30 Beautifully Raw Photos That Capture the Reality of Childbirth

by Megan Zander
May 5, 2017 at 4:00 a.m. ET

Awe-inspiring event that it is, there is still something a little taboo about talking about the realities of labor and birth. Sure, we're open to recall the life-changing moment when babies enter the world, but we tend to gloss over the messy, raw details.

And, ironically, these messy, raw details are where the true beauty lies.

These breathtaking birth images serve as a true reflection of the gorgeous realities of giving birth and becoming a family.

Originally published October 2016. Updated May 2017.

1 /29: The first hello

1/29 :The first hello

Photographer Ashley Marston captures a mom's face as she sees her baby for the first time.

2 /29: A show of strength

2/29 :A show of strength

This photo showcases mom's strength in the grips of a contraction

3/29 :Pure joy

The joy of holding your newborn right after delivery is a beautiful thing.

4 /29: A family united

4/29 :A family united

Liz Jennings captured this moving pic of a new dad holding hands with Mom right after a cesearan.

5 /29: Pushing for a purpose

5/29 :Pushing for a purpose

In this powerful image, a mom sees the result of all her hard work — her baby.

6 /29: The moment you've waited for

6/29 :The moment you've waited for

Jennings captures a baby's first cries.

7 /29: Happy birthday!

7/29 :Happy birthday!

This shows what it's like to look down and see your baby draw its first breaths.

8 /29: Labor surprise

8/29 :Labor surprise

Anything can happen during labor, as evidenced by this surprising shot.

9/29 :It's time!

It's that moment! Birth Blessings Photography snapped this pic at just the right second.

10 /29: A true partnership

10/29 :A true partnership

With one baby in her arms and another on its way out, photog Robin Baker captures this mom in true warrior form

11/29 :It's twins!

Hello and ... hello!

12 /29: A water delivery

12/29 :A water delivery

This incredible image captures dad catching twin #2 as it is born. 

13 /29: Twice the blessings

13/29 :Twice the blessings

We just love how calm and happy this mama is during the birth of her twins.

14 /29: From womb to water

14/29 :From womb to water

Photographer Laura Eckert captured this stunning image of a baby emerging from its mother during a tub birth.

15 /29: A supportive partner

15/29 :A supportive partner

16/29 :Selfie break

But he also has time to snap a selfie during labor.

17/29 :First look

A new mom sees her baby for the first time following a cesarean delivery.

18 /29: Cesarean birth

18/29 :Cesarean birth

Hello World Birth Photography captured this amazing image of a cesarean birth through a clear drape

19 /29: A mother's determination

19/29 :A mother's determination

In this beautiful photo by Liliana Leahy, a mother gathers herself in a quiet moment during labor

20/29 :Lean on me

laboring mom leaning into her partner is a beautiful example of love and support.

21 /29: Welcome to the world

21/29 :Welcome to the world

It's amazing just how cute newborns are, vernix and all.

22 /29: When the work is done

22/29 :When the work is done

This image by Breathe Birth Photography captures the actual moment of birth and all the joy.

23 /29: A moment of peace

23/29 :A moment of peace

Resting with her newborn and their placenta following her tub birth. 

24 /29: A caul birth

24/29 :A caul birth

Breathe Birth Photography captured this breathtaking image of a baby born in its caul

25 /29: First breath

25/29 :First breath

26 /29: A happy arrival

26/29 :A happy arrival

Photographer Leilani Rogers captured this powerful image of a baby still attached to its umbilical cord

27 /29: A well-deserved rest

27/29 :A well-deserved rest

Mom cradles her newborn following a tub birth.

28 /29: A father's joy

28/29 :A father's joy

The look on this new dad's face in this image taken by Megan Bowen says it all. 

29 /29: Overwhelmed by emotion

29/29 :Overwhelmed by emotion

Bowen perfectly captures the range of emotions you feel when holding your baby for the first time.