Pregnancy, labour, birth, post-natal. It’s all so incredibly messy and beautiful all at the same time. Often there are no words to describe these amazing moments which is why so many expecting parents turn to birth photographers.

Birth photographers capture the raw emotions, the unexpected ups and downs, the passionate connections that take place during the birthing journey. Birth only lasts a few hours, or days, at most. It goes by so fast and it’s often one big hazy blur.

This is why having someone in the background, snapping the pictures is so important for so many families – to keep this journey front and centre, for years and years to come.

Every year the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers hold a competition for all birth photographers around the world. There are hundreds of entries and every year we are blown away by the winners.

While we’re not professional judges, we did want to share our top 10 favourite birth photos of the past few years – the ones that took us right back to the delivery room, to the birthing pool, or that first post-partum breastfeed – the ones that hit us right in the feels.

Here are Mum Central’s top 10 picks. You can see the full winners’ list of birth photos from previous years below:

Check out all the entries at the IAPBP website.

10. A dose of mother nature 

There are so many amazing first feed photos but this one really captures the liquid gold that is mum’s milk. Breastmilk. This is the work of Aussie birth photographer Jessica Henderson. Love!

first feed birth photography winner 2021
Jessica Henderson Photography

9. A moment of silence

This is postpartum peace. Just a mumma and her bubba. Perfection from VI Photography.

VI Photography

 8. A miracle of life 

En caul births are absolutely amazing and this photo is incredible! No words.

en caul birth photography winner 2021
Nora Dalmasso Fotografia

7. Our rainbow baby 

So much emotion in one photo, by  Belle Verdiglione.

Belle Verdiglione

6. Reach down

I think we can all relate to this pic! What an incredible feat labour is and this photo certainly captures it!

birth photo winner 2021
Dana Jacobs Photography

5. Stunning siblings’ first encounter

This photo took home a few different prizes in 2018 when birth photographer Marijke Thoen snapped the amazing shot. It’s easy to see why! We love it too.

IABPB birth photos winner 2018
Marijke Thoen

4. No rush to arrive

Hello there. What an incredible shot! One for the 21st birthday card? Yeah, probs not.

birth photos 2021
@Thais Galardi Photography

3. Welcome little woman

The most beautiful encounter between mum and bub. Another stunning pic from an Aussie photographer – Kate Kennedy.

birth photos 2021
Kate Kennedy Photography


2. Her cup runneth over

Postpartum has never looked so beautiful.


1. The greatest love

The emotion in this photo… wow. Just wow. This was the winning members’ choice birth photo of 2021 and we are blown away by it too.

birth photography winner 2021
Anne Lucy

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