No matter how a baby’s birth unfolds ― whether it’s a first-time mom having a C-section, or a third-time mother fighting through a labor that lasts two full days ― childbirth is hard and it is messy.
But in between all the, well, laboring are moments of love. Love between partners, love between families and doctors, doulas and midwives, and that very special love when parents and babies lock eyes for the very first time.
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Here, talented birth photographers share photos they’ve captured that celebrate those moments of pure joy and connection in childbirth.
30 Mesmerizing Birthing Photos
This dad was this laboring woman’s biggest support system. He was there every step of the way. They danced together to the rhythm of her contractions.
This was such a powerful moment. The dad reached down to kiss his just-born son’s forehead, and the mom burst into tears!
This couple planned for a natural birth, but had to have a C-section. The dad had to wait outside the operating room for a few minutes while the mom was being prepped for surgery. Here he is kissing her goodbye until he was able to go back and join her.
This father knelt when he asked his wife to marry him, and then he knelt again to offer her support and strength when she needed it most.
This soft kiss for his wife as she was breathing through contractions was just one way this sweet husband showed compassion during labor.
This nurse paints her patient’s toenails, going above and beyond her job duties. That’s love!
Overwhelmed with love, this new dad couldn’t hold back the tears when he saw his baby girl’s face for the first time.
This is this mom’s father-in-law supporting her. She had both sets of grandparents in the birthing room and they all took turns supporting her, along with her husband, throughout the night. This couple endured a very long road of infertility, and the mom got through a very long labor before they were finally able to hold their baby.
This father’s baby was born at 35 weeks and had to whisked away immediately to be assessed. He followed his son into the little room, and this is the moment he saw him for the first time. He had the biggest tears in his eyes — and fortunately, his son was alright!
These brothers waited so patiently to meet their new sister while their mom birthed her in their own home!
This big sister meets this couple’s sweet new baby after a beautiful home birth. Her adorable look of awe and amazement says it all.
Once this mother’s new baby was in her arms, serenity fell upon everyone present. She had become a mother yet again, and was clearly more in love with her children than ever before.
Laboring for 52 hours means you really need to rely on your loving support team to help get you through some of your contractions. This mom was so fortunate to have not only her husband there to hold her, but also her close friend of 20 years — who is a doula — helping her birth her baby girl into a room full of love.
This mom got in plenty of skin-to-skin contact in the operating room after a scheduled C-section.
As this mother rode the waves of labor, her wife was always at her side. That room was so full of love and trust.
This dad held his partner’s hand in a quiet moment of love before their baby girl arrived.
This father was such an amazing support to his laboring wife. Their connection was truly beautiful to witness.
This woman’s husband was so loving and supportive. Here he is whispering to their baby, encouraging her to make her way into the world.
This father was incredibly attentive and supportive throughout labor.
This dad held onto his partner, and never left her side while she was in the middle of transition.
After having three boys, this mom was flooded with love when she finally got to hold her first daughter.
These parents’ little one had to spend some time in the nursery because she was in respiratory distress. Being new parents and seeing your tiny baby hooked up to all those wires and machines is definitely extremely emotionally. Thankfully, their baby girl recovered fully, and they were all able to come home after about a week in the hospital.
This dad coached his partner through every breath, holding her hand and whispering words of encouragement. The strength and love of these first-time parents throughout their unmedicated hospital birth was truly astounding to witness.
Audrey gave birth to her baby boy with the help and love of her birth team.
This was a home birth with a midwife. It was a calm, serene and powerful birth — and the couple’s sixth child. My client caught her baby under the water and brought her up to her chest. You can see the relief and the love wash over her face.
This is the moment this mama of twins first held one of her babies, who were born at 34 weeks.
Amanda and Jonathan were first-time parents, but they really trusted and embraced the entire birthing process. Their togetherness, especially when difficult moments arrived, was simply beautiful.
After all of her hard work and focus to bring her daughter into the world, this mama’s face really says it all — pure elation at finally getting to meet her baby girl.
This is one of my favorite birth photos! There were so many loved ones surrounding the new family, and they were all holding each other and crying. There was so much love in this room, it was incredible.
This mother was over the moon with happiness when she met her baby!
This article was first published on HPMG News.