A series of incredible photographs have been praised for their honest depictions of childbirth and motherhood.
Birth photographer Lacey Barratt, from Melbourne, has released a number of her favorite pictures from the past year, which show women during labor and moments after giving birth.
One striking image shows a woman being handed her baby before the umbilical cord was cut, not realizing she had already given birth.
Another shows a woman in the midst of labor while in a birthing pool, with her husband trying to make her drink from a water bottle.
Lacey, who is also a doula, has received global acclaim for her photographs that show the reality of childbirth.
Here, she tells the stories behind some of her favorite pictures over the past year…
‘I don’t always get allowed into the theatre, so when I do, I always make sure to ask if they can lower the drape or I can come on the other side,’ Lacey explained.
‘That isn’t exactly greeted with the best of responses, but as my job, I have to ask. This team was so supportive of mum having pictures.
‘She lowered the drape and motioned for me to grab a pic and help up her baby just perfectly.’
‘Maddison’s birth in the hospital was so special because her boy was born so quickly that when the staff handed him to her she didn’t realize he had been born,’ the photographer recalled.
‘This image captures the moment she realized she did indeed have a baby, and the ride was coming to a close.’
‘We don’t see dads talked about a lot of birth spaces, but I really love to capture the connection between mothers and fathers,’ Lacey said.
‘They are integral in making the woman feel safe and loved and raising oxytocin.
‘Here you can see how Michelle’s husband was totally submerged in her everything and dedicated to serving her however he could.’
‘Amy kept control of every aspect of her birth. She was not swayed and not once bullied into alternate forms of intervention,’ she commented.
‘This was right after her girl was born standing and she raised her to her chest. This is the moment of relief and happiness.’
‘This was my last birth for 2017 and this mama gently guided her own baby earthside. Not enough women are touching their babies, so I love this,’ Lacey commented.
‘There is way more about birth that isn’t normalized than what is normal. I fight really, really hard against social media to make sure my images stay up and aren’t removed.’
‘Brittany’s babe was born with so much hair,’ the photographer recalled.
‘I remember seeing her and thinking how she looked like Rapunzel out of the womb.’
‘This is a self-portrait that I released of myself exactly 12 months ago,’ Lacey said.
‘It marked the rebirth of myself into a new mother, new wife, and new human.
‘This was to explain not everyone feels connected to their babies at first, and that’s OK.’
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