Birth is one of the most important moments of women’s lives, yet many mothers discover that they only have a few solid memories of their entire birth experience after the fact.
Monet Moutrie, of Monet Nicole, is an experienced birth photographer and has captured an astounding 100 deliveries. She’s witnessed it everything, from unmedicated home water births to hospital C-sections and stillbirths, and taken thousands of breathtaking images in the process.
“The more I do birth photography, the more I realize that women need to feel empowered and supported in whatever choices they make,” said Monet. The span of human emotion is often displayed in the hours that surround the first breath of a child.”
Monet has shared her all-time favorite images — and the beautiful details that make their stories just as memorable — as she thinks on her 100 births.
Each photo tells a story of pain, perseverance, and finally, relief. They document a baby’s first moments of life, and a family’s first moments of unity.
Many of the photos below are intense and graphic, so reader discretion is advised. They are all, however, powerful in their own unique ways.
“It always amazes me when first-time parents choose a home birth for their baby.When you haven’t gone through labor before, it can be difficult to let go and trust your body, but many of my clients do.”
“Words can’t convey the strength of this woman, who gave birth to her perfect baby girl in the OR — just minutes before they could begin her emergency C-section.”
“When her blood pressure became too high, this first-time mother was moved from our local birth center to the hospital. It’s difficult to have your birth plans abruptly changed.. When I walked in, I found this amazing woman laughing and smiling.”
“This mom is currently in training to become a home-birth midwife. To see her reach down and pull up her own baby was on of the most moving and empowering moments I’ve ever witnessed.”
“Her birth was beautiful, from start to finish. This beautiful girl was born covered in vernix. Vernix is a sticky waxy substance full of protective elements for baby – left on it will soak in in about 24 hours.
The cord on her belly, the baby on her chest, and the relief on her face still blows me away.
“Her baby was born in the caul (her water never broke). Her mother clasped her daughter to her chest after they carefully peeled it off after she was delivered. This is a time that I believe everybody who has given birth can relate to. I think anyone who has given birth can relate to this moment. So much love, so much relief.”
“I don’t have words for this image! This is birth to me — just so much emotion. It’s a lovely, significant moment immortalized in a photograph. It’s a record of pure delight and the start of a motherhood journey.”
“The most amazing part about documenting births is being able to capture the true rawness and beauty of birth as it unfolds.”