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

Alzbeta Sissi
Community Member
4 years ago

This actually made me cry! Its so intense

Alzbeta Sissi
Community Member
4 years ago

Intensive

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Linnea Schamber-Bass
Community Member
4 years ago

Omgosh. Best. Photo. Ever. This took my breath away.

Ana Ojeda
Community Member
4 years ago

That picture speaks for for it self. The pain and joy of delivery is something only a mother gets the privilege to experience. Love this picture soooo much 💖💖

Tiffany Hartnett
Community Member
4 years ago

I love this so much!

Rita Hellberg
Community Member
4 years ago

This made me feel - made me cry. Stunning!

Linda Teese
Community Member
4 years ago

I remember that feeling. Most intense moment of my life...

Teddra Herbolsheimer-Clemons
Community Member
4 years ago

This picture- instantly brought me back to that VERY glorious second. Thank you for sharing this!

Sara Lowe
Community Member
4 years ago

Beautiful, raw emotion. Great moment

Glennda Wolf
Community Member
4 years ago

What can be added to this beautiful expression?

Michele Willand
Community Member
4 years ago

Pure, raw emotion

Christopher Pastol
Community Member
4 years ago

That amount of happy is hard to come by in this world. That baby is getting a healthy dose of pure love.

Lucy Griffith
Community Member
4 years ago

This is the photo that got me. Pure relief, gratitude, and intense love. When you work so hard for something you will do anything to protect it. That is a mother's love. Amazing picture. Have seen it so many time and it gets me every single time...

Marylou Sakosky
Community Member
4 years ago

Took my breath away..I remember how i gave my son ..life.. at just 3 lbs,. 10676179_1...01f610.jpg 10676179_10152937368817664_6649163581169982538_n-58b49e501f610.jpg

Karen Aldredge Corneille
Community Member
4 years ago

Gorgeous photo❤️❤️

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Charles Laster
Community Member
4 years ago

The power of touch.

Julie Arpiainen
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow!

Louise Brunet
Community Member
4 years ago

This one made me cry....

KayD Nauenburg
Community Member
4 years ago

The love she has for all of her children is remarkable but this picture just tugs at the heart strings if you ask me ❤

Karen Aldredge Corneille
Community Member
4 years ago

Thank you KayD. ❤️

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Chrissy Jones
Community Member
4 years ago

Powerful. The immense exhaustion, happiness, joy, relief as mother embraces child for the first time.

Anne Pattey
Community Member
4 years ago

Chère maman, cet état de grâce durera toute ta vie 😊

Holly Noel
Community Member
4 years ago

Awe

Vanessa Esco
Community Member
4 years ago

This is amazing. It really shows how birth of a child washes all the hardships a mother can have.

Marielle Rutherford
Community Member
4 years ago

Be still my beating heart..

Sini Manner
Community Member
4 years ago

So powerful - the first meeting. Makes you think...

Beth Corbin
Community Member
4 years ago

Love the passion in this photo of one loved baby.

Karin Morris
Community Member
4 years ago

I love this

April Hall
Community Member
4 years ago

LOVE

Lainie Vargas
Community Member
4 years ago

Love this,I also labored in a spa tub and no epidural and it was the best experience ever,and I'd do it all over again,wait,I did with his brother but complications made me get out but we're both good and there's that beautiful feeling again thanks to these pic's

Tricia Harbour
Community Member
4 years ago

Speechless

Esther Keenan
Community Member
4 years ago

This makes me cry. It takes me right back to that intense rush of love/ecstasy/relief that is absolutely unique to this moment in life. Beautiful.

Claire Chambers
Community Member
4 years ago

I can only imagine that this is THE most precious moment a woman can experience. For all the mothers out there feel blessed.

Sehrish Ahmed
Community Member
4 years ago

Precious moments

Immaculate Teodoro
Community Member
4 years ago

Emotional!!!

Dana Craig-Baier
Community Member
4 years ago

This one made me tear up!

Lily Li
Community Member
4 years ago

This made me tear up immediately. ❤

Line Ytterhus
Community Member
4 years ago

Birchy Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

The emotion

Rhonda Shipley
Community Member
3 years ago

Congratulations! Adorable

Jeni Leigh
Community Member
3 years ago

I absolutely love this one. The expression on the mom’s face made me tear up.

Glenys Radcliffe
Community Member
3 years ago

This photograph really moved me as the new mother holds her new baby with such strong love. Amazing!

Jodie Myles
Community Member
3 years ago

I remember that feeling

Đại Bàng
Community Member
3 years ago

Amazing

Taleah Zigoris
Community Member
4 years ago

This photo brought me to tears..

Deidre Bekker
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow! This is powerful

Tierra James
Community Member
4 years ago

The emotions

Kristel Guanzon
Community Member
4 years ago

makes me teary eyed!

Eden Abella
Community Member
4 years ago

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The baby's color does not seem to be good, especially coming from a fair skinned mother.

Karen Aldredge Corneille
Community Member
4 years ago

She had an APGAR of 8.

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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!

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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

The Art of Unscripted Report

Jasmine Lumber
Community Member
4 years ago

I roared that hospital down..

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#56

Baby's First Defense

Baby's First Defense

An Infinite Moment Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
4 years ago

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Somebody make some toast.

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#57

Honorable Mentions. Droplets Of Mercy

Honorable Mentions. Droplets Of Mercy

Elliana Gilbert Photography Report

Master Markus
Community Member
4 years ago

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Jeez, I hope it's not mercury!

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#58

The World Ahead

The World Ahead