20 Amazingly beautiful birth photographs that will take your breath away

Feb 10, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. ET
birth photographs
Image: Marijke Thoen

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.

1 /19: En-caul unassisted twin water birth

1/19 :En-caul unassisted twin water birth

2/19 :The surge

3 /19: Where peace begins

3/19 :Where peace begins

4 /19: In between two worlds

4/19 :In between two worlds

5 /19: It calls to her both loudly and softly in song

5/19 :It calls to her both loudly and softly in song

6/19 :First kiss

7 /19: When a baby is born at home

7/19 :When a baby is born at home

8 /19: Transition

8/19 :Transition

9 /19: Falling in love

9/19 :Falling in love

10 /19: Baby brings joy

10/19 :Baby brings joy

11 /19: Beautiful calm. Heart to heart.

11/19 :Beautiful calm. Heart to heart.

12 /19: A beautiful contraction

12/19 :A beautiful contraction

13/19 :Power

14 /19: Holding on

14/19 :Holding on

15 /19: While the city sleeps

15/19 :While the city sleeps

16 /19: Strength from her first born

16/19 :Strength from her first born

17 /19: Surrender

17/19 :Surrender

18/19 :Serenity

19 /19: Birth of Rowan

19/19 :Birth of Rowan