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!

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

My nearly 10 pound son was c-sec also. But he got here healthy and that was most important thought, honestly.

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Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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

I am a surgical nurse and assisting in c-sections is always just amazing. To be able to help bring life into this world, to hear the first cry, to witness the parents reaction ... I would never trade these moments for anything in the world :)

Chrissy Jones
Community Member
5 years ago

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What is superior for mom AND baby is a natural birth, if possible. C-sections are money makers, which is why they are pushed so hard on women who don't want them. Have you watched 'The Business of Being Born'?

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

Three of my grandchildren were born this way. Thank you to my daughter for enduring this so I am blessed with grandchildren.

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

WHERES THE WARNING X( ah... oh well

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

Chrissy Jones you are a moronic jack off,yes I said Jack off cause no woman would make this comment.And I've only had c sections,I wouldn't have it any other way

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

My fiance was born via cesarean and almost died because the doc had cut his head open. To this day he still has a scar.

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

I'm kind of hurt by the fact of that this is the only caesarean shown being that I had one myself but still tried to labor having the contractions for over 3 days only to be defeated by not getting past 6cm it hurts mothers who go through all that pain and have a longer recovery don't even get mentioned.

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

I love the idea of a gentle c-section. If it MUST be done, let it be peaceful, calm. I like the idea of a transparent surgical drape so that mom can actually SEE baby first entering the world.

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

When I had my daughter I was soo groggy, sleep deprived and emotional. I could barely see the reflection on the light fixture above. I tried so I could at least witness her birth. With my son I was more alert and they had a better light fixture. I was positioned just so on the table. I told them to leave the light so i was able to watch everything. I'll never forget watching him be lifted out of me. Indescribable. He was/is so beautiful. For me, I would have loved to birth naturally, but I might have missed seeing him as well. Wouldn't change a thing.

Týna Ef
Community Member
5 years ago

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why this isn't hidden with warning...looks more nsfw than others

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

How? Because its an incision in a stomach than a vagina?!

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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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#43

Holding On To Strength

Holding On To Strength