitized version of reality which is both beautiful and emotionally raw.

The winners of the 2020 International Birth Photography Image Competition have been announced and we bring you the most powerful images that show just how strong moms are. Be warned, dear Readers, the images below are NSFW, very graphic, and should be viewed at your own discretion.

If you’d like to view some more emotional photos from the photo contest in previous years, have a look through Bored Panda’s earlier articles here, here, and here.

More info: IAPBPBirthPhotographers.com | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

#1

Best In Birth Details: “Baby Noah Empelicado", Jana Brasil

Best In Birth Details: “Baby Noah Empelicado", Jana Brasil

Jana Brasil Report

C
Community Member
5 months ago

What is going on here? Can someone momsplain it please

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#2

Honorable Mention: "Reactions", Paulina Splechta

Honorable Mention: "Reactions", Paulina Splechta

Paulina Splechta Report

Melissa Hudson
Community Member
5 months ago

I love this!

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#3

First Place: “A Moment Of Silence”, Jessica Vink

First Place: “A Moment Of Silence”, Jessica Vink

Jessica Vink Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
5 months ago

Home birth = great. Home birth on the couch = nope. Too cramped and a bit unhygienic to be honest.

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The annual photography contest by the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IABPB) celebrates the beauty of giving birth and the skill of birth photographers around the globe in 5 categories: labor, delivery, postpartum, birth details, and fresh 48. The largest birth association worldwide encompasses over 1.1k members in 52 countries.

The association’s annual photography awards recognizes its members and their best work on an international platform. The competition has grown in scope each year. Highly anticipated, the best photos quickly go viral each year when the winners are announced. Images are judged on a variety of criteria and the first place winner will be featured throughout the year.

Birth photos are a highly specialized field and the choice to have the experience documented is an intensely personal decision. It involves the birth process, environment, the parents, and those in attendance. According to the IABPB, birth photography encompasses the tears of joy, the wonder of bringing a new life into the world and celebrates family. The photographers who specialize in the field use their art to tell the story of birth.

#4

Honorable Mention: “Paradise Found”, Rebecca Coursey-Rugh

Honorable Mention: “Paradise Found”, Rebecca Coursey-Rugh

Rebecca Coursey-Rugh Report

Donna Leske
Community Member
5 months ago

Beautiful.

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#5

Honorable Mention: "Silence", Evelien Koote

Honorable Mention: "Silence", Evelien Koote

Evelien Koote Report

Donna Leske
Community Member
5 months ago

Exquisite composition

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#6

Best In Fresh 48: "Denial", Natalie Weber

Best In Fresh 48: "Denial", Natalie Weber

Natalie Weber Report

C
Community Member
5 months ago

Awww

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In a previous interview with Bored Panda, one of the finalists of the 2018 IBPIC, Tammy Karin of Little Leapling Photography, said that the competition is very important in how it affects photography as an art form.

“This annual contest is a huge part of not just bringing awareness to a genre of photography. It plays a major role in this growing movement toward empowering women, improving our birth options, as well as inspiring us to dig deeper and fight for the types of births that are safest and best suited for our families and us,” Karin told Bored Panda. ­

#7

Honorable Mention: "In Between", Daniela Justus

Honorable Mention: "In Between", Daniela Justus

Daniela Justus Report

nikki bates
Community Member
5 months ago

Just wow

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#8

Honorable Mention: “In It Together”, Lori Martinez

Honorable Mention: “In It Together”, Lori Martinez

Lori Martinez Report

Jacqueline Laprise
Community Member
5 months ago

This one choked me up a bit. :-)

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#9

Members' Choice First Place: “Ring Of Fire”, Katie Torres

Members' Choice First Place: “Ring Of Fire”, Katie Torres

Katie Torres Report

TrashPandaru
Community Member
5 months ago

Hard pass. HARD pass.

Megan The Viking Traveler
Community Member
5 months ago

It is amazing and wonderful but horrifying

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Natasha Forchione
Community Member
5 months ago

She looks in incredible shape, I wonder if she took any drugs for the pain, something tells me she didnt

Ms.GB
Community Member
5 months ago

Oh god...maybe I don't want kids, this photo is a game changer.

Melesa Bramlett-fary
Community Member
5 months ago

Thank you Katie for sharing such an intimate and personal event with the world!! Amazing and beautiful showing the moment your baby came to our world!! Definetely should be shown in all teenage sex education classes with parental permission. I had a 10lb 1 oz baby 34 years ago and this brings that last push for his shoulders to come out so realistically true. You deserve to win!!!

Tina Stalcup
Community Member
5 months ago

I had no idea that's what it looked like right as the baby was emerging! Now I get the meaning of the fire sensation. That's a great deal of work.

Ewelina Er
Community Member
5 months ago

is... is that thing her vagina??

Marisa Marsac
Community Member
5 months ago

Lol yes the outside skin called the labia. It gets loose during pregnancy and then is able to stretch during child birth. It goes back to normal a few weeks later! The female body is absolutely amazing!!! We bring life into this world.

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Ann Jones
Community Member
5 months ago

Now I know why it hurt so much! I never looked, to be honest I wish it was still unknown to me, lol....

Ugh.
Community Member
5 months ago

Ditto!

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MΣMΣ KIПG
Community Member
5 months ago

Me not 18 but still clicking it :|

Nikki Bodenstein
Community Member
5 months ago

Holy f@ck balls!! Uhhhh no thank you

Misfit Human
Community Member
5 months ago

I cannot unsee this.

Monty Glue
Community Member
5 months ago

As a man I can attest to the idea that ignorance is bliss.

*Clears throat*
Community Member
5 months ago

Beginning to rethink birth again... always wondered what it looked like... now that I see it I realize how painful it is...

Felicia Dale
Community Member
5 months ago

NOT ON HER BACK! Oh, my god, FINALLY.

I’m Foxxy and I know it 😉
Community Member
5 months ago

I can feel and remember the burn and the tearing by just looking at it. So fucking painful. I had the option to look when my first was crowning but I just wanted bubs out. So this is certainly an eye opener.

NWB
Community Member
5 months ago

quite happy my one came out the sunroof thanks!

the Author is An A**hole
Community Member
5 months ago

this is where men deciding on women's reproductive rights in the US, need to back the fuck off, women are way stronger than most think and give them no equality what so ever. they get paid 73 cents to every dollar most jobs don't give pregnancy leave or benefits, so she gets not good social security or even a retirement plan yet here are these good for nothing misogynist taking her healthcare and running her life.

Donna Leske
Community Member
5 months ago

I WELL remember. It's like tryin' to poop a football.

RJ
Community Member
5 months ago

😂

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Too lazy
Community Member
5 months ago

Oh MY GAAAAWWWWDDDDDUUUHHH!!!!!

Roman DeJesus
Community Member
5 months ago

what is that meat sack?

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@danaecookie/bananagirl
Community Member
5 months ago

WTF

Ana M
Community Member
5 months ago

A miracle!!!!

Lucy O'Farrell
Community Member
5 months ago

Hilarious title 😂

Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
5 months ago

Well, I clicked on it! Gross & why would you want a picture of yourself? Yes, there will be nasty retorts, but I won't be back, so I'll never know.

Pippa Runs
Community Member
5 months ago

I was offered a mirror to watch. I passed on that. No regrets haha!

Nathalie Hoke
Community Member
5 months ago

Gawd, I remember how much it hurts. Glad I never saw my own kids emerging.

Eileen Garvey
Community Member
5 months ago

Gosh I remember all that pushing!

Otaku panda
Community Member
5 months ago

I-im not 18... I STILL CLICKED IT AND AGGHH

CelSlade
Community Member
5 months ago

yOu CaN't FeEl a PicTuRe... I felt this!

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“Labor is an incredibly difficult genre and most of us photographers get burned out from all of the on-call time. Few realize the level of commitment needed to not just show up at the right time, but to insert ourselves into the typically intimate environment without having any negative impact on the mother's progress. It's not just about standing in the right place at the right time; we must truly understand and respect the birth process,” she explained the complexity of the task.

According to Karin, honest and beautiful photos depicting childbirth are still considered taboo, even though the genre is growing. “I know most people in our culture are still not comfortable with it. But birth photographers are not just going for shock and awe when they share detailed images of a baby emerging. I'd love to join that push for normalizing the sharing of those kinds of powerful captures. In general, our culture tends to sexualize everything and inject fear into the birth process.”

#10

Honorable Mention: “Holding Two Sons”, Lindsey Ellis

Honorable Mention: “Holding Two Sons”, Lindsey Ellis

Lindsey Ellis Report

Cori
Community Member
5 months ago

This one made me tear up. It's beautiful and sad. If you're confused by the title, look at the tattoo. It's a heartbreaker.

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#11

Honorable Mention: "Unplanned, Furious And Free", Bree Garcia

Honorable Mention: "Unplanned, Furious And Free", Bree Garcia

Bree Garcia Report

Felicia Dale
Community Member
5 months ago

Wonderful!

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#12

Honorable Mention: “On The Day You Were Born”, Sarah Maverick

Honorable Mention: “On The Day You Were Born”, Sarah Maverick

Sarah Maverick Report

Melissa Hudson
Community Member
5 months ago

What a beautiful picture!

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#13

Honorable Mention: "Overflowing Love", Barbara Aviz

Honorable Mention: "Overflowing Love", Barbara Aviz

Barbara Aviz Report

Melissa Hudson
Community Member
5 months ago

This should be higher on the list!

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#14

Best In Labor: “Morning Light Creeps In”, Shea Long

Best In Labor: “Morning Light Creeps In”, Shea Long

Shea Long Report

Jacqueline Laprise
Community Member
5 months ago

That is beautiful.

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#15

Best In Labor: "I Am A Birthing Goddess", Sophia Costa

Best In Labor: "I Am A Birthing Goddess", Sophia Costa

Sophia Costa Report

Donna Leske
Community Member
5 months ago

I am relaxed. I am relaxed. Except in between.

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#16

Honorable Mention: "Milagre Da Vida", Jana Brasil

Honorable Mention: "Milagre Da Vida", Jana Brasil

Jana Brasil Report

C
Community Member
5 months ago

Is it weird I want to pop it? Make me feel suffocated

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#17

Honorable Mention: "We've Got You Baby!", Belle Verdiglione

Honorable Mention: "We've Got You Baby!", Belle Verdiglione

Belle Verdiglione Report

TrashPandaru
Community Member
5 months ago

Looks like unbaked dough

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#18

Honorable Mention: “Fresh”, Brittney Hogue

Honorable Mention: “Fresh”, Brittney Hogue

Brittney Hogue Report

Liz Watson
Community Member
5 months ago

Amazing. Truly an amazing photo. Amazing mumma and new bub.

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#19

Best In Delivery: “Unmasking The Many Layers Of Birth”, Alexandria Mooney

Best In Delivery: “Unmasking The Many Layers Of Birth”, Alexandria Mooney

Alexandria Mooney Report

Melesa Bramlett-fary
Community Member
5 months ago

I wouldn't want my toddler to see me in labor and delivery. To see mommy in so much pain might distress the little guy too much or make him mad at the baby for hurting his mommy! But different cutures have different ideas and that's what makes life an learning place.

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#20

Best In Fresh 48: “Her Cup Runneth Over...”, Martha Lerner

Best In Fresh 48: “Her Cup Runneth Over...”, Martha Lerner

Martha Lerner Report

Cathy Proctor
Community Member
5 months ago

That first cry, that first gush

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#21

Honorable Mention: "A Dramatic Entrance", Dania Watson

Honorable Mention: "A Dramatic Entrance", Dania Watson

Dania Watson Report

Cori
Community Member
5 months ago

Oh, crap! Is that the cord wrapped around the neck!?! I hope this one turned out okay.

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#22

Honorable Mention: "Dance With Me On Your Long Walk", Kate Carlton

Honorable Mention: "Dance With Me On Your Long Walk", Kate Carlton

Kate Carlton Report

Melesa Bramlett-fary
Community Member
5 months ago

I think he might be helping her to go to the bathroom but if they are in labor dancing then I lalways love a romantic moment caught on film. Either way this is a beautiful picture!!!

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#23

Honorable Mention: "Colostrum Drunk", Shea Long

Honorable Mention: "Colostrum Drunk", Shea Long

Shea Long Report

Christine M Quigley
Community Member
5 months ago

Adorable pic! The little bubble!

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See Also on Bored Panda
#24

Honorable Mention: "Breech", Cindy Willems

Honorable Mention: "Breech", Cindy Willems

Cindy Willems Report

Jenny Pugh
Community Member
5 months ago

Ouch!

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#25

Best In Postpartum: "Vernix Constellation", Kristy Visscher

Best In Postpartum: "Vernix Constellation", Kristy Visscher

Kristy Visscher Report

Cathy Proctor
Community Member
5 months ago

so serene

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#26

Best In Birth Details: “Warrior”, Bree Garcia

Best In Birth Details: “Warrior”, Bree Garcia

Bree Garcia Report

JLaw
Community Member
5 months ago

Women are amazing especially during childbirth.

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#27

Honorable Mention: "She Watches Them", Ashley Marston

Honorable Mention: "She Watches Them", Ashley Marston

Ashley Marston Report

Marlene Ricker
Community Member
5 months ago

A man can never look more sexy than when he is holding his newborn. This really touches my heart.

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