7 photos that capture the raw beauty of birth

Annual photography competition shows birth like never before

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  • The winning entry

    Never before have the moments prior to, during and after birth been captured in such an inspiring way.

    Yes, they're pretty messy and there are bits everywhere – but there's no denying the raw beauty in these pictures, however difficult and painful the births might have been (and so often are).

    The winning entry above shows an underwater birth, while the other winners show babies crowning, women in the full throes of labour and a woman delivering twins, one that looks like it's still in its amniotic sac.

    The pictures come from the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers and these are the result of their 5th annual competition.

    Click next to see the winners of the 2016 Image of the Year Competition...

    Photo credit: Marijke Thoen
  • Best In Category: Labour

    Photo credit: Morag Hastings
  • Best In Category: Delivery

    Photo credit: Robin Baker
  • Best In Category: Postpartum

    Photo credit: Natalia Walth
  • Continue slideshow >

  • Honorable Mention: love

    Photo credit: Krista Evans
  • Honorable Mention: untethered beginning for the birthing woman

    Photo credit: Angela Gallo
  • Honorable Mention: in between two worlds

    Photo credit: Alexandra Kayy