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...

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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

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