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

#2

Best In Category: Birth Details, Pieces Of Me

Best In Category: Birth Details, Pieces Of Me

Kourtnie Scholz Report

Kayleigh White
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is amazing. But the placenta is grossing me out a bit. Never seen one look like that before

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#3

Best In Category: Postpartum, Straight From Heaven

Best In Category: Postpartum, Straight From Heaven

Natasha Hance – Birth Unscripted Report

#4

That First Gaze

That First Gaze

Peanuts and Parents Report

#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
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

#7

Are You My Mama?

Are You My Mama?

Jennifer Mason Photography Report

Sheriann Luckie
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

#10

First Place Winner. Road To Deliverance

First Place Winner. Road To Deliverance

Jaydene Freund – Cradled Creations Report

Carolyn Peters
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To be shown to your teenager when given a hard time.

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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

Wendy Knop
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I had to look twice before I saw it, it is really beautiful.

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#12

Absorb

Absorb

Bailey Nicole Photography Report

Janice Takashima
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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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#14

The First Look

The First Look

Amber Denae Photography Report

Richard Nimz
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

'OK, she's screaming. Maybe this is how adults communicate. Odd, but I should be polite to my new hosts.'

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#15

Honorable Mentions. Approaching Life

Honorable Mentions. Approaching Life

Deborah Elenter Report

#16

Honorable Mentions. Surprise

Honorable Mentions. Surprise

KimBerly E. Photography Report

#19

Honorable Mentions. Hello Before Goodbye

Honorable Mentions. Hello Before Goodbye

Sarah Boccolucci Photography Report

Karen Sipes
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That also happened to my son in law. He had several brain surgeries just to stay alive so he could see his daughter be born. He lived for 3 weeks after she was born.

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#20

A Beautiful Transition

A Beautiful Transition

Birth Unscripted Report

#21

Honorable Mentions. Gentle Caesarean Birth

Honorable Mentions. Gentle Caesarean Birth

Belle Verdiglione Photography Report

Amanda Mackenzie B.
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a C-SECTION Mama, this made me cry. Due to the partition I wasn't able to see my son come into the world, and I can very much imagine his tiny newborn face on this little one. 😍 so precious!

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#23

Becoming Grandmothers

Becoming Grandmothers

The Art of Unscripted Report

#24

Honorable Mentions. Before The First Breath

Honorable Mentions. Before The First Breath

Birth In Focus Report

Vanessa Bates
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

#26

Euphoric First Embrace Together

Euphoric First Embrace Together

Kate Murray Photography Report

#27

Honorable Mentions. Honoring The Temple

Honorable Mentions. Honoring The Temple

Elliana Gilbert Photography Report

Laura Vela
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Those fishnet stretchy hospital panties with jumbo pad.. best feeling though.. once your here, you know you definitely passed the finish line!!

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#28

Birth In Colour

Birth In Colour

Tree of Life Doula Photography Report

Fleur Blom
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That placenta looks like a beautiful colorful tree

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#29

Ascension

Ascension

Angelfire Photography Report

Golden Rayquaza
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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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

#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
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#37

Looking Inside

Looking Inside

Andrea Oleson Report

Denise Stark
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#39

Honorable Mentions. Rapture

Honorable Mentions. Rapture

Katie Mathis Photography Report

Margaret Buckley
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

See Also on Bored Panda
#41

First Wrinkles

First Wrinkles

Susan Johnson Photography Report

Line Ytterhus
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#46

Christmas Eve Head Shot

Christmas Eve Head Shot

Doula Services by Dianne Report

Airisama15 Ban
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

#50

United We Are Strong

United We Are Strong

Lillian Craze Birth Photography Report

Jasmine Palmer
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#53

Best In Category: Labor, Determination

Best In Category: Labor, Determination

Katie Mathis Photography Report

#54

Honorable Mentions. Entangled In The Cord That Ties Us

Honorable Mentions. Entangled In The Cord That Ties Us

Cat Fancote – Capturing Birth Report

Carolyn Leasure
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My son was born 30 days early. His cord was wrapped around 3 times around his neck, hence blue baby. He's 47 now, 6'8"....

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#56

Baby's First Defense

Baby's First Defense

An Infinite Moment Photography Report

Marci Catania
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Its called Vernix. It protects the baby from the amniotic fluid they swim in before birth

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#57

Honorable Mentions. Droplets Of Mercy

Honorable Mentions. Droplets Of Mercy