Beautiful image of a mother giving

There was a time when the baby’s father was not even allowed in the room during the birth. It has now become a family affair where a mother’s support system (including children!) can witness the beauty of a newborn’s arrival as it happens. And thanks to birth photographers, parents can now document and preserve every moment of bringing a life into this world.

Jennifer Mason and Monet Nicole, the founders of Birth Becomes Her, an online resource that hopes to inspire birth photography professionals and expectant parents, believe there is power in viewing and sharing birth images. “There is nothing more valuable than preserving the memories of the best days of your life,” they said on their website.

The website once again hosted a birth photography contest this year. The “Birth Becomes You Image Contest 2019” received over 1,200 image submissions from birth photographers around the world (almost 300 more than last year’s entries). The judges, comprised of pioneers in the birth and photography communities, selected winners in the following categories: in-hospital and out-of-hospital births; color and black-and-white images; and postpartum, which includes the first 48 hours after birth and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) sessions.

Sadie, who joined the contest for the first time, wrote the following when she shared this image on Instagram: “What I love about this image is the way it captures those mixes of emotions you experience right after you’ve given birth – great relief, amazement, shock, exhaustion, happiness, love, overwhelm… Everything that runs through your mind when you realize you’ve done it, you’ve accomplished it.”

“Thank you first and foremost to the beautiful family who trusted me enough to invite me into their birth space to capture such a magical and sacred moment,” Toni wrote on Instagram. “You are forever ingrained in my heart,” she added.

Linnéa Geiger, the photographer who took the photo, posted it on Instagram. “I had the honor of attending another home birth. It was pure magic, and I am full of love for it. Congratulations sweet baby, you were welcomed to this land with so much love and passion.”

Cat captured the moment a new mom saw her baby for the first time. “Taking the time to look at, touch, and smell the little human being you just gave birth to can be very emotionally, spiritually and physically rewarding,” the photographer wrote on Instagram. “You could stare at it for hours, and you do. It is time well spent.”

1st Place Postpartum Images: Photo: Art by Jessica “We love this image by @photoartbyjessica, which took first place in our postpartum category in the #birthbecomesher contest. I think she is already a little doula.”

2nd place in Color Images: Kendal Blacker Photography “Peace on earth begins at birth.”

2nd place Black-and-White: Sashi Hesson, Photographer “These beautiful unscripted moments are the reason I do what I do.”

2nd Place Postpartum: Coastal Lifestyle Photography “I can’t even begin to tell you what an honor it was to be invited to Whitney’s birth space when she welcomed her little one at 30 weeks, as her photographer and birth partner. The strength and emotions I saw during this labor, delivery, and weeks afterward are something I will carry with me for the rest of my days.”

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