The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers has announced the winners of their 2017 contest, and the photos they chose show the struggles mothers go through to bring new life into the world, and the sheer joy that follows.

We took your breath away with last year's contest, and these new photos will leave you even more amazed. Each one tells a story of pain, perseverance, and finally, relief. They document a baby's first moments of life, and a family's first moments of unity.

Many of the photos below are intense and graphic, so reader discretion is advised. They are all, however, powerful in their own unique ways.

More info: IAPBB

#1

I've Been Waiting For You

I've Been Waiting For You

Vanessa Mendez Birth Photography Report

Birchy Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

The emotion

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#2

Best In Category: Birth Details, Pieces Of Me

Best In Category: Birth Details, Pieces Of Me

Kourtnie Scholz Report

Arty
Community Member
4 years ago

Is this still the placenta? :o

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#3

Best In Category: Postpartum, Straight From Heaven

Best In Category: Postpartum, Straight From Heaven

Natasha Hance – Birth Unscripted Report

Maria Lazaridou
Community Member
4 years ago

So serene..

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#4

That First Gaze

That First Gaze

Peanuts and Parents Report

mother
Community Member
4 years ago

Newborn has an eyes of an older soul...

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#5

Skin To Skin Today. Heart To Heart Always

Skin To Skin Today. Heart To Heart Always

Catherine Brown Birth & Lifestyle Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

Jesus. What's our society coming to?! That kid's WAY too young to be a parent.

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#6

Falling In Love All Over Again

Falling In Love All Over Again

KEDocumentary Report

Kristen Hdz
Community Member
4 years ago

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Uh, that baby's blue

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#7

Are You My Mama?

Are You My Mama?

Jennifer Mason Photography Report

Sheriann Luckie
Community Member
4 years ago

Great neck control at just a few minutes old. The neck control comes weeks after birth. Strong baby.

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#8

Best In Category: Delivery, With A Splash

Best In Category: Delivery, With A Splash

Elizabeth Farnsworth Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the Slip n' Slide!

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#9

Freshly Squeezed

Freshly Squeezed

Apple Blossom Families Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

AHHH!!! Oh well...I didn't feel like sleeping anyway.

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#10

First Place Winner. Road To Deliverance

First Place Winner. Road To Deliverance

Jaydene Freund – Cradled Creations Report

Candace Wiggins
Community Member
4 years ago

I hope they made it to the hospital.

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#11

Honorable Mentions. Catching Her Baby, Born Via Surrogacy

Honorable Mentions. Catching Her Baby, Born Via Surrogacy

Leilani Rogers, Photographer Report

Caterina Fontana
Community Member
4 years ago

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So terribly sad

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#12

Absorb

Absorb

Bailey Nicole Photography Report

Janice Takashima
Community Member
4 years ago

I'm surprised there are no comments here. I had the strongest emotional reaction to this photo. The image of encircling and comforting arms and hands around the new life with the potential for the same encircling and comfort. This photo tells a great story.

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#13

The End: A New Beginning

The End: A New Beginning

Caryn Scanlan Photography Report

Nancy Arnold
Community Member
4 years ago

Tears of joy x

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#14

The First Look

The First Look

Amber Denae Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

AHHH!!! PUT ME BACK!!!

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#15

Honorable Mentions. Approaching Life

Honorable Mentions. Approaching Life

Deborah Elenter Report

Lilya
Community Member
4 years ago

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🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢

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#16

Honorable Mentions. Surprise

Honorable Mentions. Surprise

KimBerly E. Photography Report

Stacey Jenks
Community Member
4 years ago

He's still in the bag. Amazing!

M O'Connell
Community Member
4 years ago

once upon a time, being born like this was a sign that they were destined for greatness.

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Lauren Southwood
Community Member
4 years ago

Amazingly, he doesn't know he's born!

Katie Allen
Community Member
4 years ago

Are those his little fingers on top of his head? Wow!

Elizabeth Szórádi
Community Member
4 years ago

Yes, that' his tiny litlle hand 😍

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Sarah Carson
Community Member
4 years ago

Caul baby...Sailors used to buy the sack to protect them from drowning, my son was born this way & he's an amazing swimmer, lives diving x

Vanessa Reed
Community Member
4 years ago

This is called Born in the Vail.. my daughter was born with the water sack.. very special and you can read about it or google it...

Susanna Miller
Community Member
4 years ago

gift-wrapped!

Lauren Southwood
Community Member
4 years ago

Mermaid purse in a water birth! Wow!

Kristi Zoebelein
Community Member
4 years ago

Look at the little hand on the head!

Rachael Konway
Community Member
4 years ago

So cute but probably hurt like the dickens!

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Golden Rayquaza
Community Member
4 years ago

hes still in the ''body'' bag OWO Mwahahah

Chrissy Jones
Community Member
4 years ago

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It's called the amniotic sac...idiot.

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Rita Cross
Community Member
4 years ago

When my daughter was born with the sack on her head, the midwife called it "maidens .... something" (so if anyone can shed light on this). She said it was very lucky and that she will never drown. She is now 15, very special, much loved, mature beyond her years.

missmelie
Community Member
4 years ago

Beautiful, the miracle of life :)

Angel Savitsky
Community Member
4 years ago

Look at his hand on his head. Awesome pic!!

Aimee Stilts
Community Member
4 years ago

Legend has it that a child born in the caul is clairvoyant.

Shontelle Romkey
Community Member
4 years ago

Referred to as being born en caul

Enn Geecee
Community Member
4 years ago

Omg: this is incredible

Irene Leifsdottir
Community Member
4 years ago

born in the caul, awesome

Lyn Limpert
Community Member
3 years ago

Born with a vail. Will be able to see the future and read minds. I hope they don’t suppress those talents. Could cause breakdown. Must study condition and understand.

Maggie Dougherty
Community Member
4 years ago

That's good luck to be born in the sac.. Gorgeous picture!!

Penelope Macgreenhough
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow! In the Caul!

Emily Murphy
Community Member
4 years ago

That is really amazing

Whitney Callen
Community Member
4 years ago

A mermaid birth in water that's beautiful

Holly Noel
Community Member
4 years ago

Oh I love this! I love how the mom and dad are in there. This is amazing

Jill Tumey
Community Member
4 years ago

Born En Cal awesome

Jill Tumey
Community Member
4 years ago

En Caul I hate autocorrect

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Sini Manner
Community Member
4 years ago

Precious! Protectively sealed!!

Joan Duchene Popp
Community Member
4 years ago

holy cow! he's in the bag! that is just wow!

Julia Miller
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow, that is the 1st I've ever seen that

Tricia Harbour
Community Member
4 years ago

That is soooo cool!

Måriøn Iđkerdø
Community Member
4 years ago

😲

Leslie Cully
Community Member
4 years ago

Cool!!!

Dora Dosia
Community Member
2 years ago

Wow 💗

Deanna Jaynes
Community Member
2 years ago

This should have won

Carol Amy Bleecker
Community Member
3 years ago

Wow I've never seen a baby born vaginally still in the bag,

Annie Dotricks
Community Member
3 years ago

Wow! Still in sac, hand on head. Amazing!

Amme Hodgson
Community Member
3 years ago

They used to call these "mermaid babies". Caul births are fascinating.

Lieneke Keihl
Community Member
3 years ago

I have never seen anything like this and I am awed by it's raw beauty.

Clara Carvalho
Community Member
3 years ago

Little hand touching his own head! Cute!

Anna Kelly Grant
Community Member
3 years ago

My daughter was born in hers 💞

Kristin Vazquez
Community Member
3 years ago

Wow its rare to see a baby born still inside the sac! Beautiful!

Julie Stengewis
Community Member
3 years ago

born in the caul. amazing & fishermens legend. lucky life

Anita Brenke
Community Member
3 years ago

Thats a mermaid birth

Beth Kosmos
Community Member
3 years ago

This is by far my favorite one.

Csilla Nagykáldi
Community Member
3 years ago

and the baby's little hand is on his own head :) cuuuute

Rhonda Ivers Miller
Community Member
4 years ago

My daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law !

Deidre Bekker
Community Member
4 years ago

Absolutely amazing!

Danielle Moore-Willis
Community Member
4 years ago

Born with a veil

Tierra James
Community Member
4 years ago

Amazing

Audra Granath
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow! Remarkable!

Andrea Seiden Giroux
Community Member
4 years ago

this is so cool. how is it just an honorable mention?

Jade
Community Member
4 years ago

Aww still all sealed up in there.

Claudia Mata
Community Member
4 years ago

Amazing

Lewisa Figurative Sculpture
Community Member
4 years ago

Such a great photo! Wow!

Erin Drallos
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow!

Cathy Cale
Community Member
4 years ago

Love

Julie Arpiainen
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow!! Incredible

Katrijn Vermeiren
Community Member
4 years ago

My son put his hand like that on his head for days after birth while sleeping as if he didn't release he was out already :).

Laura Cooke
Community Member
4 years ago

My youngest was born in the sack, so amazing!

Samantha Bandy
Community Member
4 years ago

Beautiful

Rhandi Elliott
Community Member
4 years ago

This is so unbelievably awesome

Chrissy Jones
Community Member
4 years ago

Absolutely magnificent photo. The ripples of golden light are so beautiful...beautiful baby born en caul in a birthing tub, and seeing dad's leg on the outside as he helps welcome his little one earthside.

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#17

Honorable Mentions. Joyful Finale

Honorable Mentions. Joyful Finale

Elise Hurst Photography Report

Bunnies are better!!
Community Member
4 years ago

Her face says it all

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#18

Honorable Mentions. As She Rose From The Depths

Honorable Mentions. As She Rose From The Depths

Tree of Life Doula Photography Report

Inga Indi
Community Member
4 years ago

And already smiling😍

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#19

Honorable Mentions. Hello Before Goodbye

Honorable Mentions. Hello Before Goodbye

Sarah Boccolucci Photography Report

Vix Arnold
Community Member
4 years ago

Beautiful 💗

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#20

A Beautiful Transition

A Beautiful Transition

Birth Unscripted Report

mother
Community Member
4 years ago

I've got you...

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#21

Honorable Mentions. Gentle Caesarean Birth

Honorable Mentions. Gentle Caesarean Birth

Belle Verdiglione Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

Newborns generally look like I imagine Winston Churchill's testicle looked like.

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#22

The Softest Landing Pad

The Softest Landing Pad

Cradled Creations Report

Hayat Hasan
Community Member
4 years ago

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#23

Becoming Grandmothers

Becoming Grandmothers

The Art of Unscripted Report

Crochet Rox
Community Member
4 years ago

This is so awesome!

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#24

Honorable Mentions. Before The First Breath

Honorable Mentions. Before The First Breath

Birth In Focus Report

Vanessa Bates
Community Member
4 years ago

This one freaks me out...purely because it looks like just a head!

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#25

Mother's Pure Bliss

Mother's Pure Bliss

A&E Caro Photography Report

Crochet Rox
Community Member
4 years ago

I have teenagers now, and I remember that moment. <3 Pure bliss.

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#26

Euphoric First Embrace Together

Euphoric First Embrace Together

Kate Murray Photography Report

Helen Purvis
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow! So much emotion!

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#27

Honorable Mentions. Honoring The Temple

Honorable Mentions. Honoring The Temple

Elliana Gilbert Photography Report

Eby FAshn
Community Member
4 years ago

❤💟💙❤

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#28

Birth In Colour

Birth In Colour

Tree of Life Doula Photography Report

Fleur Blom
Community Member
4 years ago

That placenta looks like a beautiful colorful tree

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#29

Ascension

Ascension

Angelfire Photography Report

Golden Rayquaza
Community Member
4 years ago

... well... if i saw this i wouldnt take a photo.. but.. whatever

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#30

Breathe

Breathe

Brezi Photography Report

Leslie Cully
Community Member
4 years ago

Beautiful!

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#31

Bathed In The Morning Light She Welcomes New Life

Bathed In The Morning Light She Welcomes New Life

Samantha Noel Photography Report

Megan Siefken
Community Member
4 years ago

I like this one of all of them. I don't know why.

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#32

Honorable Mentions. Birth Of A Mother

Honorable Mentions. Birth Of A Mother

Cat Fancote – Capturing Birth Report

Chrissy Jones
Community Member
4 years ago

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Ugh. I hate women with long, sharp nails handling a baby. You can tell she is a first time mother. Because REAL mothers keep their nails VERY short. Changing diapers, feces gets under the fingernails and you can make baby sick. Also easy to scratch baby's delicate skin with those claws.

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#33

Honorable Mentions. 17 Years Of Waiting: A Non-fertility Miracle

Honorable Mentions. 17 Years Of Waiting: A Non-fertility Miracle

Ker-Fox Photography Report

Katie Allen
Community Member
4 years ago

Those are really muscular legs! I don't understand why they are holding the baby's neck that way.

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#34

Honorable Mentions. She Holds Her Daughter’s Fingers In Awe And Wonde

Honorable Mentions. She Holds Her Daughter’s Fingers In Awe And Wonde

The He{ART} of Motherhood Report

Mia Melberg
Community Member
4 years ago

That's some astounding nails om that baby. Those are going to be beautifull

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#35

Superman Style Arrival

Superman Style Arrival

Birth is beautiful-Captured by Ina Report

Kim Mick
Community Member
4 years ago

The only person seemingly aware of the camera is the baby!

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#36

Raw Power

Raw Power

Vanessa Mendez Birth Photography Report

Lee Hardy
Community Member
4 years ago

Someone took the time to get ice tea 😉

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#37

Looking Inside

Looking Inside

Andrea Oleson Report

Denise Stark
Community Member
4 years ago

This really reminded me of just how intense the pain was. Childbirth was much harder that I expected!

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#38

The Go-to Position For Slow Labor

The Go-to Position For Slow Labor

Leilani Rogers, Photographer Report

Eby FAshn
Community Member
4 years ago

❤😔😢

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#39

Honorable Mentions. Rapture

Honorable Mentions. Rapture

Katie Mathis Photography Report

Margaret Buckley
Community Member
4 years ago

Not sure if that is rapture or relief, but the photo is beautiful.

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#40

Honorable Mentions. Future Big Sister

Honorable Mentions. Future Big Sister

Public Kiss Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

Yep...that's the appropriate reaction.

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#41

First Wrinkles

First Wrinkles

Susan Johnson Photography Report

Line Ytterhus
Community Member
4 years ago

So beautiful, wish We could smell him and the others here as well.

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#42

Intertwined

Intertwined

Deborah Elenter Report

Sandi Brill
Community Member
4 years ago

love this!

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#43

Holding On To Strength

Holding On To Strength

Birth Day geboortefotografie Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

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Shouldn't have had the chilli.

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#44

This Is Life

This Is Life

Santa Cruz Birth Photography & Doula Services Report

Jillian Cameron
Community Member
4 years ago

She's just realised she's got a screamer.

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#45

Moment To Collect

Moment To Collect

Lauren Guilford Photography Report

Karina Haagh
Community Member
4 years ago

So beautyful 💖

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#46

Christmas Eve Head Shot

Christmas Eve Head Shot

Doula Services by Dianne Report

Airisama15 Ban
Community Member
4 years ago

That's a powerful reason why you shouldn't yell at your mom! All the pain she passed because of you

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#47

Motherland...

Motherland...

CreaNostra Photography Report

Zoe Krishel
Community Member
4 years ago

I can feel her exhaustion!!!

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#48

Euphoria, Triumph

Euphoria, Triumph

An Infinite Moment Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow, hair and makeup on point! Kudos!

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#49

Honorable Mentions. She Believed She Could

Honorable Mentions. She Believed She Could

Little Plum Photography by Stephanie Entin Report

Amelia Holt
Community Member
4 years ago

So she did.

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#50

United We Are Strong

United We Are Strong

Lillian Craze Birth Photography Report

Jasmine Palmer
Community Member
4 years ago

Aww! This one makes me well up. How beautiful!

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#51

Within The Waves

Within The Waves

Bree Downes Birth Support & Photography Report

Jamee Matthews
Community Member
4 years ago

I love her partners face.. so concerned supportive and gentle !

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#52

Peaceful Entry

Peaceful Entry

Stacey Lorraine Birth Photography Report

Eva Duskova
Community Member
4 years ago

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Oh gosh you forgot to put the "mature content" here

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#53

Best In Category: Labor, Determination

Best In Category: Labor, Determination

Katie Mathis Photography Report

Annie Whitlocke
Community Member
4 years ago

Impossible to forget

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#54

Honorable Mentions. Entangled In The Cord That Ties Us

Honorable Mentions. Entangled In The Cord That Ties Us

Cat Fancote – Capturing Birth Report

Stephanie Howells Schidemantle
Community Member
4 years ago

My daughters cord was around her neck , they had to do an emergency c-section.

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#55

Hear Me Roar

Hear Me Roar