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Birth Photography Contest Winners Provide a Rare Look at Childbirth

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Marijke Thoen Geboortefotografie

Every year, the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers calls for entries into their image competition – and this year’s birth photos are exceptionally breathtaking.

The association announced winners on Feb. 9 in four categories: a first place winner and best in category for labor, delivery and postpartum.

Apple Blossom Families’ photo “The Surge”
Apple Blossom Families

The overall best photo was awarded to Marijke Thoen for her image of the underwater birth of a baby with curly hair.

Natalia Walth’s photo “Where peace begins”
Natalia Walth Photography

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The winning photo in the labor category titled “The Surge” pictures a woman bent over in the shower, screaming in agony. Natalie Walth, the winner in the postpartum category, was praised for her photo of a woman cradling her newborn. The image is titled “Where Peace Begins.”

Jennifer Martin’s photo “Euphoria”
Jennifer Martin Photography

Other entries showed the pain, serenity and euphoria of childbirth – like in Jennifer Martin‘s photo of a tattooed couple rejoicing over their child. And all kinds of deliveries were captured on film, including natural births, water births and cesarean sections.

The winners are selected on a “point system and judged on technicality, emotionality and composition,” according to IAPBP’s website.