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 2 years ago

This actually made me cry! Its so intense

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#2

Best In Category: Birth Details, Pieces Of Me

Best In Category: Birth Details, Pieces Of Me

Kourtnie Scholz Report

Kayleigh White 2 years ago

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

Maria Lazaridou 2 years ago

So serene..

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#4

That First Gaze

That First Gaze

Peanuts and Parents Report

mother 2 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 2 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

Peter Lankton 2 years ago

Any one else worried about how blue that baby is?

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#7

Are You My Mama?

Are You My Mama?

Jennifer Mason Photography Report

Caitlyn McCracken 2 years ago

Kind of looks like a baby seal ! But super adorable.

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#8

Best In Category: Delivery, With A Splash

Best In Category: Delivery, With A Splash

Elizabeth Farnsworth Photography Report

Cheesybeansy 2 years ago

He's gonna need a bigger visor...

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#9

Freshly Squeezed

Freshly Squeezed

Apple Blossom Families Report

Intensive Panda 2 years ago

I instantly regret ignoring the warning

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#10

First Place Winner. Road To Deliverance

First Place Winner. Road To Deliverance

Jaydene Freund – Cradled Creations Report

Caitlyn McCracken 2 years ago

Did a photographer hop in the car with them?

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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 2 years ago

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 2 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 2 years ago

Tears of joy x

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#14

The First Look

The First Look

Amber Denae Photography Report

Richard Nimz 2 years ago

'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

Romy Van Tongeren 2 years ago

Beautiful

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#16

Honorable Mentions. Surprise

Honorable Mentions. Surprise

KimBerly E. Photography Report

Stacey Jenks 2 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!! 2 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

Måriøn Iđkerdø 2 years ago

😍

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#19

Honorable Mentions. Hello Before Goodbye

Honorable Mentions. Hello Before Goodbye

Sarah Boccolucci Photography Report

Karen Sipes 2 years ago

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

VERONIKA K 2 years ago

Looks sci-fi

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#21

Honorable Mentions. Gentle Caesarean Birth

Honorable Mentions. Gentle Caesarean Birth

Belle Verdiglione Photography Report

Caitlyn McCracken 2 years ago

omg that's her stomach. Birth is so crazy

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#22

The Softest Landing Pad

The Softest Landing Pad

Cradled Creations Report

Hayat Hasan 2 years ago

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#23

Becoming Grandmothers

Becoming Grandmothers

The Art of Unscripted Report

Crochet Rox 2 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 2 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

Shelley Taylor 2 years ago

She is too airbrushed, it take away the realness

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#26

Euphoric First Embrace Together

Euphoric First Embrace Together

Kate Murray Photography Report

icarus feelsgood 2 years ago

im guessing that watch must be waterproof

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#27

Honorable Mentions. Honoring The Temple

Honorable Mentions. Honoring The Temple

Elliana Gilbert Photography Report

Laura Vela 2 years ago

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 2 years ago

That placenta looks like a beautiful colorful tree

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#29

Ascension

Ascension

Angelfire Photography Report

Golden Rayquaza 2 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 2 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 2 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

Kellee Harmon 1 year ago

❤️

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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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 years ago

Someone took the time to get ice tea 😉

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#37

Looking Inside

Looking Inside

Andrea Oleson Report

Denise Stark 2 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

Shahzeb Azhar 2 years ago

Adorable

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#39

Honorable Mentions. Rapture

Honorable Mentions. Rapture

Katie Mathis Photography Report

Margaret Buckley 2 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 2 years ago

Yep...that's the appropriate reaction.

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#41

First Wrinkles

First Wrinkles

Susan Johnson Photography Report

Line Ytterhus 2 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 2 years ago

love this!

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#43

Holding On To Strength

Holding On To Strength

Birth Day geboortefotografie Report

Mike Ordoñez 2 years ago

The whites of her knuckles!

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#44

This Is Life

This Is Life

Santa Cruz Birth Photography & Doula Services Report

Jillian Cameron 2 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

Julie Arpiainen 2 years ago

Labor...... just the beginning.

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#46

Christmas Eve Head Shot

Christmas Eve Head Shot

Doula Services by Dianne Report

Airisama15 Ban 2 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 2 years ago

I can feel her exhaustion!!!

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#48

Euphoria, Triumph

Euphoria, Triumph

An Infinite Moment Photography Report

Totally Magical Unicorn 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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

Dora Leonardi 2 years ago

Whats mature about nature ?

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#53

Best In Category: Labor, Determination

Best In Category: Labor, Determination

Katie Mathis Photography Report

Annie Whitlocke 2 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

Caitlyn McCracken 2 years ago

I could never be a doctor!

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#55

Hear Me Roar

Hear Me Roar

The Art of Unscripted Report

Jasmine Lumber 2 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

Marci Catania 2 years ago

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

Elliana Gilbert Photography Report

Kaylin Brenay 2 years ago

You do realize most, if not all of these, are taken by birth photographers right?

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#58

The World Ahead

The World Ahead

Jessica Worland Photography Report

Julie Arpiainen 2 years ago

Lovely

#59

Riding The Wave

Riding The Wave

Cara Bjornson Report

Abigail Wolfle 2 years ago

It shows the determination of mothers before having the baby

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