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20 Amazingly beautiful birth photographs that will take your breath away

Julie Ryan Evans is an editor and writer who has covered everything from Capitol Hill to the politics of preschool. A mother of two, a runner of races, and a gourmet chef wannabe, she currently lives outside of Orlando, Florida.

#1/20:

Beautiful birth photographs

#1/20:

Beautiful birth photographs

The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers recently announced the winners of its 2016 Image of the Year Competition, and the images are mind-blowingly gorgeous. They provide an up close look at some of the most special and intimate moments of families' lives. This photo of an underwater birth titled "Underwater birth, baby with gorgeous curly hair" won first place. Read on to see the rest, and prepare to be awed.

#3/20:

The surge

#3/20:

The surge

Best in Category: Labor

#4/20:

Where peace begins

#4/20:

Where peace begins

Best in Category: Postpartum

#5/20:

In between two worlds

#5/20:

In between two worlds

Honorable mention 

#6/20:

It calls to her both loudly and softly in song

#6/20:

It calls to her both loudly and softly in song

Honorable mention

#7/20:

First kiss

#7/20:

First kiss

#8/20:

When a baby is born at home

#8/20:

When a baby is born at home

#9/20:

Transition

#9/20:

Transition

#10/20:

Falling in love

#10/20:

Falling in love

#11/20:

Baby brings joy

#11/20:

Baby brings joy

#12/20:

Beautiful calm. Heart to heart.

#12/20:

Beautiful calm. Heart to heart.

#13/20:

A beautiful contraction

#13/20:

A beautiful contraction

#14/20:

Power

#14/20:

Power

#15/20:

Holding on

#15/20:

Holding on

#16/20:

While the city sleeps

#16/20:

While the city sleeps

#17/20:

Strength from her first born

#17/20:

Strength from her first born

#18/20:

Surrender

#18/20:

Surrender

#19/20:

Serenity

#19/20:

Serenity

#20/20:

Birth of Rowan

#20/20:

Birth of Rowan

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