Note: This post contains graphic images of birth.
Having a baby is one of the most excruciating and blissful milestones a person may experience. Increasingly, parents are bringing professional photographers into the delivery room to capture the agonizing and joyful moments.
It's reached the point where the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers hosts an annual birth photo competition, honoring the work of photographers in a number of categories, including labor, delivery, postpartum, and Fresh 48, which focuses on the first few hours after a baby is born.
"Birth photography encompasses the tears of joy, the wonder of bringing a new life into the world," the group said in a press release," and celebrates family."
Scroll down to see some of the photos that took home awards and honorable mentions in this year's birth photography competition.
"A Moment of Silence," by Jessica Vink of VI-Photography who lives in the Netherlands.
"Warrior," by US-based Bree Garcia of J&B Photography, LLC.
"Vernix Constellation," by Australian photographer Kristy Visscher of Kinship by Kristy.
"Denial," by US photographer Natalie Weber of Natalie Zepp Photography.
"Morning Light Creeps In," by Canadian photographer Shea Long of Coastal Lifestyles Photography.
"Baby Noah Empelicado," by Brazil's Jana Brasil of JanaBrasil Fotografia.
"Ring of Fire," by US-based Katie Torres of Your Story — Professional Birth Services.
"I am a Birthing Goddess," by American photographer Sophia Costa of The Sophia Co.
"Her Cup Runneth Over…," by American photographer Martha Lerner of zenmamalove.
"Unmasking the Many Layers of Birth," by US photographer Alexandria Mooney of Alexandria Mooney Photography.
"In it Together," by US photographer Lori Martinez of Lori Martinez Photography.
"Unplanned, Furious and Free," by American photographer Bree Garcia of J&B Photography LLC.
"Breech," by Dutch photographer Cindy Willems of Birth Day geboortefotografie.
"Overflowing Love," by Brazilian photographer Barbara Aviz of BÁRBARA AVIZ.
"Reactions," by US photographer Paulina Splechta of Paulina Splechta Birth Photography and Films.
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