13 breathtaking photos from out-of-hospital births

For almost 10 years, Monet Nicole Moutrie of Denver has been a photographer, but she didn’t start out photographing births. In fact, her skills were first developed via food photography, which is quite different from where her expertise lies today.

She’s gearing up to photograph her 100th birth, but her birth photography began with someone very close to her — her older sister, who decided that (after three hospital births) she wanted to try having her baby at home. Moutrie, who was living in Texas at the time, flew home to photograph the birth. “Her birth was beautiful, and it was the first birth I had witnessed from start to finish,” she tells us. “From that moment forward, I was hooked, and I knew that I wanted to work in the birth field.”

Moutrie says that each time a baby is born, it takes her breath away — and seeing her photos, we can see why. “There is so much love and joy and longing contained in that brief space, and I love capturing it,” she told SheKnows. “I’m honored to be invited into such an intimate space… and truly touched that so many of my clients are willing to let me share their stories with a larger audience.”

She notes that Colorado is an excellent area to experience an out-of-hospital birth due to the high number of free-standing birth centers as well as dozens of certified midwives who work with women to deliver their babies at home. “When competent and trained care providers work with low-risk women, out-of-hospital births can be a safe option,” she said. “None of these providers downplay the importance of hospitals and OBs, but rather work with them to provide optimal care to their patients.”

She believes that there is something truly beautiful about seeing a woman receive optimal care in an environment that supports and encourages unmedicated birth. “Quiet noises, dim lights, water, hands-on support — these are but a few of the many things that can make a birth center or a home birth a peaceful and empowering process for Mom.”

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