No posturing is allowed during childbirth. The best documentary storytelling is done through birth photography since there are so many different elements you may cover. It’s all about the little things and feelings—the hurt looks, the chuckles in between contractions, the emotional texts you get. Holding hands, giving each other shoulder rubs, and leaning on each other as a support system
Thanks to the activism of women like Katie Vigos of the Empowered Birth Project, Facebook and Instagram stopped removing posts of childbirth and ʙʀᴇᴀsᴛғᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ mothers late last year. Previously, the social media giants considered birth photos too graphic and in violation of their policies against nudity. But Vigos (and the more than 23,000 people who signed her Change.org petition) believed that by censoring birth, the platforms were reinforcing the sʜᴀᴍᴇ, sᴛɪɢᴍᴀ, ᴀɴᴅ sᴏᴄɪᴀʟ ᴛᴀʙᴏᴏ around it.
“You either allow birth to exist on your platform, or you don’t,” Vigos told Harper’s Bazaar. “The petition is representative of our much bigger mission to empower ourselves as women—whether it’s about our bodily autonomy, our ability to birth with informed decisions and support, censorship of our bodies, the de-stigmatization of menstruation.”
Today, a quick search of the hashtags #birthisbeautiful or #birthwithoutfear bring up hundreds of images of babies making their entrance into this world. We rounded up over 12 of the most stunning images of birth from some of our favorite photographers to show the power of capturing the moment.