21 Emotionally Powerful Photos Showcasing the Beauty of C-Section Births.

Curious about the reality of Caesarean births? Take a glimpse at these breathtaking photos captured by members of the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) to witness the true essence.

The association has over 1,400 members in 37 different countries, and was founded in 2010 by Lyndsay Stradtner of Life in Motion Photography, who lives in Texas with her husband and four children. After the family lost ɱaпy of their belongings in Hurricane Katrina, Stradtner started taking photographs using a DSLR camera to make sure their precious memories were captured. She started photographing births in 2007, and founded the IAPBP to make it easier for clients and photographers to connect. In a blog post on the IAPBP website, Stradtner explained how birth photography is often misunderstood. Pushing back against commonly-held ideas that birth photography is “gross,” “yucky,” or “distasteful,” she explained why some families choose to hire a birth photographer, and what the end result is all about.

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“There is much more to birth photography than the actual moment of birth,” she wrote. “So much more. It’s the birth environment, the light in the room, the details, the comings and goings of those who are there. It’s mom holding on to dad in pain, the doula offering a supportive hand, the midwife making suggestions for pain relief and the OB preparing and helping mom push. It’s the baby placed on moms chest for the first ᴛι̇ɱe, the tears of joy, pure adrenaline, the cutting of the cord and babies little toes and fingers. It’s the first ᴛι̇ɱe a sibling meets a new baby brother or sister with a look of wonder and apprehension. It’s all of those things put together. It’s the journey of a birth day. It’s the making of a family. It’s special. And if a family chooses so, it deserves to be captured.”

SELF was able to reach out to the IAPBP community, asking them to submit some of their most moving images. The results were truly spectacular, capturing an incredible range of birth experiences. And ɱaпy of the photographs submitted showed children being delivered by Caesarean births.

According to the CDC, an esᴛι̇ɱated 32.2 percent of women will deliver by a planned or unplanned Caesarean. This number is higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended rate for “medically necessary” c-sections, which is 10 to 15 percent. There is some controversy around the high rate of surgical births in the U.S., with some expectant mothers feeling pressured into the procedure by medical personnel, or others judging women who choose to have elective Caesarean births. But the fact remains that these surgeries are live-saving, and women should not be shamed for having them.

As these photos show, Caesarean births are absolutely powerful, moving experiences, whether or not the procedure was the mother’s first choice. Here are 21 of the Caesarian births the talented IAPBP photographers captured.

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Ashley Derr / Ashley Derr Photography2


Every Way Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) Affects My Life

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Bridget Reyes / A Little Muse Photography3

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Brittany Buitron / Brittany Buitron Photography4

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Chanda Williams / ChandaWilliams.com5

Image may contain Clinic Human Person Operating Theatre Hospital Room Indoors Doctor Surgery Helmet and Clothing

Image may contain Finger Human and PersonKali Shanti Park / Mama Matters Complete Doula Care & Birth Photography7

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Kelly O’Roke / Kelly O’Roke: Life Captured8

Most Popular

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Kierra Mellenthin / Kreations by Kierra Photography9

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Laura Kralovetz / Layla Faith Photography10

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Monet Moutrie / Monet Nicole: Birthing Stories11

By Lisa Butterworth

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Sam Beasley / Sam Beasley Photography14

By Lisa Butterworth

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Tilly Goble / Naissance Studios15

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Whitney Milton / She Gives Light16

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Bonnie Hussey / Bonnie Hussey Photography18

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Jennifer Mason / Jennifer Mason Photography19

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Stefanie Harrington / Stefanie Harrington Photography

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